Illustration: Marcin Bondarowicz
Illustration: Marcin Bondarowicz

The state of surveillance

The Pakistani state is using terrorism as an excuse to curb freedom of speech.

The hallways were riddled with bullets, blood stained the auditorium floors, the bodies of children were piled under benches across the auditorium. When the eight-hour-long siege at the Army Public School and Degree College, Peshawar ended, 145 people – 132 children, 10 staff members and three soldiers – had been killed by the attackers. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.

The very next day, on 17 December 2014, Pakistan's political leadership gathered for a multi-party conference in Peshawar to formulate a plan to fight terrorism. Six days later, in a televised address to the country Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced the 20-point 'National Action Plan' (NAP) to crackdown on terrorism in Pakistan. Sharif spoke slowly but adamantly "…this agreement is a defining moment for Pakistan," he said, "we will eliminate terrorists from this country."

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Himal Southasian