LAHORE: I lately had an insightful, albeit succinct, discourse with a security analyst against the backdrop of the Wagah border mayhem that took the lives of more than 60 innocent people and rendered many more injured. He held the view that the army would take three to four years to crush terrorism. But the truth is that this problem cannot be solved only by physical elimination; there is also the issue of dealing with the ideology of terrorists.
To find people who approve of this ideology is no difficult task. Go and make a round of any school, college, seminary or office, and you will come across many such people, all having soft corners for a militant mindset and worldview. Fault lines in our society have crept up, not least because we have done nothing to set up a counternarrative to what the terrorists and militants propagate. This resultant vacuum has been well exploited by militants and their sympathisers to present anyone who disagrees and acts against them as being against Islam and the state of Pakistan.
For example, we should have had counter-narratives following the Lal Masjid episode, Akbar Bugti’s murder, the Aafia Siddiqui case and so on. The fact stands that the whole facade constructed by the terrorists to launch a war against Pakistan stands on absurd and baseless reasoning. We are now in a war of ideologies and this is usually fought through the use of propaganda. In Pakistan’s case, there is an urgent need to produce a vigorous counter-narrative.
Muhammad Tahir Iqbal
Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2014.