As we generally understand, terror means fear, terrorist – those who practise directly or indirectly are terrorists and terrorism – a policy adopted to intimidate or cause terror to gain something which could not be possible through legitimate means. It can be termed as any act by any body/person/ organization/government intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling the state or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.
If we go through the history of the word “Terror”, we find that this was used in 105BC when the terror cimbricus was a panic and state of emergency was declared in Rome in response to the approach of warriors of the Cimbri tribe.Now, this policy is used by some states also to de-legitimize political adversaries, and potentially legitimize their own use of terror against their opponents. Terrorism is practiced by right-wing and left-wing political parties, religious groups, revolutionaries and even by some ruling governments also for furthering their objectives. Some time, it has also been seen that terrorists do not practice terrorism only for its political effectiveness; individual terrorists are also motivated by a desire for social solidarity with other members. Some terrorists pretend to be non-combatants, hide among such non-combatants, fight from vantage points in the midst of non-combatants, and strive to mislead and provoke the government soldiers into attacking other people, so that the government will be blamed.
It involves violence or the threat of violence to achieve the intention. It can be carried out in such a way as to maximize the severity and length of the psychological impact. Each act of terrorism is devised to have an impact on mass. They also attack national symbols to show power to shake the foundation of the country or society they are opposed to. This may negatively affect a government, while increasing the prestige of the given terrorist organization and/or the ideology they wish to impose. They undertake letter-writing or protesting when they believe that no other means will effect the kind of change they desire. The change is desired so badly that failure to achieve change is seen as a worse outcome. Secession of a territory to form a new sovereign state, dominance of territory or resources by various ethnic groups, imposition of a particular form of government, economic deprivation of a population, opposition to a domestic government or occupying army, linguistic, religious differences or other social causes can be the reasons of terrorism adopted by the unsatisfied section of the society.
Terrorism generally works on intentional and specific selection of civilians as direct targets to achieve mass publicity also like they did in case of 9/11, the London underground bombing, 2002 Bali bombing, Mumbai and Sri Lanka Cricket Team in Lahore. To spread fear more dreadfully, the criminal intent is specifically shown towards celebrities, babies, children, mothers and the elder civilians by injuring and putting in harmful ways. Their suffering accomplishes the terrorists’ goals of instilling fear, getting their message out to an audience or otherwise satisfying the demands of their often radical religious and political agendas. Now-a-days, terrorists use different names like separatist, freedom fighter, liberator, revolutionary, militant, guerrilla, rebel, Jihadi, mujaheddin, fidayeen etc. to gain support of a particular section of the society. Terrorist attacks are often targeted to maximize fear and publicity, usually using explosives or poison. There is concern about terrorist attacks employing weapons of mass destruction. Terrorist organizations usually methodically plan attacks in advance, and train participants, plant “undercover” agents, and raise money from supporters or through organized crime. Communication occurs through modern telecommunications.
Terrorism whether that creates civil disorders or that is political or non-political terrorism, quasi-terrorism, limited political terrorism official or state terrorism created by any nationalist-separatist religious fundamentalists, social revolutionaries or anyone else victimizes the civilians at the most and can not be appreciated in any case.
Whatever be reason why terrorism surfaces again and again, it is true that it is due to some social disorder. You can not profile someone as terrorist as he will look, dress, and behave like a normal person until he or she executes the assigned mission. We can not base upon some particular personality, physical, or sociological traits to identify one amongst many as “Would-be-Terrorist”. So far we have been applying targeted laws, criminal procedures, deportations, and enhanced police powers, target hardening, such as locking doors or adding traffic barriers, pre-emptive or reactive military action, increased intelligence and surveillance activities, pre-emptive humanitarian activities, more permissive interrogation and detention policies and some time, official acceptance of torture as a valid tool. But the results are not satisfactory and the world society is heading towards more grave threat of terrorism. Since it affects not only a particular part of the country/society, it affects the global economy as well as it creates fear in minds of the investors, businessmen, entrepreneurs and professionals as well. It jeopardizes infrastructures of education, health and income generating systems. The affected people get devoid of proper living.
It appears that still we need to do a lot in this direction. It is true that a person is not born a terrorist; he or she becomes one. After you promise of a decent life to your disciple, you break the morale and place that person into total hopelessness, while regularly adding lectures of morality to his/her mindset. The humiliation put by you can make him/her ready to die. If the number of such persons go up, they can form some group and can go out and commit desperate acts on their own initiative or be recruited by the local resistance movement. Worse, they can fall prey to the indoctrination of the neighborhood fanatics and sign up to become the next martyrs.
Terrorism in any part of the world causes immense damage to the global economic structure. By striking at the economic and military core of this system, the inevitable spread of free trade throughout the world gets shattered. It is true that since September 11,2001 World Tower Attack, the United States has been pursuing a global policy in order to destroy any further threats. It has been inviting all the allies to come forward to combat the terrorism but unfortunately, still some of the world powers are not opening up, thereby permitting terrorists to cover more areas within their attacks. We are seeing that the country like Pakistan who has earlier been stated to be heaven for the terrorism is also becoming targets itself, though this can be a matter of investigation whether the recent attacks were the real ones or fabricated to provide further impetus to enhance the terrorist activities. It is also reported that Pakistan’s poor performance in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency within its borders is largely due to the government’s failure to adequately invest in law enforcement reform. This factor too deserves more attention as many times, faulty policies create frustration in mind of the people diverting to terrorism to solve their problems.
Anyway, we need to create an environment, the world over, conducive to combat the terrorism collectively by
• Reducing bilateral hatred amongst individuals, communities and classes. For that, we need to understand other’s expectations and resources create social reconciliation and make adjustments by some give-and-take policy.
• Forming Peace Committee on village/locality level to reduce mutual tensions.
• Making judiciary more active to dispose off the matters more speedily.
• Providing employment to those youth who could not get proper opportunities.
• Enhancing educational and medical facilities and solving basic problems of living.
• Giving proper representation to all the sections in decision making process.
• Eradicating corruption and superstitions.
• Enforcing law and order more powerfully to ensure peaceful living to the subjects.
• Increasing cooperation amongst law enforcing agencies of the different states to avoid the criminals to hide in other’s territories.
• Giving full opportunities to the aggrieved persons to put up their grievances for which public forums can be organized. The Governments can invite them to dialogue tables before the circumstances go beyond control.
• Taking all actions as be necessary for countering terrorism and informing the appropriate authorities, if we smell anything wrong within our neighborhood.
We can win the battle if we fight with sincerity and collectively. We can lead the life happily if we are able to ensure peace of mind against terrorism.
Be Happy – Combat Terrorism Collectively.