Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Miserable Response by Pakistan to Quetta Attacks

Quetta Attack could not warrant trends on social media.

The Police Training School in Quetta was attacked late on Monday when three gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed into the building and indiscriminately killed those young guys. Yes they were young guys, nothing more and nothing less. A lot have been written and discussed that how did it happen? Who was responsible? If this is ever going to end? If yes, how long before all this ends? But I would like to divert your attention to something else, and that is our national hypocrisy.

We, as a nation, have a habit of posting statuses about grievances, revenge, and how sad we feel about. I have seen Paris filters and statuses about Orlando shootings and condemnations. I am all in for them, but why we did not do that for victims of Quetta attack. Have we got too desensitized for that? Do we take their lives as less sacred ones? Are do we have more important issues to discuss? Let us dissect that...

Quetta Terror Attack
Ambulance rushing injured to the hospital. (Dawn News)

Chairman PTI Imran Khan:

I find it important to disclose here that I voted for PTI and plan to do so in next election too. But I was really disappointed with the way Imran Khan handled the situation and tried to relate it to a conspiracy to impair Islamabad Shutdown. No, it wass not a conspiracy and this is not an issue to mislead the nation from what is the cause and who is responsible i.e. violent and extremist elements. Let us stick together on that because that is how we may be able to defeat it.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif:

Dear Mr. Defence Minister, lives have been lost and you opt to score politically on that. If it was a mature democracy, you and your fellow legislators would have been held responsible for inactions. I thought that the best response to terrorism will be that we come out of it more united and more pragmatic. I am sorry to say that we have learned nothing from the turmoil we are fighting for last 15 years or so. 

Religious Clergy:

The religious clergy in Pakistan has failed us on a number of occasions and I find their actions equivalent to condoning voilence and terrorism. I would love to see the mainstream scholars condemning terrorism and making sure their followers do not lose the path. The veiled and ambiguous condemnation just confuse people even more. It is your responsibility to say out loud and clear where do you stand.

Social Media Activists:

"Chai Wala" (I have nothing against him) proved more important to Pakistan than those 60 people who lost their lives along with their wailing orphans, widows, mothers and others who loved them. I don't have any stats to prove that but I believe that our response was much muffled and lacking intensity than the way we reacted to Chai Wala and other recent social media celebs. Then there are other pages and accounts who are so consumed with comedy that they don't even bother.

I find it excruciatingly painful that we have become such a desensitized nation. To all PTI and PMLn social media activists, I will request them not to follow the party line on such incidents and convey to your parties that we will not be part of political scoring on such issues. Neither Imran Khan nor Nawaz Sharif is a security threat, they are just terrible at doing their jobs. We, as a nation, have to demand a more pragmatic and potent approach to this issue from the people in power corridors.

Let us take a moment to pray for the departed souls and grieved families. Aameen.

#QuettaAttack #PoliceTrainingSchool

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Remembering Benazir Bhutto

Let us remember Benazir Bhutto on her birthday. 

daughter of the east
Benazir Bhutto
The political vision, charisma, and role of Benazir Bhutto is an undisputed truth. One can agree or disagree with the political philosophy of Benazir Bhutto but no one can disagree with dent left in Pakistan politics is difficult to fill. The bullet that riddled through her neck took the life of the hope of many who adored her and followed her. Anyone can justifiably say that she had an imprint of his father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, which got stronger and stronger with time.

A daughter of a political leader, with education from Harvard and Oxford, blasted on Pakistani political arena after the death of her father. After years of intermittent house arrests and prison terms, she started her real political career when her family was allowed to travel to the United Kingdom for medical purposes. Benazir Bhutto started his political activities by raising questions about the misdoings of Zia Regime. She opted to boycott the non-party based election and called them against the constitution and she successfully managed to keep the masses from participating in the elections despite the governmental efforts.

The death of Zia-ul-Haq in a plane crash in 1988 opened the door of an election in Pakistan. The Pakistan People's Party, the party established by Benazir's father, managed to secure the most number of seats in the elections and hence Benazir was elected as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Benazir failed to impress and execute her political promises as she had rough relations with then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan. She managed to introduce some reforms but overall she met huge resistance in abolishing the policies of Zia Regime. Tension built between Benazir and Ghulam Ishaq over the executive authority which led to the eventual dismissal of Benazir Bhutto from the Office due to the charges of corruption and nepotism.
benazir bhutto taking oath
Benazir taking the oath.

In 1993, the party of Benazir Bhutto, The Pakistan People's Party, managed to win the most number of seats again but yet short of a majority to form a government. In her second term, Benazir was more informed politically and she tried to pursue her political ideology with more vigor and conviction. Bhutto managed to diversify on foreign policy front with developing relations with communist states. The death of her brother played a role in her dismissal this time along with heightened corruption.

What I believe is that Benazir of 2007 was a much mature and politically astute than Benazir of the 90s. But unfortunately the circumstances did not let us evaluate that and she was consumed by the threat she vowed to fight. All we can right now is that may Allah bless her soul. Ameen.