Blood in the streets


Anarchy is not far behind

Media, they say, is a mirror for the society. Every time one flicks between TV channels or flips through newspaper pages, stories of violence, murder, kidnappings and killings stare right back at the viewers, or readers, as the case may be. This much lawlessness, in every society, is an indication of a system-wide breakdown in law and order, responsible for which are mainly the government itself, law enforcement agencies, security and intelligence regimen. By the looks of it, the miscreants and terrorists seem to have given a drubbing to the government on the security front.

Every major city in the country has seen terrorism in one way or another. Only the other day, Karachi saw a bomb blast in a bus, killing six and injuring 50; Quetta saw four policemen killed; Peshawar received 21 dead bodies of Levies personnel; and yesterday it was Mastung where 19 Shia pilgrims were killed. And the list does not include target killings in Karachi and other cities. The terrorists are in no mood to slow down, contrary to whatever the TTP chief says. Karachi, admittedly, has problems of its own but what’s happening in other parts of the country, the interior minister, responsible for internal security, cannot justify it, specifically when he seems to be so focused on whether or not allowing the YouTube to operate in the country.

A united stand against terrorism is what’s lacking among the major political and security stakeholders, making the public more vulnerable to the tactics of militants who are using terrorism as a tool to achieve their agenda. Agreed that our security and intelligence setup lacks resources and technology to track down every terrorist, but it still does not absolve them from their duty to protect the life and property of citizens. It is not rocket science to understand what and where our weak spots are, from the security point of view. One wonders, then, why our pristine intelligence agencies and LEAs can’t pinpoint the same factors and try to cover them as much as possible.

The lack of political will to challenge the terrorists and skewed policy of our security establishment in choosing which terrorists to go after and which to let loose, are the main reasons why this menace still afflicts us. But that’s not the whole story, there is more. What would be the status of a society that stands divided along a number of lines, from ethnic to sectarian; the society that allows divisive and hatred spewing speeches from none other than its leading religious scholars; the society that tolerates violence and militancy; the society that has been unable to take a firm stand against terrorism for the past 11 years?

Unless we ask ourselves these hard questions, and figure out the solutions to the same, a bus or two would be attacked in one city or another; a mosque or a church would be blown up around the corner of our streets; minorities would be targeted and so would be our security personnel. It’s time we delivered a heavy dosage to the infection we have allowed so long to fester, lest it takes a hold on the entire system.