Playing with fire

24 Jun

It is rather unsurprising in Pakistan that whenever one hears a rare good news, it is coupled with several news that further downslide our international image. The long awaited operation that took its time in coming became the nation’s answer to the contorted ideology of the TTP. If one thought that Pakistan had just taken its first step towards affirmative peace, they weren’t aware of Pakistan’s history.

Whatever that went down in Lahore was so sudden and rapid in its unfolding that many of us barely had the time to digest the events. Punjab Police’s barbaric assault on the students merely notifies us the extent of illiteracy that prevails among the lower cadres of law enforcement agency. Now that the world is moving on to more sophisticated ways of policing the subjects, our law enforcement agency displayed textbook signs of political uses of the force. The matter that should merely have been printed on the backside of a newspaper, now grabbed the headlines. It was a political suicide by the PML (N).

But this drama reached its climax upon the return of TuQ to Pakistan. Not only an international flight was diverted for “security” reasons to another city, but TuQ’s adamancy to be taken in the Army’s helicopter was bemusing. Passengers were troubled, airline executives were given a headache, most of all the international image of Pakistan was stoked in the fire. If only our rulers could learn a thing or two about nationalism.

Tahir-ul-Qadri, a mullah that boasts of having a divine mission to root out corruption. He intends to bring a revolution that would once and for all suspend all the ills that Pakistani society is suffering from. His rhetoric manifests promises that the politicians swear to during their election campaigns. His imagery of the post-revolution Pakistan illustrates his myopic understanding of the issues that we are dealing with here. All he knows is how to bash political establishment by infusing sentimental oratory with his seemingly pious outlook.

TuQ reposes a much greater faith in the Army of Pakistan. To him, they are the saviors of Pakistan who are out there guarding the borders. Could TuQ be more wrong? Does he not know that it was Ayub and then Yahya who streamlined Bengali population of the united Pakistan to the extent that they had to seek separation from their countrymen? How can he forget the orders of brutality issued by General Niazi against the people of East Pakistan? How can he exonerate General Zia-ul-Haq and his drive to Islamize the Pakistani society following the Arab role model? The hand of ISI in toppling the elected government of PPP in ’91 is not a hidden matter anymore, still TuQ has the audacity to claim that all the political lot is infested. General Pervez Musharraf is the recent example of the way army likes to do its things. For their own institutional interests, these generals have always compromised Pakistan’s interest. They have been incapable of thinking beyond what their institution has indoctrinated in them.

This is not to defame the Army nor does it absolve the civilian leadership from its sins. Yet, if TuQ hopes to bring a revolution, then it must be brought by someone who actually believes that Pakistani nation does not need any general or a leader to guide them. They must be their own masters. They must believe themselves if they are to feel confident in their skins. I agree that we do not have much to cherish. Still, we cannot turn our backs or cave in to the realities of the world. If any leader does come to guide us, then he must be amongst us, and not someone who has lived all his life abroad. While we brood over the thought that where we are heading to as a nation, the generals and the civilian leadership are busy sealing our fate.

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