By Azhar Aslam
When someone declares an open war, how must a nation react? How should they defend themselves? Have we forgotten the lessons from war with India? Why should we feel different now when we are being attacked from inside rather than from outside.
By attacking various institutions of Pakistani state (in attacks of more symbolic value than otherwise), Taliban has thrown an open challenge to our nation. But is it really so? Don’t mistake it because it seems more a sign of desperation on their behalf because they clearly are surrounded and trapped.
The recent attacks are more like a reaction of an animal that has been trapped and feels encaged and knows its time has come. These attacks are designed to create more psychological trauma and undermine the resolve of the people and state of Pakistan, than actually inflict any real measurable material damage.
We cannot and must not let that happen.
Let’s not forget a few facts:
- The total number of people killed in attacked from Peshawar to Lahore are less than 150. This is less than 0.000001% of Pakistani population
- Of the hundreds of institutions of Pakistan and Pakistan security forces only five have been attacked
- The total number of attackers has been not 50. While we do not know how many are still waiting in the wing, this number is less than the number of a company in Indian Army.
- Pakistan is not just Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, or for that matter Karachi and Quetta. For each part of the city that is attacked a much larger portion of land is secure.
I hope everyone is getting a drift of what we are saying. The point is that we are under attack by a relatively small number of people when compared to the attacks that we have sustained before in the shape of Indian Army. And let’s not forget the sacrifices that we had made in the migration of 1947. The terrorists are less strong, less well-equipped and much smaller in number.
Where the terrorists compete with people and state of Pakistan is the resolve and determination.
So are we going to be less willing, less determined and less resolute than our enemy? Are the terrorist going to browbeat us into submission?
The worst damage that present series of attacks has caused is in the shape of psychological terror and warfare that has been unleashed in the form of media storm form outside. For the people talking about attack on GHQ, let us remind them how one fifth of pentagon laid in ruins on 11 September, 2001.
For the people of Pakistan, however, the worst aspect of the attacks is that attackers belong to us. It is the trauma of being hit by our near and dear ones. Therefore it is crucial that any strategy that aims to win this battle must have three components.
- An open ideological and psychological line must be drawn and all such attackers must be declared Kafir and Kharijis. It is Islamic, national and moral duty of our well-fed Mullahs to take a joint stand with the intellectuals, media and the state of Pakistan.
- A joint show of strength is must from all the political parties. The only institution which can take a lead is the Parliament of Pakistan. It is urgent to call a joint session of National Assembly and Senate, where other political parties outside the parliament must be invited, along with the President and the Armed Forces Chiefs, both as a symbolic and an executive act.
- An inter-provincial, national joint committee for action against terrorism must be created, to be led by a person with force of moral authority and character this criterion will alone disqualify the clown of the interior minister that we have and the fouj-zafar-mouj of the ministers.
We need a real leader to lead this nation at this critical juncture.
A strong show of unity, resolve and action by the People and the State of Pakistan must be on open display for both the World and the terrorists to see
Last but not the least, the planned action in Waziristan must go ahead. Let us root them out, once and for all. The sooner the better.