Who is more dangerous; a criminal or a terrorist? To answer this question first we will have to look at the difference between criminals and terrorists. Crime and terrorism are two altogether different things. Criminals are usually local people whereas terrorists are most of the time belonging to foreign lands or locals playing in the hands of their foreign masters. The criminals have their own personal and specific agenda whereas the terrorist follow a line of action provided to them by their foreign masters. Criminals have no place to run away and no means of going across the boundaries, they have to stay within their country after committing some crime but the terrorists most of the time succeed in taking refuge in other countries particularly in neighbouring or hostile countries as we see, hundreds of terrorists took refuge in Afghanistan when Pakistan Army started Operation Zarb-e-Azb against them. But situation becomes really serious when the terrorists succeed in luring and convincing the local criminals to work with them as their facilitator.
Here are a few lines from a report on the Hijackers involved in the 9/11 Tragedy. “The hijackers in the September 11 attacks were 19 men affiliated with al-Qaeda. 15 of the 19 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. The others were from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon.” Here is another report on Pan Am Flight 103 which was a regularly scheduled flight from Frankfurt to Detroit via London and New York. “On 21 December 1988, Pan Am aircraft N739PA was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew. Large sections of the aircraft crashed onto residential areas of Lockerbie, United Kingdom, killing 11 more people on the ground. Following a three-year joint investigation by Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation arrest warrants were issued for two Libyan nationals in November 1991. In 1999, Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi handed over the two men for trial at Camp Zeist, Netherlands after protracted negotiations and UN sanctions.” So these are few examples of terrorist activities. But the activities of criminals are everywhere the same; bank robbery, smuggling, theft, rape and murders for personal reasons. For law enforcement agencies criminals are never a challenge but the terrorists are. Countering terrorism demands a lot of resources, a lot of professional expertise, a lot of technical skill and certainly a marvelous determination. From US to Bangladesh, terrorism has ever been a serious threat and there have been a very few countries which succeeded in uprooting this menace from their land; Sri Lanka is at the top of the list of such countries and Pakistan is going to be the second one soon.
Once I was part of a team which was doing a social survey. The question we asked more than hundred people belonging to different sections of society was; what is more important for you, liberty of expression, facilities of health, availability of employment resources or security for you and your family. We were expecting that most of the people would tick mark the option of availability of employment resources but astonishingly they did not. Most of them went for ‘security’ as preference. They were of the opinion that without security one could never enjoy the comforts like liberty of expression, facilities of health, availability of employment resources. Pakistan has been a victim to very serious situation regarding law and order and security. Feeling these elements a grave threat to the peace and prosperity of society, the government of Pakistan in collaboration with the Pakistan Army, the Police Department and the Intelligence agencies focused all attention to the eradication of this serious threat. First of all the foreign supported terrorists who were hiding among the common people with fake identities were carefully eliminated, they were then carefully investigated and handed over to the courts for further judicial inquiries. Investigations revealed the involvement of these culprits in so many terrorist activities including kidnapping for ransom, sectarian killings, targeted political murders and so many other activities which could spread harassment in the society; Pakistan’s most advanced and most developed city Karachi has been a very favourite target of the terrorists in this regard. As far as Karachi is concerned, it is the hub of all economic activities in Pakistan. Investors from all over the world dream of establishing their business set ups in Karachi as it is a coastal city and from all parts of the world, approach to this city is much easier from business point of view. This is the city which leads to the Gwadar deep port too. The foreign supported terrorists know it well that by creating law and order problems in Karachi, this city would possibly lose the interest of foreign investors. That is why different terrorist groups have been working here very ‘honestly’. But now the things are taking a very positive turn; the law enforcement agencies are vehemently doing their best to curb and crush all type of terrorists. Unfortunate terrorists who had been ruling over this city in guise of political workers are now suffocating in their hide-outs or in prison-cells. Life in Karachi is returning to normal. The credit no-doubt goes to the Army, the Rangers, the Intelligence Agencies and the Federal Interior Ministry for making the situation better.