With due respect Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen â€œTragic, unintendedâ€ is not enough to explain the carnage which took place at Pak-Afghan border on Saturday. At least 24 of our brave and valiant soldiers were slaughtered by the indiscriminate â€œfriendly fireâ€ of NATO forces operating in Afghanistan. We, the citizens of Pakistan demand a swift and firm action against the personnel responsible. More than 4,000 Pakistani security forces have for the past decade laid down their lives in the war on terror, also curtailing the loss of both civilian lives and the lives of coalition soldiers on the other side of the border, but still there is doubt being cast on our intentions and willingness to combat terrorism. Only apologies are not sufficient for the loss of these precious lives, but unequivocal condemnation should be put forward by every coalition member, action should be taken against the personnel responsible and measures should be adopted by ISAF and NATO to prevent any future incidents. Meanwhile, banned organizations such as Jamaat ud-Dawa and Hizb ut-Tahrir are exploiting this opportunity to bring about a dangerous confrontation, between Pakistan and the international coalition. Under the guise of defending Pakistanâ€™s sovereignty, these organizations are staging rallies and manipulating public sentiments for their own vested interests.
While much stress has been given to interfaith harmony and tolerance by the incumbent administrations, but little progress has been seen in this regard. As this year is drawing to an end, looking back one can see that it has turned out to be the most devastating for the various religious and ethnic minorities in Pakistan. The high profile murders of Governor Punjab and Federal Minorities Minister have made it to the headlines, but there have been numerous other incidents which stayed in the background. The discrimination and exploitation of non muslim pakistanis within the society has resulted in their isolation. As citizens of Pakistan it is our duty to contribute both individually and collectively, to create an environment where the non muslim pakistanis will be treated as equal citizens of Pakistan.
Recently another group of alleged terrorists have been set free, due to the legal loopholes and failure of prosecution to present a strong case. The three mentioned accused are the sons of notorious Maulana Sufi Muhammad, the chief of banned outfit Tehreek-e Nifaz-e Shariat-e Muhammadi (TNSM). It is ironic that in a society where access to justice system for a common citizen is a burning issue, these terrorists seem to be the only one who are benefiting from the legal system. Who is to blame when these individuals will again strike, resulting innocent loss of life and property?
As we all know that Falah-e Insaniat Foundation (FIF) previously Jammat ud-Dawa (JuD) is the forefront for the internationally banned militant organization Lashkar-e Taiba (LeT), but still on this Eid one could find their camps being setup in the capital territory of Islamabad, for the sole purpose of collecting hides of sacrificed animals. If this can be happening under the very nose of the authorities in the capital city, I shudder to think what might be going on in the rest of the country. It is also to be noted that FIF has been recently added to the terrorist blacklist by the United States, but there seems no check and balance on their activities. They will probably adopt a new name and will continue as before.
Recently a statement has emerged of a spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) stating that even if Pakistan separates itself from the war on terror and U.S. policies, they will not blindly support Pakistan, rather they will think about it. This statement alone should be enough to remove any misconceptions present in the minds of our misguided leadership and citizens. The intentions of the terrorists are clear, but many of us are in constant denial and believe that the true evil lies in the war against terror. When will we understand that this is our war and succeeding in it is imperative, for the sovereignty and security of the country?
Last week has been dedicated to rallies, increase in political ante and allegations by political opponents. While this might be termed as a normal and encouraging sign in a democratic system, but in all the political bickering, the menace of terrorism has been ignored. The recent suicide blast in Nowshera targeting police officials has underscored the fact that terrorism is still very much a threat to the country. As soon as we take our eyes off the situation, these nefarious elements are ready to pounce at the opportunity presented. Would it not be better that instead of arguing and fighting amongst ourselves, the political leadership would sit together and at least come out with a comprehensive strategy to battle the menace of terrorism?