Better late than never….
in turn whenever given a chance to lead the country themselves, far from standing up to be counted in a crunch situation such as this, they have disappointed the nation. Ever since the Allied invasion of Afghanistan on the frivolous pretext of the slyly upstaged Twin-tower carnage blamed on the poor Afghans none of whom were named in the list of attackers released by the State Department, a liberal class comprising of politicians, journalists, and civil society styled political analysts have since emerged in the country attempting to reinvent secularism as the reason for its creation; a dogma which has been activated in Pakistan by the powers that be and their cohorts.
This scenario is perfectly in keeping with the 9/11 Commission Report churned out three years after the incident, which instead of pin-pointing and providing evidence about the attackers identity, went on to present a recipe to the American Establishment to combat the emerging spectrum of a global Islamic Renaissance. It goes on to say …..“We are not in the middle of a war on terror; nor are we facing an axis of evil. We are in the midst of an Ideological conflict… Now we are faced with a belief system which is inimical to the State system and aims at theological Rule….Our enemies are primarily, an intellectual movement and not a terrorist Army………There is no territory they must protect. They never have to win a battle but can profit in the realm of public opinion from the glorious martyrdom entailed in their defeats”……and so on. Today, Islam’s detractors have re-invented and propped up prototypes of this belief system styled as Al Qaeda and its affiliates, Tehreek-e-Talibaan Pakistan, and now Daesh to befool the world and fit bill.
The Commission recommended intellectual mobilization of the socalled modernist Muslims, (obviously to create doubts and cleavages), and to set up a fund to build secondary Email: email@example.com schools across the Islamic world, in order to inculcate their own brand of secular Islam in impressionable minds. One can see that this counter-offensive has already been launched through outfits like ‘Friends of Pakistan Trust’ and funding conditions of American Aid such as in the Kerry-Lugar Bill, and presently IMF and the World Bank dictating terms and tightening the noose with a colossal debt burden which Pakistan will never be able to pay back. The borrowing misery is synonymous to a human being losing life-saving platelets more rapidly than improving the blood-count despite infusion.
The country platform in Pakistan under Government patronage was provided to the chosen self-styled modernists among Muslims through generously and directly funded NGOs, free-lance journalists, self-styled analysts and civil society representatives, who are being introduced to, and crosspollinated with Western intellectuals and Think Tanks. Only few have surfaced per force of circumstances in the form of Raymond Davis, a Black water sleuth who despite committing daylight blue murder of two young Pakistanis, was chaperoned away under American pressure as the Pakistani Administration haplessly looked on. Other hirelings like Dr. Shakil Afridi who sold his conscience and the country’s sovereignty for a paltry Dollar-sum, is only awaiting a wink for repatriation by his providers, though thus far the Pakistani Government has resisted pressure and shown some resolve just as it has refused counselor access to Indian spy Kal Bhoshan Yadev netted in Pakistan. Today the country is not just infested but littered with what the former Secretary of United States Hilary Clinton described as Private Security Operators, carrying out espionage and directing terrorism across the country; thanks to facilitators like Hussain Haqqani and Co. and others now pouring their pearls of wisdom to clear their past.
Unfortunately, successive governments in Pakistan lost precious time with their customary indifference failing to harness the paid external and internal mercenaries styled as the infamous NGOs, who were part of the problem and not the solution. Belatedly though, Ch. Nisar Ali the lone Ranger in the present Government plucked courage to clamp down on them, only to discover that a bare dozen and a half among the hundreds spread across the country were registered as bonafide entities. Mercifully, the process of scrutinizing these NGOs infested with embedded enemy agents about which this scribe besides others had been screaming for a couple of decades, has finally begun, as has the purge to send home millions of ungrateful Afghan refugees whom Pakistan embraced and hosted for decades, only to be backstabbed by their puppet Government in Kabul manipulated by India.
Belatedly again, the countrywide crackdown against terrorism planted in the country and allowed to brew, has also begun in the shape of a National Action Plan and Zarb-e-Azb. One would have expected at the very outset to offer the miscreants an olive branch and engage them in a national debate over the media to convince the Government of the day and the populace at large, of the legitimacy of their stance. Failing this, a simple and stern warning to the renegades to lay down their arms in exchange for clemency or else face wrath of the Govt and people in unison, ought to have followed next without any delay. This exercise should not have taken more than a few months if not weeks. What we did was engaged in fruitless negotiations allowing them and their sponsors, precious time to regroup and replan. Better late than never, but present exercise will bear fruit only if Pakistan fights this war on its own terms and in its own national interest rather than at call and tune of others. —The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran former Director of programmes.