Editorial

Editorial: No Way Out of the Mess for Pakistan

In a couple of days, there’ve been four high profile terrorist strikes in Pakistan, both styles – suicide bomb explosion in crowded, vital venues and attack on significant buildings by gunmen. Identical situation existed in India last year when major Indian cities were rocked with successive blasts till the terror drew to a close with a strike by gunmen on Taj, Trident and Niriman in Bombay. Pakistan laughed at Indian security and described strikes as an outcome of local discontent. To its dismay, months that followed proved its claim as baseless and linked terrorists operating from its soil as perpetrators of those attacks. With Taliban now being suspected to be behind most of recent strikes in Pakistan, the blame that Islamabad put on India last year rests on it today, in a little different way.

Pakistan government has been in a pathetic position in last few months. It had to act against Taliban under American pressure despite the militant outfit enjoying considerable public support in certain parts, it had to house arrest – though later he was released due to alleged lack of evidence – Hafiz Saeed bowing to dual pressure from the US and India, it had to allow American drones to kill innocent people along with Taliban terrorists and so on. No wonder, as the country’s history has been, there has emerged a grave situation. Militant outfits have become rebel to government. There’s a palpable rift between the government and military (more so due to Kerry-Lugar Bill), and the people – who see the US and India as their common enemy – are filled with rage against the government.

Today, Pakistan Government’s problem is not just some terrorist attacks due to their discontentment with the government, or its severing relation with Army, or escalating discontent among people; it’s the unavailability of a path to return to a point from where things can be put back in right slot.

As everybody knows, all this mess is the result of an asymmetrical, confusing policy it followed. It saw India as an enemy despite itself being an aggressor, allowed popularization of American and Western culture as a direct threat to national religion, encouraged perverted teaching of Book, nurtured ruthless terrorists as a weapon against other states. Today, Pakistan Government’s problem is not just some terrorist attacks due to their discontentment with the government, or its severing relation with Army, or escalating discontent among people; it’s the unavailability of a path to return to a point from where things can be put back in right slot. They created Taliban, they cannot de-create them; they did it for sake of American friendship, the US is no longer its that close friend; they popularized foreign culture as a threat, they cannot see it as a co-existing entity in the world; they vehemently criticized India calling it a foe, they cannot befriend it; they empowered army to be more effective against India, they themselves fear military coup time and again.

They say it’s never late to mend. But latest reports suggest that instead of learning from past mistakes, Islamabad wants to further them, partially, if not fully.

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