Habibullah Khan Nasar
One can see a novel tactic when it comes to terrorize the people and demoralize the state apparatus on the part of the obscurantist elements in the country. The tactic is callous as usual but fundamentally differs in aims. Previously, they used the tactic of material destruction as a means to climb up to the position of strength and negotiate favourable terms with the state. To their wonder, the people showed exemplary resolve and determination by not succumbing to the unprecedented waves of violence and refused to yield to them political and social space. The tactical failure compelled the obscurantist elements to reengineer their stratagem: now to make an effective assault on the sheer psyche of the society by targeting the educated youth. The ensuing responses on the part of the state apparatus to the recent wave of terrorist onslaughts have been completely immature.
It appears as if the terror brigades’ stratagem has achieved to an extent what they intended to muster: to hit hard on the societal and political psyche. In the wake to the terrorist attack inflicted on the Bacha Khan University, the government’s response substantiated the sundry analyses on the part of the independent analysts claiming that the government had neither head nor heart to steer the vehicle of the country out of the quagmire in a tactful and sustainable manner. An illustration of the point made can be the delegation of the security responsibility to the schools. Moreover, launching of security drills inside schools, wherein the trained commandoes play tactically to educating kids how to prevent disaster in the occurrence of terrorist attack, can be another bizarre episode of the drama being staged on the part of the government. The puzzling episode launched by the government does not end here.
The closure of schools, colleges and universities in Punjab, which led to the dissenting response on the part of the outspoken Federal Interior Minister, reflected how uncoordinated and exclusive the process of security management in the country was. More ironical was the measure to scapegoat the Vice Chancellor of the Bacha Khan University by declaring him responsible for the security lapse.
Undoubtedly, all the measures of the government are severely objectionable, but the decision to remove the VC of the BKU on the grounds that he failed to ensure security in the face of the suicidal brigades’ onslaught is totally unintelligible. Let us interpret this decision of the government. It obviously means a school headmaster would be dismissed in case there occurs a terror occasion in a school in the days to come. Actually, the government is trying to fix responsibility somewhere for the first time, but the effort appears to be seriously faulty and completely unfair.
If the VC or a schoolmaster is responsible for the security of the university and school respectively, then a million dollar question arises: who is responsible for the security of the overall country? Moreover, if a VC or schoolmaster is to be terminated from the duty on the grounds of failure in ensuring security in the premises, then who is to be terminated from the duty for security lapses occurring regularly or periodically in every nook and corners of the country? The questions are left to your independent judgment.
The bizarre tactics of the government in response to the gruesome terrorist attacks and its pathetic track record regarding noncompliance of the civilian side of the national action plan (NAP) clearly suggest that the government is suffering from a profound problem from within. The apparatus of National Counter Terrorism Authority, established back in 2013, has remained nonfunctional to date. This illustration should sufficiently serve as empirical evidence reflecting the non-serious and clumsy attitude of the government when it comes to eradicate terrorism and extremism from the country.
What is more gruesome is the effect of the ill-directed and trivial measures recently taken on the part of the government. It reveals that the government that is representing 200 million people and nuclear power is under severe pressure from the desperate acts of the terrorists. It also indirectly signals to the enemy that his stratagem is effective: this is undoubtedly a dangerous one because it also connotes ‘carry on’. All over the world, especially in a democratic setup, the governments are expected as a means of elevating the deteriorating morale of the people in extraordinary circumstances enveloping the country. Whereas, we observe that the government here instead of boasting the confidence of the people is wittingly or unwittingly engaged in contrary terms. The government has to wake up to the calls of the time the sooner the better.
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