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Drawing the Lines: With OR Against Us

The recent terrorist attack that took place on the Army Public school of Peshawar should be condemned, although words alone cannot truly express the horror or gruesomeness of the act. Killing 135 unarmed, innocent children, whose only fault was that they went to school to be educated? The manner of them being killed made even the most hardened hearts cry tears of sorrow on the barbarism of how they were attacked and killed. The bodies of hundred plus children were recovered from the Auditorium of the school alone, where they were being given the training of First Aid, and were slaughtered like animals by the terrorists who entered the school and shot the children point blank.

If this wasn’t bad enough, they burned alive women teachers who tried to save the students in the school from the hand of blood thirsty mad men who had descended the school to cause mayhem and destruction.

I don’t think you can find any parallel for an act like this in human history. Civil wars have been fought for centuries in countries; countless bloody and violent revolutions have taken place in which the poor rebelled against the status quo and nobility, endless nations have gone to war against each other and committed multiple crimes against the people of other states, but you would be hard pressed to find another instance where school children were targeted in a school and senselessly killed like the Peshawar terrorist attack.

The Pakistani nation suffers from a lack of clear vision and understanding on the issue of terrorism. And when you think about it logically, it really is quite idiotic really. More than 13 years after the War on Terror, we are still not sure if it is our war or not. Assuming that it was not our war when it started in 2001, WE DID agree to support the US and threw our lot with them in it against Taliban and Al Qaeda.

If that was the correct or wrong decision, is totally beside the point. Unless we have some hidden Pakistani that has created a time machine, and can go back in time to change that decision, arguing about what should have been done at that time is pointless.

What should be the focus of our discussions and concern is that what we CAN and SHOULD do now to deal with the situation. How can you still ask whether this is our war or not? We have lost over 50,000 civilians including women and children. Army has lost thousands of men, and we are still undecided about this war? For crying out loud, what more do we need to see to open our eyes and understand the bitter truth as a nation? Are these deaths not enough to make us realize the gravity of the situation?

We are at a turning point right now, where this war will either come to the ending conclusion and terrorism will be eliminated from the country, or we will lose the war and terrorists will reign supreme. Enough is enough; it is finally time to draw the lines. It is time to decide if you are WITH or AGAINST us. The Pakistan army and the general population need to identify on which side of the line they will stand. We have all heard rumors on how the Pakistan Army has rogue elements that have a soft spot for X, Y or Z group of militants. It is time for the army to do some in house cleaning to eliminate any such support, if it exists.

The Mullahs and Maulvis need to be taken onboard so they stop supporting or propagating such ideas and beliefs. The Madressahs need to be registered and this ensured that they are not being used as training grounds to spread a new crop of Jihadists or terrorists who will fight against the state. We need to isolate the people who are against us, and treat clerics like Maulana Abdul Aziz of the Lal Masjid, as enemy of the state if they refuse to toe the line and start punishing such characters.

The response of the Army and civilian government in the aftermath of the Peshawar attack has been brilliant. The Pakistan Army has decided to take the kid gloves of, and intensified the war efforts even more than currently being done in the operation Zarb e Azb. The visit by the army chief to Kabul following the attack showed the resolve and anger of the army on the recent attack. The civilian government’s decision to start the capital punishment again and execute the terrorists who were given the capital punishment is a very time and strategic decision.

The terrorists wanted to destroy our spirits and crush us morale by hurting our innocent children, well what could be a better answer to them than by using this very instance to mark a new beginning. Using this attack to unite and giving them a reply that they will never forget, by crushing and totally eliminating the menace of these terrorists.

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