Two months ago today, our nation was rocked to the core by a ghastly, horrific attack on our children at Army Public School in Peshawar. On that day, we lost as a nation. We lost our future. We lost our generations. We lost our future leaders. When I say we, I am not talking about your cadre of politicians that are happy to make statements about the quality of food at one of your visit locations, while people are lying dead just a few hundred miles away. No, I don’t expect you to care one bit about our people that would be too much to ask of a political class that has no credibility domestically or internationally.
Today, on the two-month anniversary of that brutal attack, I am writing to you all to encourage you to step down and allow real Pakistanis to lead this country during this time of turmoil. You are not capable of leading Pakistan out of this mess, much of it you have been part and parcel of creating.
Mr. Sharif, please don’t think that this nation has forgotten that you were General Zia’s favorite blue-eyed boy and none of us have forgotten the rousing speeches that you gave at his death memorials promising to carry out his vision for Pakistan. You have done exactly that. You are Zia’s emissary and therefore not qualified to lead this country against the terrorism and extremism disease that he created, fostered and advanced during his time as dictator. But that is beside the point of this letter, so I won’t drill down into your personal violations of Article 6 and the laughable attempt to prosecute Pervez Musharraf under the same article. Pot calling kettle black, Mr. Prime Minister, pot calling kettle black.
To the judiciary of Pakistan, I am shocked at the ineffectuality your courts. Terrorists are set free because you are afraid of repercussions using excuses like lack of evidence, witnesses recanting their statements, and no protection for the judges who oversee terrorism cases. I am saddened that your courts have not been able to disqualify a single politician for the billions in corruption and theft of national assets. We are disgraced globally because of your inability to carry out justice against those most deserving. And in spite of this, you stand up against the implementation of military courts to recover from the failures of your fears. The nation was fooled once by the long marches and flowery promises of a PCO Chief Justice who failed to delivery once restored to the bench. We will not be fooled again by your superficial actions to protect your positions, profits and pensions.
It is well know that in time of great national distress, empires greater than Pakistan have sacrificed their personal ambitions to better men for the defense of the nation. I understand that you would like to start the chorus of democracy for Pakistan, but let’s avoid the foolishness to boost your egos. We have seen your democracy for the past 7 years. The only bills that pass our Assemblies are to increase your salaries, benefits and protection, while the people of this nation starve on the streets, are looted by the criminals and fleeced by their government for basic facilities.
This is about Pakistan, not you. Actually, it’s never been about you. It’s always been about Pakistan and Pakistanis.
In Rome, one of the world first and greatest democracies, when their enemies were at the gates, the Romans would suspend democracy and appoint one man to protect the city. This was a public service, not a glorification or ego trip. The democracy would step down and appoint one man to protect the city.
I cite Rome as the example for a specific reason. They were very much like Pakistan. A city-nation run by elites, more interested in their own lavish lifestyles than the people who were their subjects. They were only interested in those who could bring riches and influence to the Senate. If there were a modern day Rome, it would be Pakistan. Yet, this over-ambitious Senate had two elected members that were charged with appointing a military commander to protect Rome in times of civil war or invasion, in place of the democratic system.
The enemies are not just at the gates, they have overrun us in many places. They are in our masjids, in our schools, in our offices and in our homes. They are sitting in our parliament and wearing black robes of judges. While you may feel that there is still time for your government to take action, that time has ended and the nation wants results. This is not a public relations exercise for your government. It is wartime decision making, where none of you have any experience.
Your government, rather than calling an emergency joint session of Parliament to declare war against the internal and external enemies of Pakistan, debated for 7 days and devised a plan that would protect the supporters, financiers and facilitators of terrorists that claimed affiliation to a political party. This is not a time for politics, yet your government stood together to protect each other, while spitting on the faces of the nation’s citizens who must live under the protections not provided them.
Yes, we have seen your superficial announcements that banned organizations would be dealt with through a heavy hand, but that hand has stayed in your shalwar pocket.
Yes, we have read your public proclamations that the Army has been tasked to take out the terrorists wherever they may be, yet Punjab continues to be a safe haven for groups like Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and Sipah Sabah Pakistan. A banned organization was provided police protection for a public protest in Karachi on Kashmir day. They flew the banner and openly challenged the government to stop them. Where were your Interior Minister, Defense Minister and judges when an order of the federal government was being violated?
While the Army has broken the backs of the FATA based groups, forcing them to seek refuge in Afghanistan, your government sent emissaries to the Afghan government to discuss how terrorists should be dealt with on both sides of the border. These are wartime decisions and well outside the scope of a government unable to stop the famine in Thar, halt the attacks on imam bargahs in Shikarpur, Rawalpindi and Peshawar, not the near catastrophic planning failure that lead to the petroleum shortage in Pakistan. How does a competent, informed and experienced government make these mistakes repeatedly?
The government of Pakistan has failed this country and it’s people. There are people in this world that only deal in extremes and it is blatantly naïve to think anything less than extreme measures will stop them. This task, like so many others, is outside your scope of understanding.
The body count is rising and you are still sitting in your palatial homes wondering which statement to make next, how to placate the people and buy yourselves more time to steal more from this great nation. Words are hollow when swift and decisive action does not follow it. Actions are what the Jordanians did after one soldier was burned alive by ISIS – a massive and prolonged bombing campaign to eliminate every single member of the groups that killed one of their sons.
What has your response been?
For the mothers who are still waiting for their children to return from Army Public School. For the husbands who carried the coffins of their children rather than their children carrying theirs. For the children who lost the fathers in imam bargah attacks. For the wives who lost their husbands defending this nation. Hear my words. I speak for a Pakistani people who are tired of bleeding so that you can continue to pretend that you are rulers and not an elected government.
Let today, the anniversary of the day that Pakistan lost its future leaders, be the day that you honor the nation that you claim to serve. Let today be the day that you bow to the men who truly love this nation and its people. Let today be the day that you demonstrate that you are a Pakistani first, standing for Pakistan first.
Pakistan Zindabad! Pakistan Paindabad!
This article originally appeared on Khalid Muhammad’s Agency Rules website.