The horrific tragedy in Lahore has done little to either bring the country together. There is the usual condemnation; people voice their anger, especially if they are in front of the camera or talking to a reporter. The talking heads on television channels repeat the same mantra – India with the help of Israel and America wants to destabilize Pakistan because of its nuclear capabilities, etc. In other words, nothing new in analyzing the causes and no effort to actually examine internal facts that might be a cause of suicide bombings or terrorists acts in the country.
I have believed it for a while that unless people of Pakistan take a good hard and realistic look at themselves, they will never understand their standing in the world today. They would also fail to understand that yes, there is always the possibility of external involvement, but we can’t shift the entire blame to a “foreign hidden hand” every time we are attacked. There should be a process of self examination.
Democratic environment, coupled with freedom of speech might help Pakistan become the kind of society that overcomes hardships, and where citizens make the ultimate decision about their lives and the future of their country. Otherwise, in a closed and fearful atmosphere, Pakistan will always find itself at war with Taliban like forces determined to destroy humanity. But the nation has to decide about its future course very quickly.
The time is about to run out as for as changing the trajectory is concerned.
It is also time to reexamine the role of mullah in our society. If the country is really interested in giving the powers that he enjoys today, the nation will have to equip the mullah with contemporary knowledge so that he can balance life and the demands of today’s busy life style. Right now, all mullah does is voice anger over how people are living their lives, and on every occasion, he chastises those who are unable to live up the standard of daily life set by the mullah. This creates frustration on both sides. We need to fight common ground so that the terrorists are unable to find safe heavens or people in agreement with their hateful ideology. Like everything else, this is not going to be easy, but, it is time to explore this option.
The fight against terror will only be won if mullah is on board.