'Pak counter-terror betrays utter lack of strategy'
Islamabad: Pakistan's fresh effort to tackle domestic terrorism "betrays an utter lack of strategy", said a Pakistani daily that called for a wholesome zero-tolerance approach towards terrorism itself.
An editorial in the News International on Thursday said it was about time the country's security tsar decided to sit down and put together a "sell-able, do-able and believable domestic counterterrorism strategy".
Interior Minister Rehman Malik has chaired a high-level meeting to review the law and order situation in the country and now as per a new "intelligence-based strategy", intelligence, investigation and law-enforcement agencies have been tasked with breaking the strong nexus of terrorist outfits, in particular the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ).
The daily said: "If there is a single area that we can look upon as a major test of the unity of purpose of the coalition government and Pakistan's security establishment, it is domestic counter-terrorism strategy."
"So Tuesday's unveiling of this 'new approach' has come nearly four years after it should have, and after it was first promised.”
"And that's not all: what has been produced is fudge, at best. Indeed, the 'strategy' itself betrays an utter lack of strategy itself," it said.
The editorial pointed out that the issue here is not about taking tactical steps and going after this or that terror group in this or that province.
"What is needed is a wholesale strategic approach and that's what Pakistan's policymakers haven't yet figured out. In other words, what we need are not piecemeal strategies to take out one terror outfit or another but a wholesome zero-tolerance approach towards terrorism itself."
It then asked: "Since every domestic counterterrorism move of Pakistan's has international relations consequences on its eastern and western frontiers and on its relationship with the US, shouldn't all conceived tactical measures be part of an overarching national security policy?"
And the daily answered: "With sadness and shame, we must all admit that for a country whose very subsistence is repeatedly threatened by the menace of terrorism, such a policy has simply never been made."