Saturday, September 20, 2008


On Dawn TV, Mr. Liaqat Baloch of the Jamaat-i Islami echoed my father. These attacks are a result of wrong policies carried out by our government in the tribal regions. This is proof of a policy failure. We must reverse our decision to fight and talk to the terrorists, whom he referred to as "our own people". When the newscaster asked whether we have not gone beyond the point of dialogue today, Mr. Baloch only repeated his mantra.

At this point, I do not think it is adequate for me to simply state Mr. Baloch and my father's views because too many people see them as completely rational, even self-evident.

These terrorists are not our people. They are up in arms against us. They want to bring down the Pakistani government and in the process are willing to kill as many Pakistani soldiers and civilians as is necessary.

I will not argue about why and how these terrorists came into being. You will tell me that they are only doing the noble thing, avenging the blood of their relations cruelly murdered by the Pakistanis and the Americans. I will tell you that the terrorists existed before the attacks on them, and not the other way around. You will say that those terrorists were an American myth. I will point you to every sort of evidence in the Western media (I would give you proof from our own too, but it is too feeble an institution to do any reporting of its own) as to the existence of these terrorists and their ill-intentions. You will tell me that the Western media is in on this conspiracy and that nobody can be trusted and everything is exactly the opposite of what it seems to be and so the logical is actually illogical and that your illogic is therefore the truth.

So let us skip the blame game. These terrorists exist. They have bombed a hotel killing 40 so far, injuring dozens more, and leaving at least 15 trapped inside with no way to escape. This much we can surely agree upon.

They do not want to negotiate. They want to kill innocent people and thereby sow fear in our hearts. So far so good?

Now what must we do in response? Are we to go to Swat and FATA and beg for negotiations? Let us say that we do, as we have done in the past. They will say they want Shariah Law in their regions, complete autonomy and withdrawal of the army. Can we agree to these terms? Can we abandon, to the whims of these terrorists, our citizens there, whose only fault is that they happen to be living in these terrorist-infested regions? Can we leave these people to suffer public beheadings and stonings-to-death under these terrorists' warped version of Islam? Can we withdraw from these regions and let them reorganize, plan bigger attacks and encroach upon more of our country? And most importantly can we reward the terrorists for murdering these innocent Pakistani citizens?

We should rather avenge these deaths. Action should be swift and decisive. The militants must be brought to their knees at any cost. They cannot be allowed to terrorize our country.

But instead, the people who are speaking on television tonight are busy bemoaning that we ever took on these terrorists in the first place. They are crying that if we would not have harmed them they would not have harmed us. Why oh why did we listen to America! The answer is simple. These terrorists, escaping from Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, would have regrouped, gained in strength and tried to take over Pakistan anyways. They were already using Pakistan as a sanctuary from which to plan more attacks on other countries. It is unimaginable that we could let these terrorists carry out attacks on innocent people from our soil while we silently stand by and watch. And if that were to be the case then the world would have been just as justified as it was with Afghanistan to sanction the use of military force against Pakistan.

So please people, stop all this talk of appeasement of the terrorists, and stop trying to blame America for the actions of the vicious terrorists. This tragic event should bolster our resolve to fight the terrorists not weaken it. Our dead need to be avenged. These terrorists need to be brought to justice.

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