By Obaidullah Khan
Pakistan has been facing the terrorism for a long time now. Every terror attack, even target killings of the individuals is condemnable in the strongest terms, yet some of the terror attacks amongst these could be reckoned as the barbarity and butchery of the highest rank. Amongst others, the attack on the Ahmadiyya Community in Lahore where two of their worship places were attacked during the worship by the fully armed terrorists who opened heavy gunfire on the unarmed persons, like duck shooting. After that the Church Attack and then was the APS attack for which even history seems to be devoid of such a bloodshed of the innocent children. These wounds were not fully healed yet there is another such attack in Karachi. The victim once again is a peaceful, apolitical and educated community and the pattern of the attack was quite similar as the previously mentioned attacks were. Every normal human being is shaken with grief and anguish over such a loss of precious human lives in such an extreme cruel manner.
Whether Taliban or some foreign hand is involved in this tragic incident, the fact is that they are the two sides of the same coin. Taliban are only disguising their true agenda with the name of their so called Islam. To my understanding they are in fact playing a role of the mercenary and are available for hire to the highest bidder. A foreign agency could be the highest bidder when the matter is of the national interests of Pakistan.
An important factor in evaluating the exact target of this attack is that the Ismaili community is attacked by the terrorists for the first time. This community inhabits mainly in two parts of our country, i.e. in Northern Areas of Gilgit Baltistan up to the Sost, the last town before Pak-China Border in Khanjrab and in Karachi. I have no knowledge of this community populated in any other part of the country in a considerable number. So if this community is attacked in Karachi the outcome is certainly going to affect the northern side. It is not hard to digest who the target actually is? Upsetting this community may potentially upset the peaceful atmosphere near Pak China Border where this community is populated in majority. So this seems to be quite clear that what could be the real target and who could be the beneficiary of this attack.
Having said all this, our own mistakes and faults cannot be excused or vindicated at all. If a body is continuously being attacked by the diseases than the whole blame ought not to be put on the diseases alone. This attitude is just an expression of a defeated mindset. A healthy body with strong immunity overcomes internal diseases. Thus we have to improve our internal and external affairs.
The poignant question is that where these Taliban or other radicalized elements came from? Did they come from a foreign country? Indeed it is us who nurtured them and bred them by ignoring the fact that allowing someone to exploit the religion to create a non state army can play havoc with their own masters. We did not even bother to see what was going under our nose when numerous seminaries were breeding the armies with the foreign aid to fight in the name of so called Islam. Noble orientations are always exploited to inculcate a radicalized approach and to brainwash an already defeated mindset. We ought to admit that we are responsible for creating an atmosphere where such terrorists have been nurturing and flourishing. That atmosphere cannot be changed with mere surgical operations by the Army. We have to set our directions and narratives. Our state must not interfere in the faiths of her subjects or patronize a certain school of thought or decide the faith of any faction. It is not for a state to define or interpret a religion. Religion is divine and let it be divine. Stop monopolizing the religion at the state level. Keep the religion above the filthy politics for God sake.
Pakistan Army has now accomplished significant achievements through their new resolve to fight insurgency after APS attack. We have seen formidable decrease in terrorism throughout the country. Such chronic diseases cannot be cured with a flick of the wand. But the situation is still asking for more. It seems our politicians are still compromising on many fronts on political basis in certain ways. They perhaps dread the nuisance value of the disband organizations, their sympathizer in every walk of life, most importantly the pulpiteers and a number of seminaries. But this political cum coward approach must be disembarrassed now. Extraordinary measures are required to meet an extraordinary situation. Our country is in no position to tolerate such illegitimate political compromises. Our political rulers should understand that they cannot please all the people for all necessary actions. It is now or never, do or die situation and our present democratic setup must cope with the gravity of the issue and should play their due role in the ongoing battle. A battle we cannot afford to lose.
The writer can be contacted on his twitter handle: @Obaidullahkhan