FOLLOWING the Abbas Town blasts, political parties gave calls to close businesses and demanded the arrest of culprits without delay. The administration ordered the closure of educational institutions, banning pillion-riding, flying the national flag at half-mast and all the top leadership of the country, both in the government and outside, condemned the horrendous crime and promised resolve to bring to book all those involved in this crime.
The response to bomb blasts and other incidents of extremism or inter-sectarian clashes has been typical of all administrations over the years. If these were effective and could in any way redress the situation, Pakistan would have been a paradise on earth.
If we are serious about redressing the problem, then we would need to dismiss the administration’s responses and generate pressure on it to avoid making any such responses in the future.
We need to pose ourselves some basic questions and find their answers in the light of what people in other countries did in situations similar to the one faced by us as a people. These questions are:
What is that which acts as solvent to the forces of extremism, bigotry and intolerance?
Is there a need for us to foster secularism in our polity (for God’s sake let us not confuse secularism with the absence of religion. Secularism, in truth, means that no one would be given preference over others in worldly matters on the basis of his or her religion)?
Is there a need for us to control ostentatious display of our religious beliefs? Should we allow foreign funding to come to our country for the purpose of promoting religion? Should the administrative machinery of the state issue thousands of arms licences for prohibited and non-prohibited bore weapons to private individuals every year by way of patronage (let me point out that essentially there is no difference between a licensed and an unlicensed weapon because both are meant to kill)?
Is physical security the right of only those who are in the parliament, or run the government or are rich or control the state’s security setup?
Unfortunately, the questions that I have stated above are not on the radar of our national consciousness. There is hardly any debate on any of them even in the media. The media needs to play a proactive role to sensitise people on the matters raised in the above questions for we have reached a stage where time is short and opportunity fleeting.
KHALID IDREES Islamabad
Role of security agencies SECURITY agencies and the government have failed to provide safe and secure life to the people though huge budgets are utilised to ensure smooth functioning of law-enforcement agencies, but of no use.
On the other hand, people have voted and elected their representatives so that they could come up with viable solutions to reduce security threats and uncertainty that occupy every spheres of society and by no means have a sense of security. The progress of elected people in government office remained backwards in making any policy level advancements in bringing about a change in the lives of the people.
It is very much necessary to crush the terrorist mindset and take sincere efforts to detect cells of such militant organisations that are behind the scene. The need of the hour is to recruit neutral people in law-enforcement agencies, political involvement should be curtailed for its smooth functioning.
Secondly, Karachi should be divided administratively into sub-units in order to further increase the administrative capacity and opportunity to tackle the issues pertaining to security. If the government failed to do its job, it would then be not possible to keep the nation intact for better, prosperous and peaceful Pakistan.
AMJAD ALI SURHIO Dadu
Irresponsible agencies TERRORISM in Pakistan is now more than 10 years old but there is no end in sight. This is because our intelligence agencies have failed to curb this menace. War against terrorism of this nature cannot be won by the police, Rangers and even the army alone. Basically, this is the task of our intelligence agencies which have failed to identify, locate and break the network with the help of law-enforcement units.
This failure can be attributed to incompetence of responsible agencies or their lack of will to pursue their task. One cannot rule out some sort of sympathy for terrorists within the agencies.
BRIG (r) SALAHUDDIN Karachi
Hapless citizens THE deteriorating law and order situation has damaged the social fibre of our society. The time is not very far when we will see the common man taking up weapons for his security as he seems to have lost whatever little confidence he had in law-enforcement agencies and the government. The poor man is dying of hunger while politicians are there to accumulate wealth only.
This is the time for those at the helm of this country’s affairs to address the common man’s basic needs. Nothing should be more important for them than the survival of the poor.
We are surprised at the vision they have for this country, we wonder if they have any vision at all or just use their television appearances to promote themselves.
We can only sit, watch and cry helplessly. A common man has no interest in judges, their issues and the politician.
S. NEHAL ALVI Karachi