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Showing posts from January, 2015

More democracy

“Pakistan’s future viability, stability and security lie in empowering its people and building political institutions…the fundamental battle for the hearts and minds of a generation can be accomplished only under democracy” — (late) Benazir Bhutto.

It is said that no one is indispensable but many in Pakistan still feel that there was no one like Benazir Bhutto and she was indeed indispensable for our country. Shaheed BB, an iconic figure for millions in Pakistan and around the world, was assassinated seven years ago. Her loss is felt every time our security establishment tries to discredit our political class and/or when our politicians themselves make a mockery of the democratic system.

When our parliament acquiesced to public (and establishment) pressure after the Peshawar school massacre and sanctioned military courts, I was reminded of BB’s interview to the Herald more than a decade ago. She said that democracy is about evolution and it is also about fighting for what you believe …

Ending our never-ending suffering

One month ago, Pakistan saw its deadliest terrorist attack in Peshawar at the Army Public School (APS), where more than 130 children were shot dead by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). There was an outpouring of grief and anger after the APS attack that we have never witnessed before, despite the fact that terrorism has taken the lives of tens of thousands of Pakistanis over the last decade. Our government responded by lifting the moratorium on the death penalty, and our parliament quickly sanctioned military courts. Hanging terrorists, or speedy trials, will not serve any purpose unless there is clarity on our state’s policies vis-à-vis militant outfits.

According to a report published in the Express Tribune: “Pakistan has decided to ban the Haqqani Network, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and 10 more organisations.” If this is true, then it is indeed a huge paradigm shift and there is still hope for the country’s future. We always hear how brave and resilient we are as a nation. Maybe we …

Goodbye, 2014

The year 2014 is over. Finally! It was a dark, depressing and disappointing year for my country, Pakistan. The year started with a brutal massacre of Shia Hazaras in Balochistan by the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). During the year, there were many other devastating terrorist attacks. The year ended with more than a hundred children killed point-blank by the Taliban in a school in Peshawar. We want to forget, but we cannot. The pain of all these attacks cannot be wished away even if one wants to. Every day is a grim and gloomy reminder of our scars and then there is fear that the worst is yet to come.

Some people are optimistic that with the military brass and political class united to fight terrorism, things will get better. Unfortunately, the method they have chosen to deal with this menace of terrorism is not the right one. Lifting moratorium on death penalty and executing those on death row and/or establishing military courts is not a solution; it is another form of fighting barbarism b…