The Decisive Moment, Editorial (January 2015)

No words can suffice the feelings of pain and agony the nation is experiencing after the traumatizing Peshawar carnage. The viciousness and savagery of the killers has crossed all limits of callousness one can ever think of. But, the souls of innocent martyrs are asking: “Will our killers be brought to justice ever, and will their sacrifices salvage other children of the nation from the bestiality of terrorists?”

This blackest day in our country’s history has once again brought us on a crossroads. And, this is, indubitably, the decisive moment for our civil and military leadership. Now, there is no option but to review the policies and strategies in order to meliorate the law and order situation in the country. Though, in an encouraging development, the entire political and military leadership have come together to chalk out the plans for steering Pakistan out of the multifaceted crisis, called terrorism, yet still a lot needs to be done.

To start with, the recent spate of terrorism in different parts of the country must be an eye-opener for our political elites; who still seem immature and oblivious to the changed ground realities. The recently-announced ‘Action Plan’ to combat terrorism puts the whole burden of this onerous task on Pakistan Army. The military courts redux is such an instance. Isn’t it an indirect admission that our law-enforcement agencies, including police and bureaucracy, and judiciary have failed to perform their constitutional duty. In Pakistan, it’s quite common that whenever a crisis grapples the country, the civilian leaders call in military’s help. However, despite its plausible role in all spheres, army is blamed of usurping the civil authority. But, leaving it all behind, a harmonious working relationship between civil and military leaders is more than necessary now.

Brave soldiers of Pakistan Army are sacrificing their precious lives for the sake of their dear motherland in Operation Zarb-e-Azb aimed at eliminating the terrorists. But, let’s be realistic for a moment and think that aren’t they bearing the brunt of the inefficiency and ineptness of other state institutions? Even in this perilous situation, it seems that they are left alone to fight the terrorism monster and no institution, be it the bureaucracy, police, judiciary, political leadership or media, had functioned consummate to the standards required from them.

No one can deny that even the greatest leaders cannot change the destination of a country sans an efficient bureaucracy. Unless policymakers and policy-implementers work in tandem, harnessing peace and development remain a far cry. To overcome the chronic crises, Pakistan is faced with, the bureaucratic sodality needs to be vigilant and zealous to make Pakistan a better, peaceful place for our future generations.

When it comes to police, the sacrifices rendered by the brave personnel deserve every accolade, yet it is also true that corruption has plagued this department to such an extent that it is still the most corrupt department in Pakistan as per the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2014. Instead of being an active law-enforcement agency, the department has become only a tool in the hands of political elites who use it to harass and chivvy their political opponents.

Moreover, had the judiciary done speedy trials especially in terrorism cases, the dilemmas we are faced with today could have been averted. However, as they say it is better late than never, the judges should also work more vigorously so that no rogue elements go scot free.

In the end, it is hoped that our leaders would avoid political wrangling and point scoring in the larger interest of the nation. Let it be very clear, undeterred support from public as well as political leadership is more than necessary if we want our soldiers to annihilate the terrorists. The nation stands by its soldiers to eliminate this cancer from our soil.

Long live Pakistan, long live Pak Army.
More power to your elbow!

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