The great divide
In his interview to SouthAsia, former foreign minister, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri made a wise comment in the context of the fight against terrorism: “We have to help ourselves.” Nothing can be truer. Can we ask for international assistance to eradicate our homegrown terrorist organizations when there is no consensus in the country on whether or not the people blowing bombs in our country, killing thousands of people, are terrorists or not? It has been over a decade in which we lost more than 40,000 lives in this fight. And still our people are not sure whose war we are fighting – our own or on behalf of some foreign force.
The division between the two sections of society – one that believes that we should eradicate terrorism from the country no matter what it takes and the other that believes that terrorists are our countrymen and brothers who are misguided – became ever so clear after the killing of Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud. There was a visible split in the country between those who though that Mehsud’s killing was a loss for Pakistan and those who believed that yet another terror-monger had bitten the dust.
How can the death of a person who openly defied the state and constitution of Pakistan, who took pride in killing innocent people and vowed to kill more at the altar of his skewed notions of faith be a loss to the country? Those who claim that Mehsud’s death has harmed the peace process should read the manuscript of his last interview to BBC in which he clearly stated that “America is one of the two reasons we have to conduct a jihad against Pakistan. The other reason is that Pakistan’s system is un-Islamic, and we want it replaced with an Islamic system. This demand and this desire will continue even after the American withdrawal.”
This claim should be enough to open the eyes of those living in some kind of fantasy land when it comes to terrorism. We have to root out terrorism from our country. Failure to do so will mean a loss of another 40,000, or maybe more, lives in the next decade. Are we ready for that?
Ghulam Sarwar Abro Hyderabad, Pakistan