Whatever provocation, the brutal butchering of 52 protesting Egyptians reminds me of Jalianwala Bagh massacre. The only difference is that at Amritsar in 1919, it was Indian soldiers, belonging to British Indian Army, under the command of a Brig Gen Dyer, and in Cairo this monstrosity was perpetrated by none other than Egyptian troops and police, claiming that all this was done to protect national security.

One wonders what the meaning of national security here is because universally, national security is defined as security of citizens, and their basic fundamental rights. Is this why an army is raised on taxpayer’s money? What a tragedy that Egyptian Army has killed more citizens of Egypt than it has killed foreign troops, in declared combat with enemy forces. It is unfortunate that in most of Islamic countries, the armies are engaged in institutionalised exploitation through use of brute force to engage in profiteering business ventures, which has compromised their professional capabilities and jeopardised the very purpose for which regular armies are raised.

It seems that Egyptian troops and police were protecting Republican Guards from protesting citizens of that country and could no longer endure being denied entry to Republican Guards Officers Club, because of a sit-in by the demonstrators, where citizens were protesting against the illegitimate ouster of a legitimately elected government in free and fair polls. What else constitutes a ‘Banana Republic’ or a ‘Failed State?’ Is this the fate of majority of Islamic countries ruled by despots, monarchs and tin-pot dictators, serving the interests of their foreign masters, instead of unfortunate people of their nation?

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, July 9.