The Rebel Road…

I know you’ve come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you’re only going to kill a man. – Ernesto Che Guevara

On the brink…

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Student Taliban

Pakistan, in recent months, has been witness to more political strife, terrorist activities and economic instability than at any point in its history, with the possible exception of the days when the East Pakistan crisis raged. Dotted with a string of explosions in one metropolitan centre or another, the previous year started off with the Lal Masjid crisis, which found an equally bloody resolution in the month of July. It is worth mentioning, however, that most of the terrorist activities that plague Pakistan today are a direct result of what in hindsight have proved to be incorrect policies pursued by successive regimes in the previous decades as regards the Afghan war.


The bomb blast in Lahore is the latest example of terrorism unleashed upon unsuspecting citizens but it is the continuation of a long pattern of such attempts by ultra-conservative right-wing extremists. It is important to note that up until recently Lahore has remained relatively calm and peaceful, at least in comparison to other areas of Pakistan, which have proved far more prone to such threats, such as the various agencies of FATA and even Islamabad – the country’s federal capital. However, it is truly disturbing that Punjab, the strongest bastion of the State of Pakistan, and Lahore, the very heart of the province, have fallen prey to the current madness as well. The regularity and pace of such tragic incidents leads one to believe that the state is virtually powerless in stopping such terrorist activities. Some speculations on current conditions also suggest that the various intelligence agencies of Pakistan, the subject of most political legends and conspiracy theories, have either succumbed to the same inefficiencies found in most other national institutions or are perhaps even complicit in their creation. Today we are faced with the possibilities of more bloodshed and even more fear and strife. The month of Moharram promises large Shia gatherings, both in the form of various Moharram processions as well as the Shaam-e-ghareeban – both of which are almost impossible to regulate in terms of security. Neither can such a huge mass of individuals be searched nor can they be hindered from forming the informal processions that stem from the streets of most cities. Such large processions and gatherings would be ideal targets for suicide bombers who could easily infiltrate and kill or injure many. Various speculations on the eventuality of such an occurrence lead to the same irresistible result, that the ensuing backlash of such an incident could not only direct itself against the state but also against various religious communities in the form of sectarian violence – not only a cause of further loss of life but also fuel for the rising tide of chaos – which ultimately benefits no one except the terrorists.


In any event, in the greater interest of the country, it is time that such inefficiencies or vested interests be set aside and this policy of ineptitude, that has been found entrenched in the ranks of the guardians of Pakistani life and property, be rooted out. It is time that the intelligence network that has been built and nurtured over the years be used to not just identify terrorists for presentations in press conferences, but also to bring them to justice. It is time that each individual realises the gravity of our predicament and acts in accordance with principles that will lead to the preservation of Pakistan rather than the destruction that awaits it if problems are allowed to fester unimpeded.

Riot police attacks aged lawyer


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