Pakistan must do more to control Islamist terror: editorial

December 4th, 2008 - 6:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) Pakistan must “do more” to combat Islamists responsible for death and destruction in the country, the region and beyond, an editorial in a leading newspaper said Thursday, even as another warned of “difficult moments” ahead and a third cautioned the media against jingoism in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks. “With many militants, such as those in the 7/7 London attacks, having links to Pakistan, and some of the 9/11 suspects having used its soil for transit, pressure is bound to mount on Islamabad from all sides,” Dawn noted in an editorial headlined “Cooperation is the key”.

“This should propel it to ‘do more’ to combat Islamists who are responsible for death and destruction in the country, the region and beyond. Pakistan will continue to draw criticism - and more - from the global community unless it cracks down,” Dawn added.

“With Islamabad willing, there is no reason why India should not take advantage of the little-used joint anti-terror mechanism set up some time ago to help itself and Pakistan weed out dangerous, non-state actors,” the editorial said, adding: “It would be disastrous to make the peace process a casualty of this latest terror attack.”

Noting that Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had ruled out military action in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, Dawn said: “Considering the pressure on New Delhi to compensate for apparent intelligence lapses by leaving no stone unturned to punish the perpetrators, this must have been a difficult decision - especially when state polls are being held in India and a general election is scheduled for next year.”

“Some difficult moments are ahead for Pakistan,” Daily Times said, noting that as the FBI and Scotland Yard go minutely into the evidence available, “more details of how the attack was planned and executed will come out”.

“The entire world community agrees that the government of Pakistan may not be involved in the attack but some terrorist groups located on its territory may be involved,” the newspaper contended in an editorial headlined “The APC and the coming pressures on Pakistan”.

The APC (all-parties conference) had been convened earlier this week to discuss the security scenario in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

“The crunch is coming sooner or later and Pakistan should be prepared for it. By preparation one also means some internal adjustments that may ease the effect of new developments.

“The non-state actors are there in Pakistan and their activity is also well known,” Daily Times noted.

“The trouble, therefore, is not over,” the editorial said, adding: “In the days to come, there will be pressure on Pakistan to ‘reform’ its institutions” like the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.”

Thus, evolving consensus on the issue was of utmost importance even though “anybody who supports such a reform will run the risk of going into a dangerous isolation”, Daily Times said.

At the same time, “given its economic difficulties, Pakistan will be vulnerable to external pressures in the wake of ‘revelations’ expected to arise out of investigations (into the Mumbai blasts).

“However, if only a few rational Pakistanis are ready to support any pragmatic solutions in Pakistan, the emotional majority will take us into a national disaster of unimagined proportions,” Daily Times maintained.

According to The News, there was “currently a severe outbreak of jingoism within the media on the Indian side of the border coupled with a slightly less severe outbreak here”.

However, “we do not need jingoism at a time when embers are easily fanned into life and small unconnected brush-fires can turn into an uncontrollable conflagration”, The News said in an editorial titled “By jingo!”

“The Mumbai attack, awful as it was, is not a reason to go to war with our neighbour. We need the media to tread a cautious line, to support our government in its efforts to take the heat out of the situation and not to inflame our already tinder-dry population.

“We do not need to follow the lead of the Indian jingoists,” The News added.

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