By Waqas Habib
The very existence of Pakistan and its citizens is at stake. We were told that Pakistan was created so that Muslims in the region could live a life where their social,economic and religious rights would always be protected. We have struggled for a long time now. The reason I say that is because we, the people of Pakistan, have never been allowed to chose for ourselves the kind of Pakistan we want. We have fought different sects in our society to shape up the kind of Pakistan we want. We have fought for democracy. But now we have an enemy that is not new. Instead it has been present in in our society for a long time, and now is becoming increasingly threatening and visible. I speak of the TTP, and other terrorist and criminal organizations.
We have fought for democracy in Pakistan.Democracy allows the common man to help shape the policies they want in in their country. Democracy is a system which makes political leaders answerable to the common man, while also giving the common man a chance to say YES or NO to a political party based on their performance. TTP has said it time and again that they consider the system of democracy “Kufar ka Nizam”. They have also stated that they do not believe in the constitution of Pakistan and have also made it abundantly clear through their actions as well. So if democracy empowers the common man, TTP is all too willing to take away that power.
We have lost thousands of our countrymen, including civilians and security agencies officials. We have been struggling to counter such terrorist activities. We do not have a unified counter-terrorism policy in Pakistan which lays down basic principle of our way forward. We are either going to talk to these people or launch a military operation against them.
Every time there is a bomb blast or an act of terrorism in Pakistan, TTP mocks us with a message accepting responsibility for the incident. Our media asks why are we not able to stop them? Where are law enforcement agencies? What is ISI doing? Who is responsible? When we know where their bases are, why don’t we take action against them?
Army and intelligence agencies blame politicians for not taking responsibility of what is happening in Pakistan.They say it is the responsibility of the political leadership to formulate a counter-terrorism policy and lead the initiative against militants. The army cannot act on its own, they say. The support of the people and the politicians is necessary.
The APC called by newly-elected PM Nawaz Sharif to formulate such a policy has unfortunately been delayed as PTI Chairman Imran Khan is out of the country for medical treatments. Khan’s presence at the APC is vital as his party has now taken charge of KPK – one of the worst hit areas of the country.
There is heated debate in Pakistan over whether we should hold talks with the the TTP or use force against them. Imran Khan and his followers advocate peace talks with the TTP. When Nawaz Sharif was in opposition, and under pressure to support the war against terrorism, he feared doing so would be damaging for him in Punjab in the May 11 elections. So Nawaz Sharif conditioned his support against TTP based on Imran Khan’s views regarding the same.
Times have changed and enough blood has been shed. Both PMLN and PTI are a lot closer to reality now. There is no escape now .The people of Pakistan want peace and security. We need consensus within the different political parties on this issue of terrorism. Our people have been killed and if that does not make it our war then nothing will. It is time to take action against these terrorists and criminals to bring peace to Pakistan.