An Unfortunate Mindset

You know there is a very fine line, thin and almost obscure, which connects the mindset which deems it ok to insult someone in public by calling them names – especially when the person in question is of the opposite gender – and the mindset which is ok with ‘light beating’ of wives to be ok for things which are not ‘acceptable’ in terms of their behavior.

This very thin line of connection whilst cannot be seen so easily and to the naked eye is actually one of many big problems with us. And it’s a problem not just in one way or one level. Multiple ways. It’s an entire thought process or school of thought if you will which isn’t really the produce of a well-researched and intellectual think tank or anything of that sort. Just the opposite. Fueled by an ignorant and ancient mindset which refuses to embrace good for humanity and wants to continue ruling with their veil of ignorance on top of everyone to stay in their positions of power and influence. I am sure it won’t require any rocket science to guess who I am referring to.

But that’s one of the things. We are ok dissecting and discussing it in drawing rooms and condemning it as if it was the most natural thing to come to us. Whereas upon closer introspection you might find that one some levels you are just as ignorant. Ok maybe not ‘just as ignorant’ but definitely more ignorant than you would like to admit.

Khawaja Asif’s remarks in the Parliament against Shireen Mazari were uncalled for, unbecoming and definitely not something that should be part of the nation’s parliament much less coming from a federal minister for crying out loud. It was not the first time from Khawaja Asif and definitely not the first time in the history of the country. There have been many incidents in the past involving women parliamentarians of all parties. Benazir Bhutto too had to face such ridicule.

It is sad that such things happen. But these things happen not just here – they happen in other parts of the world as well. So this is actually a bigger problem world over especially with the whole ceiling on women’s achievements and growth and success etc. Till we as a whole get out of this need to differentiate between genders in the professional realm – things will remain the same.

This discrimination and mindset world over is there but perhaps most parts of the world have become a bit more subtle and sophisticated so they don’t tend to boil over like it still does here. It was also unbecoming of people chiming in with ‘Keep quite aunty’ etc. It was also unbecoming of others present there not doing enough to control the situation and try and make amends immediately. Surely this is not something which cannot transcend different political party lines. Respect and all?

Sadly it doesn’t. It is this very mindset which will perhaps condemn the light beating issue of the CII (the wonderful people that they are) but will actually internally agree with them and then well who knows what happens in their households. It is the same ignorant and ‘jaahil’ soch that thinks it is ok to go around beating the weaker sex. As is the case. It is the same mindset which then goes on to connect with other problems like honor killing and all. The one which would most likely look down upon the victim of a rape and take out their flaws and faults which led to the crime rather than look at the perpetrator.

It is the mindset which thinks it’s a man’s world and only men are allowed to be kings and rulers and have every single inch of power available in this world. And that anything else is here to be man’s objects of desire, use and rejection. It is unfortunate that such a mindset occupies the parliament of our country. It is unfortunate that such a mindset is allowed to spew negativity towards development. It is unfortunate that we have not done enough to battle this mindset.

It is this mindset which has for years continued being an obstacle towards girls education. It is this mindset which has given liberty to elements like TTP and the like to go about attacking and murdering innocents, destroying structures and lives, vanquishing dreams and hopes. It is this mindset which is unfortunate and which hasn’t been dealt with where it needs to be dealt with the most – in the mind. The military operation has beat the TTP in the background. But the social fabric of our society is still suffering.

The Pursuit of Change

The word Change has been trumpeted around for quite a long time. Politicians use it. The establishment uses it. The judiciary uses it. The media uses it. The average household uses it in their daily lives and drawing room discussions. Heck I bet even the good folk in the TTP and LeJ etc use it. But that’s just about where the idea comes to an end. The more one thinks about it, the more one feels that actual and real change doesn’t seem to be trickling through.  We as a nation have become conformed to a response mindset rather than actual change or ‘reform’. And hence so have our leaders. ‘Jaisee qoum wesse hukumraan’.

I read Cyril Almeida’s piece in Sunday’s Dawn yesterday (LINK: http://www.dawn.com/news/1160725). For a lot of you who have read it or care to read it I am sure it will hit home. And as usual as it is with a lot of truth in this country, it’s sad.

The Peshawar Attacks are still recent in our memories but yet one can feel they have more or less gone out of the national narrative. And then yet again a new attack struck, this time a sectarian target. More than a 130 died in the barbaric brutality of Peshawar and more than 50 died in the suicide blast of Shikarpur. The operation is still going on as it has been for the past 8 or so months and seemingly has the Boys’ conviction at the heart of it. This is a change of sorts I suppose and we can take heart from it. But does it seem to be enough? Is the funding being cut off? Is the supply line being cut off? Is space being taken away for them to regroup and rebuild? Is there a contingency? And where is the rest of the change. Sure the moratorium was lifted and people are being hanged. Well some were hanged anyway and it received a lot of media attention but what after that? Why are notable leaders of the same kiln being allowed to roam freely? Why are characters like Abdul Aziz and Malik Ishaq not behind bars? Why is Qadri the self-confessed murderer of Salman Taseer not being given a final sentence? In fact a few days back his ‘case file had disappeared’. (LINK: http://www.dawn.com/news/1160391). All this makes for a little hard viewing to see any change.

Take other issues – energy for example. The PML N got their mandate by and large on the back of a strong ‘Energy will be resolved campaign’. The promises on energy varied from a year to 5 years of delivery at differing times since the elections in 2013. No change has really happened. There is still load shedding. There are still supply issues. There are still high cost energy issues. But no change is really happening. And instead we are focusing on metro bus lines.

Even the recent petrol crises – there was nothing done to show that a change is being made in the system or process to ensure that this incident doesn’t happen again. No one was really taken to task. Instead the PSO MD was made a scapegoat and shown the exit door. And their own man was brought at the helm.

The short term was addressed which is always the case. And why? Because they know that we as a nation are also in the most apt of definitions a fickle nation with short term memories. Short term thought processes when analyzing the issues. Who cares about long term? We won’t be there. We will make as much as we can now and then let the long term be a collection of all the failed short terms.

Imran, as much as his heart seems to be perhaps in the right place also seemingly started his marathon 127 days of Dharna (or was it 129?) with a short term goal. Or so some of his ardent supporters would say. He needs to become prime minister now because he is getting old. He is running out of time. The system’s change should not be a strategy dependent on the viability of one individual. That in itself just doesn’t seem viable or sustainable.

This is not to say there has been no change whatsoever. There have been some things which have changed. People in KPK are testifying to a difference , a positive difference in the state. A positive difference in the general administrative nature of things. The police. The hospitals. The judiciary. So that’s great. But no one has actually gone around amplifying this and instead have stuck to the same rhetoric – elections were rigged, electricity will be solved in xyz years, condemn the heinous attacks etc etc etc.

So yes almost 2 years on from the supposed election of ‘change’ in 2013 we are still not anywhere near that ‘supposed change’. The pursuit for it is still in the process if it hasn’t started yet. Or so it seems. And so it increasingly seems to be the case as an ongoing phenomenon.

On The Peshawer Attacks (16-Dec-2014)

Barbaric. Brutal. Disgusting. Criminal. Inhuman. Worse than animals. Heartless. Mindless. Etc etc etc.

These and many other words are and will continue to do their rounds on the social media, internet, talk shows, news channels and drawing rooms against the Taliban. The attacks on the Peshawer school (a school I also attended when we were posted there in the mid 90s) have left a gut wrenching feeling of absolute disgust. It is sickening. It is demoralizing on a number of levels. No amount of words or solidarity can ease the pain of the 130+ families that have been scarred for life with the loss of their loved ones. Not to mention the children who survived but are no doubt in trauma. Their scars are also very real and are something that they will live with for the rest of their lives. To have witnessed a brutality and barbarism of this sort in your childhood … it is unthinkable. I have no words for the pain. No one can possibly have any words. All we can have is prayer. For those departed, for those left behind.

Anyone still hoping for ‘Dialogue’? I hope not. Dialogue was never the way. I was, am and will be for the fact that the Taliban problem is not a dialogue one. Military operation is the only way. It shall continue to be the only way. The resolve should only get stronger to avenge the deaths of yesterday and from every other incident of the Taliban attacks to go after them and finish of this insurgency once and for all. There will be collateral damage – already has been. There will continue to be collateral damage. A war like this (yes we are at war) doesn’t come free of innocent deaths. That will be there and that is something which is out of one’s control. The bigger objective is ridding our nation of this scum, this barbaric band of murderers who brandish their own justice in the name of a religion which is and will be for peace and justice. Their actions are against the very religion they supposedly have set themselves for Jihad in the name of.

There has been an outpour on the social media in solidarity of the deaths with people changing their facebook pictures and cover photos to black. Others have come out on the street and lit candles to observe vigil. Pictures are being shared. Statements are being shared. All this is commendable on some level I suppose but it will not bring those responsible to justice. There needs to be action. There needs to be absolute and decisive action.

In this time in my opinion the entire nation needs to be behind the armed forces, with the people who are fighting on the front lines. Who are living on the front lines. For their bravery and for their sacrifices. Now is not the time to go after every ailment of this country. Yes there are many. The first and foremost objective needs to be this – eliminate terrorism. Eliminate their holes. Go after them. Smoke them out. Bomb them to heck. We can’t have constant political impasses and a war in the north at the same time. Priorities need to be set straight. There will be a time to fix the rest of the things as well. But first let’s bring focus to this. The most important of things. Destroy this enemy.

We cannot move forward as a nation on any front until and unless we resolve the security of our country. Especially when the security of your children is compromised – its just over then.

The Peshawer Army Public School attacks are a terrible tragedy which is beyond words. May Allah rest the souls of those who have departed in peace. May Allah give courage and peace to those who survived and live with the scars. May Allah give strength to those who lost their loved ones. May Allah give us, our leaders and our forces the foresight, wisdom and ability to overcome and defeat this evil once and for all.

 

 

Of Rhetoric, Peace Talks and Sindh Festivals

I have felt myself being disconnected with the general happenings in Pakistan over the past couple of months. It is down to a couple of reasons – personal circumstances being major in occupying a large majority of the mind’s capacity. But also because of a general disdain. A feeling setting in that there is no fix in sight. That there is nothing concrete coming out from any side. There is just talk. Rhetoric. And the same old blame the previous government, terrorism bad but because of US war, condemnation of the xyz attack in xyz city. It is the same vicious cycle repeating itself.

My vote for change last May has really fizzled out to a big nothing. I don’t see any concrete change taking place. It has been majorly disappointing the manner in which Imran Khan has conducted business. My vote for him was to establish infrastructure. Focus on that. On what should be his forte. Something that he has proven himself in being capable of. But no – all we have had is a lot of noise over drones, peace talks, US bad etc etc etc.

First of all – let’s get it straight. This is our war. It may not have started out that way. But it is pretty much our war now. You can’t just say that the thousands of lives that have been lost to this barbaric notion of TTP is because it is not our war. The constant security situation of the last 10 years cannot just be swept aside as not our war. It is our war. They have challenged our sovereignty just as much as the drones have. They have attacked more innocents and military/security personal. Their logic is flawed – if they have a problem with the drones – attack the drones. Why civilians? No this is very much our war.

Second of all – peace talks. I am sorry but the idea of holding ‘peace’ talks with murderers is just beyond me. The simple fact of the matter is that they are using religion to get away with it whereas the religion under which they claim to be doing all that they are doing will hold them more than accountable for a lot of things that they shouldn’t be doing. But they are still getting away with it. Because they have so successfully worked upon the stereotype of the ‘religiously’ correct into our heads that it is unthinkable for anyone to openly and aggressively challenge them on religious grounds. I mean those who do are dealt with and the state does nothing to respond, other than the ‘condemnation’ and other rhetoric.

Khan and his PTI have been pro-Taliban that much was known to me. But I believed that he had it in him to deliver on other fronts – the administrative and infrastructural fronts. That really hasn’t happened. There have been mobile court rooms and little bits here and there. But nothing big, nothing concrete. Nothing in focus. The focus has been the drones, and the peace talks with the taliban. You have been given a chance to change the fortunes of this country starting with KP, and with all due respect you are blowing it. Well not for yourself perhaps because you are still playing the popular politics that got you KP in the first place.

Mian sb and company I would have given a 20% benefit of doubt. Third time prime minister. Changed heart and all that. Leave a legacy of having done something for the fortune of Pakistan. But nada. Disappointment there as well. Absent leadership, a nod here and there. A speech now and then comprising mostly of previous government, we will do ‘insert vague statement’ and promise nothing concrete.

And the next generation – well they are just focusing on their marketing image for now. Saeein rocking his Sindh Festival ads and speeches and looks and viral videos and what not. It’s an overhaul of the PPP image for the next elections come 2018 or maybe even before if this government doesn’t complete its term. Because the need of the hour is concerts and tournaments. That’s what sindh needs. That’s what Pakistan needs. Hey here’s a neat idea – how about not wasting money on all of that and instead putting it into the system – making a real change which is sustainable. Just a thought. Tell you what – you can still make an ad and wear that ridiculous ‘saayeein’ moonch to do the image overhaul that you so desperately want.

And finally the military. Well I cant say much on that front. Kiyani was all about keeping the boys out of politics. Keeping the boys a little restrained and compliant to the democratic cause. Raheel Sharif seemed at first to be going all guns about business and bringing the boys into action. But well there seems to be a stalemate there.

As Cyrial Almeida puts (once again might I say brilliantly) in his column today TTP V 2.0 is really the winner here – they are evolving in their thought and ability to tackle and manipulate Pakistan.

The real losers are the people, ignorant and aware alike.

So hence – I feel getting more disconnected with the current affairs because it is the same rhetoric cycle over and over again and no one is seemingly interested in changing it.

Kudos.

P.S.

Cyril Almeida’s column can be read on the following link as it has been published by Dawn:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1087283/taliban-20

Good Bye 2013, Hello 2014

First of all a Happy New Year to all those reading this blog. May 2014 bring wonderful eventualities to all your lives and to those of your loved ones. Right now that the pleasantries are done with – on with the blog.

2013 has certainly been an eventful year – personally and non-personally both. In the good sense and in the bad both. The only common factor throughout was change. There was change on the personal front, change on the professional front, change in Pakistan, change in the Global scheme of things. There was change everywhere. It almost seemed as if 2013 was singing belatedly to the tune of Obama’s first presidential election campaign back in 2008.

On the personal fronts there were downs, and then there were extreme downs. But then there were some ups and thankfully the ups have succeeded in mostly negating the earlier downs if not entirely. Obviously those close to me know that this was perhaps one of the most difficult years for me personally and emotionally. But at the same time a good turning point professionally and for that I am happy. The personal pain and emotional stuff has mostly passed and I am fairly certain I am ok. My grandmother (amani) passed away as well this year. She was my last grandparent and the one I have spent the most time with. She was truly one of the most awesome people I have ever known. But she was in pain and her suffering has ended. Time heals as they say. To add to the painful bits a fun fact in all of this has been that I have travelled more in 2013 and 2012 combined (2 international trips and 2 domestic in 2013 and 4 domestic in 2012) then I had travelled in the 12 years preceding. I saw the beautiful, peaceful and entertaining city (albeit expensive – thank goodness for elder siblings Open-mouthed smile) of Singapore. Wonderful place really. Good family vacation. Universal Studio and Sentosa Island on the whole is fantastic and plenty to do in the city otherwise as well. So as you can guess the word change certainly did carry a lot of meaning in my individual life in 2013. Changed jobs , changed circumstances, changed holiday routines, changed spending habits – oh yes. Really did changed spending habits a lot. Along with the ups and downs in 2013 my wallet certainly fell a whole lot lighter. Certainly was a demanding year in terms of budget exhaustion. Took a step towards pursuing one ‘shauq’. Photography. And so far I am really glad I did. Canon is fantastic.

Moving away from the personal front – from a more non individualistic vantage point – there was change at home in Pakistan and change on the global scope as well.

Let’s start from Pakistan. This time last year i.e. December – January, one Tahir ul Qadri seemed all set to ride the success of the then wavering Tsunami of the PTI.  He was blowing and thundering and getting long marches and sit in protests done in the biting cold of Islamabad. He seemed to be the walk part of PTI’s talk. He ruffled enough feathers in the power brokers dens that a negotiation party was sent to him to make peace. And then after that it seemed as if TuQ was forgotten. Nobody cared anymore. Election time was at hand. History was to be made. Pakistan was to achieve its first successful democratic transition of power from one government to the next. Despite all the odds Zardari and PPP had managed that. All ho to the change. Democratic process achieved. Change! And of course as a result PPP was wiped off the map except for in Sindh and a new player, after almost 2-3 decades of the same musical chair playing participants – a new face and player had risen. PTI’s had arrived. And they had arrived to stay. For good or for bad was still to be seen but the fact is that on number of votes they were the second most popular party. They may not be the leaders of the opposition in the National Assembly but they are certainly the noisy neighbors that Mian Sb would probably have liked to do without. But that wasn’t happening. Imran Khan and PTI were/are here to stay. They got KP. They got the popular votes. The got the noise of the youth behind them. Change! The elections had the most voter turnout in the history of the country. Change! The president completed his term and a new president was elected. Change! General Kiyani completed his term as Chief and despite the rumors and all there was no controversy or extension. He left. Plain and simple. Yes the appointment of the next chief was rather delayed but has now been done with. Similarly was the case with Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. The court of Chaudry has come to a close after 6 years of “glorious” judicial activism. The appointment of the next chief has been done again without any controversy or extensions despite the rumor mills. Change!

See so much change has taken place in Pakistan in 2013! Makes one all excited and hopeful about the future doesn’t it? Well the future will just have to wait and take a back seat. Again. For the time being. The thing is that while there has been all this wonderful change the results haven’t really come in. Regardless of the time span. Mian sb has been a largely MIA prime minister. He has hardly said anything since getting into office. Imran Khan continues to create noise over things which should not be getting precedence over delivering on the tsunami of PTI’s change that got them in provincial power in KPK. Instead he has just intensified his “Taliban-Khan” colors. There has been no real win post elections for the process or for the common man who voted for Pakistan. There has been no win for the youth and first time voters who were mobilized for the elections. There has been no real win for those who hoped for change, real change. For me the only thing to be clinging on to is that the system is being allowed to take its own course. There is no interference for now. Yes the system will disappoint for now and for some time to come but will eventually start correcting itself. This government must also complete its term without being overthrown. Eventually the right leaders will start coming out. But for that to happen first we will also need to start changing. When we change ourselves then real change should automatically follow. We need to change our mindsets, our actions, our approach towards even the littlest of things. Take for example Malala Yousufzai. The fact is that the she is a teenage girl who was attacked. Commend her for her bravery. Don’t attack her for a game that is being played on the geo political level. That she is being used as a pawn is not her fault. Perhaps not. But at least let’s just appreciate the fact that a girl from Pakistan has been able to address the UN, has made some of the right headlines. That she has largely been used as a tool is not her fault and maybe the ones using her should be attacked instead of her.

In less intense subjects, the cricket team has seen a pretty dismal year overall. However there have been two standouts – Misbah has been the highest run scorer for 2013 in the ODI format. He has beat the likes of Kohli, AB De Villiers, Dhawan etc and that too without having scored a century. Also he led Pakistan to their first ever series win in South Africa. Also Saeed Ajmal was the highest wicket taker in the ODI format. Also Waqar Younis has been inducted into the ICC hall of fame Some positives.

Theatre has certainly gained momentum and that much can be made out from some of my previous posts. The partnership of Anwar Maqsood and Dawar Mehmood’s KopyKat Productions has delivered 3 outstanding plays for the year. Islamabad finally has a mall!

On the global scope – the first thing that comes to mind is the number of disasters (natural and otherwise) have increased this year. Earthquakes, airline crashes, train wrecks, hurricanes etc have take a number of lives and prayers must go out to those who lost their loved ones. There was also a meteor that exploded over a Russian city early in the year which claimed the lives of over a 1,000 people. The most recent one was the hurricane in Philippines which claimed the lives of over 10,000 people and left all in ruin. Floods in India had also claimed over 5,000 lives. Signs of the world changing or warnings from the Almighty?

The world has a new Pope. The US and Iran seem to have adopted a difference approach towards their relationship which in turn has irked some Saudis and perhaps some Jews. How that will turn out in the long run is yet to be seen especially given the US will be pulling out of Afghanistan (as per their plan) in 2014.

The Syrian conflict has continued raging on and has continued taking more and more lives. The UN being more persistent and vocal when chemical weapons were being used. The fact that conventional weapons are also taking lives was perhaps not a touching point for them. As it has not been in many places of conflict before. Egypt saw disturbances again this year as Morsi’s government was overthrown. Protests and clashes followed claiming hundreds of lives.

Jullian Assuange was old news – this year was all Snowden. The United States certainly seems to have a lot of people pissed off out there because there seems to be no dearth of them trying to blow the whistle on some of their covert operations, exercises and all the intelligence activity on the public and common man.

In the end a tribute to some notable figures who have departed in 2013 – Nelson Mandela being the most influential and inspiring person to leave. Paul Walker (fast and furious fame) died in a car accident. James Gandolfini (The Sopranos fame) died sometime in May, June. British correspondent David Frost who achieved fame for his Nixon interview died in August.

For a complete list of global events and notable people who have died this year you can always visit Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013

2013 has been up and down. It has been the best of years and also the worst of them. In the end one must not forget that we are being governed by laws and forces that are beyond our control and complete understanding. For this one must always pray to Almighty Allah to always do what is better for us and we must always strive to be better ourselves.

The world is changing at a dramatic pace. The way things are dealt with is changing. The geo-political scope is changing. The world is changing and 2013 was proof of it. We must hope for the change to be positive and pray.

Good bye 2013, hello 2014. 

Banned

Sure… let’s ban Whatsapp / VIBER / Skype and all other modes of Data Communication so that our security gets jacked up by X%. I mean like half the plans are made on these forums to begin with. And of course now that our government agencies are saying that these terrorist cells have moved from GSM networks to Data Networks it makes the plan all the more credible. Of course they won’t ever think to send an SMS because if they do then memories of RehBAN Malik shall be revived. Long live democracy and the liberal PPP and all these wonderfully well made policies that shall ensure our security and life and what not. Since we are at it .. might as well go all the way. Let’s ban all forms of communication! Ban SMS, Ban PTCL, Ban Speaking (because terrorists use their voices to make plans also and that hinders the security for the valued citizens of the province), ban sign language (as a future measure) and also please ban ‘Eye 2 Eye’ correspondence and contact.

In return – as someone I know put it – please guarantee us a fool proof security period without any lapses. Guarantee results in terms of terrorists captured and brought to justice. Guarantee that there will be no bloodshed, no loss of innocent life. IF – and that’s a big if – this all is guaranteed then sure ban these things for a quarter , half a year or even a year. But see that’s just the thing; that IF is never really getting materialized. They know it, we know it and even the terrorists know it.

What is the point of hampering communication channels which are used by common citizens? More and more by the very common man especially in this day and age an increasing need to be tech savvy. In an age when one should remain connected.

And let’s face it – no one likes the fact that this ban is quite close to the auction of the 3G, 4G and other telecomm licenses. I mean everyone can do 2+2 and especially given the track record of our esteemed leaders and politicians the most obscure of calculations can be conceived. Even the fact that Chaudry Nisar stated that the suggestion is under review and that the ban will not be placed until the review is done and the center is convinced of it’s fruitfulness seems more like a review of the benefit of such a ban to the pockets of the Federal Government. Any expectation that they might actually be doing anything for this country seems delusional and impossible now.

Honestly with such brilliant leadership; absolute lack of focus on the problems at hand and more focus on thrusting onto to the seat of power and lining of pockets; increasing security and well being concerns it gets hard for even the most ardent patriot to defend any hope for the future of this country.

The ‘Tali-Bang’

So let’s see if we can get this straight – ‘Taali do haathon say bajti hay’ hence you need two parties to be mutually working towards the goal of a ‘peaceful’ dialogue process. But what is happening here is that the government is doing the taali for that process and the militants are bringing a Bang instead. And hence we establish how to do the ‘Tali-Bang’. That was just a lame way of saying that the Taliban is not an entity that you go and have a dialogue with. There is no basis for the government or the armed forces to be holding a dialogue with the Taliban.

For 12 years we have been entrenched in a war / conflict that has been inherited as a collaborated result of the American operations in Afghanistan and the prequel creation of the Taliban back in the Soviet Conflict. For 12 years we have faced drone attacks, terrorist attacks, suicide bombings, civilian casualties, armed forces casualties and countless other acts which will on any soil qualify as an act against the writ of the State and government of the country, against the Sovereignty of the country. Yet some of the more ‘sharp’ minded individuals in our leadership apparatus are convinced that the solution is a dialogue, a dialogue with an entity which continues to target innocents and armed forces personal. And it doesn’t end with the TTP. There is your LeJ, LeT etc etc. All carrying out different aspects of the same mindless killing plan. The TTP wages its war against the security forces and cries Jihad against the infidel American forces and the infidel American supporter. The LeJ cries infidel on all minorities and burns, kills, bombs their houses. Just yesterday we bore witness to a scathing attack on a church in Peshawer killing around 80 people (women and children included) and injuring countless more.

Earlier this year the LeJ carried out a series of attacks on the Hazara community in Quetta. Attacks were carried out on the Abbasi town Shia Community in Karachi. Homes of a Christian community were burned down in Lahore. All mentioned events are from this year alone which have resulted in the loss of almost a thousand lives.

The TTP’s most recent attack on the armed forces came last week in which a General was also killed. This was a day after some modalities of the ‘Peaceful’ dialogue process were shared.

The countless incidents of the TTP, LeJ and the likes’ various attacks on the armed forces, civilian populations and minorities can be listed. The where and the how many is not meant to be the discussion point. The point is there needs to be action taken against these groups. The point is no way that these groups should be sat down with for a dialogue. Why? It doesn’t make sense to hold a ‘dialogue’ with cold blooded murders slurring the name of our religion and constantly challenging the writ of the state and its security apparatus not to mention targeting innocent lives.

This is something that I was and still am against in Imran Khan and PTI’s mandate. I don’t agree with their approach. And please let’s come out of any corners and admit and condemn what is wrong.

So what is the approach then? What is the solution? The only thing that comes to my mind is that an extensive operation has to be carried out by the armed forces – either head on or covert. But that’s the only way. Admit that there will be casualties. There will be collateral damage. But it is necessary. It has to be done. Will it work? I don’t know because honestly that’s where the will of the army comes in. They need to be heavily inclined to carry this out. But the more one thinks about it, the armed forces will probably not be inclined towards an all out operation. It will contribute towards a the Taliban’s methodology of recruitment using the whole ‘your own country is attacking you’ to lure more and more recruits. Secondly the Army for all its credibility and what not, does seem to give that sense of still having some deeply entrenched need not to severe ties completely with their previous employees. I mean after all they were used by us for the Soviet Conflict jointly with the US and then later on Kashmir. Let’s not make two ways about it. The mercenaries have been utilized by our armed forces for their gain where they saw fit. And one gets the feeling that they haven’t outlived their use in the minds of the security think tank. Especially when you take into consideration the fact that the army has and always will remain quite India Centric on one end and a little bit of America centric on the other. I am sure otherwise that as was done in Swat a similar operation is quite possible by our military. And covert hits are also possible through our intelligence. It is not beyond our capability.

As a colleague of mine pointed out that once the army option is exhausted above in terms of the do’s and don’ts and the want to do’s – there comes the civilian government and leadership. They will not make the call. They cannot make the call because they have ties and some coalitions with the clergy. With clergy driven parties. So no – they won’t. Imran Khan has never given the indication of wanting to take action against them and has rather stuck to the ‘Dialogue’ process so he gets ruled out. PML-N needs the clergy driven and religious driven parties to work with. They are not ordering the hit.

The clergy simply cannot back an operation which will engage people who are supposedly doing what they are doing in the name of Islam and Allah. That puts them in the most awkward of positions.

No matter how much one can wrack their brains there is no solution in the head which comes which makes any sense. A solution which has a murderer coming over for dinner is not any sense for me. These people have destroyed the social fabric of this country. They have pushed us more towards two different extremes rather than a moderation, a balance. But for the life of us there just doesn’t seem to be any way that can be fathomed which will give us a solution. Not any time soon and not from anyone but the armed forces who need in their heads the various entities and mercenaries for their ‘immortal’ enemies. For what is their use if there are no enemies and no borders to defend? Right?

So what do we do? What is the solution? What is the way forward? What is going to happen?

No one knows. So we continue with the Tali and they continue with the Bang.