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Who is to blame for terrorism in Pakistan?

Who is to blame for terrorism in Pakistan?

By Syed Atiq ul Hassan, Sydney

Time and again the people of Pakistan experience the inhuman terrorist activities. In the recent atrocious bomb blast at Nashtar Park located at the heart of the city of Karachi – the largest city of Islamic Republic of Pakistan – on April 12 (2006) at least 57 people killed including some prominent Islamic leaders of Pakistan while they were celebrating the birth of Prophet Mohammed in a gathering of thousands of people.

Pakistan is the country which was created aiming to build a state where people can practice their faith in a free and secure environment and where there would be respect of beliefs of every citizen.

On August 11, 1947, when Pakistan was about to be born, the founder of Pakistan Mohammed Ali Jinnah gave a speech at Karachi Club where he said, ‘you are free ... you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed - that has nothing to do with the business of the state".

He further said, 'You will find that in the course of time, Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state’. This was the Pakistan Jinnah dreamed for and for which he had to go through unimaginable hardship through his remaining life. This was the Pakistan of those 20 million people of all ages who sacrificed their lives. This was the Pakistan of those millions of people who left their centuries old towns and cities, dislocated and lost their loves ones once and forever.

Regrettably, since the creation of Pakistan and particularly soon after the death of founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah in September 1948, and then later the assassination of Jinnah’s right-hand and the first Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaqat Ali Khan in October 1951, the country has never found a true leader and the nation has never found a national character who could understand the dreams of the founder and his companions about Pakistan and who could put Pakistan on the right track in implementing and flourishing true democracy, fair justice, and strong law & order and social security system.

In 1958, Field Marshal Ayub Khan gifted an army rule to Pakistan through the first Marshall Law in the country. He could have put to an end to the centuries old feudal and tribal system in existing four Pakistani provinces (Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan and Frontier) instead he preferred to share his power with the landlords. He induced military dictatorship with civil establishment and promoted bureaucracy culture in the government structure.

In 1971, the people of Pakistan were, for the first time, given the chance to vote for a democracy in the country in a comparatively open political environment by another army dictator General Yahya Khan (he was the successor of Ayub Khan). With the exception of few Islamic-cum-political leaders, the same feudal class including the leader of the Pakistan People Party Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who won majority of seats from then West Pakistan (present Pakistan). Harvard educated but carry a feudal blood in his vein Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto did not want to share the government with Shaikh Mujeeb ur Rehman the leader of the Awami Leaque of then East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) who won majority of seats in East Pakistan neither he wanted to sit on opposition benches in house of parliament. Eventually, power greedy leaders sacrificed the country and Jinnah’s Pakistan lost its half part and East Pakistan become Bangladesh.

Now in the existing Pakistan more than 60 percent territory is ruled by landlords and tribal leaders. The people have no freedom to cast their votes against the will of their lords. The election process in these areas is just a formality. The seats are claimed as their family legacy.

Securing a permanent role in the establishment, the bureaucrats prefer to compromise with the feudal system of Pakistan. They offer hands of friendship with the landlords cum politicians for mutual interest. This is the reason the top level positions in Pakistani government are found occupied by the members of the same families. Just like landlords in politics, serving the top administrative positions is also a family business of these bureaucrats. In the last 50 years, the faces might have been changed but most of the bureaucrats belong to the same families who have been running the establishment since the creation of Pakistan.

Directly or indirectly military is ruling Pakistan for the last at least 40 years. One interesting aspect of Pakistan’s military rule is that the Army implements the democracy in its own terms to satisfy the world. They pick and choose the bureaucrats, the landlords cum politician and even the judges of the highest civil courts who would show faith on army as a supreme power in the country and abide to follow the democracy on the direction of the military.

Lack of nationalism has been the prime cause of clashes among the people of different backgrounds. In the country where more than 95 percent people are Muslims, the people are divided on the name of sect, caste, language, ethnical identities and provincialism. Even on the issue of distribution of water among the provinces or building of a new dam in any province the so-called political leaders are found cashing the issue in their own vested interest. They are found incapable to unite the nation to think as a Pakistani rather than as Sindhi, Punjabi, Baluchi or Pukhtoon.

On the other hand, the religious leaders are also failed to make nation as Muslim rather than Sunni, Shia or Wahabi. Even these pro-sect leaders don’t pray behind or with the Muslim of other sect. The manifesto of these Islamic cum political Mullahs are to promote and preach sect rather than Islam.

Social and political stability in any society depend on the degree of social values, justice and supremacy of law and order. These are inter-related and inter-dependent factors and can only be achieved if the nation has a leader of great vision in order to provide nation a unity, basic civil rights, justice and social security.

The prime agenda of the group or party controlling the capital is to remain in power as long as they can and enjoy luxuries and maximum government benefits. The incapable ministers, and bureaucrats, after every brutal incident, public clashes or terrorist attack appear in the media and pay their routine condolence with traditional promises to arrange judicial inquiry and punishment to the culprits yet no improvement or efficiency is seen to provide absolute security, justice and social freedom and peace for future.

In relation to the current brutal bomb blast at the gathering of thousands of people who were celebrating the birth of Prophet Mohammed on April 12, one must remember that the event was not new, it was annual religious day.

Responding on the incident the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz said that investigators were looking into all aspects. He assured the government would unearth the culprits. The same routine and traditional statements…. can these statements and messages of condolence bring back the lives of those innocents who simply wanted to demonstrate their love to Prophet and commemorate the day of His birth.

According to the news the President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf and the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz have directed all the intelligence agencies to immediately trace out the elements responsible for the Nishtar Park (Karachi) tragedy by conducting investigation into the deadliest mishap on modern lines.

What a joke, the government will now exhibit all kinds of activities which was supposed to be conducted prior to the event to prevent any possible mishap. This was an annual event. The responsible law & order officers knew the format, volume and nature of the event and they should also be aware of present strength of the terrorists.

Especially, in the present international situation where the possibility of terrorist attacks on any public gatherings can not be ignored, how come, there wasn’t enough security screening and surveillance system installed at the venue.

*************

Syed Atiq ul Hassan is a writer based in Sydney Australia shassan@tribune-intl.com

ENDS

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