Talebanâ€™s barbaric attempt to murder fourteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai has left the world rather paralysed with pain, anger and indignation. And as this courageous daughter of the world fights for her life in a hospital in Britain we are all united in our prayers for her. We want her to be back among us but can we guarantee her that there shall never be another Malala in Pakistan. Can the government in Pakistan ensure that? Its track record does not give us that assurance neither are we convinced of the governmentâ€™s ability.
Tehrik-i-Taleban Pakistan (TTP), in a chilling declaration, has already announced that Malala will be attacked again if she survives. And this murderous declaration has left little doubt in the minds of average Pakistanis about what really afflicts Pakistan today and what really is hindering the progress of the nation. Taleban and its barbaric brand of nihilistic terrorism are now pushing Pakistan back into the Stone Age.
Wrong policies and myopia have put Pakistan between the devil and deep sea. No escape routes are in sight today for the country; no immediate solution to redeem the nation of its unfolding perils. In Pakistan the enemy is within its geographical territories. The threats from beyond its borders are only conceived, a ruse to justify its wrong policies and priorities.
The threatened state that the country is in today reminds us of the Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran saying â€œPity the nation that achieves nationhood in the name of a religion but pays little heed to truth, righteousness and accountability, which are the essence of every religionâ€.
Iqbal Haider, Pakistanâ€™s former federal minister for law, justice, parliamentary affairs and human rights, has correctly conjured up the collective sentiment of Pakistan. It is high time people in Pakistan must wake up and decide as to how long are they prepared to allow the prevailing spate of terrorism, bigotry, un-checked and innumerable murders of the Muslims by Taleban. They must call spade a spade.
Who can deny that it is the various groups of Taleban who have been consistently killing thousands of Pakistanâ€™s armed forces, members of law-enforcement agencies, innocent unarmed citizens including children, women and girls, destroying schools and colleges, destroying economy, institutions, religious, political and cultural norms, values, believes, rites and places of worship, defaming the very name of Islam, harming security and image of Pakistan, they cannot be termed anything other than â€œthe worst number one enemy of Pakistan, Islam and Muslims.
â€œStrangely, our (Pakistan) civil and military establishments as well as the US and local intelligence agencies had initially provided space to Taleban covertly and overtly both in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The US and our civil and military establishments provided help, cooperation and assistance to Taleban in all forms to ensure establishment of their rule in Afghanistan.
Pakistani establishment had fallen for this bait by supporting Taleban under a most preposterous, misconceived and counter-productive dilution of using Afghanistan as the strategic depth of Pakistan. Which is and was wrong. It is still not too late to come out of these dilutions of Islamic crescent. Instead of protecting interest and objects of Taleban, we must for a change give top most priority to our own national interest, which is in conflict with the interests of Talebanâ€.
But more strange is the fact that rather than gearing up to fight the devastating nihilism of Taleban the national discourse in Pakistan today has been hijacked by those who seek to divert attention from the gravest threat to the nationâ€™s stability, progress and growth. Militants have been given free rein to mushroom, propagate and recruit, initially with American support to fight Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
This extra constitutional force was subsequently harnessed as a weapon in Pakistanâ€™s proxy war and what Husain Haqqani, a professor at Boston University and former Pakistanâ€™s ambassador to the United States between 2008 and 2011, says an instrument of Pakistani regional influence.
Husain Haqqani cannot be disputed over the grim reality that until the priorities of the government and other authorities in Pakistan shift, the empty pronouncements of its leaders against terrorism and the sacrifices of its soldiers in battle with militants will not suffice to change the nationâ€™s course.
The media too should be more focused on asking why those deemed terrorists internationally are celebrated as heroes at home.
Pakistanâ€™s weapon of proxy war and its instrument of regional influence have today turned into a Frankenstein killing almost with endless impunity its own people and taking the country back into Neolithic Age.
At least fifty people die on an average every day because of the nihilistic terrorism of Taleban in Pakistan today. The countryâ€™s economy is in shambles because of terrorism today. Growth, development and progress have screeched to a sudden and complete halt in Pakistan today because of Taleban and its terrorism.
The manner in which innumerable Pakistanis poured out on the streets of Karachi and elsewhere in the wake of the attack on Malala showed their growing intolerance towards terrorism and Talebanâ€™s objectives.
For the government the choice today isnâ€™t multiple. Denying terrorism will not take the country anywhere except backward. Its choice of instrument to increase its regional influence has gone miserably awry. Situation today demands a complete and unconditional crackdown on that instrument. And this has to be done immediately. Any failure or even dithering shall be construed as an act of complicity to barbarism.