The Peshawar massacre
It is tragic that the wave of extremism has now started engulfing the innocent lives of children. What did they do to become victims of extremism wholesale? However, these assaults cannot discourage children from getting an education. The world’s youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, is a classic example of defying the odds in this regard. She courageously and bravely stood up against the Taliban for her right to education and thwarted their attempts.
Unfortunately, Peshawar has repeatedly been made to bleed. The people of Peshawar cannot indulge in a sigh of relief at the hands of these warmongering monsters. Their sufferings, day by day, have been compounded. As far as the recent massacre is concerned, the people of Peshawar have buried their future with their own hands. They are living under siege. As usual, we see ‘foreign hands’ being involved in the Peshawar massacre. Instead of dealing with miscreants with an iron fist, we have given them a free hand. That is why they (the perpetrators) have been committing crimes with absolute impunity. Also, this time, like in the past, right-wing leaders have accused the US, Israel and India as being behind the assault, forgetting the fact that we ourselves have become the US, Israel and India we are so suspicious of.
Still, we differentiate between ‘good’ Taliban and ‘bad’ Taliban. A case in point is the interview of Mr Sataj Aziz conducted by BBC Urdu on November 16, 2014. He confessed to this policy of good and bad Taliban, saying in his interview, “Why should the US’s enemies unnecessarily become our enemies? When the US attacked Afghanistan, all who were trained and armed by us were pushed towards Pakistan. Some of them were dangerous for us and some were not. Why make enemies out of them all?” Unfortunately, like in the past, leaders have been found cashing in on their image after the tragic incident in Peshawar, playing politics over the innocent victims. For example, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan were seen laughing with each other over badly timed jokes as if the incident had not occurred. Both leaders, instead of using that press briefing to do nothing but condemn the Taliban over the gut-wrenching incident, seemed happy just to meet with one another.
As far as Nawaz Sharif is concerned, he has failed to address the people’s sufferings from the very beginning of his tenure. Extremism, during his tenure, has gone from bad to worse. Saudi funded seminaries are doubly increasing in the country and this government has failed to act against them. Moreover, the hydra-headed monster of sectarianism is based in Punjab; in support for Mr Sharif, the members of banned sectarian organisations take out rallies in Punjab. In this way how can he curb extremism?
Sadly, despite the massacre in Peshawar, Imran Khan has not changed his pro-Taliban stance. Though he condemned the incident, he did not name the Taliban as being involved in the gruesome act nor did he condemn them. He was opposed to Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan and, from the beginning, has had a soft corner for the Taliban. Besides the above-mentioned incident, he also did not condemn the Taliban when they attacked the All Saints Church of Peshawar wherein 81 Christian worshippers were killed.
On March 27, 2014, a national English daily quoted Mr Khan as saying: “The Taliban did not want to enforce sharia in the country at gunpoint but wanted to liberate it from the US war.” When peace dialogue between the government and the Taliban was underway, Mr Khan even urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to allow the Taliban to open an office in the country. Moreover, Mr Khan, despite having a provincial government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has failed to impart good governance in the province. As a result, such incidents continue to take place. Had Mr Khan focused and imparted good governance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the massacre of so many schoolchildren could have been thwarted. Instead, he was busy taking out rallies and marching in Punjab and Sindh against the government, bringing much havoc to the country economically.
In these circumstances, it becomes the responsibility of the federal as well as the provincial governments to bring to book and deal with the perpetrators with an iron fist. They should work together to curb extremism right from the grassroots level before everything goes out of control.
(Courtesy to: Daily Times)