General Aslam Baig former COAS of Pakistan in his article “Caliphate is Gone, but ISIS is Not” published in Newyork Times on 28th March 2019 has well defined that “The ISIS phenomenon is not new Such a phenomenon first occurred in 37 AH, by the name of Kharjis, who fought the bloody battle of Niharwan against Caliph Hazrat Ali (RA). They revolted because the battles of Jamal and Siffin, which Hazrat Ali (RA) fought against Hazrat Ayesha(RA) and Hazrat Muwaviah (RA), so gravely disenchanted them in respect of these personalities, whom the followers of the Faith, so much revered and loved. Similarly it has emerged again under Abu Bakar Baghdadi, opposing the internecine war in Syria”. Before that Al-Qaida, Taliban and other religious groups were there.
In 21st century the ‘shock and awe’ brutalities committed by US and their allies, in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and sanctions on Iran have again drawn the hate line. Even a country like Pakistan, where an exemplary Shia-Sunni harmony exists, all kinds of machinations has been devised, to break the harmony.
Under the leadership of United States of America, a new plan now has been worked-out, on 14th February 2019 at Warsaw, to accelerate the Shia-Sunni conflict, by assigning responsibility to Israel, to contain and curb Iran, while India has been tasked to deal with Pakistan, and bring Central Asia, South Asia and the Asia Pacific region under Indian hegemonic domination. Trump is oblivious of the reality because he thinks that by using the military power they can “contain, degrade and destroy the ISIS.” He is wrong. The problem has gone much beyond the military capability to restore order.
The Americans went all out to destroy Al-Qaida and claim to have killed Osama and now Abu Bakar Baghdadi but their entire networks are stills alive, and spreading over several countries and more destructive than ever till oppression of US with its ally’s remains there.
2015, and into the following year, the organization of ISIS appeared to hold its ground. Turkey gradually sealed its borders, stemming the flow of foreigners, but the already large numbers of fighters on the ground posed a formidable problem. Worst fears were not far off being realized. Chilling executions were soon being showcased on cutting edge cameras, their production values and widespread distribution designed for maximum impact.
High-definition horror became a prime component of Isis propaganda, all filmed and disseminated by foreigners, including a group of four Britons who sadistically tortured their captives and beheaded some on camera. In late 2015, suicide bombers attacked Paris. More hit Brussels airport. The UK was not spared, with-Isis inspired attacks at a pop concert in Manchester and at Westminster and Borough Market in London. In their wake came intensified efforts to chase the extremists from the land they had seized but, as soon became clear, were unable to control.
In late 2016, Kurdish and Iraqi forces started an offensive on Mosul that succeeded, at great cost to the city and its residents, in pushing the extremists out of the city and into western Iraq. Another year of town-to-town fighting pushed it largely across the border towards Raqqa, the second and last of its centers of gravity. The Raqqa offensive started in mid-2017 and ended six grinding months later, with the city ravaged and the remnants of Isis allowed to flee in a deal struck with Kurdish forces.
In Pakistan a series of military operations – especially Zarb-e-Azb and subsequent Raddul Fassad – did pay off. The command and control centre of terrorists have been annihilated, sanctuaries eliminated and launching pads dismantled. The operations led to a remarkable decline in terrorist attacks for three years, but we should not forget that terrorism ebbs and flows. Even if an operation is successful in reducing violence, there is no guarantee it will not recur.
It’s a long, deadly and painful war. It requires patience. There are no quick fixes. Scholarly studies show terrorism tends to be geographically stable which means that countries tend to experience high levels of terrorism over fairly long periods.
Even in countries where terrorist groups were comparatively small and the government had vast resources, conflicts went on for 10 to 15 years in some cases. It took the United Kingdom a quarter century to end the Irish Republican Army’s terrorist campaign. Similarly, the insurgency in Colombia has lasted for over half a century. Now in 2019 the battle is on by Christian terrorists in peaceful territories of New Zealand and Australia.
In 2017, terrorist violence remained heavily concentrated in certain locations with over half of all attacks taking place in four countries: Iraq (23%), Afghanistan (13%), India (9%) and Pakistan (7%), according to the latest data released by the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).
Overall, the numbers of terrorist attacks and fatalities worldwide declined in 2017 for the third consecutive year, according to the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) published yearly by the University of Maryland shows there were 10,900 terrorist attacks the world over killing in excess of 26,400 people, including 8,075 perpetrators and 18,488 victims.
Globally, Pakistan has consistently been among the top 10 countries worst hit by terrorism. The first recorded attack in the country took place in 1970, according to the GTD. Since then there have been hundreds of attacks, spiking significantly after 2001, resulting in thousands of casualties. This wave of wanton violence has marred the psyche of the nation and left scars that would take years, if not decades, to heal.
But coming to realities we should not forget that elites and power structures are the only reason who generate and flourish terrorist activities to have their edge over societies somewhere in the name of religion and somewhere using some other name. Remember 3500 years back Socrates being the first philosopher, of human history was made to die by the drinking of a mixture containing poison hemlock as he always spoke that God has created humans for betterment of others and societies should be made to serve its people for their prosperity and not going for destruction.
1400 years back Hazrat Muhammad (PBU) gave Islam and message of God through Quran that without any distinction speak for peaceful living of all human beings. This is the message that is needed to prevail today.
Now at the end of 2nd decade of 21st century the powers of people are emerging through social media and new technology that would tarnish all kinds of terrorism theoretically and practically. Various governments may try to support such groups internally but on the face they do not enjoy any courage to support such groups’ publically and that is the point where such ideologies are now moving towards their decline.