In my childhood whenever we were asked what would you become when you grow up. The most common answers included joining the army or becoming a pilot (fighter). It may be because the 80s were spent under General Zia’s dictatorship. Later, it was the turn of being a Mujahid, fuelled by the Pakistani romance with Kashmir and hatred for India.
The formative years was spent listening to sermons glorifying Jihad and how killing infidels oppressing our fellow brethren in Bosnia, Chechnya, Palestine and more importantly Kashmir. The mullahs were tasked with glorifying and preparing the emotionally charged youth for fighting in the cause of Allah.
Those who have survived and they are very limited in number, recall how they were deceived and sent as proxy soldiers for the purest armed forces. The realization is aided greatly by the post 9/11 scenario in which the Military willingly brought the war on to us. God’s soldiers were now termed strayed fanatics and were driven into the mountains of Waziristan.
The war chimes rang aloud “sub se pehlay Pakistan” become the slogan of progress and enlightenment. We started celebrating the killings of our own countrymen. The price too was paid by us when we started laying to rest countless civilians killed in never before experienced “bomb blasts”.
Each year our romance with Jihad decreased and our love for the new affection, American Dollars, grew with each installment. In the line of fire we kept awarding our ex-allies and nationals to CIA and pride ourselves on doing so.
TTP reacted like a dumped lover and their vengeance knew no bounds. Their fury was released on the civilian population which was left unprotected because the law enforcers were busy providing security protocols to the elected elite.
The military started building fortresses around their cantonments and the much prized DHAs. But their walls and watch towers proved futile to contain the rage of militants avenging the death of their family, friends and neighbours killed in drone strikes.
The bloody civilian was never considered a threat therefore our highly professional defense services never gave a shit for our wows, losses and more importantly thoughts. They realized the importance of “bloody civilian” only after the dollars dried and the emphasis shifted to tax-payers money.
Raymond Davis’s fiasco made them realize the hatred Pakistanis had for Americans. Salala become another front soon after, when it came under attack by US led ISAF force, the military found the need for our bloody cries and street protests.
This exhibited a patch-up of old flames: religious parties and military, aided by seasoned campaigner on both sides. The new alliance called “Difa e Pakistan Council” was an instant success. It acted as a counter balance to US pressure of “Do More” and restored the flow of dollars.
All this time our military bases become easy targets for militants, kamra, wah cantt., Mangla and Mehran costing heavy material and moral losses. 50,000 civilians were also killed while our sovereignty was violated with the Abbotabad raid.
The pressure to end drones and calling them a violation of our airspace was met with revelation of documents clearly suggest our approval and assistance to our so called allies for killing our own citizen. The blame shifted from Americans, external foes to Government, internal nerds. Maulana Fazl ur Rahman asked the government to end all such treaties which made Pakistanis vulnerable to attack and questioned the services of our defense personnel.
Maulana instead of barging in on who is halaak and who is shaheed debate stated that he feels saddened because both the killer and killed were Pakistanis and this mayhem was continuing because of the US.
Well this was before he lost his cool and in a fit of rage, a rarity for Maulana, he stated “even a dog killed by America is a shaheed for me and the dog that barks at America is my soldier”. Unfortunately for Maulana all was lost and what remained was his reference.
The90s generation, active facebookers and tweeters don’t have a clue about how we the 80s children see and feel about these Mujahideens turn Talibaan. We are at a loss, too, because the mujahideen we idolized praised and aspire were the ones fighting Indian oppressors in Kashmir and not the ones fighting oppression in Northern Pakistan.
I only wish, we hadn’t taken a u-turn on our strategic policies and programs and where turning our back was a mistake we unleashed our bayonets. There is much talk about “Aman ki Asha” but hardly any suggestion or support for “Aman ki Bhasha” (peace talk) which should have started as of yesterday.