The great di­vide

Southasia - - EDITOR’S MAIL -

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

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