If you are on Twitter or Facebook, you are bound to come across episodes of (albeit unintentional) comic relief amidst tragedy.
Take the recent and unprecedented response of the ‘Hazara Shia’ and the Shia in general against the unrelenting carnage they have been facing by groups of maniacs who consider them as ‘heretics’ and are said to have the backing of certain sensitive organs of the state.
Pushed against the wall and maybe beyond it, the Hazara Shia in Quetta and their supporters across Pakistan, braved biting cold weather and the always present danger of the now ubiquitous violent audacities of the maniacs, to stand their ground in a do-or-die scenario, forcing the government to dismiss the Balochistan government and impose Governors Rule in the war-torn province.
But amidst all this genuine bravado exhibited by the Shia community and many of their non-Shia supporters, one just couldn’t ignore that young, hyperbolic ‘revolutionary’ lot across social media who suddenly emerge like a spring does from a worn out sofa.
‘Occupy this!’ ‘Occupy that!’ This Square, that Square. It’s as if a child would behave after watching a Batman or Superman flick, using a towel as cape and mouthing incoherent shrieking monologues that at least in his little head sound quite like what he'd heard Batman uttering in the movie.
The wise( if not completely jaded) would rightly suggest that for the last thirty years or so, whatever number of civilian governments this country has had, they have continued to be hostage to a domineering military-establishment: an intricate labyrinth with twisting, turning pathways paved with political intrigues and terrible ideological experiments; a way to all the secret backdoors from where Generals and their lackeys have entered the corridors of power to put Pakistan where it is today.
And in spite of the fact that the military under General Parvez Kayani has, perhaps for the first time, publicly confessed to the fact that Pakistan faces a greater danger from the monsters that its establishment itself created, the armed forces have remained paralysed in this respect just like their civilian counterparts.
The admirable reassessment of the situation by the military chief was like looking back at the military-establishment’s follies of befriending maniacs as a ‘strategy,’ but by looking back the military seems to have turned to stone.
Furthermore, the civilian administration looked back at the military and it too turned to stone.
Over 40,000 soldiers, policemen, politicians and civilians have been slaughtered by terrorists to whom each and every Pakistani is either a ‘heretic’ or a downright infidel deserving to be killed.
And this is the kind of audacity that has left the military and the government feeling all at sea and overwhelmed, having little or no idea how exactly to contain this audacious enemy.
Yet there are those out there who believe the answer lies in the overthrow of government!
The answer lies in the ousting of a failing, lethargic government through the vote. A government that has focused more on surviving rather than being dynamic and bold in its actions to address the many ills facing the country.
Civilian set-ups constitute only a fraction of Pakistan’s main decision-making process. They are never sure how far they can go to push certain agendas, actions and policies without angering the military-establishment.
General Kayani’s statement should have been seen as an opening and a window of opportunity for this PPP-led civilian set-up. If now the military’s high command considers many of its former sacred cows to have become bloodthirsty wolves, the government should have gone all out against these wolves.
But it didn’t. And neither did the country’s military. Both are waiting for the other to take the decision. And this wait is costing the lives of innocent Pakistanis, soldiers, politicians and policemen.
What more will it take for the state and the government to turn their condemnations against extremists into action? How many more deaths and bloodbaths?
It is vital that an election is held as soon as possible. The democratic process that is still a young and raw entity in Pakistan needs to continue. We must realize that democracy alone is the answer to most of the questions being posed by a country affected ever so violently by decades of ethnic and sectarian cracks, animosities and divides inflicted by the establishment and hapless, chaotic governments.
Democracy alone can turn these detested and dreaded divides into a democratically empowered and progressive diversity.
All those brave Hazara Shia men, women and children who have stood up to extremist atrocities, a failing state, and a paralysed government, need to be conscious of yet another negative: Infiltration.
As we can see there are still some men out there who are willing to create the ground required for some backdoor maneuvering. Apart from hyping up manufactured 'revolutionary movements' and sudden messiahs, these people also look for openings in genuine movements from which they can infiltrate and ideally hijack it to suite their diabolical political goals.
Tahirul Qadri is too obvious an example, even though at this point in time his 'long march' against the country's political system (read political parties) has become more of a face saving exercise than anything a bit more threatening.