Wed January 18, 2017
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Opinion by QaisDaudzai

Peshawar carnage: Pakistan’s selective crackdown on militants still an issue

Last week’s terror attack on a military public school in Peshawar showed that how ruthless terrorist become. The attack killed as many as 132 schoolchildren and injured some 240 others. It shocked the entire world. Following this horrendous attack, anger is boiling in Islamabad and Rawalpindi (GHQ). Pakistan’s Prime Minister has given full authority to army leadership to eliminate terrorism and General Raheel Sharif reached to Khyber Agency after GHQ meeting. However, a maulvi in Islamabad, Abdul Aziz, the chief imam of Red Mosque (Lal Masjid), refused to condemn Peshawar terror attack. Jumat-ud-Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed who is believed to be behind Mumbai 2008 attacks is freely roaming in Pakistan’s biggest and industrial city Lahore while Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi—the mastermind of Mumbai attacks has been released on bail soon after the Peshawar carnage. On the other hand, Pakistan lift moratorium on death penalty and many terrorists will be hanged. Earlier Pakistan, under international pressure had banned death penalty, but Peshawar carnage triggered a searing wave of anger. Now there is a matter concern, among particularly liberal forces and Pashutn nationalists that why Pakistan still clings to its old doctrine of “good and bad Taliban”?

Given its support for the insurgent groups, Pakistan’s security establishmentis equally responsible for the killing of these innocent kids. It is Pakistan that created, trained and financed Taliban and is still doing so.

Recently when  Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was on his visit to Pakistan to attract the country’s support in war against terrorism, the chairman  of JUI-F,MaulanaFazlur Rahman, who is also known as godfather of the Taliban,  justified  Taliban’s war in Afghanistan.However, he, in his remarks about Peshawar terror attack, said that by no count it could be called in accordance with the teachings of Islam. However, when it comes to Taliban’s violence they not only distanced themselves from condemnation but lend their support to Taliban. Afghans condemn the killing of innocent children in a school in Peshawar, but at the same time they feel grudge that why others support war and bloodshed on their soil as over 80 people, who had gathered to watch a volleyball tournament in Paktikawere mutilated. Pakistan considers it the act of good Taliban and those who killed the innocent children are the bad ones.

Later, we heard it from the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s security advisor, Sartaj Aziz, saying that America’s enemies (Haqqani Network) was not unnecessarily Pakistan’s enemies. Furthermore Aziz also said, “Pakistan need not carry out any military activities against those militants that don’t pose a threat to us.” To construe his words, it clearly means Pakistan will not target those who are setting in Pakistan and are engineering terror attacks against Afghanistan (Haqqani network and Afghan Taliban).

On the other hand, former Pakistani dictator ruler, ParwaziMusharaf, who while in power was a supporter of Taliban regime in Afghanistan, he didn’t hesitate to blame Kabul and New Delhi for involvement in the attack.

Pakistani media also toe its line with the crooked politicians of the country. On the same day when Peshawar was mourning the loss of flower-like children, people in Kunar were mourning the loss of their near and dear one being killed an anti-Taliban uprising. However, the language Pakistan’s Urdu press and TVs used is highly objectionable. AsOn that very day, ARY, a Pakistani private news channel ran the news that more than hundred school children were martyred in the attack that is something no one can deny. However they used the term of “halak” (an offensive term for killed) for those Afghan who took up arms against militants.An Urdudaily published a news story, with the headline of “hand over the criminals, or we will come to occupy Kabul: Pakistani officials to Kabul. Here the newspaper has played a judge and directly convicted Kabul in Peshawar carnage. The headline not only show that how much ridiculously they stampeded all ethics of journalism, but at the same time it show how much influence Pakistan’s spy service holds on media. All these reports are actually aimed at deceiving ordinary people of Pakistan to tell them that your enemies are not the Taliban, but your neighboring country Afghanistan—a country that’s hardly able to pay salaries to its government officials and security forces, and which itself has been bearing the brunt of terrorism for decades.

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai had already warned Pakistan of the consequences of having good snakes and bad snakes. The ex-president recently in an interview with NDTV said, “You cannot have a good snake and a bad snake. You cannot train snakes they don’t develop affections in any direction. They can come back and bite anyone,even the trainer and also others.” And it is so true;this time Pakistan’s strategic assists turned on them and attacked the future of the country (children).

Pakistani security officials, should put an end to being a demagogue.Soon after Peshawar carnage, Pakistan’s military chief and DG ISI visited Kabul to seek cooperation or just to show their people that they are serious in uprooting militants. But unfortunately there visit was reported in Pakistani media as they sought handover of Mullah Fazlullah—the TTP chief and Kabul shook its head in nodding. The true story is Kabul told Islamaabd that it’s ready on cooperation and seeks joint mechanism. It doesn’t mean Fazllullah is in Kabul like Afghan Taliban leadership that is in Islamabad who usually fly to Qatar for peace talks. However, the two should have instead knocked the door of those insurgents who have sought sanctuaries in their lands, for all knows that Pakistani Taliban have repeatedly reaffirmed their loyalty to the Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar.  They should instead of demanding MaulanaFazlullahfrom Kabul, demand him from Mullah Omar. If Pakistan is sincere, it should dismantleQuettaShura and other terrorist centers operating in their lands and should close the religious seminariesdown that instead of teaching Islamic studies are producing Fazlullah’s likeminded people.

People of Pakistan should tell their government that enough is enough, stop treating militants as strategic assets. They should push Pakistan to destroy the sanctuaries of militants on its soil otherwise insurgents would make it hard for people of the two countries to even breathe.

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