Athar Waheed

Victims of Terrorism in Pakistan: Challenge and Response

Terrorism exists in about 87 countries of the world but 82% of its victims exist in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria. Pakistan had the third highest number of human casualties by acts of terrorism in 2013 (Global Terrorism Index 2014). More than 20,000 innocent civilians including women and children, 4,000 army officers and 5,800 law enforcement officers have sacrificed their lives to fight against terrorism in last fourteen years. Victimology as a scientific discipline is entirely absent in the country to provide an efficient and effective system of services to victims of terrorism. The US government has spent about $4.4 trillion in the War on Terror and Pakistan claimed $100 billion in financial losses
due to terrorism. About 43 countries representing their soldiers in NATO forces and more than 120,000 soldiers of Pakistan Army have not yet been successful in eliminating terrorism in the region. But the international community and Pakistan should at least take some pragmatic steps to heal terrorism if not successful in eliminating it. The talk will initially address some theoretical issues in victimology of terrorism, followed by a scenario of victimization in terrorism at the global level and challenges in developing countries but the main focus is to explore particular issues faced by victims of terrorism in Pakistan. A scientific analysis of already provided services in term of protection, information, participation, social acknowledgement, psychological counseling, and financial support has been made. The main components of a proposed national policy and a development plan will also be discussed in view of the best international and regional practices of services for victims of terrorism.

Mr. Athar Waheed (M.A. Criminology, London School of Economics, M.A. History, Quaid-i-Azam University, and MPh American Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University) is the Senior Superintendent of the Police in the Police Service of Pakistan. He has experience in working with victims of crime and terrorism, as well as in police administration and accountability.
He has also established the Pakistan Society of Victimology as the first national victim services organization that aims to work for victims of crime and terrorism in Pakistan. As a Fulbright Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow at Human Rights Center, University of Minnesota, he is dedicated to learning about the services available to victims who have experienced violent
crime and acts of terrorism. He is also pursuing his doctoral degree in Victimology at International Victimology Institute, Tilburg University, Netherlands.

This lecture is co-sponsored by Global Studies, UW-Madison