Guest blog by Temporal from Baithak Blog
The Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked in Lahore yesterday by terrorists. SSS terms this a “shift”. I think it is a “deterioration” or “escalation” of lawlessness. If Pakistan is to retain its independence this tide will not be curbed easily by a solitary act (like the restoration of the judiciary) nor by the efforts of one individual or one institution. Both Zardari led government and the Army under Kayani have appeared ineffective to stem this.
More pertinent is to view Tuesday’s attack in the context of the peace deals in the Swat Valley and the tribal areas .. Prior to the signing of the deals, the matter of the release of militants who did not belong to the Swat area was raised, that is, non-Pashtun militants… However, after deciding on the level of compensation packages for the families of militants killed or injured by the security forces and other matters related to Swat and the tribal areas, the matter of non-Pashtun militants was deferred and the peace agreements were signed. In effect, non-Pashtun militants have been ignored and the attack in Lahore could be a bloody message to the government that the “Punjabi militants” have the capacity to cripple urban centers at any time and place of their choosing. Syed Saleem Shezad
So what should the ordinary citizen do? Packing up and leaving is NOT an option. Burying their heads in the sand? More prayers to Allah? Joining the orthodox fringe? Or if not joining, then fighting them for their rights?
If the citizenry continues to be uninvolved, then by default the grounds will be left for a battle royale between forces of status quo and those of orthodoxy.
There is no dearth of external players who want to nudge and support these dark forces.
The Saudi Wahabi sponsorship of the fringe groups in Pakistan is hushed up or swept under the rug. Their role should be examined more closely. They have supoported the orthodox fringe in the past (afghanistani-Mujahideen nexus) and continue to do so to date.
Right now, collectively, (media, bloggers, political parties and government) all search for escape goats elsewhere – primarily the focus of their diatribes (not in any order) is the US Administration, the Talibans, the Indians (Raw…if you hear Hamid Gul croaking after the CID report was released) and the euphemistically termed Agencies.
But the blame game should be exposed for its fallacies.
If the ordinary citizen remains detached and uninvolved, then the march into disarray would continue unabated till it reaches the edge of the precipice – a rather uncomfortable and disturbing thought for all the players in the region.
And the world.