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Finding the Correct Path the Hard Way

Terrorist Taliban Pakistan killed our future; kill them to reclaim our future
By: Humayun Gauhar
We had two choices: give in to the terrorists and face the consequences or fight terrorism
and face the consequences. Sensibly we opted for the latter, the correct decision, so fight it
is. Else we would have been at their mercy and what passes for justice Taliban style. All
men would have grown beards, women hidden behind veils and not allowed education or
outside their homes, minorities forcefully converted, forced to flee or massacred. Pakistan
would have gone down the drain as Afghanistan did after the Taliban conquest with our
stupid help. We saw a glimpse of it after the Terrorist Taliban Pakistan or TTP were
allowed to rule Swat and impose Nizam-e-Adl with the complicity of a supine
government. They whipped a girl for leaving her house with a man who was eligible
to marry her. They paraded the streets holding the chopped heads of soldiers in their hands
to spread terror.
That the decision to fight terrorism of all hues countrywide flowed from the barrel of a gun
as too the reluctant acceptance of the National Anti-terrorism Plan by all parliamentary
politicians is a no brainer, as too the prime ministers speech announcing it. This becomes
inevitable in crises when there is utter political and judicial failure and all three branches of
government are confused, unable to decide, only talk.
So praise what is good and dont worry about who did it. Dont quibble with details.
Wrinkles can be ironed out later, lacunae plugged. You cannot argue with correct decisions.
That should be the motto of every writer Proclaim Truth Mujhay Hai Hukm-e-Azaan
La Illaha Il Allah.
Politicians, army and even the judges deserve praise for finally coming together on the right
track for one objective: fighting terrorism together to its end. Well done. Better still would
have been a National Government of Unity to show that they are fighting the war together.
Without it I wouldn't bet on this forced unity lasting long as each party jockeys for
advantage. We are already hearing voices of dissent from pro-Taliban and pseudo
democratic politicians quibbling about military courts, fearing not quite incorrectly, that
they might bypass due process and be used to harass or eliminate opponents. They should
recognize that it is utter judicial failure that has led to military courts. If the normal
constitutional courts cannot dispense justice, someone else has to and that someone is
always the most powerful institution standing.
We will support our government in this war as long as it stays the course and remains
steadfast. If our leaders dont break with their false notions of the past and waver one bit the
war will be lost. Then we will oppose them tooth and nail as we do criminal governance.
Revolt and military intervention will then stare politicians in the face. Else, Balkanization
could be our harvest. For the record, Altaf Hussain of the MQM was the only politician
persistently warning about growing Talibanisation for years, but no one took heed. Today
we reap the harvest.
Fighting a war, especially in your own country, is psyche-damaging but not fighting it and
leaving enemies the run of the place damages the national psyche even more. It desensitizes
you, brutalizes you and dehumanizes you until you become an animal yourself. Having
exhausted all others, we were left with no option but to fight. What we need now is Gods
pleasure with our endeavors. But God will only be pleased if we realize our own past

mistakes that have led us to this sorry pass and repent Taubah never to be stupid and
repeat them again.
Now that our politicians and generals have finally seen the Correct Path that humankind
prays to God to show them in the first chapter of the Quran, Fateha, they must start
treading on it tirelessly and doggedly and defeat the multi-headed hydra of terrorism
breathing fire on us. We must also defeat the multi-sectoral implosion that we are faced
with if Pakistan is to survive. Selfish allies, misguided clerics and pseudo intellectuals
local and foreign will divert us along the way Satan-like, but we must learn to clearly
differentiate between what is good for us and what is bad. I am concerned that our leaders
native stupidity doesn't get the better of them all of them, army, politicians and judges.
The best way to keep native stupidity in check is to follow the universal process and
principle of decision making: know who to take good advice from, do relevant research and
analysis without getting paralyzed, setup counter syndicates and before taking each step ask
yourself whether it is good or bad, right or wrong and ensure that it will please God by not
violating his humane injunctions.
Last week I wrote that seeing a photograph of our politicians discussing terrorism the day
after the Peshawar carnage made ones heart sink. Are these the people, I asked, who are
going to lead our destiny? Seeing another photograph of them in their second conclave
would have made our hearts sink lower, beholding the unbelievable sight of what a
parliament of monkeys looks like, bearded, bewigged and botoxed wearing half a pound of
makeup. Thus far, all we have heard from them are pious declarations of intent and hollow
words and more words. Our rulers have confused words with bullets. No longer, hopefully.
Conspicuous by their presence in the conclave of political geniuses were the army and ISI
chiefs, signifying that real power had quietly passed to the army. General Raheel Sharif was
wearing four hats: the army chiefs, the foreign ministers, the defence ministers and the
interior ministers with the chief executives hat in his holster. No wonder there was
consensus. A silent coup if ever there was one. Better this than a takeover upfront, but if our
politicians continue in their usual vein of bickering, nitpicking and bellyaching busy
splitting hairs, Im afraid they will cause a direct coup yet again. Coups too are part of
political evolution unhealthy political evolution and are certainly not good for the
country or the military. They are backward evolution, not forward. They have no system of
succession. Only a genuine peoples revolution that upturns an iniquitous status quo and
replaces it one better is forward evolution.
Those who were gleefully awaiting a coup should think again. It is no long-term solution.
Instead, it ends up leaving a mess by prolonging the life of a decrepit political system
flourishing in the name of democracy and retards healthy political evolution. The system
should be allowed to self-correct or die its natural death, not be made a martyr again and
given longer life by putting it on life support. It is fast reaching an ignominious end anyway,
so why stop it?
By murdering our children the Taliban killed our future. Terrorist students murdering
genuine students exposes our decline beyond the pale, beyond Islam or any secular or
spiritual creed. Instead of exterminating terrorists we have been soft on terrorism for years
because we confused it with Jihad and forced our entry into the realm of national infidelity
with God, humanity and all civilized norms. That other countries wearing the garb of
civilization are also in the realm of national infidelity is no excuse for us to be there too. We
should have realized that terrorists dont fight any Jihad but spread discord and disharmony

through wanton murder and destruction. That they would be another front in conventional
war is a pipe dream.
Hopefully, we have reached our tipping point and our exit from national infidelity has
started. We are determined that we will not go silent into the night. We will fight them to
the last man and woman. We will no longer tolerate any laxity, sympathy, apology or
confusion by our authorities. If our rulers dont shape up we will ship them out. Terrorist
enablers, sympathizers and apologists should be treated as terrorists and get the same
treatment, no matter how high their office. That goes for mosques, madrassas and misled
mullahs too, like Lal Masjid has been turned from a House of God into a House of Satan,
another Masjid al-Zirar (Dirar in Arabic) meaning Mosque of Opposition, Dissent and
Harm spreading Fitna and Fasad, discord and disharmony, to the extent that it is
mentioned in the Quran. Masjid Zirar was burnt down on the orders of Prophet Muhammad
I likened terrorism to a tree. We have to destroy it root and branch. Military operations will
just cut the leaves, branches and trees. In tandem, government has to destroy its roots, which
means destroying the soil of injustice in which terrorism flourishes, arming our young with
the best contemporary education, bringing semi-literate mullahs of mosques and madrassas
to heel and all media within proper regulation, fighting cyber terrorism on the social media
and cellphones and above all, ending State Terrorism on which non-State terrorism feeds.
We rightly grieve for the 132 children brutally massacred in Peshawar but we dont have
tears for the 250 children killed by state terrorism neglect in Tharparker and over 54 percent
undernourished children in Balochistan and everywhere in Pakistan. We dont give a
thought for our 55 percent living under the poverty line 110 million. State terrorism my
friends is not only armed terrorism as in the Model Town massacre; more sinister is
economic terrorism of loot, plunder and corruption, absence of basic needs and fundamental
rights, and the lies, crass hypocrisy and insensitivity of our rulers
More suggestions to add to the governments 20 points:
1. Extreme vigilance at all entry and exit points.
2. Maximum scrutiny and security checks before issuing visas to anyone and I mean anyone
and everyone just as the US has done. No more wholesale visas without check to American
contractors and assassins like Raymond Davis as happened in the democratic Zardari
3. Extreme vigilance in letting in overseas Pakistanis hiding behind our passports. Many of
them have joined terrorists or are their sympathizers and funders.
4. Upgrade and strengthen the selection, training, emoluments and equipment of police.
Weed out criminals recruited by political governments into the force. Fighting criminality
and internal terrorism is police, not army, work.
5. Afghanistan should be told to forthwith remove Indias terrorism proliferating offices
along our border or else.
6. Many hospitals and jails have become terrorist hubs with computers and mobile phones.
End it.

7. Repatriate all Afghans under the guise of refugees even those carrying Pakistani
passports and identify cards or born here. Afghanistans occupation is ending and there is no
more justification for Afghans staying here like leeches.
8. Make new provinces in tribal areas and bring them under Pakistani laws. Dont pander to
the myth of the Pukhtoon code. If they are as brave as advertised, they should prove it by
fighting terrorists who are destroying them most.
9. If we genuinely believe that we are good Muslims, let us publicly and loudly proclaim the
terrorist creed as unIslamic heresy, infidelity and Kufr.
10. While making laws more effective, one cannot stress enough not to plan in anger
because if we drop due process we will become an uncivilized police state and the terrorists
would have won.
11. What about Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed assassin of Salman Taseer Shaheed?
Qadri is a hero to many, including lawyers and judges. When is he going to be brought to
justice? I would rather that they first extracted the full story of who really was behind his
assassination. Salman had become a pain for the Sharifs while Mumtaz Qadri was an
employee of the Punjab Police under Shahbaz Sharif and had no business being in Governor
Taseers security detail.
It wont take two years but one generation to end terrorism root and branch. So get on with
it. There will certainly be more blow backs so dont lose your nerve and remain steadfast.
Problem is, this army and political leadership wont last that long. What guarantee that their
successors will be as steadfast? If the terrorists hold out long enough for weak leadership to
succeed, then what? So think long-term.
I am still not done.