While we gloat over our successes against terrorism, terrorists make a laughing stock out of us by striking wherever and whenever it pleases them. Zarb-e-Azb – under former Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and after him under his successor General Qamar Javed Bajwa all comprehensive operation styled as Raddul Fissad – is now in progress. It has been more promising than the previous Zarb-e-Azb since it dared to strike at the terrorist camps across the western border too
Besides we have a grandiose scheme of things to eliminate terrorism called National Action Plan (NAP) – more known for its ineffectiveness – headed by the Interior Minister who does talk in miles but moves in centimetres. Unfortunately the philosophy behind it all is the science of state-management by Hitler’s propaganda expert Joseph Goebbels.
According to Goebbels the most effective and his favourite information management tool was the state and the government capacity as its right how to supervise/formulate/manipulate public opinion to suit in its selfish interests. One must say our present rulers have outdone him by their indigenous contraption of ‘lifafamethodology’.
One cannot put in words the extent of grief of the nation at the recent terrorist attacks in Parachinar, Quetta and Karachi. Nearly hundred innocent people were killed including a number of law enforcers. The question being rightly asked by the grievously hurt people is who is in better control of things—the organised, well-equipped, numerically overpowering state and law enforcing agencies or the band of terrorists. While on the one hand we see claims of successes one after the other, on the other the terrorists tell us to learn truth from the phrase ‘taste of pudding is in eating it’.
It is grossly unfortunate that we suffer from a perpetual condition of deception. Those in power refuse to see the enemy within. Immediately after any tragic mayhem in which terrorists strike at will, we see an orchestration by the mullas, rulers and law enforcers that such a dastardly act of barbarism cannot be committed by Muslims when the fact is that more Muslims have killed one another on the pretext of sect than any one else.
I apprehend this comment will fall in the category of an observation by a retired general that these “are enemy sponsored activities to create a sectarian disharmony in Pakistan…People who write such articles like these must be mindful- as their views can create unnecessary dissensions in our society”. Indeed, nobody wants to face the truth and refuse to read the writing on the wall of an impending sectarian implosion.
I would not like to sound sectarian but the fact is that when law-enforcers ignore oft-repeated warnings of a tragic eventuality –killing of minorities like Shias, Ahmadis etc—seems to be more or less case of being silent witness to dispensing off less privileged. A source in policy planning claims that law-enforcers in Quetta with enclave of Hazaras and Parachinar being Shia area and constant target of Tafkiri terrorists –were alerted of the possible terrorist strikes. He lamented-“When there are no attacks for a few weeks, our law enforcing agencies (LEAs) become complacent and indulge in early celebrations to take credit for ‘breaking the back bone’ of terrorists only to be interrupted by yet more bloody strikes by the terrorists.”
“However, as we know better anti-terrorism or the now called kinetic actions are not good enough- vital though but long term steps are needed. Many exhaustive actions have been spelled out as part of Counter Extremism policy and revamping of the criminal justice system—these are lying with the Minister of Interior as head of NAP for government’s approval and implementation. State policy unfortunately still is grey in many areas. Civilians leadership either lacks in capacity or it does not want to comprehend the issues for political reasons.”
Those responsible for counter-terrorism strategy feel helpless when it comes to action in Punjab. General Raheel Sharif did his best to go in Punjab –internationally recognised epicenter of global terrorism- but was not allowed. Had he done so in his three years, Pakistan would have eliminated its domestic terrorism. It is alleged that Punjab dominated federal government is not interested in an effective crackdown in the province since Tafkiri religious extremists have sizeable vote bank plus muscle power that poses a threat to keep PML-N’s electoral opponents from campaigning in elections. In the last elections PTI was the only party other than PML-N that was allowed unbridled campaigning in Punjab due to its sympathy for Taliban. It would be worth recalling how the Punjab-based extremist Tafkiri organisations made it impossible for PPP and ANP to campaign in 2013 polls. The Takfiri message in number of PPP/ANP killings was clear to both the parties.
Elections are due in June 2018. However, they could be held earlier since there is a possibility of a judicial action following Panama Gate inquiry into corruption of the first family that had been clearly indicted by two senior Supreme Court judges that rebranded the Prime Minister as Godfather and his government being run on the pattern of Sicilian mafia. The very fact that the Prime Minister cut short his private Eid visit to London and rushed to condole with the Bahwalpur oil tanker tragedy victims in his electoral power base indicated possibility of an early election.
As for Parachinar victims their tragedy is doubly compounded. While very few from the government have come forward to share a tear or two with the aggrieved, those rightly staging protest dharnas to wake up the federal law-enforcers from their deep slumber have been inflicted yet another blow by making Parachinar a no-go area by the law-enforcers. In this context PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto’s protest is legitimate. The Parachinar siege is uncalled for and should be lifted immediately.