By Elton Gomes
The risk posed to humanity by terrorism in Pakistan is three times more as compared to Syria, as revealed by a study published by the Oxford University and the Strategic Foresight Group (SFG).
The analysis states that Pakistan is on top of the list of countries that have the highest number of terrorist bases and safe havens, according to news agency ANI.
What does the report say
The report titled Humanity at Risk-Global Terror Threat Indicant (GTTI), says, “Afghan Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) pose the maximum threat to international security and Pakistan is placed on top of the list of countries with the highest number of terrorist bases and safe havens,” as per a report in India Today.
It said that if one considers the most dangerous terrorist groups, based on facts and statistics, one can see that “Pakistan hosts or aids majority of them”. The report added that “there are a significant number of groups based in Afghanistan, which operate with the support of Pakistan.”
“The rise of competitive extremism of all shades, misuse of weapons of mass destruction and economic disruptions can undermine human progress or even survival in the period from now until 2030. They are all interlinked with terrorism,” the report said further, as per the India Today report.
The report comprises more than 80 pages, and has been prepared to deliberate on security challenges within the next decade. It presents an analytical framework for policymakers to combat terrorism.
The Strategic Foresight Group analysed some 200 groups that were actively involved in committing acts of terror in the first half decade of the 21st century. During that period, the groups motivated by their own interpretation of ideology constituted only one fourth of the 200 terror groups around the world.
Among these, ISIS has occupied much of the media space in the last five years. However, given the quick rise and fall of ISIS, the most resilient terror network remains Al-Qaida.
Birth of Al-Qaida in Pakistan
A critical factor influencing the future of terror groups can be said to be the support they receive from states, intelligence agencies, and criminal networks.
The report noted that Al-Qaida was born in Pakistan: “The birth of Al-Qaida was in Pakistan and then Pakistan influenced Afghanistan. Osama Bin Laden had a safe haven in a huge compound near the Pakistani military establishment in Abbottabad. The compound was much larger than the surrounding houses of retired Pakistani military officers. The occupants of the compound often bought expensive goods from a neighbourhood shop that most people in the vicinity could not afford. The presence of an important family in the compound was nothing but conspicuous,” as per a report in News18.
The report went on to talk about the Jihadi though movement. It said, “The Jihadi thought processes have proved to be most resilient for almost 150 years, beginning in what is today Pakistan and parts of Afghanistan. Many extremist movements rose and collapsed. But the Jihadi movement has survived in Pakistan and Afghanistan, now firmly spreading to the Middle East and North and West Africa,” according to an ANI report.
Why does Pakistan seemingly support terror groups
For a long time, Pakistan has been a disruptive neighbor to Afghanistan. It hopes to restrict India’s influence in Afghanistan, and apparently cultivate radical groups within Afghanistan as proxies.
Pakistan will want the Taliban to maintain significant power in Afghanistan, and probably come to power politically – which is why Pakistan does not want to alienate the Taliban. The Taliban remains Pakistan’s only ally among political actors in Afghanistan. This could be why Pakistan will look to pump funds into the Taliban.
It appears that Pakistan is not doing much to curb terrorism. Recent reports have mentioned that Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) are no longer on the list of banned terror outfits. Saeed was known to be the mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai attack.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius.
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