Fighting terrorism is a shared responsibility of the South Asian countries as well as the international community. Genuine commitment and sincere efforts can ensure long-lasting peace and stability in the region and usher in era of economic development and global cooperation. Sadly, when the other regions are inching closer towards regionalism and multilateral cooperation, South Asian countries are busy in pulling legs of each other. Politics of divergence is eating the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) from inside. The organization failed to bring the South Asian nations close and inspire the other regions. Visa-free regime and free trade are not more than a daydream.
Key obstacle before the process of regionalism is lack of sincere support in the war against terrorism and extremism which is crippling lives of common people. SAARC members are miles away from joint anti-terror mechanism. They are caught by the rivalries and cannot building consensus in this regard. Some state actors in South Asia are using extremism as a foreign policy tool to pressurize weak states such as Afghanistan, which is emerging from decades of violence. These adventurist policies—to turn weak countries into satellite states—are now threatening the regional as well as global peace. There are two nuclear-armed countries in South Asia—India and Pakistan. Rift between the two countries as result of continues use of militants as strategic assets could result in nuclear war which would wipe off many cities from the map.
Therefore, considering fighting terrorism a shared responsibility could be a giant leap towards peace and stability of South Asia. When other SAARC members are actively fighting terrorism for sake of future generations, Pakistan shall also come forward and dismantle the trans-regional and local terror outfits. Islamabad has to give up trying to establish its hegemony. Till date, the Pakistani authorities have neither killed prominent Afghan Taliban leaders nor handed them to Kabul. It clearly shows that Islamabad does not want to put an end to terrorism in the region. Policy of denial will not work because key Pakistani officials have acknowledged that they are supporting the Taliban as strategic assets.
Pakistan has to take sincere steps as Afghanistan is taking. To make the region a better place to live in, Afghan security forces have launched multiple operations, despite lack of modern weapons and the required support, to eliminate Daesh, foreign and local militants. There is no discrimination or the concept of ‘good or bad terrorists’. Killing of Azam Khan Tarip, top leader of Pakistani Taliban, is a good example of sincere efforts against terrorism. Pakistan shall follow this example.