Niall Ferguson said: “From the very earliest days of recorded history, war has been the motor of financial change. ‘War is the father of all things,’ as Herodotus said, and among those things during Peloponnesian War was an increase in Athenian expenditures, and consequently, a need for higher taxes and other sources of revenue. It was war which, with a powerful symbolism, caused the golden statue of Athena to be melted down and coined.”

Similarly, the pioneer of Stratfor, George Friedman, maintained: “There are certainly political aims behind every act of terror.” However, this approach may not be as simple as it sounds.

The decade-long war on terror has melted our already fragile economy. We are, indeed, helpless due to the ongoing acts of terror. It is unfortunate that the only thing we have done up till now is engage in futile all parties conferences (APCs).

After 9/11, it seems, our vulnerable realties have been exposed; how high we talked and how low we performed. The only industry in Pakistan is the industry of terrorism that is flourishing, making ground zero to every tower of hope.

The war on terror was followed by suicide bombings, heavy taxes, reduced foreign investments and zero respect for law and order, ultimately breaking the society’s social fabric with great speed. However, we cannot deny some marvellous moves by Pakistani armed forces. The daring operations conducted by the military in Swat Valley and Fata are the cases in point. Yet, the fear of losing ground is greater than the hope of success.

Indeed, there is no policy, no strategy and no maturity; we are busy in a wild goose chase, while telling “cock and bull” stories to each other. The question is: why don’t we try to find the actual root cause of the problems prevailing in the country?

Needless to say, social justice with rational and realist attitude is the main ingredient to the solution of our problems; but it is absent from our strategy/policymaking. At the moment, our country is a prisoner of the ruthless designs of the great game - though the front actors are the terrorists, hidden are complex manifestations of the great game. The question, thus, remains: Who would be defeated when nuclear Pakistan will be on the road to economic prosperity?

So, it is time to revisit the past to get some practical, viable and dynamic lessons. Before the western flank of the Roman Empire fell to the ground, it was facing almost the same atmosphere in which we are placed by the circumstances today: rationality was fading; social injustice was the order of the day, without any resistance within the four walls of the empire; the elites were busy in putting every incentive in their plates, leaving all miseries to the share of the masses and democratic institutions had totally become voices of their masters. The strong were the law and the weak were the prey. Thus, the Roman Empire fell like a wall of sand.

More so, the history of the British Empire’s fall is well known. After World War I, the angry Irish became insurgents. Although their resistance became thin after four years of fighting, yet its reaction was so severe that it made Britain too weak to control its colonies. Resultantly, after World War II, Britain stood victorious, but the “ever sunshine empire” was the loser.

These examples are enough to lead us to the fact that army operations despite being successful alone cannot mend the social fabrics of a society - negotiations too are important. So, for Pakistan, time has come to shun the bags of personal incentives of our elected representatives and the security establishment and join hands to create a peaceful society and state.

    The writer is a freelance columnist.