It is slowly dawning upon the Pakistani public just how ruthless and cruel the extremists are willing to be.
The October 20 twin attacks at International Islamic University shed light on a “Death for all” mentality–a new phase of horror that even extends to Pakistanis studying Islam. The coordination of five attacks on October 15 woke the public up to the increasing sophistication and threatening message of the extremists: “Come after us and we will come into your cities and kill your people.”
Extremist cells exist throughout the nation, not just in the far away border areas, an idea that Pakistanis have been placating themselves with. As extremists have shown us time and time again, they are capable of reaching out all the way to Lahore and Islamabad, the country’s heart and capitol.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have claimed responsibility for the University bombing, showing the world they are united after a leadership transition many wondered at succeeding. With Hakimullah Mehsud at the helm, their mission is to infuse such fear and mistrust of the government in the hearts of the people that the offensive into South Waziristan would be a failure. The TTP and other groups know that in order for an anti-extremist initiative to fail, Pakistanis need to be divided.
The fact remains, Pakistan must fight extremism as a cohesive unit. Unity against this internal cancer is the only way to combat it otherwise it will keep spreading. Punjab-based groups are forging closer ties with their extremists friends and planning/plotting away. Public opinion will hurt them immensely.
The public needs to continue keeping themselves informed and supporting the anti-extremist initiatives.