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Should Pakistan be declared a terrorist state?

Should Pakistan be declared a terrorist state?
Often in news for wrong reasons, Pakistan is viewed by world as the problem child of Asia. This country, known to harbor world’s most wanted Osama bin Laden, is the laboratory of Islamic terrorists. The problem with Pakistan started in the 70’s in which it lost a war with India and a portion of its land (East Pakistan now called Bangladesh). This defeat plunged the nation in the lap of extremists that gladly lapped up this opportunity. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan helped these extremists make further inroads in the country’s polity. This flirtation with extremism has cost Pakistan dear and now its entire territory is in grip of sectarian, communal and terrorism strife. Due to its heavy borrowing from US and other financial institutions, it is often considered a failed state. But, what has really made it an eye-sore for the rest of the world is its continued dalliance with terrorism that Pakistan refuses to let go.

Reasons for declaring Pakistan a terrorist state
  • Weaver of home-spun terrorism – Pakistan has hosted Osama bin Laden and several other most wanted terrorists. It is the cradle of terror outfits like Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba and many others. It has continuously backed terrorism activities in Indian Kashmir and terrorists are trained and also provided support for their activities in other parts of the world as well. These terror outfits have close contacts with militant organizations like Hamas, Al-Qaeda etc and hence the tag of a terrorist state seems apt.
  • Pakistan Army and ISI – These are the prime movers and shakers in Pakistan. The army and Inter- Services Intelligence (ISI) have deep financial interests in the well-being of terror outfits. These terror groups have also kept the army and ISI in good humor and have always downplayed their relationship with them. Hence, there is an ingrained support in these two major players for the terrorists. So, one can imagine why there is an urgent need of declaring Pakistan a terrorist state.
  • Political Opinion – The rhetoric and extreme opinions put forward by country’s polity also makes rationale opinion seem absurd in this pent-up atmosphere. Even the murder of prominent leader Benazir Bhutto by an assassin has not stopped the political circles of stop putting hallows around these terror outfits. There are many political leaders that are sympathetic to these outfits, and they are not isolated in this.
Reasons against declaring Pakistan a terrorist state
  • More power to extremists - Declaring Pakistan a terrorist state could further lead to more turmoil and may help terrorists gather even more political power.
  • Economic plight - If Pakistan is named a terrorist state, then international help may stop and economic sanctions will be placed on the country. It could choke Pakistan’s fragile economy and ultimately lead to collapse of the entire system. Anarchy would rule if this happens.
  • Human Rights to suffer - Further Islamisation of Pakistan would lead to more violations of minority rights, women rights and would increase gender inequality. An example of such a situation can be seen in Iraq and Afghanistan.
uploaded Rayhan Uz Zaman
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