Terrorism has become the scourge of the world, India has been amongst the worst affected nations and Mumbai attack ranks amongst the worst terrorist attacks in recent times. The global community has however, not been able to come out with a coherent and comprehensive counter-terrorism policy. Leave aside cooperation; there is still no unanimity on the definition of terrorism. Many countries continue to prevaricate; some make distinctions amongst terrorists, while some others support it and have made it an integral part of their state policies.
Counter terrorism is generally considered to be about tactics, weapons, force levels and intelligence gathering. While these things are important the predominant focus has to be on the political management of terrorism. This includes addressing issues of ideology and dealing with countries that sponsor or support terrorism. It is imperative that the world in one voice rejects all manifestations of terrorism, without distinction, and proscribes States that support or sponsor terrorism as an instrument of State policy.
The one important aspect of counter terrorism is cyber terrorism. It is visible that all the governments across the countries are connected through online, the whole global community, global economy, and the whole modus of global engagement has become so dependent on cyber that if there is a determined attack the consequences of it can be very disastrous. There is need for the countries to come up with effective cyber security tools to counter any attack online.
Counterterrorism also involves de radicalise of youth. It involves dealings with countries addressing ideologies and dealing with countries that sponsor terrorism. There must be a determined and effective de radicalisation programs especially in countries like Pakistan where the ideology of hatred and legitimising violence has taken over peace and non violence. It is here that the role of civil society, media, think tanks play a important role.
Terrorism is a global threat which poses an unprecedented challenge to all nations. No cause can justify terrorist acts. It is imperative that the world acts in unison against terrorism, without political considerations. Therefore, there is a need to take a resolve to not justify terrorist means whatever be the reason or the source
Counter-terrorism effort has to be more pointed, more focused, more objective and more professional. We need to fight this scourge at all levels, through shaping of public opinion, society building and evolving a concerted and integrated counter, terrorism policy premised on international cooperation in intelligence sharing.
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