My fellow citizens, the government and judiciary of Pakistan have already adequately demonstrated their inability to counter the menace of terrorism within the borders of Pakistan. I would go to the extent that their greatest achievement since taking power after the rigged elections of 2013 has been to allow the terrorists to gain more strength within our country’s borders and further their ties with foreign agencies that are set on destabilizing and eliminating Pakistan from the global map.
On the 16th of December, this nation’s people stood together in the blood of the Army Public School massacre and shouted “Never Again” at a government who is deaf, dumb and blind to the needs of its citizens. On the 16th of December, we, as peaceful Muslims, demanded that our government take stern action against three groups: the terrorists and extremists that have plagued this country for decades, the supporters that have funded and armed the terrorists and extremists, and the apologists that have spoken for them in the public square attempting to discredit the national narrative against these individuals.
The country and the world watched, waiting for the government to take the action that the people demanded. Our allies in the West, who have funded democratic governments in Pakistan, stood in full support of any action that the government would choose to take, offering their assistance in any means required. We all wanted to see the democratically elected, voice of the people, take action for our safety as quickly and efficiently as they do for their own security, salaries and benefits.
We were all disappointed by the action taken.
On the 16th of February, exactly 2 months after the Army Public School attack, I wrote an open letter to the Government and the judiciary of Pakistan. In that letter, I explained how I didn’t believe that the 20 point National Action Plan that had been formulated was an effective solution to the scourge of terrorism that had gripped this country. That letter, like everything else from the citizens of Pakistan, went without action forcing me to again write an open letter on the anniversary of the slaughter of 132 children.
In that letter, I argued that Pakistan should behave like the ancient Roman government when the enemies were at the gates. The Roman Senate would appoint a single commander, a battle tested warrior, to lead the nation during a time of war. That commander would not be a political appointee, rather he would come from the ranks of the armed forces, with a proven record of successes and victories for the nation. He would be the beacon on the hill for the nation to follow and lead through the fog of war, until the enemies were defeated and the nation was safe again.
This request fell on deaf ears, as had the pleas of the people after the Army Public School attack.
With the 20 laborers murdered by anti-state elements in Baluchistan, the 53 Shias killed in Shikapur, the 14 Christians killed in Lahore, the 43 Ismailis killed in Karachi and the countless others that have been targets of evil through the country, the situation is not only out of the government’s control, but overwhelmed the state’s ability to govern.
List of terrorist attacks since 16 December, 2014
- 16 Dec, 2014 – Taliban attacks Army Public School in Peshawar – 141 dead (132 are children)
- 18 Dec, 2014 – IED attack on paramilitary in Bajaur – 3 dead
- 13 Jan, 2014 – Anti-state forces attack in Loralai, Baluchistan – 7 security forces, 2 others dead
- 14 Jan, 2015 – Taliban attack in Kurram Agency – 2 security forces dead
- 14 Jan, 2015 – IED attack on soldiers in Kurram Agency – 3 injured
- 30 Jan, 2015 – TTP attack on Shia mosque in Shikarpur – 53+ dead
- 13 Feb, 2015 – Taliban attack on Shia mosque in Peshawar – 22+ dead, 60 injured
- 17 Feb, 2015 – Bomb blast on police at Qila Guar Singh, Lahore – 8 dead, 19 injured
- 24 Feb, 2015 – Bomb blast in Chaman, Baluchistan – 1 dead, 8 injured
- 15 Mar, 2015 – TTP attack on 2 churches in Youhana Abad, Lahore – 14 dead, 70+ injured
- 20 Mar, 2015 – Bomb blast at mosque in Karachi – 2 dead, 7 injured
- 18 Apr, 2015 – BLA attack on Laborers – 20+ dead
- 13 May, 2015 – TTP attack on Ismaili bus in Karachi – 43+ dead, 19+ injured
Today, many Pakistanis are forced to point the finger of condemnation at the government, the judiciary and the state functionaries as being complicit in passive terrorism.
For those who are unaware of the many facets of terror, passive terrorism is an inaction, non-reaction, non-participation, and/or non-involvement in countering terrorism. It is the behavior of the general public or government which silently allow the spread or promotion of terrorism by turning a blind eye or tolerating terrorist groups. It is when there is no deliberate effort or decision to either counter or raise their voice against terrorist acts or groups that engage in terrorism.
A government is guilty of passive terrorism when it knowingly allows terrorist groups to raise money, enjoy sanctuary, recruit or otherwise flourish but does not directly aid the group itself.
My fellow Pakistanis, can you honestly say that the government of Pakistan has not been engaged in passive terrorism against Pakistan?
The Charge Sheet
The government of Pakistan and its functionaries:
- have taken a position of negotiating with known terrorist organizations, rather than taking forceful military action. This position of negotiation, against the army’s objections, demonstrated a weakness on the part of the government to end the problem of militancy and emboldened insurgents, militants and terrorist organizations around Pakistan, including, but not limited to, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, FATA, Khyber, Mohmand, Bajaur, Waziristan and Bara Agencies; Baluchistan, southern Punjab, interior Sindh, Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar;
- have proven that they are unable/unwilling to draft a multi-faceted actionable strategy to counter terrorist and extremist activities within Pakistan that will address the recruitment, brainwashing, messaging, financing, operations, arming and functioning of the organizations;
- have wasted taxpayer monies on unneeded All-Parties Conferences, National Assembly and Senate sessions and meetings in each province under the guise of implementing a disingenuous 20-point National Action Plan;
- have proven that any measures that are taken are inherently designed to protect the political parties and religious groups that are involved in the above mentioned activities;
- have added organizations to the banned/extremist organizations list in Pakistan but have provided police protection to the same groups and their members;
- have refused to arrest, charge or convict those who speak against the state of Pakistan, including, but not limited to, insurgent, religious, terrorist, separatist, and extremists organizations;
- have proven that the judiciary of Pakistan is unable/unwilling to mete out serious punishment to those who are charged with acts of terror under the Anti-Terrorism Act;
- Additionally, the courts have proven they are unable/unwilling to uphold the Pakistan Penal Code in any case that could inflame terrorists, including the implementation of the death penalty for those convicted of murder and kidnapping for ransom;
- have proven that they are unwilling to take action against those groups, whether they are terrorist groups, extremist groups, non-governmental organizations, or separatist groups, who are receiving financing from outside Pakistan without revealing the sources or agendas in return for financing;
- have proven that they are unable to show unity as a nation against the threat that is faced, instead focusing on causing, inflaming and protracting petty differences to attempt to distract the nation from the real issues;
- have proven that any economic activity that is undertaken in the country today will be wasted because of the growing terrorism situation throughout the country, making the activity and the related investments worthless to the people, while saddling the nation to a significant debt that must be repaid;
- have proven that they are quickly able to increase their own personal protection in the face of the terrorist threats, while drawing those resources away from the protection of the citizens of Pakistan;
It should be understood by all those reading this, the government has failed to counter both an internal and external threat to the nation and its citizens. They have deliberately, knowingly and with great resolve, attempted to counter those who use extreme measures against the people with a gentle hand and a kind heart. This is a failure of governance and would lead any Prime Minister or government to resign in shame in any mature, respectable country of the world. In Pakistan, the government is busy with lunches and staged photo opportunities rather than protecting its citizens.
Many of you who are reading this will feel this is a hostile step to charge the government with supporting terrorism. When you are faced with enemies whose only interest is to kill, maim and defeat the nation, you must respond with the same resolve, otherwise you must accept the right to govern this nation and this people is morally and ethically gone.
We are facing an enemy that does not accept our Constitution, that does not follow our Islam and that does not demonstrate the same humanity that we cling to. Yet, we are expected to provide them with all the defenses of the Constitution, allow them to speak about our Islam in a manner that offensive to the entire Muslim Ummah and rip the little remaining humanity from our grasp, while making a mockery of our nation, our religion and our people before the world.
We are facing an enemy that rejoices in watching us drown in the blood that they spill, takes pleasure in our lifting of the coffins of our loved ones and believes that the more they make us drown, the more our spirit and resolve will break.
My fellow Pakistanis, today, we must rise. We must demonstrate to the enemy, whether foreign or domestic, that we are ready to shed our blood for the Pakistan that we love. We must rejoice in the victories of our armed forces against those who take pleasure in spreading hate and violence. We must stand against those who spread disinformation, whether in our media or our citizenry, that damages the fabric of this nation, its institutions and the hearts of Pakistanis. We must cast out those who speak even a single word in defense of those who have fixed their weapons on Pakistan.
They are not us and we are not them.
The process starts with the government that claims to be democratically elected, representing the voice of the people. They are guilty of each charge listed and cannot be excused, absolved or forgiven for their complicity in these acts.
Tomorrow marks 5 months since that fateful morning in Peshawar when our children were attacked. How many more must die, how many more families must be destroyed, how many more lives taken before you stand up and say enough?
Our body count continues to grow and only you can stop it before we must pick up arms ourselves to defend our Pakistan from those who continue to harm it.
This article was originally published on Khalid Muhammad’s Agency Rules website.