[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] C [/yt_dropcap]hechen female terrorists are commonly known as Black Widows, there is a particular reason behind this title because they have usually lost their husbands, brothers or close relatives in one of the two Chechen wars that Russia fought against Islamist rebels since 1994.
There is a strong motivation of resentment and grief for their loved ones that invigorates to revenge, and this grief leads to further heinous activities against oppressors carried out by black widows in the form of suicide terrorist activities. Behind the attacks, the majority of those females are poorly educated which is driving force for Islamist extremists to get recruitments and trained up with relative ease. On the other hand, a number of female terrorist accuse Russian forces of using overly brutal tactics against the civilian population, including women, in order to flush out rebel fighters. It is a counterproductive strategy that only serves to radicalize people.
The first Black Widow attack took place in early 2000, when Khava Baraeva drove a truck filled with explosives into a building housing Russian special forces in Chechnya. In the last 12 years, 46 women have turned themselves into suicide bombs in Russia, committing 26 terrorist attacks. Most of the bombers were from Chechnya and Dagestan. Most studies of Chechen female suicide bombers have found that these women have experienced serious personal trauma and are then take arms in hands. As the term Black Widow would suggest, many have lost almost every single thing and almost have nothing left behind to care about over the last two decades of continuously facing violence and brutalities since war.
Resultantly, all individuals including males and females have experienced deep personal traumatization, and evidence of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are commonly present in the entire survey. The demographic description and psycho-social motivators for embarking this devastating path plays a significant role for female terrorists before bombing themselves. It further leads to other motivating factors like nationalistic conflict and less knowledge about Islam. There is a wide division and factions within Chechens which totally split the mainstream agendas of violence. These includes secular-nationalists particularly Salafi Muslims (the ‘indigenous’ sect of Islam in Chechnya) which is led by Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov and his State Defense Committee. On the other hand, there is minority of Salafist preaching radicals led by figures as Shamil Basayev, Movladi Udugov, and Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev.
These two factions play a significant role in destructions against Russian land and masses. For the young women, the suicide missions are not especially a question of religion, is it just that they understand the revival of Islam in Chechnya as a critical element in the identity-building of the torn region. For them, not to allow them to practice Islam freely is understood as the ultimate attack against who they are, or who they are trying to be: faithful young Muslims (Nivat, 2005). As Nivat analyzes, nobody will be able to stop these young women who are in deep despair and have no fear of death to proceed with more suicide bombings. Before the fall of communism, the practice of Islam was limited by Russia.
They were actively promoting Russia in Chechnya, promoting the Russian language and other Russian cultural elements. The Chechens continued to strengthen Nationalism and sense of unity of the Chechens did not appear to be suppressed at all. It was inevitable that after the collapse of communism, a domestic revolution would take place in Chechnya as separate entity. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the religion Islam appeared as a binding factor. This collapse caused a wave of national awareness among all the peoples of the former Soviet Union. Because the Islam showed a clear separation between the Northern Caucasus and the rest of Russia, it is no surprise that the Islam is an important part of the awakening nationalist feeling among the Chechens.
This period is also known as the Islamic Renaissance of the Northern Caucasus. In Islam especially Wahhabism ideology got deep roots in females terrorist to explode themselves and meet their parents and loved ones in paradise. The magnitude of Chechen separatism played an advocacy role for maximizing sympathizing effects from a number of various networks on the basis of ethnicity, religion and gender. Chechen separatists have sought to establish the region as its own sovereign state, realizing this briefly between 1917 to 1922 and 1991 to 1994. Most scholars maintain that their will for separatism has been predominantly driven by ethno-nationalism. In recent years however, many argue that Chechen separatism has now somewhat been co-opted by the worldwide jihadist movement. Conversely, there is increasing discourse that claims that Chechen terrorism is just part of a wider jihadi movement and has become the international Islamic terror network’s frontier on Russia.
Russian leader Putin exploited 9/11 to assert that “terrorism equals separatism” (Calzini, 2005:21) Russian President Putin in retaliation statements justify the actions of Russian troops during the second Chechen war; portraying it as a war on terror. This further sparked the potential motivation for joining together and having strong association between Chechen separatism and Islamic extremism. The Chechen separatist moment’s roots lie from Russia’s historical mistreatment of the Chechen people. This mistreatment was in the form of brutal conquests, multiple deportations and the Russian Government’s negligence and finally ignite two wars and a continued insurgency within the Caucasus region.Russia’s difficulties in Chechnya have also spread to neighboring areas of the North Caucasus, says Elizabeth Fuller, an expert on the region with RFE/RL in Prague. “You can’t talk anymore about the purely Chechen separatist movement.
This may reinvigorate the Chechen movement, increasing the number of fighters drawn to the cause and widening the scope of the conflict. Fuller also talks about a “generational change” among Chechen fighters. “You have a whole new group of young commanders and black widows and we have no idea who they are or what sort of people they are” Concludingly, there is variety of factors for black widows to get the effective utilization of continuing activities. Every single factor has got significant importance through nationalism, religion, sociopolitical, ethnic culturalism, personal life experiences and much more to be enlisted. As Ramzan Kadyrov, vice premier of the Russian backed Chechen government said in his interview to Chechen TV on May 11, 2005, Chechen women are the most dangerous for national security because they have carried out the riskiest operations. If the current trend continues, Chechen female bombers will continue to be a grave threat to Russian national security
Where is Our Sovereignty?
In the name of anti-terrorism, the Justice Department of U.S.A has urged its acquisition of all modes of powers since the birth of our country. Following are some fundamental considerations.
Why, at all, do our civil rights have to be sacrificed in order to protect (so called) us from terrorists by this outside force, called as hegemony? Why even has U.S. taken the responsibility on interfering in Pakistan’s (and the worlds) internal matters as that of security? The argument is whether security is more crucial than our liberty. We are told that the Justice Department requires these powers in order to make us secure. But the central question goes deeper – will the sacrifice of our liberty actually make us safer, for we accept their dominance and let them interfere in our matters, why?
Can we be made absolutely safe by U.S.’s interference in our security matters? No. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together realizes this. The War on Terrorism, occurring in Pakistan, will not be won, as this war is a political act, done by politicians for political reasons. We had a war on poverty, and lost. We had a war on drugs, and lost. These kinds of wars are not about resolving issues, they are about appearing to resolve issues.
The biggest blind liberty we openly give to The U.S. is the power to name anyone amongst us as a terrorist or a supporter of terrorism, without any proof or any judicial review of the claim; we trust American leaders to name someone a terrorist or a devotee of terrorism only for the reason of protecting from terrorists. They do this in secret, on the basis of whatever information or sources they characterize, and with no one ever able to review their decision.
Once they have determined that someone is a terrorist or a supporter of terrorism (remember no testimony required), they assert (or want) the right to detain indefinitely, and in clandestine. That is, should they decide you are a terrorist or a supporter of terrorism; they get to secretly arrest you and hold you as long as they want without anyone knowing why or where. No court is able to review this situation. Where is our sovereignty at this point?
The above, of course, has to do with the eavesdropping they want to do, or their ability to come into our homes without a warrant and copy our hard drive, and make it possible to copy all the keystrokes we make and harass us for whatever petty grievance they hold.
Now ask yourself, how does their interference in our matters of security make us safe from terrorists? How does their power to name someone a terrorist or a supporter of terrorists, without judicial review, make us safer? Such a power only makes the judgments, of those who hold this power, safe from any abuse of that power. How the power to search and arrest without warrant make us safer? For it threatens not the terrorists, but our sovereignty.
Nuclear Terrorism and Pakistan
Nuclear terrorism is a potential threat to the world security. According to the EU representative terrorists can get access to nuclear and radioactive materials and they can use it to terrorize the world. Nuclear security expert Mathew Bunn argues that “An act of nuclear terrorism would likely put an end to the growth and spread of nuclear energy.”After 9/11 the world has observed that al-Qaida wanted to get nuclear weapons. In case terrorists acquire nuclear materials, they would use it for the production of a dirty bomb. A dirty bomb is not like a nuclear bomb. A nuclear bomb spreads radiation over hundreds of square while; nuclear bomb could destroy only over a few square miles. A dirty bomb would not kill more people than an ordinary bomb. It will not create massive destruction, but it will cause the psychological terror which will lead to a panic situation which is more devastating. The world has not experienced of any act of nuclear terrorism, but terrorists expressed their desires to gain nuclear weapons. The IAEA has observed thousands of incidents of lost, left and unauthorized control of nuclear materials and such materials can go into the wrong hands.
After 9/11 terrorism generated negative perceptions about the nuclear security of Pakistan. Often western community pressurizes Pakistan that its nuclear weapons can go into the wrong hands due to the terrorism in it. The fact is that Pakistan has faced many terrorist attacks, but not any attack towards its nuclear installation facility and radiation has been occurred. Mostly, nations obtain nuclear weapons for the international prestige, but Pakistan is one of those states which obtained nuclear capability to defend itself from India which has supremacy in conventional weapons. It played a leading role in the efforts of nuclear security since inception of its nuclear weapons. The result is that no single incident of theft and sabotage has been recorded in Pakistan.
Pakistan is a very responsible state and it has taken foolproof measures to defend the its nuclear installations and nuclear materials against any terrorist threats. Pakistan is not the member of the nonproliferation(NPT), Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and Fissile material cut off treaty (FMCT) because India has not signed them. If Pakistan signs these treaties and India does not, it would raise asymmetry between both rival states of South Asia. Pakistan’s nuclear non-proliferation policy is based on principles as per the NPT norms, although ithas not signed it. Pakistan had also proposed to make South Asia a nuclear free zone in 1970 and 80s, but India did not accept that.
However, Pakistan is a strong supporter of non-proliferation, nuclear safety and security. In this context, it is the signatory of a number of regimes. Pakistan has established the its Nuclear Regulatory authority (PNRA) since22 January, 2001 under the obligations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The PNRA works under the IAEA advisory group on nuclear security and it is constantly improving and re-evaluating nuclear security architecture. Pakistan has ratified the 2005 amendment to the physical protection convention for the physical security of nuclear materials. When Obama announced nuclear security summit in 2009,Pakistan welcomed it. It has not only attended all nuclear security summits, but proved with its multiple nuclear security measures that it is a responsible nuclear state. Pakistan’s nuclear devices are kept unassembled with the Permissive Action Links (PALs) to prevent the unauthorized control and detonation of nuclear weapons. Different US policy makers and Obama have stated that “we have confidence that the Pakistani military is equipped to prevent extremists from getting an access to the nuclear materials.”
The dilemma, however is that some major powers favour India due to their geopolitical interests, despite India’s low score in nuclear security than Pakistan, as is evident from the reports prepared by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).The US has always favoured India for the membership of the NSG ignoring Pakistan request to become a member of the NSG, despite that it has taken more steps than India to ensure nuclear safety and security. It is following United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540(which is about the prevention of proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDS) and it is the first state which has submitted its report to the UN.
The report explains the measures taken by Pakistan to ensure radiological security and control of sensitive materials and WMDs transfer. Although Pakistan has suffered a lot due to terrorism, but its nuclear security measures are strong and appreciable. Recently, IAEA director visited Pakistan and appreciated its efforts in nuclear safety and security. In view of Pakistan’s successful war against terrorism, its success in eliminating terrorism in the country, and strong measures that it has taken to secure its nuclear installations and materials, their should be no doubt left about the safety Pakistan’s nuclear materials.
U.S. lead the War on Terror and the Afghan Peace
The region known today as Afghanistan has been subjugated to a series of warfare since the soviet occupation, till date, including the United States led NATO’s is on in full swing. Afghanistan shares its borders with multiple countries, including Pakistan. The unrest in Afghanistan has been a major cause of instability of the region, including the spread of terrorism in the neighbouring countries, particularly along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The people of these areas known by the ethnicity of “Pashtuns” have been the major effected population of the unrest. From training those to become the U.S. backed “mujahideen” against the former USSR to unleashing the war on terror against them when they started to retaliate, Pashtuns are the sufferers.
The purpose of the mention of this scenario basically highlights the fact that the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan- the Pashtuns- have witnessed avery prolong war. This is a war that is neither the creation of their own, nor concerns them directly. It is a war with no clear end, with no particular benefit and it is only hurting the people. In fact, this long war has brought miseries to the people of Afghanistan and the region, that now must end.
The insurgencies in Afghanistan have resulted in the worsening of security situations in Pakistan, as is evident through the course of history. Finally, these insurgencies took the shape of suicide bombings to widespread terror attacks that resulted in large scale life and property losses. In Pakistan the the spill over of terrorism from Afghanistan has been rooted out successfully with the success of the “Zarb-e-Azb” and the ongoing operation “Rad-UL-Fassad. Although Pakistan has achieved this grand success after giving immense human sacrifices and suffering heavy economic losses.
The recently announced US Strategy / Policy on Afghanistan is also going to have a significant effect on the future regional developments. The salient points of president Trump’s Afghan Policy announced in 2017 can be summarized under six main headings:
1.Troop Levels: Pentagon authorized to ramp up troop numbers, who will be engaged in counterterrorism and training activities.
2.Military Autonomy: Military commander were delegated authority to act in real time and expand the US operations to target terrorists and criminal networks in Afghanistan.
3.Open-ended: No fixed timelines given for completion of the mission in Afghanistan.
4.Fighting Enemies: But Not Nation-building. Victory in Afghanistan will mean “attacking our enemies” and “obliterating” the Islamic State group. Vowed to crush al-Qaeda, prevent the Taliban from taking over the country, and stop terror attacks against Americans. US will continue to work with the Afghan government, “however, US commitment is not unlimited, and support is not a blank cheque” and the US would not engage in “nation-building”.
5.Pakistan Bashing: The US “can no longer be silent” about alleged terrorist safe havens in Pakistan. Trump alleged that Pakistan often gives sanctuary to “agents of chaos, violence and terror”, the Taliban and other groups who pose a threat to the region and beyond.
6.Enhanced Indian Role: India to help more in Afghanistan, especially in the areas of economic assistance and development.
These stated interests call for a continued, ongoing unrest in the region. While the U.S. does not realize its own failings in Afghanistan, to cover up its own failures it asks Pakistan to “DO MORE”. In this context, it should be realized by the US and its other allies that Pakistan has already played a major part in the war on terror by defeating terrorism in its border regions with Afghanistan and elsewhere in the country by giving sacrifices much more than what the US and NATO forces have suffered from. Therefore it is the US who has to review its policies in Afghanistan and find a solution of the conflict there to bring peace to the region.
The United States Government should now realize that the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan have suffered too much from the war on terror and its backlash in the form of terrorist incidents. Especially Afghanistan people who have suffered since last 40 years want relief and peaceful conditions to resettle in their houses. The region also wants peace to focus on its economic development and welfare of its people.It is therefore better that the US initiates peace talks with the Taliban along with other Afghan groups to agree on a formula of US withdrawal from Afghanistan and holding free and fair elections in Afghan to form a government that is acceptable to all Afghans. This is the only way to end the war and bring peace in the region, so that the people of this region could also lead a normal life, like the people of other regions.
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