Ch Nisar’s fantasy land


And on-ground reality

If the interior minister is indeed privy to landmark developments regarding madrassa reforms, they are so secret that even sections of the madrassa boards are still in the dark. Or, as the Wafaqul Madaris al Shi’a implied, perhaps Ch Nisar is taking merely holding of ‘several meetings’ as a sign of progress, even if there are still few points of convergence. And, for some reason, he did not care to shed much light on the ‘procedure’ that will be followed for registration. According to latest press reports, various ‘forms’ swung back and forth between the religious affairs and interior ministries and the provinces before the government suddenly announced ‘reaching an understanding’ on the issue.

The security czar’s take on Da’ish betrays a similar divorce from reality. The IB director must have had a reason for expressing such strong fears before the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, after all. Ch Nisar probably based his observation on the physical distance between Iraq/Syria and Pakistan. But in the proxy war landscape, it is patronage – funding, arming, guiding – of armed militias that counts. Surely Ch Nisar didn’t miss how a few armed and trained militants wreaked havoc in Paris recently. If Da’ish comes here, it will be through arms, funds, and direction, not by airdropping a brigade.

The proof of the pudding, at the end of the day, lies in the eating. Claims and counter-claims work only as long as the on-ground trends support them. And the string of attacks in the new year have caused considerable concern, especially since Charsadda; which fed fears that despite assurances there are still loopholes due to which even children are still at risk. Whenever the government has moved forcefully – be it in Waziristan or Karachi – there has been little need for marketing its success. A similar approach should be adopted on the matters of madrassa reform as well as containing outside forces looking for a foothold in Pakistan.