Rein­ing the trou­ble mak­ers

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

The fed­eral govt has de­cided to com­pen­sate those who suf­fered losses dur­ing ri­ots in the wake of apex court ver­dict ac­quit­ting Asia Bibi. PM has di­rected that an as­sess­ment should be car­ried out of the prop­erty dam­ages and the Pun­jab gov­ern­ment should pre­pare a com­pen­sa­tion pack­age.

Af­ter­math of the coun­try­wide ri­ots it seems PTI led gov­ern­ment has not act wisely to pre­vent such in­dents in fu­ture. In­for­ma­tion Min­is­ter Fawad Chaudhry has in­sisted that ac­tion would be taken against those who de­stroyed pub­lic prop­erty dur­ing the protests even though the agree­ment - op­po­si­tion call it sur­ren­der - signed be­tween the gov­ern­ment and the Tehreek Labaik called for all those ar­rested to be re­leased.

If the gov­ern­ment was se­ri­ous about catch­ing vi­o­lent pro­test­ers, it would have im­me­di­ately taken ac­tion rather than just talk­ing about reg­u­lat­ing so­cial me­dia sites. The PTA has com­plained that Twit­ter does not take ac­tion on most gov­ern­ment re­quests to block of­fen­sive ma­te­rial and ac­counts. Twit­ter has in­deed be­come a hot­bed of ha­tred and crime world­wide, with neo- Nazis, racists and ex­trem­ists us­ing the site to spread ha­tred. As bad as that it is, it would be even worse if steps were taken to ban or block so­cial me­dia sites. The his­tory of the state in si­lenc­ing le­git­i­mate dis­sent­ing voices means that it can­not be trusted to ex­er­cise sound judg­ment. Should free ex­pres­sion be curbed on so­cial me­dia too, that would mean a shrink­ing of the pub­lic square. It would be best for the gov­ern­ment to look in­ward rather than blam­ing the in­ter­net for the trou­bles of the last week. Yes, it was un­for­tu­nate that Khadim Rizvi was al­lowed to post in­cen­di­ary tweets but if his pres­ence on Twit­ter is un­ac­cept­able, why are he and his party al­lowed to demon­strate pub­licly, is­sue threats to state in­sti­tu­tions and even stand for elec­tions? That the TLP has been able to build a fol­low­ing is be­cause the state has al­lowed it to. Pak­istan has af­fec­tively dealt with many armed move­ments es­pe­cially TTP, Lashkar- i- Jah­ngvi, MQM led by Altaf and so for Tehreek Labaik is con­cerned it emerged when court or­dered hang­ing of Mum­taz Qadri in 2016 when he killed then Pun­jab Gov­er­nor Sal­man Tasser. It is en­cour­ag­ing that all Op­po­si­tion par­ties have sup­ported the apex court rul­ing in Asia Bibi case and now it is high time fort the gov­ern­ment to take stern ac­tion against Tehreek Labaik so that next no one can dare to dam­age pub­lic prop­erty or speak ill against ju­di­ciary, army or other state in­sti­tu­tions. If we missed this op­por­tu­nity then per­haps we should get ready for such sit­u­a­tion in near fu­ture.

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