Fatima Jinnah Women University.
December, the last month of 2014 proved to be the very cruel month because the most terrifying incident of Pakistan’s history happened on 16th Dec, 2014 in Peshawar. Though Pakistan has been suffering from terrorism since 2001 and many innocent lives have been taken by the so-called Talibans but the saddest part is the victims chosen this time were the children. Nearly 145 children and the staff members were killed ruthlessly. Whole country was shattered, every eye was teary and there went many sleepless nights thinking over those little innocent souls that have been taken. The question in everyone’s mind was WHY? WHY CHILDREN? WHAT THEY HAVE DONE? But unfortunately no one had the answer.
As reported, at first a suicide bomber managed to enter the auditorium of the school where a seminar was held and blew himself up in a group of students. Other armed militants wearing military uniforms then forced their way into the school, some firing indiscriminately and others taking the principal, about 20 teachers and a group of 34 students hostage for eight hours. The army operation against the militants began at 10:00 local time (05:00 GMT) and ended at 18:00 (13:00 GMT). The teachers and students held hostage were free. Four of the attackers blew themselves up while two were shot dead by the security forces at midday. The last two gunmen, who were holding the teachers and pupils, were shot dead after a fierce gun battle.
Regardless of facing supreme and grave threats of terrorism, Pakistan did not establish a comprehensive and effective legal framework to counter such threats. Also, the Government of Pakistan failed to grab this matter immediately. The proposed amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Act (“ATA”) were awaiting in the Senate for the last several years. The nature of existing terrorist threat is clearly discernible from the nature of terrorist threats faced by Pakistan in the recent past. Previous counterterrorism legislation and other relevant legal instruments were made in the context of sectarian terrorism; however, the nature of terrorism has changed and the current strain of terrorism is aimed at dismantling the State of Pakistan and its institutions. Therefore, Pakistan’s existing counterterrorism legal framework was outdated and needed to be revamped to effectively overcome the challenges posed by terrorism today.
Zarb- e- Azb was started against Terrorists in North Waziristan against various militant groups, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jundallah, al-Qaeda, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and the Haqqani network.. TTP claimed Peshawar attack as a revenge of this operation. But none of their justification can compensate with the brutal act they did with innocent kids. The attack was specifically targeted to Army-an’s children.
After the Peshawar incident all Pakistan’s political parties’ leaders agreed to come up with a plan to combat terrorism. Declaring the plan after all party meeting in Peshawar Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said there would be no more distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban groups. Prime Minister has lifted the ban from the death penalty for terrorism related cases, following what was Pakistan’s worst terrorist incident. He announced that he was lifting a moratorium on capital punishment. Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif has visited to Kabul for talks on how to deal the Taliban with Afghan president Ashraf Ghani. “Vital intelligence” was shared at the meeting, according to a military spokesman. The Taliban in Afghanistan condemned the attack on Peshawar underlining fractions in the movement. Pakistani forces have launched at least 10 air strikes on the Taliban in the wake of the school attack. Nawaz Sharif vowed that the Zarb-e-Azb Operation against the Taliban in Pakistan would continue. Nearly 5 to 6 terrorists have been hanged till yet. Military courts have been established to deal with terrorists’ crimes. All the hopes lie in army now. It’s time to launch an offensive action against these beasts which army is doing exactly now and there should be no leverage given to them.