The Threat Within

Today’s issue of Dawn includes an editorial that discusses the recent arrest of five Pakistani-Americans in Sargodha and what this means for Pakistan. In short, these arrests clearly show that our country is in serious danger. 

Let us also be clear that shutting down the jihad and terrorism infrastructure in Pakistan is not just about helping the outside world. Clearly, any responsible nation has duties towards other nations. But the fact is, the biggest victim of terrorism so far has been Pakistan itself. Thousands upon thousands of people have been killed inside the country, with no end in sight. Spurring the killers is the same terrorist infrastructure that some foreign nationals are in search of. So we need to defeat that infrastructure and we need to defeat it primarily for our own sake.

We cannot allow our country to become a training resort for international terror. If there is anything that presents an existential threat to our nation, it is this. That these men have come to Pakistan is a wake up call for us. They are not the only foreign would-be fighters who have landed in our borders, and others will be coming. We must stand up now and put an end to this. This is a question of our sovereignty much more dire than any conditionalities on an aid bill. This is a question of democracy much more imminent than any lingering doubts about NRO. If we let our country become a training resort for jihadis, our Pakistan will be lost. This is not about any other countries security needs. This is about our own survival.

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