Wednesday, March 06, 2013
At sunset on 3rd March, 2013 a vehicle laden with about 150 kilograms of high explosive was detonated on a road between two apartment blocks in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Block 6. The ghastly blast reduced most of the facing apartments to rubble killing at least 45 people and wounding about 150 including women and children. The road leads to a Shia enclave called Abbas town. At that moment in time the entire police force of the city had been deployed to provide security at a betrothal ceremony of two Peoples’ Party VIPs attended by the prime minister, chief minister and a host of other dignitaries. Rescue operations were carried out entirely by voluntary organizations.
The targeted apartment blocks had a mixed community and the casualties were both Shias and Sunnis. However, biased by the recent Shia massacres in Quetta the press projected the event as a sectarian attack and only the funerals of the Shias were shown on television, ignoring the Sunnis.
The TTP (Tehrik Taliban Pakistan) has not issued any statement claiming responsibility, but their involvement is obvious. TTP is using old and nearly forgotten past Shia-Sunni conflicts to motivate its mostly Deobandi Sunni followers to strike localities near Shia enclaves, but those attacks are far outnumbered by their attacks on Sunni places of worship belonging to other sects and national military installations. They are fighting an urban guerilla war to destroy Pakistan as we know it. Why?
The TTP leadership has taken oath of allegiance to Mulla Omar of Afghanistan fame and has vowed to the mission of destroying all institutions in Pakistan to install him as the head of state of Pakistan and the Caliph of all Muslims of the world, eventually creating a world Islamic order that would exactly follow the norms and customs of the 7th century Islamic state based in Madinah. This explains their continuous ravaging of non-religious schools, both boys’ and girls’. It also seems likely that they have assurance from Pakistan's arch enemy India that it will not take advantage of the civil war.
Mulla Omar has no qualification at all for his intended assignment or ambition, but he is a symbol of audacity in the face of allegedly Jewish instigated Christian military atrocities in Afghanistan. The apparition of TTP has arisen out of the dust of those blown up or roasted in US and NATO bombings in Afghanistan.
Unfortunately there are many sympathizers of the cause of TTP in Pakistan. They openly call Mulla Omar the Caliph of all Muslims, denounce democracy as Dajjal and preach boycott of the next general elections. They include intellectuals, wealthy businessmen and retired military officers who are totally disappointed by the massive corruption and misgovernment of the much trumpeted democratic government in Pakistan. The time has come for these gentlemen to review their priorities and show some concern for the humanitarian cause.
The reason why the incumbent government has not retaliated to the TTP invasions and acted to restore peace and order in the country is equally disappointing. New political forces of change particularly the Tehrik-e-Insaf of Imran Khan is threatening to wipe out the old political parties in the upcoming general elections. But if the elections are held in tense conditions, they may not be able to mobilize the voters who have never voted before and the much hated old guard can return to power and avoid accountability for another five years. What they do not know is that they may be creating a situation where a bloody revolution may be the only recourse and they may not even get a chance to defend themselves before being sent to the gallows or shot.
The above narrative may seem disgusting to those enlightened men and women who do not have any religious or sectarian prejudices. I don’t like it either. But you have to call a spade a spade and identify the problem before proceeding to solve it.