‘Terrorists use chemical weapons’

March 02, 2014 - 6:38:31 am
ISLAMABAD: The National Internal Security Policy documents reveal a mind boggling threat of possible use of chemical and biological substances as weapons by terrorists and nonstate armed groups.

However, it claims that the Ministry of Defence is equipped to deal with these extreme threats.

“Keeping in view global terrorism and facing the complexity of the situation in Pakistan, use of chemical and biological substances by terrorists cannot be ignored and the MoD is equipped to deal with these extreme threats.”

Taking about the threat perception, the policy document says, “Terrorist networks lurk in shadows and thrive on a strategy of invisibility and ambiguity. They operate in an ideological motivated network of networks to embroil the state on physical, psychological and ideological levels.”

The policy document said that subversive activities and a pattern of targeting the national security apparatus and key installations by the terrorists and nonstate armed groups have compounded the challenge.

It added that the widespread spectrum of internal threats is a critical impediment to economic development and social cohesion. Traditionally, it adds, the entire security apparatus acts in a reactive rather than proactive manner.

“In the absence of an integrated internal security response, the terrorists are expanding their network to the detriment of national integration and economic betterment of the people of Pakistan.”

The document said that Pakistan is the most-affected country by terrorism in the world, after Iraq. If the severity of the incidents is considered, then Pakistan even surpasses Iraq.

From 2001 to 2013, there were 13,897 incidents in Pakistan which is marginally less than Iraq. From 2001 to 2005, there were 523 terrorist incidents in Pakistan but since 2007 to November 2013, the total number of incidents has risen to 13,198.

During the year 2013, there have been 1,361 incidents of terrorism. A trajectory of terrorist incidents in Pakistan shows that after the Marriott bombing in Islamabad and Lal Mosque incidents, the number of suicide attacks in Pakistan increased alarmingly.

From 2001 to 2007, the document adds, there were only 15 incidents in Pakistan but since 2007 to November 2013, the total number of incidents has risen to 358, which is higher than any other place in the world.

Another lethal trend is the use of improvised explosive devices against the law enforcing agencies and it has emerged as a “weapon of choice” of the terrorists.