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‘Tips to contain militancy’

July 22, 2013

THIS is apropos Moeez Mobeen’s letter (July 15) in response to Munir Akram’s article ‘Tips to contain militancy’ ( July 7). The writer attempts to contest Mr Akram’s proposition that Muslim governments must reconcile their differences, work actively together and ensure monopoly of the state over non-state actors to counter the militancy problem in the Muslim world.

He attempts to justify Islamic militancy under the pretext of retaliation against perceived injustices inflicted upon the Muslim population.

Mr Mobeen writes: “… a portion of an angry Muslim populace, which is frustrated with state structures that are unresponsive to their desire of political, intellectual and economic independence from the West, have taken upon themselves the right to challenge Western interference in their lands through violence because their respective governments won’t do the same.”

While Mr Mobeen is correct in pointing out that grievances of the Muslim population can be attributed to the impotence of their governments in resolving their political, intellectual and economic problems (including those caused by Western interference), his attempt to rationalise militancy as a means of venting out Muslim anger is in poor taste.

Let us shed light on our own country. A major TTP demand is that the state accept and impose their version of Shariah law in the country. Does the nation really want bigotry to prevail over the principles laid down by the Quaid: Unity, Faith and Discipline? Do we want the state to disenfranchise women across all sectors and deny them their basic human rights? Do we want the state to treat non-Muslims like second-grade citizens? Do we want men and women (Muslims and non-Muslims alike) to be declared “Wajib-ul-Qatl” on alleged ‘crimes’ of blasphemy and apostasy? I do not think so.

Militants in the Muslim world are not merely leading a freedom struggle; they have a political agenda to further their power and influence.

The state cannot afford to pacify cowards who perceive a child as a threat and attempt to put an end to her life (i.e., Malala Yousufzai). They must be crushed.

Further, justifying Islamic militancy is an insult to Pakistani soldiers who have lost their lives and suffered wounds to defend Pakistani civilians.

According to “South Asia Intelligence Review”, 5,234 security personnel and 17,106 civilians have lost their lives in the Taliban offensive in Pakistan since 2003. Can we really have bilateral talks with these killers?

Although the people of Pakistan hold Islam central to the lives, I doubt they would be thrilled should the state decide to implement the Taliban’s version of Shariah law.

I will end this argument with the words uttered by the Quaid in his broadcast speech to the people of the United States in February 1948: “Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fairplay to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of Pakistan. In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission.”