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Counterterrorism and Pakistan

The government of Pakistan is now considered to be one of
the most important partners of the United States in the South Asian region.
Since reversing its policy of support to the Taliban in Afghanistan following
the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan has been hailed as a central partner in the Bush
administration’s global war on terror (GWOT), playing a critical role in
helping to degrade the operational capabilities of al Qaeda and affiliated
Taliban elements fleeing Afghanistan in the wake of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Indeed, at the time of writing, Pakistan had rendered more terrorist suspects
to America than any other coalition partner; among the suspects are several
“high-value” assets, including Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, Ramzi
Binalshibh, Abu Farraj al-Libbi, and Ahmed Ghailani.

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The wave of terrorism and insurgency in Pakistan has brought
immense loss. More than 60,558 non-combatants and combatants lost their lives
to insurrection related violence in Pakistan during 2003-2016 periods.  The economic losses incurred are around US$
102.5 billion along with severe damage to its religious and cultural
values.  Since 2001, Pakistan has faced
an increasingly serious threat from militant groups operating on its soil. In
2009, there was a 48 percent increase in terrorist attacks from 2008 levels,
which killed 3,021 people and injured 7,334. The highest number of attacks
occurred in the conflict zones of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA),
North West Frontier Province (NWFP), and Baluchistan Province, including Punjab
were also targeted by a lethal campaign of bombings. Militant groups
increasingly resorted to suicide attacks, which killed or wounded a growing
number of civilians. There was a 32 percent increase in suicide attacks in 2009
from 2008 levels, which killed 1,299 people and injured 3,633. Both Pakistani
government and foreigners was the victim of these terrorist activities.

In addition, there were several serious international
terrorist plots with links to Pakistan. In May 2010, Faisal Shahzad attempted
to set off a car bomb in New York, but it malfunctioned. In December 2009, five
Americans from Alexandria, Virginia—Ahmed Abdullah Minni, Umar Farooq, Aman
Hassan Yemer, Waqar Hussain Khan, and Ramy Zamzam—were arrested in Pakistan and
charged with plotting terrorist attacks. There were other plots to attack U.S.
targets with links to Pakistan, including those involving Najibullah Zazi (who
was arrested in 2009) and the British residents who planned to detonate liquid
explosives on at least 10 airplanes traveling from the United Kingdom to the
United States and Canada (who were arrested in 2006). In February 2010, Zazi
pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to “conspiracy to use weapons of mass
destruction” and “providing material support for a foreign terrorist
organization” based in Pakistan.

Counterterrorism

Counterterrorism corresponds to actions to ameliorate the
threat and consequences of terrorism. These actions can be taken by
governments, military alliances, international organizations (e.g., INTERPOL),
private corporations, or private citizens. Counterterrorism comes in two basic
varieties: defensive and proactive measures.

Defensive countermeasures protect potential targets by
making attacks more costly for terrorists or reducing their likelihood of
success. When, however, successful terrorist attacks ensue, defensive actions
also serve to limit the resulting losses to the target. Defensive measures have
generally been reactive, instituted after some successful or innovative
terrorist attacks. In the USA, airline passengers are now required to remove
their shoes when being screened, following the innovative, but fortunately
unsuccessful, attempt by Richard Reid to bring down American Airlines flight 63
en route from Paris to Miami on 22 December 2001 with explosives hidden in his
shoes. Before the installation of metal detectors to screen passengers at US
airports on 5 January 1973, there were on average over 25 skyjackings each year
in the USA.  Defensive or protective
counterterror actions may involve more than technological barriers. Other
instances of defensive measures include target hardening, such as defensive
perimeters around government buildings or embassies, or guards at key points of
a country’s infrastructure. Defensive measures can also take the form of
issuing terrorism alerts, enacting stiffer penalties for terrorism offenses,
enhancing first-responder capabilities, and stockpiling antibiotics and antidotes
for biological and chemical terrorist attacks. This list of defensive actions
is by no means exhaustive.

By contrast, proactive measures are offensive as a targeted
government directly confronts the terrorist group or its supporters. Proactive
measures may destroy terrorists’ resources (e.g., training camps), curb their
finances, eliminate their safe havens, or kill and capture their members. In
recent years, the Obama administration has relied on drone attacks to
assassinate terrorist leaders and operatives. Proactive operations may assume
myriad other forms, including a retaliatory raid against a state sponsor that
provides resources, training, sanctuary, logistical support, or intelligence to
a terrorist group. On 15 April 1986, the USA launched a retaliatory bombing
raid on targets in Libya for its alleged support in the terrorist bombing of
the La Belle discotheque in West Berlin on 4 April 1986, where 3 died and 231
were wounded, including 62 Americans. 
Other proactive measures include infiltrating terrorist groups, engaging
in military action, conducting propaganda campaigns against the terrorists, and
gathering intelligence to foil terror plots 

The main focus of these counterterrorism techniques is to
mitigate the terror threat and also cut down its roots. But the later seem
difficult, as these militants have camouflaged themselves within public.
Legality and protection of human rights are the concerning matter whiling
operating these counter measures. Mostly the proactive measures have these problems
as these measures are pre-emptive too and military actions are taken directly
to destroy the resources or sanctuaries of terrorists. So first of all these
actions must be legalized   their purpose
must be approved with authentic provisions and the most important is that
whiling these operations public rights must be protected and also their
resources.

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