Should We Negotiate with Terrorists

Terrorism, since the turn of the century has reached its pinnacle. Their actions are heard by distant ears. The fear they created is experienced by all. And yet, their names remain hidden. This is the power of terrorists. A single threat will leave people in their houses for days, a plan implemented will leave people horrified and scarred. The power held by these terrorists in some countries is greater than that of the government.

Terrorism was started when a few extremists did not agree with the functioning of this planet, and set out to change it.Well when you hear that above statement it does not come across badly at all, but when you add to it: though violent means is when you understand the root of terrorism. Many of these terrorist have had a disturbed childhood, some living through a war where they have lost their loved ones, others who have grown up in extreme poverty and see the rich drive around in their air conditioned cars and some brainwashed by religion. Whoever they are, they are fanatics. The truth be told, terrorists attacks are now becoming a part and parcel of life, something we should not get accustomed to.Many a time these terrorists, may it be from different factions, the LET, Al Qaida or Taliban, place the country and the government in a difficult situation: A one in which we have to negotiate with terrorists, to prevent human life from being lost. The question remains, should we negotiate with terrorists? This debate exists since the birth of terrorism, and though each party has a strong opinion, neither one is absolutely correct.

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Firstly there lies great argument on the definition of a terrorist and terrorism. One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. Different views of such acts are shared across the planet.It is not possible to win peace in a battle despite how tough you are. A consensus cannot be drawn in order of define terrorism. This has still not been achieved by the United Nations. This drawback plays a pivotal role in the following debate. Only when a terrorist is defined can one decide whether we should negotiate at all.

Negotiating with these extremists is the only way one can reduce the number of casualties and damage these people can cause. These terrorists leave us with no option; if we do not give into their needs they will massacre several hundred lives, leaving the blame on the government reducing them terrorists.Better communication increases our chances of exerting influence. By communicating we can understand how they function, their aims and can go about completing them through alternate means. Also if negotiations are rejected, it results in remorseless attacks and deaths of several civilians who have no blame at all. It further angers these already disturbed persons.

At the same time there is no harm in initiating talks across the table, as if it fails, military action is always available.What is the point of violence if negotiating is a more viable solution to the problem? The government can set down their ground rules; discuss these terrorists’ aims, put forth possible solutions and their beliefs. It is then up to these terrorist organizations whether to want to carry forward their attacks. Negotiating with them not only may put an end to the violence but also prevent a prelude and aftermath of attacks of great scale. Repeatedly one insists, the only way to find a permanent solution is by nipping the problem at the bud.

Well, by starting of talks we can, get information about their origin, camps, leaders and much more. On talking, the governments may get to know their week points, the reason behind their actions, on doing so we can find out more about these terrorists and the reason why they believe in their actions and doings. If this can be achieved we can try an put an end to terrorism, once and for all.

The counterpoint to this debate has a strong reasoning as well. Terrorists are people who go about trying to create peace through terror and violent means.This statement makes persons believe that if these people can walk into a shop with a bomb strapped around their chest they are one must show no remorse as they are not worth of it. We will not negotiate with a murderer, we will not ease out his capital punishment, then why should we bother talking to mass murderers. How can we even talk to persons who kill human kind, offer them freedom for information? They are not human, not even animal. They come with one aim, and will not hinder their course if offered alternatives, all terrorist, only come with a plan to enter the designated area, they do not have a way out.Death is their prize, as some humour has it, terrorists believe that when they die in the name of god they will go straight to heaven where seventy-two virgins will await their arrival.

Religion has taken its toll; it is their greatest weapon and shield. It has been the policy of all democratic nations not to negotiate with terrorists. A prime example is the United States of America whose policy for so many years is not to negotiate with these terrorists. Yes, they have been hit, one of the biggest history has seen, the collapse of the World Trade Centre, but since seven years, not one terrorist attack has been carried out on American soil.This goes to show that if one doesn’t fear these terrorists, doesn’t shows signs of weakness and instead upgrade their defence system, then a country can make itself immune to such attacks. Negotiating with them hence results in mutual gains.

Is that what we want in common with these terrorists? At the same time negotiating with these extremists may suggest acceptance of their actions. On negotiating have they promised us a better tomorrow, one without terrorist activities? Clearly not!And giving in to their demands is not only going to give them confidence in themselves that if we do this more often, our demands will be met, but we are creating more terror for ourselves. By giving them finances, is like aiding their activities, by releasing their fellow men, it is like committing suicide by helping them make more futile plans. How can we be a 100% sure, that such an event will not happen again? After much debate I believe that, first in order to reach a conclusion on this topic, we must first define a terrorist and a terrorist act.If an Iraqi soldier is called a terrorist then we should negotiate because he has a genuine cause behind his actions.

In any case we must open routes of communication and put forth our ground rules; if they still believe in their reason then military back-up is always present. On the other hand if the government is pitted against persons who believe in spreading violence, those who in negotiation want back a few captured terrorists so more violence can be spread, then undoubtedly negotiating with them is wrong and should not be carried forth. It is finally up to every nation to decide its policy on negotiating with terrorists.