Following the tragic massacre of school children in Pakistan on 16.12.2014, the establishment is showing knee jerk reactions. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has labeled the untimely death of students as his personal loss and strongly spoke for withdrawing moratorium on death sentence and pressed for capital punishment of 55 terrorists whose hanging was withheld earlier. Even the Army Chief of Pakistan has urged for summary execution of 3000 terrorists in next 48 hours. Meanwhile two terrorists in death row have been hanged and Pakistani Army has intensified its military action in restive tribal stronghold of TTP. All sane persons would understand the frustration, sadness, anger and reactive state of mind of both civilian and Army chiefs of Pakistan. The country’s soul has been shaken by the brutal attack perpetuated in the name of Jihad by the TTP terrorists on the softest possible target, i.e. school children.
On the day following the massacre, Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind behind 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack, was released from judicial custody of Pakistan for want of proofs. However, under mounting pressure from India and the world at large, Lakhvi was rearrested and put behind the bar again only to be released after a few days. Then again he was arrested. How can Pakistan find proof against Lakhvi when they did not have the knowledge of Osama bin Laden’s stay in a garrison town Pakistan for years? The Lakhvi situation reflects the magnitude of dilemma in Pakistani establishment to deal with terrorists.
Interestingly erstwhile Military Dictator of Pakistan Pervez Muhsarraf and LeT (JuD) Chief Hafiz Saeed have openly accused India (RAW) for orchestrating the Peshawar school massacre though TTP has taken the responsibility of massacre. Musharraf is the ex Military Dictator who has been in news for all bad reasons since a long time. Hafiz Saeed, the fountain head of LeT (JuD) and a well known terrorist leader engaged in Jihad in India have their own agenda. Both thrive on igniting anti-India sentiment which goes well with common Pakistanis and Pakistani establishment. Moreover, Musharraf and Saeed are scared of TTP. They (including ‘now turned joker’ Imran Khan) don’t have guts to point finger towards TTP. Musharraf and Saeed are in the hit list of TTP and Imran is a toy in its hand.
Meanwhile, TTP has warned with more such attacks including murder of prominent persons’ children if Pakistan does not stop military action on TTP immediately. The threat from TTP seems real considering the intensive and extensive penetration of Jihadi mindset in Pakistani Army.
One of the two main causes of all problems in Pakistan is Islam. The religion propagated by Prophet has been swallowing the country. There are different shades of Islam like Deobandi, Barelvi, Wahabi, Ahle Hadees and Shia and each group claims to represent the true Islam. All these shades of Islam are engaged in Jihad within Pakistan in their own way. The other main problem is US. Billions of Dollars are being given by US to Pakistan to give birth to Jihadis first and then to kill them at the cost of socio-economic development of the country. Pakistani ruling class has been trapped by US in its imperialist cobweb.
The school curricula of Pakistan contain materials which help to develop hatred in the minds of students against all non-Islamic religions. In school curricula, India (Hinduism) is projected as ‘existential enemy’ of Pakistan. This has distorted the psyche of post-1947 generations of Pakistanis.
The picture can change if common Pakistanis stand against the Jihadi terrorists. But common Pakistanis are Allah fearing and Islam believing persons who will not go against the religiously sanctified Islamic Jihad of TTP. Only the Ulema can change the mind of common Pakistanis. But Ulema have hardly a united and audible voice against Islamic terrorism.
There is a burning need for revising school curricula in Pakistan with pragmatism. Pakistani establishment should remember that by colouring the school curricula, Hitler brought disaster for Germany.
The Pakistani civil society is very small and divided between ‘anti-India’ and ‘not anti-India’ groups. They can never influence their common people to stand united against Jihadis.
Pakistan can turn around if it tries to come out of its perpetual ‘Islamic box’ and anti-India preoccupations and try to find justification for its own existence as a nation. Pakistan has to start its anti-Jihadi action from Hafiz Saeed, Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim. Protecting some terrorists for self interest will surely back fire as we see in case of TTP.
Bangladesh still has time to learn from Pakistan. Will common Bangladeshis do that?