Internal security refers to securing borders of the sovereign state and tackling national security threats. There can be many internal security threats to a state such as, Political unrest, insurgency, armed conflicts, terrorism, ethnic conflicts, sectarianism economic collapse etc. Looking at the current situation of Pakistan, there is a political unrest in a country due to which the internal security threats like terrorism and economic instability are being neglected.
It is quite understandable that when the internal situation of any state is chaotic, external and non-state actors get a chance to worsen the situation. Pakistan has already suffered from the waves of terrorism in the past centuries, and this threat still exists for the Pakistan’s internal security. The threats from the non-state actors like Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and its affiliation with other terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, insurgent groups like Balochistan Liberation Army, cannot be overlooked.
In the beginning of the 2022, three major terrorist strikes in Pakistan resulted in the deaths of numerous Pakistani soldiers. Terrorists targeted Kech, Balochistan, Quetta, on the country’s western border with Iran. In that terrorist attack, around ten Pakistani military soldiers were martyred. Over a week later, another terrorist plan was foiled in the province’s Noshki and Panjgur districts. In March 2022, a terrorist suicide attack killed many in the Shia mosque of Peshawar. Even though it was a terrorist attack, but these attacks have a tendency to create sectarian violence within the state. Such terrorist attacks are alarming and a threat for Pakistan’s national security. After the Taliban took over in Afghanistan, TTP has escalated terrorist attacks in Pakistan. Pakistan needs to revive its counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency strategies.
Steps Pakistan can take in order to curb the new wave of terrorism:
Firstly, it is important for Pakistan to have talks with Afghan Taliban government in order to tackle the security issues. Afghan Taliban’s assistance is required in Pakistan and TTP negotiations. The porous Pak-Afghan border will allow to increase the threat of terrorism and the transferring of illegal weapons as well. Pakistan and Taliban government needs to take collective steps and make policies for the border security. Their collaboration is important or else the Indian non-state actors can become a great threat for both of the countries. China can also play a role in countering the new wave of terrorism. Along with the economic relationship, China’s cooperation in this matter can be very effective and lead to the regional integration. The more the region is secure, the more economic activities can take place smoothly. Also, there should be both kinetic and non-kinetic approach in the counter-terrorism operations. It should be addressed on the grass root level. ‘’Winning Hearts and Minds’’ approach is also productive for the counter-insurgency policies. Insurgency leads towards terrorism. For that matter, the root causes of the insurgency shall be addressed. Most of the times, the deprivation of basic human needs leads towards insurgency and if this is identified on the early stage, it can prevent from insurgency. Pakistan’s Police should also be empowered to fight against terrorism. Participation of all state institutions is required to deal with the new wave of terrorism.