The crisis of state

Naseeb Ullah Shakhail 

Courtesy to “The Frontier Post”

Pakistani state and society is faced with unprecedented challenges and problems that have exacerbated the confusion the people of the country are in. To add to the agony of the common man the issues like independence of Judiciary, NRO, 17th amendment and the mutual mudslinging and point scoring among the politicians often raise its head and put some of the grave issues that the country is faced with to the back burners. If we are to single out the most crucial challenge the country today is faced with, it off course is above all the issue of terrorism. Terrorism as a phenomenon and a threat to the lives and liberties of the people appeared with much intensity in the wake of 9/11. The departing Taliban and al-Qaeda members from Afghanistan allegedly took refuge in Tribal parts of Pakistan and are now reacting by attacking all public and private properties and citizens all around the Pakistan-Afghan border. Pakistani media, both print and electronic, at times seems to betraying its time-honoured responsibility of objectively imparting information to its audiences. It is rather responsible for blurring the whole picture about terrorism by involving in sensationalism. Conspiracy theories of involvement of a third party in fueling violence are recklessly floated often without any veracity or evidence. The political parties and leadership have so far done nothing to provide a common cause for tackling the issue of terrorism. They are much concerned with aggrandizing their own power base by repeatedly attacking the political opponents. The mutual competition of outbeating the political opponent has resulted in strengthening the terrorists who are skillfully using the whole scene to forward their own agenda. The rightist parties like Religious right and PML-N have uttered not a single sentence to criticise the al-Qaeda or Taliban per se. The latter seems much concerned with the 17th amendment and removal of bar over more than two times premiership. Even when it seeks the trial of Prevaiz Musharraf it seems more for personal grudge than any service to democracy. The spate of violence on the other hand is coming heavy on our, economy, political stability and state integrity. On the other hand the world community is unanimous in its condemnation of terrorism. Professor Igor Primoratz of the University of Melbourn defines terrorism as “the deliberate use of violence, or threat of its use, against innocent people...”, and this is exactly what our state and society is confronted with today. In our state terrorism is caused by al-Qaeda and Taliban with volunteers from nearby Islamic countries such as Uzbeks, Tajiks, Chechens, Arabs, and others. Taliban the ex- Mujahedeen received training, supplies of arms from different countries of the Western bloc under US leadership during Afghan war to confront the communist USSR there. After the disintegration of USSR the Taliban took control of much of the Afghanistan in early parts of 1990’s. In December 1998, Ahmed Rasheed an authority over the region wrote that, “the Tehrik-i-Tulba or Movement of Taliban in the Orakzai Agency publicly executed a murderer in front of 2,000 spectators re-inforcing their resolve to impose Talibanisation in Pakistan also. The Taliban burnt cinemas, videos shops, schools, barber shops and banned playing of music. They also destroyed some of the riches archaeological sites in both Afghanistan and Swat (Pakistan). According to journalist Ahmed Rashid “at least in the first years of their rule in Afghanistan, they followed Deobandi and Islamist anti-nationalist belief and opposed tribal and feudal structures,” eliminating traditional tribal or feudal leaders from leadership roles. According to Ali A. Jalali and Lester Grau, the Taliban “received extensive support from Pakhtuns across the country who thought that the movement might restore their national dominance. Even the Pashtun intellectuals in the West, who seriously differed with the Taliban on many issues, expressed their support to the movement on purely ethnic grounds. When TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan) shifted to different areas like Waziristan and Swat they slaughtered and killed many innocent people. Swat, the Switzerland of Asia, was reduced to rubbles with millions of people forced to migrate from their homes. TTP also carried out a number of attacks against Military convoys, civilians and political and military officers beside targeting headquarter of secret agencies, Govt institutions, Taliban declared that, Pakistani forces are a “near enemy” while NATO forces at Afghanistan are “far enemy”, clearly showing their anti-Pakistan intent. In a nutshell the post-cold war Taliban are proving themselves as Franken’s monster in a changed global socio-political context. Post 9/11 world is not ready to tolerate the al-Qaeda and Taliban in any shape what so ever. Pakistan is faced with no choice but to disentangle itself from al-Qaeda and Taliban. Mr. Sadiq in his article published in Frontier Post writes that, “The post-9/11 reality is that the world is no more ready to tolerate al-Qaeda or Taliban in any form whatsoever and to give a way to peaceful coexistence and mutual cooperation with neighbouring countries. Continuing support to these extremists will only further isolate Pakistan in the world besides presenting a great threat to the integrity of the state itself. It also serves the interest of our enemies as our nexus with the extremists hidden or apparent will only help isolate the country in the world community. In light of the above discussion it is clearly evident that the national interest demands that political parties, armed forces media and even the judiciary should come up with a consensus over the phenomenon of terrorism. The freedom of media and judicial activism can be of help to the nation only if it could spearhead the nation out of the crisis of terrorism rather than focusing over price control or NRO. It will also be wise for both government and opposition to unite because we are in any emergency situation and it needs actions on war footings. We may, in normal circumstances talk of checking the government through opposition, media or even judiciary, but in extraordinary circumstances like ours we must first face the deluge than think of the afterwards.