Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fighting 'Taliban' ideology

Apparently this whole Malala thing has created a schism. If you support her, you have to pick between drones or an operation in North Waziristan, if you don't you are being a conspiracy theorist and a Taliban Apologist or better still an ImmyK supporter. Really, it’s quite annoying! It is as if questioning anything with an element of ‘individual’ human tragedy is equivalent to blasphemy among liberals. I have to be very defensive. So here is my defence. Questioning the incident, does not translate to doubting she was shot, but that there is something dodgy in the whole incident.

Let me spell it out. I am skeptical of the interest our army and media are showing in the whole incident. It is becoming obvious that the Pakistan army with the help of the media is interested in launching an offensive in North Waziristan, and that is why a lot of hype is being created. Malala has become just a weapon for twisting the public opinion in favour of a re-run of ‘Operation Rah-e-Nijat’.

Have we forgotten that since 2005, we have not yet recovered from any of the natural or man-made disasters? Pakistan has not completely recovered from the October 8, 2005 Earthquake which left 70000 dead and displaced 2 million people; April 26, 2009 Operation Black Thunderstorm that displaced another 2 million people; July 2010 flood that displaced 3 million people and this does not include the current year. This year alone as per the National Disaster Management Authority [NDMA] heavy monsoon rains beginning late August have triggered flooding in Pakistan, resulting in 430 deaths, affecting nearly 4.8 million people, and damaging or destroying more than 402,000 houses as of September 28.

While these are the major events from the past few years, we have those ongoing events, namely, Shia, Hazara, Ahmedi, Christian Genocide; desecration of churches, temples; karo-kari; vani, sawara; child molestations in madarsas; target killings of Pakhtun, Urdu speaking, none of which are happening in ‘North Waziristan’ alone. Rather these incidents occur all over Pakistan, from Gilgit-Baltistan to Quetta, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi.

And here we are with people who are lobbying for yet another man-made disaster to exacerbate the already dilapidated state of Pakistan. One must not at this stage forget the ‘pro-drone’ lobbyists, with whom I beg to differ too. Drones are not a solution either. For this monster there are no quick solutions, and the sooner we accepted that, the better it would be for us. Because once we have realized there are no quick-fix solutions, we can actually get involved in a long term procedure to sort ourselves out.

The Taliban are not the only bogeymen here. It is the mindset - legacy of Mard-e-Momin Ziaul Haq and our imperialist allies in ‘War on Terror’ - that we have to fight. And mindsets cannot be fought with stealth technology, bombs and imposed conflicts.

PS Oh and just for the record. Malala was shot in Swat, where the Pakistan Army already conducted Operation Black Thunder to get rid of the militants. 

1 comment:

  1. Two wrongs don't make a right (Malala's shooting and continued drone attacks).