Ronald Reagan says,”If people are free to choose will always choose peace”.Undeniably,Peace is the rational choice and it is the need of all human beings.The right to peaceful living precedes the exercise of other rights in modern day society. Now, look around where this crucial entity has gone from our lives?let’s have a look at today’s Pakistan.
KPK,is battling with dangerous insurgency,in the mix of militants,drones and security forces, there are people who live in perpetual fear of death and destruction.Those who choose to migrate, they end up in the IDP camps,have no wherewithal to continue with life.From Gilgit and Parachinar,the macabre tales of murders, on the basis of sect, often come up.Similarly,talks about Balochistan are never without mention of abductions and mutilated bodies dumped here and there.Quetta comes up in the mind with bloodstained bodies of innocent Hazara kids,women and men.Bahisht-e-Zainab is not an ordinary graveyard,it carries the horrible tales of planned massacre of a beleaguered community.
Karachi,the economic capital of Pakistan,a city of 20 million people is the hub of urban terrorism.Turf wars among gangs and killings on the basis of ethnicity,sect and political affiliation have become routine occurrences.Once,known as the city of lights is now notorious for its botched law & order situation.Come to Punjab,although the situation is not as grim as in other provinces,Lahore had been part of the headlines about suicide bombings.The news about the increasing wave of extremism in Southern Punjab and presence of a strong network of terrorist outfits there often make their way in the media.
The start of this year has seen three deadly bomb attacks on the Shia community of Pakistan.The memory of the gruesome murder of a Shia ophthalmologist and his twelve year old son in a targeted attack in Lahore is still lingering.The Shia community is specifically under attack by extremist outfits and this is done with impunity through target killings and now through planting bombs.The most horrible fact is that,none to cosmetic actions have been taken to secure the community.This is enough to make us all jittery that inaction or absence of a robust action from state apparatus has emboldened terrorists that they openly claim resposiblity of the attack & warn for more attacks.
The reason to present the brief picture of this sorry situation in all over the country is to vindicate my point that peace has been squeezing out of our lives.This should have created an emergency situation for all those who are responsible to protect citizens.Contrary to this there are some incoherent steps,some adhoc measures to curb the wave of terrorism,all that falls more in the range of theaterics & less substance.In case,if we are not direct affectees of any ghastly incident of terrorism,the psychological impact of the plight of fellow countrymen is felt.There is a sense of helplessness and incertitude.No one is immune to the horrors of “what’s coming next” thoughts. So much so that even kids are not unaware of the gory acts of terrorism tightening the noose around us all.
In this disappointing scenario, the question arises, what we have to offer to 65% young population of Pakistan ? A country fast plunging into the deep abyss of anarchy or God-forbidden civil war.Thoughts like our kids or young generation could become victims of blood lust of terrorists or have lesser chances of social mobility often spring up in discussions.Whenever a terror related incident occurs,social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter become awash with pleas of help for victims or turn into a platform to vent frustration.Later,ineffective measures by the state to prevent the future incidents are mocked at and cause sardonic laughs laced with sorrow on state of affairs.
The resilience of people in real life or on social networking sites amuses me and gives a hope that Pakistan still has a chance to reenact a phoenix like emergence from its ashes.(yes,Pakistan is burning).Nonetheless, a fearful desperation exists under the cover of this optimism.Sometimes,this saddens me when people put forth crude jokes and engage in defence of nefarious agendas of terrorist groups_ this tells how psyches are played with.Instead of condemning their favoured political parties on their incompetency people blame other parties.Sane voices are dubbed with all kinds of unflattering names.Some do not want to see the truth and some are so fed up that they have given up all hopes.This all somewhere stabbing our peace of mind.What to believe or what to reject itself is the battle that leaves people restive.
This is sheer cruelty on the part of all political forces that they seem unable to think beyond their party interests after initial paltry successes in doing so. Could an announcement of monetary assistance to a victim’s family or tall statements after All Parties Conferences (APC’s) make any difference? How to compensate for the absence of the will to execute counterterrorism strategy or more importantly the lack of the strategy itself? Have not political forces realized that their petty sparrings would never make them a formidable force to ameliorate the situation or plug the gaps in their strategy? Or are we people destined to be a mere number in casualty count?Is the wish for peacful life & favourable situation to grow and prosper is too much to ask for in the land of pures? i wonder.
Dwight D.Eisenhower once said,”I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it” .Here not only the government,the opposition and security policy planners and enforcers also need to heed this golden quote.If people keep falling in the lap of death when someone explodes itself and call it a religious duty then our religious leaders too are responsible for they are to address false perceptions among people about “religious duties” that are nothing but bundle of lies by fake Islamists.It is the real religious duty of all leaders of the Islamist parties in Pakistan to tell people that killing innocents cannot qualify as a heroic act that leads to Jannah(paradis).There silence would be the biggest culprit here.All those in the helm of affairs in any capacity should learn that asphyxiating the peace of a common man would eventually choke the life out of those who are responsible to protect them yet have no qualms to jeopardise precious lives.Fire of restlessness would also reach to those who are not working honestly to douse it.Think Higher-ups and all you so called stakeholders and ACT lest it is too late to repent or mend.