Supporting state terrorism is not the way to fight terrorism28 July 2015 Editorial Desk
While fighting terrorism in Pakistan, the army has become the prime accused of gross violation of basic human rights in the Khybar Pakhtunkhwa region bordering Afghanistan escalating more terrorism of their own kind.
The widespread use of brutal force and abduction of suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgents as reported in the New York Times in an article on July 25 showed the Pakistan army is resorting to more torture and extrajudicial killing. It said at least 100 people were killed in the last one and a half year in military custody as they were picked up from their homes as terror suspects.
The article quoted a woman as saying she got whereabouts of her son after 18 months of abduction as a suspected Taliban fighter in a military camp and one month later she was asked to pick up the body who reportedly died in torture.
Another father claimed his three sons were killed in military detention center but he did not complaint fearing three other sons may face similar fate. There are at least 2,100 cases pending with the Peshawar High Court seeking news of victims' fates.
We are of the view that the policy of military war as pursued by America and the West by itself will not meet the crisis of international terrorism. We also feel sure that condemning Islam for terrorism is proving helpful to terrorists for getting religious sentiment in their favour. The right thing would have been to condemn the terrorists without trying to undermine Islam as a religion. The wrong policy of the West under the leadership of America lies in emphasizing military support ignoring human rights and democratic values for uniting the people against terrorism. The Western military war against terrorism is spreading terrorism through state terrorism. All dictators pretend to be fighting terrorism only to remain in power through violation of human rights and making it easy for them to gain strength of popular support.
The United States and its allies in the West have to make democracy strong in Muslim countries because the people of these countries are against terrorism and opposed to earn a bad name for their great religion Islam. Call the terrorists enemies of Islam and use the power of democracy and human rights as the lasting and most effective means of fighting terrorism. The West cannot win the war against terrorism with bombing from the sky and killing Muslims indiscriminately. They need support of them.
In the case of Pakistan as a Muslim country, it did its utmost to help America in its war against terrorism but America is not keen to help democracy to work. Democracy is under constant threat and Pakistan itself is now a terrible victim of internal and external terrorism. Yet America wants more militarism and not much democracy in Pakistan for the success of containing terrorism for which the Muslims pay the heaviest price.
The sooner the United States realizes that the fight against terrorism should not be seen as a fight against Islam or depict Islam as a terrorist religion the easier it will be to fight the so-called Islamist terrorism with the help of Muslims, not just governments, all over.
Too much dependence on the governments for their military support may serve some other purpose but not winning the fight against terrorism.