One more blast followed by one more round of routine, empty, and ultimately vacuous and utterly meaningless condemnations. One more wound in the heart of a polity now in a state of hemorrhage. A city in mourning turning, in a convulsive movement, yet another leaf on the calendar recording the misdeeds and follies of a morally bankrupt elite clinging to chairs over which hang grand titles of President and Prime Minister, but a leadership, which is, nevertheless, unable to command, order, and execute even a simple warrant for the arrest of the masterminds behind suicide attacks. The whole security apparatus of the country is in state of paralysis but no one is bold and courageous enough to take blame.
Mercifully, Karachi is not a city in its death throes, just a city in mourning, wearing the black dress of death unleashed upon it by a band of men coming from the hither side of humanity; men who should not even be called human beings, for the least one human being can do to honor the very title of being a human being is to respect the yet-to-be born baby. But these men show no respect to the old, to the sick, or to the child; they are simply not human by any definition of the word.
Why and How remain: Why every single day brings Pakistan closer to an internal collapse? Why there is no end to the havoc? Why thousands of security men in their uniform cannot find the culprits? Why do we have institutions like the Police and the intelligence agencies and the army and its long payroll if they cannot stop this unending series of blasts? Why do we have administration and administrators who cannot perform?
Another set of “why’s” include: why do we have people who are ready to die the way they are dying with explosives strapped to their bodies? Why do we have an unlimited supply of young men who are ready to blow themselves and everyone else who comes in their way? Why do they do this? Who sends them out there among the citizens going around, doing their everyday tasks? Who is behind this unending series and why?
Then there are lots of “how’s”: How is it possible that these criminals have an unending supply of ammunition and explosives, vehicles and money, access to roads which are supposed to be blocked, easy access to public places which are supposed to be protected and how is it that these people can strike at will wherever and whenever they wish?
These are mighty questions and no one has an answer; for if there were answers, we would not have this problem to start with. What is obvious, however, is the height of the graph, recording these incidents and the blood on ground, even though no one seems to be counting the dead. The green flag of this land of the pure is now drenched in blood and even though it is hard to establish a direct causal relation between the two, there are enough clues to link the red line of blood in our cities to the blood being spilled in the north.
The havoc being wrecked in the north on both sides of the Durand line remains under reported, but anyone who can read between the lines and listen to the pulse of the land knows that the devastation being caused to land and its people in the north is huge, explosive, and impossible to curtail within any confines. This situation has arisen through a series of misdeeds of the rulers. The north was not what it is now prior to the arrival of the US soldiers in Afghanistan. The north has become what it has become through its direct relationship with what it is happening in Afghanistan and through the unwise decisions of those who sided with the Americans when they arrived in our region, arrogantly vowing to send our neighbors back to the stone age. Our military dictator thought he can save us by joining them; he was utterly wrong.
Turkey saved itself from a similar situation when the US leadership attempted to coerce it into its Iraqi venture; Pakistan did not. The difference between the two decisions is the difference between the quality of two leaderships: Turkish leaders took the matter to the Parliament; the Parliament voted against any direct involvement in Iraq and the United States could do nothing. Pakistani ruler acted like all dictators do—a self-referential, self-centered decision that led the country into a marsh from which it has yet to emerge. Is there anyone who would investigate this greatest misdeed of a man who had broken all laws of the land and ruled for almost a decade and who left the country as a shattered polity, wounded in the heart.
If anyone can read the writing on the wall, he or she can clearly read: disengagement from the affairs of the US-led interminable war of terror and you will find is a solution to the chaos, confusion, and terror on this land. A conscious and sincere decision to mend fences with the men in the mountains is required to heal our wounds. Yet, the great irony of Pakistan’s contemporary situation is that we have dysfunctional parliament and senate and a political leadership that is anything but leadership.
In the absence of functional political institutions and morally sound and politically sagacious rulers, and in the absence of any intellectual force capable of analyzing the morass, all that is left is blasts and more blasts, each leading to more confusion, more chaos, more wounds.