The public’s role and responsibility for stabilizing Pakistan’s internal security situation

Posted by Admin On Wednesday, 5 March 2014 0 comments
We need to get information on the possible targets and those responsible and tasked to carry out such acts. To achieve this we have to educate the people from different walks of life and empower the poor on the streets by giving them simple incentives
The issue of the state’s security concerns all individuals and hence it becomes a joint responsibility of both the state and citizens. While the state keeps its machinery well oiled with periodic reviews and upgrades, the capacity building of the common man remains a matter of neglect. It is only once the protectors of the people sensitise the public to combat a perceived or real threat that the security blanket will give the required insulation from violence. I am convinced that a proactive approach to educate the masses, especially those who are frequent contacts like car attendants, coolies, rickshaw pullers/drivers, vegetable and fruit vendors, shoeshine boys and so on are potential information warriors.
The suspicious movement of people has to be reported, suspicious objects identified have to be made known to people and professionals who will take appropriate action. It is only mass support that is going to count in the war against terrorism. People have to be sensitised to the problem and checks and balances have to be suggested and placed for greater security. Mobile technology, which has become rather gainful for economic transactions, has to be energised for usage as early warning systems, and people have to be encouraged and educated in the multiple usage of the facility. The people need to be informed of their responsibilities towards society.
Citizenship has to be regarded as the strength of a nation. It is therefore relevant to suggest that there is a need for detailed and deliberate coordination of all these activities and there is a need to educate the environment through professional intervention, while also through the mass media. There is the requirement of creating a structure for spreading the message to the people and making them aware that they are a part of the advance warning system. The role of NGOs will become more pronounced as they have to share the burden of educating the people on the intricacies of modern terrorism.
Besides the human resource being referred to above, it is equally important to provide adequate updating in terms of technology and equipment. A well-planned, close circuit television and sound sensors should be strategically placed at sensitive target locations. High security zones need to be appreciated well and positioning of early warning systems deliberated upon with professionalism. It is equally important to have a good communication network and reliable communication systems. Terrorism, extremism are mere semantics, trying to define the levels of credit the initiators enjoy — counters are planned in accordance with the definition. Unfortunately, we fail to realise that these variants are interwoven and it is extremely difficult to differentiate and to identify when a particular phase enters the next phase. The government requires enthusing and winning over the people with initiatives, which will make a difference to the citizens and hence a citizen-oriented plan has to be worked out to bring about a change in society. Society should become the focus of all future endeavours.
We need to get information on the possible targets and those responsible and tasked to carry out such acts. To achieve this we have to educate the people from different walks of life and empower the poor on the streets by giving them simple incentives and motivating them to become facilitators and providers. The NGOs should work towards this regard and educate those people who do not get formal education.
Along with such a measure, there is a need to introduce formal education in this area in schools and colleges. There is the requirement of a structured approach in tackling this menace and relevant guidelines need to be issued to all stakeholders who have an important hand in spreading the message and in impacting the minds of the people. It is time for our citizens to wake up and realise the gravity of the problem of not contributing towards identifying an impending disaster and not doing one’s duty of becoming a part of the country’s security apparatus.
The recent, intense waves of suicide attacks, bomb blasts and target killings in different parts of the country have really shattered the dreams of the young and the old. I often wonder if such dastardly acts could have been avoided if only the people in the targeted area had bothered to notice some uncanny device, a bag or a person planting the bomb in an innocuous place, surely catching someone’s eye. Why do we only reflect on the past and then try and assess what went wrong? Why can we not become more proactive? Why do our newsmakers not facilitate creating more awareness amongst the people on the essentials of citizenship? It is with the support of the citizens of the country that we can expect the security situation to improve. For it is only in awareness that we can feel more secure.
By Muhammad Zafar Khan Safdar


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