Dr. Ijazul Hassan (Writing in The Nation)
The time has come when we have to decide whether we want a Pakistan of the Quaid or the Taliban. The latter had said: “You are free to go to your mosques, to your temples, …because that has nothing to do with the business of the state…and that Pakistan will not be a theological state.” However, as soon as we lost our beloved Quaid, we passed the Objectives Resolution in 1949 which was directly in conflict with the basic concept of the state he had created at the risk of his life.
All the dictators suppressed the mainstream political parties and aided and abetted the fundamentalist parties, because the former could conceivably displace them. Today we have come full circle, with Maulana Sufi Muhammad declaring our judiciary, our Parliament, all kafirs. In a huge public meeting Mualana Sahib recently stated: “The Supreme and High Courts are against Shariah and the laws in Pakistan are un-Islamic as is democracy,” in a country that was visualised by Allama Iqbal and created by barrister Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He declared advocacy as haram and our courts as places of idol worship. He said that the movement for the restoration of democracy had strengthened kufr. As we have all elected the Parliament, according to Sufi Muhammad’s way of thinking, Pakistan is a country of 16 crore kafirs.
The army tried to contain the Taliban insurgency but was unsuccessful. I asked a friend why this happened. He mentioned three factors that could be responsible. Firstly, there seem to be many in the army who are taken in by the pseudo-religious talk of the militants, thinking they are the warriors of Islam, and have no desire to fight them.
Secondly, Pathan soldiers may be feeling affinity with the Pakhtun militants. Finally, and importantly, the army has gone soft due to many decades of involvement in the country’s politics during periods of martial law, and due to the interest of its officers in acquiring plots at throw-away prices in each of its huge housing societies. It may therefore not have had the stomach for a fight against trained and battle-hardened guerrilla fighters.
This feeling is greatly strengthened by the facts narrated by the people from Swat that most schools have been blown up, and most beheadings taken place during curfew: the Swatis strongly suspected that there existed a tacit understanding between the armed forces and the Taliban!