Democracy

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While the country reels under the impact of the coronavirus a terrorist group in Sindh, presumably trained by its counterparts in Balochistan, has started targeting law enforcement personnel. Two incidents of the sort took place in Ghotki and Karachi on Friday. Two Rangers personnel were among four killed and 13 injured. A week earlier there were grenade attacks on a Rangers mobile and the force’s post in Karachi’s Gulistan-e-Jauhar, injuring a law enforcement agency official. Responsibility for the attacks was claimed by the Sindhu Desh Revolutionary Army, a hitherto unknown outfit.
Pakistan is a democracy where people are free to make political parties and ventilate their grievances through peaceful means. In democracies there is no restriction on the expression of views as long as violence is not preached as a means to achieve political goals. Besides being a democracy, Pakistan is also a federation where after the passage of the 18th Amendment provinces enjoy substantial autonomy. The sense of deprivation caused by a highly centralized system introduced by successive military rulers had given birth to parochial tendencies in smaller provinces. These tendencies were eliminated by and large after the enactment of the 18th Amendment and the NFC Award.
The terrorists have no support among the masses. They look for succour from foreign agencies which provide them funds and arrange asylum for their leaders in foreign countries. The Sindh government needs to improve the provincial intelligence system, arrest the terrorist leaders, prepare fool proof cases against them, expose their funding sources and put them on public trial so that their nefarious activities and connections are widely known. Disappearances or extra-judicial killings have not helped anywhere. These have instead provided more workers to the otherwise miniscule networks and brought a bad name to the administration. Instead of generating dissensions through an untimely debate on the 18th Amendment and the NFC Award, the federal administration and Sindh government should join hands to deal with the grave challenges like the fast spreading pandemic and the impending locust attack. The federal administration should also help Sindh government by sharing intelligence regarding the activities of the terrorist networks and their connections with the agencies of other countries.