Editorial - Hangu attack - Friday, March 25, 2011

Source : http://thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=38023&Cat=8

Even two years after the start of a damaging civil war that has left regions across the north in ruins, the killing has not stopped. Nor, it seems, has the ability of the groups behind the terrorism to motivate people to take the lives of others by giving up their own. Recruitment for this cause seems to be continuing. Five people died when a suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into a police station in Hangu. The attack will act to demoralise our security forces that have taken the brunt of recent attacks and this, in turn, may bolster the spirits of those engineering these attacks, thereby raising the risk of future attacks.

It is uncertain how we are to deal with these waves of terror. No tactic used so far seems to have worked and we seem at times to be running out of options. But it is obviously essential that we find means to deal with the problem. We lack a unified strategy that cuts across departments and disciplines – for instance it would be useful if the police were to devote time to an education programme that would promote an active law-and-order culture. The police could also take a hard look at themselves and wonder why it is that they lack the support of the communities they are supposed to serve. The policemen who perish in such attacks all leave behind people who mourn their deaths. Many have died trying to protect civilians, at check-posts and entrance gates. Their courage needs to be applauded. Our duty now is to ensure that the deaths at Hangu and elsewhere are not in vain. And that the militants behind them are rounded up and eliminated from a society a large part of which they have already succeeded in shattering, leaving behind sharp shards spread out across its streets, squares and other public places. But to do that we need a radical change of mindset on all sides, and the sooner the better.

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