Terror attack on the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda has proved once again that war against terrorism and extremism in the region has utterly failed and the militants are still enjoying support. The groups that were termed “strategic assets” have gone gory. The godless militants have killed at least 21 people, mostly students and teachers, and injured 30 others. The attack took place on the 28th death anniversary of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (best known as Bacha Khan), after whom the university is named. Bacha Khan spent most of his life behind bars because he was preacher of the nonviolence and a freedom fighter. Therefore, today’s attack was against education and beliefs of nonviolence. Militants entered into the varsity at such a time when the students and lecturers were preparing for a seminar to pay tribute to Bacha Khan.
It was not the first time that such attack was carried out against education in Pakhtunkhwa. In a similar attack on an army-run school in Peshawar in December 2014, over 150 people (125 of them students) were killed and scores wounded. It (school attack) compelled Pakistan to shift its stance on terrorism and draft a counter-terrorism strategy “National Action Plan”. But, the strategy failed to prevent Wednesday’s attack. Kabul also witnessed blood bath on the same day when a suicide bomber targeted a vehicle of a private news channel and claimed lives of seven people and left more than 20 injured.
Attacks in Charsadda and Kabul are the reminder that terrorists have upper hand over the security agencies in two countries. It also reminds us of the reality that Kabul or Islamabad could not lonely eliminate terrorism but there is need for a joint fight. Unfortunately, it seems difficult because radical elements are still enjoying support from Pakistan. It has been more than one year after the army-run school in Peshawar but cleric of Lal Masjid in Islamabad is still free and advocating violence. The concept of ‘good’ terrorists and ‘bad’ ones is still there. Several seminaries in Pakistan are producing extremists. There will be no end to terrorism unless we shut down these suicide bombers producing factories. Such incidents will keep on happening.
Irrespective of government-to-government relations, Afghans condemn the attack on Bacha Khan University and their sympathies are with all the students, teachers and their families. People living on both sides of the Durand Line are going through the same pain and are victims of the same war which is targeting their educational and cultural institutions. Afghans hate each form of terrorism and want stable relations with Pakistan, therefore, they are with their brothers and sisters in this time of turmoil.
In order to avoid such incidents, Islamabad shall take the regional countries on board and draft a collective counter-terrorism strategy to catch and hammer terrorists of all hues and colors. May God provide strength to the families of victims, both in Kabul and Charsadda.