Intro: Pakistan Taliban is nowhere near decimation as is being purported by the progaganda machinery of the Pakistan Army.
Once again, in Pakistan, a minority community has been targeted in the most vicious manner while the state is left to be a mute witness to the atrocity. The Government of Pakistan has nothing but inane platitudes to give to its Christian citizens as they pass through yet another phase of mindless violence.
The suicide attack on the two Churches in the fortified city of Lahore on March 15, a Sunday, left over 16 innocent people dead and about seven score wounded most of them critically.
Among the many statements that have emanated from political leaders, the most incisive and truthful by far was made by Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, the Chairman of the Pakistan Minorities Alliance when he said, “The Lahore attack has, once again, highlighted the failure of the government to protect minorities.”
An offshoot of the Pakistan Taliban, calling itself Jamatul Ahrar, has said it carried out the attack. It gleefully, claimed responsibility for the unholy act and has promised “more such acts in the near future.” The spokesperson of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan TTP, Ahsanullah Ahsan has said, “We promise that until an Islamic system is put into place in Pakistan such attacks will continue. If Pakistan's rulers think they can stop us, they should try to do so.”
How on earth are the poor Christians of the country coming in the way of putting in place the Islamic system? In any case, Pakistan has been an Islamic state since its inception and the concept was formalised during the dictatorship of General Zia-ul-Haq. So, what is it that these mercenaries are looking for?
The answer is not difficult to find; they are looking for a pure Sunni Muslim society in Pakistan and in this unholy conspiracy, the militants, the Government of Pakistan, and most of all, the Pakistan Army are equal partners. Apart from Christians, Hindus and Sikhs are also being systematically decimated as are other Muslim communities like Shias, Ahmediyas and Hazaras.
In August 2012, Rimsha Masih, an 11-year-old Pakistani Christian girl was arrested under the infamous Blasphemy Law on allegations of having desecrated the Holy Quran. The arrest was allowed despite scant evidence and with utter disregard to her being a minor, suffering from Down syndrome. The hapless family ultimately migrated to Canada to escape the horrible persecution.
In November, 2014, a pregnant Christian woman, Shama Bibi, was beaten to death for allegedly desecrating the Holy Koran, and then, thrown into the furnace of a brick kiln; her husband was thrown in even while he was alive.
Beating of Christians, denying them education and other facilities, burning their houses and properties, placing a shoe along with the holy cross and such like happenings are looked upon as routine. Can it get more barbaric than this?
Can all of the above happen without the explicit complicity of the government and its law enforcing tools? Pakistan’s ties with domestic militant groups have long served its strategic depth policy objectives in connection with Afghanistan and India.
The stated aim of the Pakistan Army as elucidated by the Pakistan Army Chief, General Raheel Sharif, is to rid Pakistan of all types of terrorism. Operation Zarb-e-Azb directed against the Taliban in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) is the foundation of the anti-terrorism drive of the Pakistan Army.
General Raheel Sharif, during an interaction with the Pakistani troops in the conflict zone of NWA on March 13, 2015, said terrorists now have no place to hide in the country. The statement comes across as meaningless and downright stupid in view of the fact that the Taliban continues to enjoy the capacity to attack at will as demonstrated by the latest attack on the churches in Lahore, a city considered to be the bastion of the Pakistan Army.
All assurances and ministrations of total commitment and success in counter terrorist operations are directed at garnering as much aid as is possible. Pakistan has pegged the cost of the military offensive against the Taliban at USD 400 million; the overall cost is being pegged at a whopping USD 1.3 billion. These figures have already been quoted to visiting US officials and senators with the intention of getting financial support.
The fact is that Pakistan Taliban is nowhere near decimation as is being purported by the propaganda machinery of the Pakistan Army. It is as strong as ever and is now aligning with the biggest scourge on the face of the earth- the Islamic State (IS). The intention is to merge the wholly weakened al-Qaeda in this unholy alliance and create a monster that will, first and foremost, decimate all minorities from Pakistan including Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and non-Sunni Muslims like Shias, Ahmadiyas and Hazaras.
There is a growing perception that, despite all outward appearances, the Pakistan Army, the Pakistan Taliban and the Government of Pakistan are hand and glove in fructifying the evil agenda of ethnic cleansing and that too right under the nose of the international community.
The unwritten policy to attain this objective is based on five prongs. First, exterminate the minorities through terror attacks and pogroms. Second, allow terror to sink in enough to cause a general exodus, mainly towards India. Third, convert and marry the female population of the minorities into the Muslim fold. Fourth, impose stringent laws that force the weak minded to convert voluntarily and fifth, make sure that the government and other institutions make the right noises about protection of minority rights that helps keep international scrutiny at bay.
By not going hell for leather against the Pakistan Taliban, the Government of Pakistan and more importantly, the Pakistan Army are playing a very dangerous game that could lead to the disintegration and decimation of the country. There is still time for the instruments of state to realise the folly of the course of action that they have adopted and take corrective action. An inability to do so will cause unbelievable havoc.
Jaibans Singh (The writer is Editor of www.defenceinfo.com)