Dancing around the fire is not the solution to any problem. One should try to see beneath the surface in order to grasp an idea about the basic issue. Despite a stream of strong words and announcements made by the international level organizations and many governments of the various countries, nothing has been done successfully in order to counter the cataclysmic activities of terrorism in the world. Rather the situation has taken a quantum leap for the worse.
At present in many countries terrorists have created a state of uncertainty and terrible fallings in the minds of billions of people, especially with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon Building in the United States of America. The innocent people continue to suffer misery and repression due to these inhuman acts of terrorism. The brutal and blatant terrorism repression both by individuals and at some places the state sponsored terrorism acts against innocent men, women and children have few parallels in the annals of history. Due to these illegal and horrible acts, many places of the world have become festering sores.
No Society is Safe from Terrorism
There is a general impression that terrorism is on the rampant worldwide as it was never been before. No society is safe from its impact. Terrorism ranges from individuals to groups to international networks, and thus poses a challenge to the internal intelligence systems of governments round the world. The reach of its destructive capacity has increased. It can cause disruption in all sectors of national life and has become a major problem for governments. The national life and has become a major problem for governments. The possibility of proliferation o f weapons of mass destruction through the innovation of modern technology is more real than it has ever been in human history. The use of these innovations for terrorist activities is limited only by the imagination of the terrorist. Everyone is a potential target, which creates a climate of fear and suspicion within a society.
Objectives of Terrorists
Present day terrorism has many facets. Its objectives are multifaceted and operations multi-pronged the entire world is its stage, which has made it a prime concern for governments and societies around the world. Everyone knows what the acts of terrorism are but does not sufficiently understand how its strategies are planned to be able to pre-empt it. State apparatuses speak of the patterns of terrorism and yet are unable to prevent, control and apprehend the perpetrators before they strike. After a terrorist attack with its host of innocent victims, there are great implications in the shape of more murky distrust and the widespread unease it leads to in the public mind. Such a quantitative change in itself is one of the intended outcomes in the objectives of the terrorists adds to deepening the complexities and makes it difficult to resolve the various entanglements it gives rise to. Then there is the working of about the latest act of terrorism, the terrorists strike yet again!
The genesis of the situation shows a dismal picture of inhuman behavior. The acts of terrorism has always got justification from the terrorists’ Perspective view. It happens for a variety of reasons perpetrated by tyrannical and aggressive governments, groups of rebels, oppressive cultural norms and traditions, ideological confrontations, religious beliefs, the native versus the settler, urban against the rural interests, minority verses the majority, socio-economic factors such as poverty hunger backwardness, unemployment, illness have created inhuman conditions and give risk to the need to break the shackles of extreme want through extreme actions. The basic differences in motive and function makes it possible to speak of particular brands.
There are various brands of terrorism like of terrorist, which are political, religious, ethnic, sectarian, ideological, language based, rooted in cultural differences and so on. All of these are to be found on the terrain of South Asia. Armed resistance put up be separatist movements within South Asia would make a long list.
Another theory about terrorism argues that human beings are genetically programmed for violence. A counter argument postulates that aggression is a social behavior learned and acquired from one’s immediate and remote environment. Therefore, it may be (open to direct) modification and reduced through removal of adverse social conditions. As an example closer to this counter argument Pakistani public opinion has noted with a growing concern that there is a progressive, increasing brutalization of the Pakistan environment. The Afghanistan phenomenon is generally considered to be the dominant single event which radically changed the social scene for the worse. It is not the political happenings but the fallout which Kalashnikov culture. This culture breeds crime, aggression and violence which is now being propagated nationally without suggesting remedial measures. Before the happening of this particular incident the arms in tribal areas of Pakistan were used with caution and care, under certain social norms. The sudden availability of cheap and plentiful supplies of more sophisticated weapons had devastating effects, as it made arms available to those whose minds were imposed commitments to such values.
The Russian invasion of Afghanistan which resulted in a long war between Russia and Afghanistan and the freedom fight of Kashmiri mujahideen against illegal Indian occupation, these two incidents have caused great uncertainty in South Asia.
This situation has also a huge impact on South Asia’s confrontation with the various manifestations of modern day terrorism. It threatens a region where one fifth of all humanity resides. Like other parts of the world where human civilizations have existed, South Asia too has its history of terrorism in its various forms. The contemporary period shows South Asian governments facing similar problems in tackling terrorism as the rest of the world. The fact remains that since the 1970’s terrorism (in its multifarious forms) has been a growing dimension and a major problem in the national life of the counties of South Asia. No one categorization can help to sum up the nature of terrorism either individually in anyone country or collectively in the region. As elsewhere in the world, there are many a nexus, internal and external, which makes it complex. It is this complexity which has to be analyzed and understood and strategies evolved, so as to effectively tackle it. It would require concrete plans of action both by governments and the civil societies.
International Politics and Terrorism
The international politics and the geographical locations of some countries also play an important role in shaping terrorism. For example, China is an emerging power. It is getting strengthened day by day. This thing is not liked by America because a strong China is becoming a permanent threat to the sole super power status of United States of America. So in order to check the development of China, America has started facilitating India to make continues disturbance for China in the region. China in response is strengthening Pakistan to divert the attention of India supports the terrorist activities in Pakistan through its agency RAW.
The historical background of the issue irradiates that the 19 century proved to be a wave of uprising. The establishment of secret societies carrying out systematic terrorism against their oppressors in Russia, Spain, in other European countries and particularly the Balkans area and in the Far East. Revolt was the order of the day on the Asian sub-continent as well. The East India company was consolidating its hold in India, on the eve of the establishment of direct British colonial rule. Later inspired by the socialist philosophies terrorist groups appeared in India before the first world war and were particularly active in Bengal and had their international connections. The terrorist tradition continued well after independence. Deepening on the motivation behind them these range from cultist organizations built around personalities to armed militant became the scene of rural violence.
Upto the firs world war, terrorism was generally seen as a left wing phenomenon. In the years after the world war, right wing and national separatist groups sponsored terrorist operations in various parts of the world. Much of what the world is witnessing today in the Balkans as Serbian excesses. Firs against the Bosnian and than against the Kosovans, had similar precursors. The struggle in Croatia and for Irish independence also come to mind. There were a number of Fascist movements shaping up in parts of Europe. In Japan, the terrorist activities of a group of junior army officers had their own impact on the conduct of the Japanese foreign policy of the time. By the time the league of nations was established in the d1030’s, the need to combat terrorism on an international basis was already a major concern. Moreover a number of latter day terrorist organizations could trace their genesis to this intervening period between the two world wars. Following the second world war for at least two decades the world scene was dominated be a great wave of terrorism, carried on buy a lot of guerrilla wars going on at the same time. From the middle of the sixties, urban terrorism emerged as the new wave and developed its own independent dynamics. This entire period also coincided with the process of de colonization.
In the light of above mentioned present situation, genesis of terrorism and historical aspects, the following measures can be suggested in order to counter terrorism:
The cooperation at national level must be improved. It means strengthening internal cooperation among government’s agencies involved in counter terrorism, expanding training of staff to prevent all forms of terrorist actions, including the use of radioactive, chemical, biological and toxic substances. The effective urgent improvement of detection and prevention of terrorist acts on all means of public transport and accelerating research into detection o f explosives.
The governments must facilitate the investigation of groups including charities, social and cultural bodies, which may be front organizations for terrorist groups, prevent terrorists from using electronic or wise communication systems to carry out laws should be adopted on the manufacture, trade and transport of fire arms and explosives to prevent their use by terrorists. The domestic anti-terrorist legislation must be reviewed to bring about appropriate sentences for terrorism including bringing to justice those involved in planning or perpetrating or supporting the perpetration of terrorist acts and accelerate moves to allow governments access to data and communications to prevent and investigate terrorism.
To strengthen border controls and clamp down on false travel documents and ensure that terrorists do not take advantage of political and asylum laws, the international treaties must be expanded for this purpose. International conventions on terrorism must be joined and strengthened to develop coordination procedures for mutual assistance.
The availability of funds for the terrorist groups must be checked at international level. Measures should be taken to counter financing of terrorist groups directly or indirectly, including through front organizations as charitable, social or cultural groups intensify exchange of information over international movements of funds potentially linked to terrorist activity. Consider regulatory measures to stop movement of funds, suspected of being intended for terrorist organization.
So, conceived in this way, if the governments of various countries sincerely want to eliminate terrorism, the arm of law would have to reach into nooks and corners and both with tough tactics and the system of justice ensure the break up of the nexus where it exists. End the mafia gangs and their various methods of extortion through the exploitation of vulnerabilities as well as de weaponised the hands of society as much as its mind. It is a tough job and a long haul as has been shown in the past . It carries the dangers of criminalizing the system of governance themselves.
With the co-operation of civil society, the government would need to simultaneously address the root causes, analyse the social and systemic environments which enable terrorism to strike root, so as to counter the psyche of terrorist.