Despite fighting a long and bloody battle with terrorism, Pakistan is still caught in its quagmire. The terror activities in Pakistan have definitely fallen to a great degree but the residual terrorism continues with its dangerous pangs. Last Friday, three devastating terror strikes rocked Pakistan. The day began with high profile attack on Chinese consulate in Karachi. Three suicide attackers stormed the consulate amid a series of gunshots and an explosion, but were killed before they could force their way in with a car packed with explosives. The attack, claimed by separatist insurgents from the impoverished southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, killed four people, including two police officers, but it was far from the most deadly on a particularly violent day across the region. Around the same time a suicide attacker on a motorbike set off explosives in a crowded festival and market in northwest Pakistan’s Orakzai region, killing at least 25 people and injuring dozens others. The attack, according to reports in Pak media, had originated from across the border in Afghanistan, with Jamaatul Ahrar or the militant Islamic State group being the likely perpetrators. The two groups are known to have sanctuaries in Afghanistan, and the attackers possibly entered Pakistan through an unfenced portion of the former Kurram agency. In yet another bloody attack, a suicide blast at a mosque on an army base, over the border in eastern Afghanistan, killed at least 26 people and wounded 50, security officials said. Earlier in the week, a suicide bomber killed 55 people in the capital, Kabul. Though the attack on Chinese consulate was frustrated by the alert policemen but it indicated the underlying dangers. The terrorists in Pakistan are still capable of reaching and hitting their target. The Baluch Liberation Army claimed the attack. Pakistan said that the group is backed by “the enemy country”, a reference to India. There was no immediate comment from India’s External Affairs Ministry about the C4 plastic explosive claims. However in an earlier statement, India denied helping the Baluchistan insurgents and was quick to condemn the violence. Pakistan Tehreek Taliban (PTT) has remained a major contributor to terrorism in Pakistan.
Though Taliban as a potential force has been decimated by a ferocious military campaign but the Friday attacks in Orakzai region, indicates that some leftovers are still active. But what is more concerning is the growing influence and activities of the ISIS. It is widely believed that the ISIS has set up a strong base in Afghanistan with the active help of America where from it is coordinating attacks in Pakistan. It is a serious challenge that Pakistan is facing on its western front presently. The growing bitterness with Afghanistan government is also a contributory factor in terror attacks on Pakistan. The Pakistan government should, in the first place, settle its differences with Afghan government to curb the scheming and planning of terror attacks from that soil. Pakistan must take advantage of its present government. It is after a long period that Pakistan civil government and military are on the same page on the issues facing the country. Prime Minister Imran Khan is also known as an articulate and effective leader. Though he has some serious challenges before him; the bitter relations with the US the prime among them. Still he has some favorable things at his hand. Pakistan, mush to the chagrin of the US, is on way to rebuilding its relations with Russia. Saudi Arabia and UAE, which in the past three years, had not-so-friendly relations Pakistan are also turning better. The two influential Arab countries have promised financial support to Imran Khan to take Islamabad out of the present economic mess. China is as friendly to Pakistan as ever. Turkey and Iran’s relations with Pakistan are also extraordinarily good. This can help Pakistan to offset the American pressure. Imran Khan should avail all these opportunities to his country’s favor and dislodge the terrorism from the bottom. That is quite important for restoring the image of Pakistan as a reasonable and responsible state.