Utilising IT to arrest militancy!

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Militant groups especially in the sub-continent feel a little bit relaxed in hitting their targets at will without feeling any fear of being intercepted. Terrorism has gradually demonstrated increased abilities to adapt to counter-terrorism measures and repeated failures on the part of political leaderships. To exchange information, terrorists have exploited disposable cellular phones, over the counter long-distance calling cards, Internet cafes, and other means of anonymous communications. Embedding information in digital pictures and graphics is another innovation they employed to enable the clandestine global communication that modern terrorists require. The continued wave of terror activities including suicide bombings is a clear manifestation of lack of commitment to nip this menace in the mud for good. No doubt the militant groups are developing new capabilities of attack, but this notion holds no ground when one witnesses the systems driven by information communication technologies in developed states effectively contributing in tracing militant operations. In the case of Pakistan, no tangible progress has so far been secured in terms of locating the movements as well as intercepting the communication networks of militant groups. The most common option to conduct subversive operations of militants is the use of unregistered SIMs. Though the telecom authorities have put in place a system to counter this menace, yet the 100 per cent result could not be achieved courtesy the lethargic and shallow approach on the part of official authorities. Pakistan has secured a remarkable progress during the last several years with the installment of sophisticated information technologies to offer the world-class services, however, it has come up with virtually nil performance to get benefit of this mechanism like locating movements of mobile phone users and decoding the communication between militant groups. Installation of scanners and close circuit cameras in government as well as private offices premises is now very common, but the point to ponder over is whether this mechanism is catering to the needs or has it ever been successful in tracing the criminals? The answer is big NO. Pakistan is a developing state with its meager resources and the nation is entirely unable to bear the heavy cost of militancy in terms of declining exports as well as foreign investments, weak economy, deteriorating law and order situation, human killings and instability. The authorities must sense the gravity of the situation and ensure the application of the required IT to control militancy.


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Published in: Volume 04 Issue 48

Short Link: http://www.technologytimes.pk/?p=10881