With all the condolences messages being sent hailing Nelson Mandela as a symbol for Peace. What people forget is this same “liberated world” used to call Nelson Mandela – TERRORIST MANDELA. All because he fought for peace and worked to end Apartheid rule in South Africa.
The struggle to resolve any conflict through a peace is a long drawn battle. It does not end with just the signing of the peace accord – it needs to slowly change peoples sentiments and may take years, if not decades. The apartheid ended in ~1990, but ironically Mandela remained on the Terrorist watch list till 2008
SOWETAN: In 2008 just before his 90th birthday, the United States gave Nelson Mandela a special present, striking him from a decades-old terror watch list and ending what US officials called “a rather embarrassing matter.” In past years, US officials have beaten a path to his door in his family village hoping some of his almost saint-like aura would rub off on them. On Thursday, when Mandela died at age 95, President Barack Obama hailed him as belonging “to the ages”
Yet decades ago many in America did not share in the adulation of Mandela and his African National Congress, which had been billed a terrorist organization by both South Africa and the United States. His severest right-wing critics painted him as an unrepentant terrorist and a communist sympathizer.
I do not like to draw correlations – but I see a similar situation in Pakistan – most Pakistanis want peace, but at the same time there is a lobby that castigates against any attempt to further the peace process – their justifications, in part, are understandable – they kill us, so we must kill them – but that itself is a vengeance driven mindset which is bound to lead to more blood shed and the loss of even more innocent lives
At the same time I see a leader in Imran Khan who continues his commitment towards Peace in Pakistan – despite all the thrashing handed to him in the media and by his political opponents, day-in & day-out. Any other leader would have succumbed to the constant assault and back tracked, but Imran Khan remains committed to his vision for a prosperous Pakistan, and the dream is an exercise in futility, without Peace
Surprisingly as similar to Mandela being labelled by his right-wingers as Terrorist Mandela, Khan is similarly painted as Taliban Khan mostly by his opponents, predominantly settled on the left-wing. Such resistance, is in my opinion, merely because driven by his opponents who see these “peace talks” attempts to disrupt their own established control on Pakistan. The name calling will never stop true genuine leaders, in fact, it is in the face of such adversity that actually drives them harder to continue their struggle for whats best for their country – Peace
Salute to Nelson Mandela for showing the world that Peace is an entity that is worth fighting for, Salute to Nelson Mandela for picking up South Africa from the ashes to show that this nation can rise up from the oppressive Apartheid to transform into a dynamic progressive country that it is today.
Let us take lessons from a visionary leader like Nelson Mandela, and Let us do something similar for Pakistan .. Peace is definitely possible in Pakistan