| by Ali Sukhanver
( May 20, 2013, Islamabad, Sri Lanka Guardian) Though the nation is very much delighted over the continuity of democratic process in Pakistan but this feeling of joy and happiness won’t last longer if the tree of democracy does not bear the desired fruit. The list of the problems which this nation has been facing since long is not endless but it requires a lot of hard work, determination and above all a sincere will to resolve these problems. Unfortunately in the previous five years, the elected government wasted a lot of time in strengthening itself in the name of stabilizing democracy and nothing could be done for the betterment of common people and prosperity of the country. The PPP government could have delivered a lot to the people if the democratically elected representatives had behaved in a sensible manner. The situation today is the same as it was five years back. Ever increasing energy crisis, unemployment, scarcity of opportunities, a feeling of disappointment and depression and above all the uncontrollable wave of terrorism; in short nothing could be changed. The way the whole nation reacted to the inability of the previous government is very much obvious from the results of the recent elections. Same would be the fate of the newly elected public representatives if they did not learn a lesson from the past. The people of Pakistan demand nothing but peace and prosperity and both these desires are unachievable unless the menace of terrorism is crushed with iron hands.
It is very much true that the issue of terrorism is not a new-born issue; this nation has been facing the evil of terrorism since long but the situation aggravated a lot soon after the Lal Masjid operation in 2007. A recent report on terrorism in Pakistan says, “Soon after the Lal Masjid operation in 2007, the situation abruptly changed and terrorists started targeting government installations and security forces. In the last five years, only in KPK and FATA the terrorist attacks took lives of more than 12,456 innocent citizens and security personnel. At the same time moreover 10,000 militants were also killed by the security forces.” In short the wave of terrorism deprived almost 230000 people of their lives during the last five years only in KPK and FATA and unfortunately all of them were the Muslims. More unfortunate is the fact that Pakistani leadership totally failed in preparing any strategy which could help and support in elimination of the menace of terrorism. The nation had been looking towards the authorities concerned for the solution of this problem but nothing could be done though the intelligence agencies had been issuing all necessary warnings in this context.
More painful is the fact that when the whole nation was fully involved in the process of electioneering, the terrorists were spending all their strength and force to blight the atmosphere and disrupt the process of electioneering. Their sole aim was to frighten the people and prevent the voters from active participation in elections. Some of the terrorist groups even warned the masses in FATA and KPK to refrain from casting their votes because democracy is absolutely an un-Islamic practice in their opinion. Thank God; the nation realized that free and fair elections are the only option for the Pakistanis who desire for a peacefully prosperous country. Fortunately this desire of the nation got full support from the Armed Forces of Pakistan. Just twelve days before the general elections, addressing the grand celebrations of Yaum-e-Shuhada in Islamabad the Chief of the Army Staff General Kiyani ensured the nation that the Armed Forcers would extend all possible support to hold fair, free and transparent elections because these elections would provide the base for finding solutions to many questions including the question of War on Terror. Now the formation of the newly elected democratic government is in process. Still there are a few constituencies where the Election Commission of Pakistan has ordered for re-polling. Soon the situation will be very much clear and the ball shall be in the court of newly formed government. People are looking towards Miyan Nawaz Shareef and Imran Khan with confident eyes. They are sure that these two party-heads have all ability, determination and the sincere will to give a new life to Pakistan.
The newly elected government shall have to concentrate seriously upon the issue of terrorism because no efforts for peace and prosperity could be fruitful unless this issue is resolved. The democratic representatives have full support of the nation and of the security forces of Pakistan. So they must take advantage of this trustful support and take stern action against the menace of terrorism. Here this thing must also be kept in mind that terrorism does not mean only the militant activities of the religious extremists; terrorism has so many other forms and shapes. All those who try to air and exploit the ethnic, racial or sectarian differences through their speeches, writings or actions are also terrorists. They are the people who want to see the nation in a continuous state of war for their trivial interests. The newly elected government shall have to be very much prejudiced and rigid against all those who talk against the ideology and unity of Pakistan whether they are in Quetta or Karachi. Such people must also be dealt as terrorists.