Another black day in December

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Today is December 16. After the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971 on this day, Pakistanis saw another black day in this month on 16 December, 2014, the day when 144 students and their teachers were brutally murdered in Peshawar. It’s time to look back what we have done to eliminate the menace of terrorism Pakistan has been suffering since the Americans war in Afghanistan against Soviets. Yes, 122 schools in Islamabad have been named after the martyrs students; yes, ISPR has released a new song wherein children are vowing to change the terrorists’ mentality by educating them. But the day this song was released, terrorists responded by blowing dozens of people in a second-hand cloth market in Parachinar, Kurram agency.

Though ISPR claims that during last one year more than 4,000 hard core terrorists have been eliminated in North Waziristan, but no one knows who they were and where their dead bodies are. I was appalled the other day to see Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s statement that Pakistan may influence Afghan Taliban to protect the proposed TAPI pipeline. That’s the end of the story. If terrorists in one country are our heroes, then one day these very heroes will point gun at us. December reminds us to come clean, not to deal with non-state actors. But we see no change in the mentality of those who make decisions in this country. Lal Masjid has been permitted to carry on with its onslaught on the state; the government is on retreat on madrassa reforms; it has failed to issue even a list of banned outfits lest alone action against them; no one ever bothered to work on alternate narrative to counter the hatred being spread in the name of religion and sect; why NACTA has not moved beyond an ‘under construction website’?

It’s true we never learn from the history whether its 1971 or 2014.

MASOOD KHAN

Jubail, Saudi Arabia