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Japanese Hostage Crisis And The Helpless People of Pakistan!

Now-a-days, the matter of two Japanese hostages by ISIS is in the news of international media. The ISIS took two Japanese,Haruna Yukawa, a self-proclaimed military consultant and Kenji Goto, the journalist who risked everything to highlight the horrors of war,as hostages when they entered the Islamic State`s under controlled zone late 2014.The IS militants claimed that they had captivated the two missing Japanese and wanted US$200 million in 72 hours from the Japanese government.The militants also linked the group`s ransom demand to the Japanese government `s recent pledge of $200 million in financial aid to countries affected by the ISIS terrorism.

However, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rejected the militants` demand saying,”We will never give in to terrorism, and we will actively contribute to the peace and stability of the world together with the international community. We are not wavering at all on this policy.”

Although, the Japanese government refused to accept the demand of the ISIS, but at the same time, it started using all of its diplomatic channels available in order to get the two hostages released at the earliest.For this purpose, it contacted the governments of Jordan and Turkey to assist in the matter. However, sadly, after the expiry of the 72-hour ultimatum, the Islamic state militants released a new video in which they claimed that they had executed one of the two Japanese Haruna Yukawa after the expiry of the deadline given.

Although it was a very sad news for the Japanese, which was strongly condemned by the leaders from all over the world, yet the Japanese Prime Minister branded Yukawa`s murder “outrageous and unforgiveable”. He once again repeated his bold stance, i.e., “Japan will not give in to terrorism and will continue to make the utmost efforts to save Goto`s life”.

The on-going hostage crisis is apparently between the ISIS and the Japanese government, however, there are two very important aspects that we need to learn from this.Firstly, Japanese government did not, and has not yet, bowed to the terrorists as far as the demand for million dollars is concerned. Secondly, despite the fact that it has refused to pay the ransom amount, it has been using all the available channels for the safe releaser of its captivated citizen.

Taking into account how the Japanese government is dealing with the so-called “Islamic State” terrorists,when we compare the policy of the Pakistani government towards Taliban and other Jihadi groups, it results in total disappointment for its people. How it has been dealing with them leaves the impression as if either the victims are not Pakistanis or, perhaps, Taliban terrorists are the stake holders of the country.

We should not forget that at least two Pakistani citizens are in the custody of Taliban. Shehbaz Taseer, the son of former Governor Punjab Salman Taseer (who himself became the victim of brutality of the religious extremism), and also Ali Gilani, the son of former Prime Minster Pakistan Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani, have been in the custody of Taliban terrorists for several years. But, still their families see no sincere efforts for their safe return.

Even during the dialogue between Taliban and the government of Pakistan held in the past, no one talked about the long-captivated persons, nor was any formal demand made even by the government of Pakistan from Taliban for these in-trouble persons. When a journalist asked the government`s negotiators about this issue, they said, “Let the dialogue process with the Taliban succeed, we will talk about it also”.The question is, if this issue was not the priority for them, how could the dialogue have been called successful without the return of the captive Pakistanis?

We know that Taliban groups, by now, have killed over 60,000 Pakistanis during the last several years. The Peshawar Army Public School (APS) tragedy, in which over 130 children were mercilessly killed by Taliban evils, was, perhaps, the height of their brutality. However, it does not appear to be the end at all; still, the sick minds are causing extremely serious threats to the people and their children. But very unfortunately, the Pakistani nation has turned out to be the most helpless nation of the world which faces the Taliban`s barbarism on one side, and on the other, sees its leadership having soft corner for their killers.

It should be kept in mind that the Japanese Constitution not only forbids the use of force as a means to settling international disputes, but also forbids Japan from maintaining an army, navy or air force. Therefore, in strictly legal terms, its Self Defense Forces are not land, sea or air forces, but are extensions of the national police force. Now, considering the increasing security threats to Japan and the on-going hostage crisis, the Japanese Prime Minister , according to some analysts, is also seeking to amend the country`s constitution so as to let the Japanese military protect the country`s citizen and defend its allies. Regarding the people of Japan, a large number of people tend to be thinking in similar direction. This obviously shows how serious Japan is about the security of its people.

Quite opposite to it, in Pakistan, not only political and religious parties, but even the political and defense analysts as well as journalists seem to have divided into two different categories (known as right wing and left wing) on how to deal with Taliban terrorists. Since these people and the parties play a vital role in forming people`s opinion, we are seeing a consequent division in the general people too. And this prevailing division indicates that there is still a long way to get rid of the evil Taliban and their menace of terrorism that is not a good a sign for the existence as well as stability of Pakistan and its people.

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