“My prayer to God is a very short one ‘Oh Lord, make my enemies

ridiculous!’ God has granted it.”

–Voltaire

They have no rules, they do not believe in the constitution of the country and every faction of the Taliban has its own interpretation of the Holy Quran. In these circumstances when the present government announced their policy decision telling the entire nation that peace negotiations with the militants would be their priority number one and that no other options will be put on the table till the time all options and avenues were exhausted by this government.

When Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a drone attack, Pakistan’s interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan came out and blamed the American government for what he called subverting the peace process that he claimed was to begin the very next day when Mehsud was killed. Since then the government has been insisting that they were in contact with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and it would not take very long for them to reach an understanding that will bring back peace and harmony in the country; a proposition that everyone yearns for. While some political parties agree with the government, there were some who remain skeptical about the claims of the interior minister but preferred to sit on the side lines and observe the developing situation.

On the other extreme were some religious parties who not only supported a peaceful settlement with the Taliban but also justified some of their brutal actions which has virtually made this country captive to terrorism. Another political party, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf led by cricketer turned politician Imran Khan who has no experience or acumen in statesmanship made confusing noises by claiming that he was the only qualified person who could bring peace in the country.

Unfortunately the performance of PTI in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa since the day it was voted to power has at best remained below par the Taliban on the other hand have continued with their violent spree of suicide bombings and other activities of sabotage that has resulted in the loss of innocent lives of citizens of this country. The most recent activity of TTP was the attack on a convoy in Bannu where 22 soldiers were killed and more than 33 people were seriously injured. A bomb went off in one of the vehicles hired by the military authorities to carry soldiers to North Waziristan and was to be a part of the convoy and that was transporting troops on a routine stint in that area. One of the vehicles exploded which resulted in this tragedy.

Here it would be quite justified to ask as to who was responsible for this casual attitude and that why the vehicles that were hired were not swept clean being the standard process of security in all parts of the world. While an inquiry is being conducted into this issue several serious questions are being asked about the attitude of the government and its commitment to tackle the menace of terrorism in this country. Even the security agencies need to answer as to why such an incident could happen specifically keeping in view the general security situation in Pakistan. As if this was enough, a suicide attack near the gate of general headquarter also resulted in casualties that included civilians as well. For both these barbaric incidences the TTP claimed responsibility and in fact one of their spokesman also gloated over the murder of Chaudhry Aslam, SP CID Karachi, who had given hell to the militants in Karachi. The Taliban also claimed that the attack on the convoy in Bannu was in fact a revenge for the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud and Walliur Rehman and that they were proud of these attacks.

One is therefore amazed that how can the government of the day still insist that negotiations with the Taliban remained their priority number one and should now answer as to what would be their reaction in case the army or the comrades of the slain soldiers also carried out revenge killings of the Taliban. Recently some officers of the armed forces had complained that the militants have been using the loopholes that exist in our laws and when they capture militants with great difficulty, the courts release them back in the street due to these defective laws.

Here one may like to ask the honourable members of the judiciary as why can’t they lay down new rules of the game and set a precedent that will help Pakistan’s security apparatus to effectively tackle the growing menace of terrorism in this country. One hopes that the government will stand on its feet, seek consensus of political parties and then proceed in a manner that will not only teach the Taliban a lesson but would also send a loud and clear message to the international community that Pakistan is quite capable and committed to wipe out militancy maybe it was on sectarian lines or ethnic lines or were mercenaries fighting on an agenda of the enemies of Pakistan.

The present situation of dithering is not serving any purpose at all except encouraging the Taliban to become more brazen leaving the people confused and despondent in the process. Pakistan requires a swift end to this menace, otherwise the economy that is already tottering may collapse damaging the very integrity and solidarity of Pakistan.

The writer has been associated with various newspapers as editor and columnist.

Email:zarnatta@hotmail.com