Bet­ter late than never….

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS - Za­heer Bhatti

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: za­heerb­ 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.

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