It was to bring hope to a fractured land, the third coming of Nawaz Sharif and his PML-N. The amount of goodwill showered upon them by the media, which studiously avoided any negativism, was somewhat out of the usual — even in a land where the local custom has been to fling roses upon each incoming government, no matter what breed, in the too often mistaken belief that what comes in cannot be worse than what goes out.
NS was to be granted a honeymoon period of, at least, the traditional 100 days. What was not taken into account is the all-pervasive mixed bag of terrorist groupings. Now, looking at just the first 25 days of this government, surely it has dawned on someone somewhere that unless some action can be taken to at least curb terrorist activities, there can be no progress or improvement on any other front.
Law and order affects us all and everything that functions, and when it is absent through either lack of capability, paralysis, or closet sympathy and tolerance, for reasons macabre, for the forces which are anti-law and order, it is impossible to visualise betterment in the many other ills that beset the Islamic Republic. Remember, 66 years ago, Founder-Maker Mohammad Ali Jinnah emphatically stated that the first duty of any government is to impose and maintain law and order.
No, to the blinkered lot, who blame it all on drones and as for those who claim that Muslim does not kill Muslim, they are pathetic. There is but little truth to the former, as it is mainly blatant sectarianism and bigotry that stalk the land, nurturing hatred. Drones are not responsible for the murder of Shias or for the daily Karachi targeted killings.
Now, to merely glance at, inter alia, the horrible happenings of 25 days of June under this heavily voted-in regime. NS took his vows on June 5. On June 9, reportedly, three policemen, two women and seven others were killed in a routine battle in Karachi’s Lyari area. On June 12, we were dealt the budget blow, a different form of terrorism aimed at the deprived and hard put majority of citizens. On June 15 came the shattering murder of around 30, including 18 women, in the double terrorist attack in Quetta, side by side with the blowing up of the Ziarat house by a different group. On June 16, two polio workers were slain in Swabi. On June 18, an attack on a funeral procession in Mardan left 28 dead. June 21 saw the murder in Karachi of an MQM MPA and his son, and a suicide bombing in a Peshawar madrassa in which 14 died. On June 23, nine foreign mountaineers and two locals were murdered (international cricket was killed by terrorism and now mountaineering has gone). On June 26, a judge of the Sindh High Court was targeted and nine were left dead. On June 30 came, perhaps, the worst of all — a fitting finish to the bloody month. Twenty-eight Hazara Shias, men, women and children, were murdered in Quetta, and 18, including children, near Peshawar.
As is the norm, the official reaction to any tragedy is a statement issued by some dim-witted spokesperson — after this last incident, we were told that the president, the prime minister, the Punjab chief minister (no other CM), the MQM chief, and the interior minister “condemned the terrorist attacks”, and “prayed that Almighty Allah rest the departed souls in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved families … ”. Heartless, cynical and better left unsaid. Because it seems that there is nothing that they or their friends in the “establishment” can do to end this ceaseless bloodshed. And besides, how many of the hundreds injured have since died and what is the number of the bereaved left behind in misery?
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2013.
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