Last week, there were plenty of rumours that the much-awaited operation against the terrorists was going into effect. The Prime Minister (PM) was expected to unveil the plan in front of the National Assembly. Unveiled however was yet another so-called peace initiative, which most senior analysts and sane voices called a plan dead on arrival. Yes, the word ‘peace’ has been given a new lease of life. Call it whatever, give it any fancy name you like, I will call it an absolute and shameless surrender. A country that flaunts its nuclear prowess and boasts about its military might has surrendered to a bunch of terrorists — all in the name of an imaginary peace process.
Without going into the much talked about developments and the nomination of the members holding these ‘make believe’ peace talks, here is what boggles my rather curious mind: why is there so much confusion and the narrative and discourse so fluid on this subject? It sure looks like the government is being run by amateur representatives of the people who are unable to determine what a state ought to do to enforce its writ. What the is state obligated to provide to its citizen, which any and every citizen deserves, is the basic right of security and protection. All this military might and nuclear prowess is of no use if the state has to negotiate with the militias of banned outfits. The insane idea that any such talks will be fruitful is beyond insanity.
Some elements in the shameless media are peddling the narrative of the terrorists as a plea to enact and enforce sharia law. One can see how brilliantly the soft image of these terrorists is being rehashed in the name of religion. The apologists are going the extra mile on both traditional and social media, painting a fantasy, which any sane person knows is a non-starter. At least the track record and history clearly demonstrate that it is such a waste of time. The poor public that is facing the brunt of this brand of sharia, one shrapnel at a time, is equally confused.
One of the most repeated sentences has found yet another space to be repeated ad nauseam: ‘this country was established in the name of Islam’. All of us can witness what great contributions we have made in the final revealed religion of the divine. Make no mistake, this episode or any other narrative that is being peddled to sell a believable image, is nothing but a farce. It is total, dishonest distortion, which should be rubbished. This is all about power. The terrorists have established their power through fear. This is their weapon and they excel in it.
The silly and inane defence that apologists offer in favour of this futile exercise is not even worth the time of toddlers, let alone grown up adults. Take, for example, the mantra that let us talk to the militants (read terrorists) who are willing to engage and isolate the ones who are not. Those idiots who peddle such fantasies and live in some fairyland tend to forget that, ideologically, all such terrorists are the same. All of these outfits have a unilateral agenda — to grab power through fear.
When the outfits claim responsibility for any atrocity, has the government ever been successful in apprehension and conviction to set any kind of standards? Let us forget about all of this: has there been any successful prevention of any massive explosions? It sure looks ridiculous that Mr Musharraf is being dogged and dragged through the court for violating article six of the constitution (rightly so), yet when it comes to militias and terrorists, the same constitution’s article 256 is being completely ignored. The people who have no respect, no desire and no regard for this constitution are being brought to the bargaining table. What a pathetic disgrace to the people’s right to elect their representatives.
What most people think is that once these talks will succeed, their lives will take a turn for the better as terrorism will recede. Once the US will vacate Afghanistan, there will be no drones and it will be peace and tranquillity. What if the US decides not to vacate Afghanistan completely and the drone strikes still continue, then what? Again for the reading or comprehension challenged, this whole show has nothing to do with what is being sold to you. This is about terrorists being elevated to the position of stakeholders. Just ponder on this thought for a few moments: what escalated their status to the level of ‘stakeholders’? What is their contribution to gain this position in the final say of this sorry nation?
My followers on social media and some readers who e-mail me ask the reasons for my pessimistic tone. I am afraid because I see our looming demise, as a country, as a state and as a nation. It is just a matter of time. People who remind us about our roots and reasons for existence, every now and then, need to be reminded perhaps once that our end will also be in the name of the same religion. I sure hope that I am dead wrong but I am afraid the facts are quite self-evident and, yes, quite damning.
Our street in Lahore was a maze of intersecting lanes. In a way it was one large extended family. ...