Terrorism in Peshawar
Dr A Q Khan
Tuesday, January 06, 2015
The terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16 in which more than 130 young, innocent students were martyred, was cruel and conscienceless.
Many of those who died could have played an important role in the shaping of the destiny of Pakistan. It was a horrendous, barbaric act to which no parallel can be found in recent history. It was all the more painful because we were already remembering the most tragic day of our history – the surrender at Pattan Maidan, Dhaka when our eastern wing became Bangladesh. December 16 is one of the darkest days in our history and this dastardly act has added salt to our wounds.
When Musharraf surrendered the sovereignty of Pakistan to Bush after a single telephone call, he turned our armed forces into mercenaries of the US. Most people disapproved and hated him for throwing our country into an American war. The Americans used their drones with impunity, killing hundreds of our innocent citizens. Once the Taliban had been pushed out of Afghanistan into Pakistan, they turned on us with a vengeance, thanks in part to Musharraf’s course of action against Lal Masjid.
So many horrendous events have taken place that it is difficult to mention, or even remember, them all. The Almighty has ordained in the Holy Quran that the ‘mushriks’, ‘munafiqeen’ and those Muslims who kill other innocent Muslims will go to hell and will live therein forever, and it will be a dreadful penalty. I shudder to think of the punishment that awaits these so-called Muslims, mujahids and momnis who indulge in such heinous crimes against innocent people. Why do our religious scholars, maulvis and muftis not warn them of the horrible consequences of their cruel acts?
When people take certain things for granted and cross a certain limit, there is usually a strong reaction. The action being taken by the armed forces is now totally justified. The terrorists asked for it. The reason behind the despicable acts that have taken place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recently are due to the fact that terrorists are freely operating in Afghanistan as well as absence of security measures in Peshawar due, in part, to Imran Khan’s sit-ins in Islamabad. The CM of KP, together with many other officials, were ‘attending’ to their ‘captain’, while a large number of KP police were also on duty in Islamabad. It is most unfortunate that, in a backward, underdeveloped country like ours, thousand of youngsters were incited to waste hundreds of millions of man hours in such a useless activity. Many young students found a good reason to neglect their studies. It has become a colossal national loss.
The KP government was aware that after the targeting of a church in Peshawar in which more than 200 Christians were killed terrorists could strike again. The killing of innocent school children is an unpardonable crime and the culprits deserve no leniency or mercy. They must be eliminated once and for all. Terrorists have no kindness in their hearts and it looks like they are being trained in the same way as Hassan Bin Sabbah used to intoxicate and train his disciples in a fake paradise. Deaf, dumb and blind are those who fall into such traps.
The sit-ins organised by Dr Qadri and Imran Khan played an indirect role in these tragic events. The concentration of the whole government machinery (administration, police, intelligence agencies, etc), was shifted to Islamabad, leaving an open playground for terrorists. Most Pakistanis were aware that these sit-ins would cause a lot of inconvenience without achieving much. We have meanwhile heard dozens of ultimatums, all of which evaporated into thin air.
The ‘captain’ told us the umpire would raise his index finger last Saturday. We waited in anticipation, nothing came our way. Dr Qadri, Imran Khan and their colleagues should sit down together and evaluate the overall result of this exercise in futility – its pros and cons and the commercial damage done. To me it seems like an exercise done in bad taste. Personally I am in favour of an amendment to the constitution prohibiting such sit-ins and shut-downs in major cities, especially on main roads. Large gatherings should be held in parks and playgrounds only.
The only positive that has come out of this horrendous event is that there is a consensus, on a national level, between politicians and the armed forces, that terrorism must be handled with an iron hand. It is ironic that such a horrendous event was required to achieve this. Why are politicians so selfish and self-centred? The army chief has made in very clear that no more nonsense will be tolerated and that terrorism will be eliminated from the country. Only the army – not the police – can eliminate this menace. Most jawans are patriotic, dedicated and honest. Only a few officers have brought a bad name to this fine institution.
There are many players who have contributed to the malaise of this country. Religious leaders (through sectarianism), political leaders, landlords, industrialists, rulers, generals, intellectuals – all have a share in the creation of such a pitiable condition in the country. They have all made tall claims in one way or another and then let personal interests take priority over national interests.
The late ameer of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, was a dear friend. He was a knowledgeable and well-educated man. We often discussed politics and religion. I often told him that the Jamaat had done great harm, both to the country and to the party, by joining politics. They should have concentrated on national character building to get rid of corruption, adulteration, sectarianism, lying, cheating, dirtiness, etc. Had our people been honest and patriotic, no wrong ruler could have risen to power and our country would have been in a much better condition. Unfortunately, the desire for power and the wish to rule overrules everything else. People think correction starts at the top, but it is much more pragmatic to start changes from the grassroots level.
My humble advice to all Pakistanis – read the Quran carefully and with translation. Note what has been ordained and the punishments foretold for transgressions. The end often comes suddenly from an unknown direction from which there is no hiding. The 2004 tsunami, earthquakes and floods are but a few vivid examples. Live your lives in accordance with what the Quran has ordained and in a manner as if life may end tomorrow.