Why are we allowing the Taliban an easy victory?

Published: June 27, 2012
Email

Two bike riders attacked Aaj TV and gun shots were fired leaving two personnel of Aaj TV injured. PHOTO: REUTERS

Call it brutality, insanity or ignorance, but what happened on June 25, 2012 will be remembered as yet another defeat in this war against terror which we are supposedly fighting.

News stories day before yesterday stated that Taliban insurgents from across the border in Afghanistan – with the help of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) – attacked a military patrol area in the Upper Dir district. Six soldiers were killed in gun battles and eleven went missing after the attack. Moreover, seven soldiers were reported to have been beheaded.

Sickening and medieval, but so true and common in the Pakistan of today.

An official of the security forces said that dozens of militants attacked the check-post around 6:00pm from across the border. Intelligence officials blamed the attack on loyalists of Pakistani cleric Maulana Fazlullah, who fled to Afghanistan after losing control of Swat to the army.

As the day came to pass, we heard another sad story, and this time it was of an incident of the Taliban attacking a media news channel. Although we as Pakistanis are used to such atrocities that occur on daily basis, this incident was still shocking.

Two bike riders attacked Aaj TV  and gun shots were fired leaving two personnel of Aaj TV injured. Minutes later the TTP claimed responsibility for the attack. The reason given was that Aaj failed to give them proper coverage on their attacks and was involved in propaganda against TTP.

The picture which these attacks paint is very straight forward; the TTP terrorists are roaming around the country and across the border freely and they can strike you whenever they wish to.

I think it is time for our government to listen to what Defence Minister Leon Panetta has been saying for months– Pakistan is a safe haven for terrorists in the border region of Pakistan-Afghanistan.

What was unfortunate was that no other news network provided the terrorist attack on Aaj TV with enough coverage.

My question to these channels is very simple:

When will you speak up?

Is it when the Taliban will attack your building? It will be too late then.

Let’s not get terrorised and hide behind our walls; united, we will stand and when divided we will surely fall.

Our media should stand together and start a massive campaign against actions laced with extremism all across Pakistan whether it’s TTP or any other terrorist organisation. Media should responsibly educate people and urge them to stand together and ask our government and military establishment to adopt a zero tolerance policy against the extremism breeding in the tribal areas.

We have lost 35,000 innocent lives in Pakistan in this war against terrorism and yesterday was just another day that claimed almost 11 innocent lives. This cyclical story will never end until we as Pakistanis stand together. We should all put our foot down and assure our government that we support their actions against terrorism, no matter what the means.

If you think about it then it is a simple solution. If we can eradicate the top leaders of TTP, it will set chaos in their circle and force them to scatter, thus giving us a chance to hunt them down. Drones can give us these specific results as they are much more effective and quick as opposed to a massive on foot operation.

Yes, I still believe drones are our best bet as I blogged about it earlier here at The Express Tribune.

If we can kill the roots of extremism, we will very soon witness the downfall of terrorism that has, tragically, become a part of our everyday lives.

Read more by Hasaan here or follow him on Twitter @shanihashmi  

Pirzada Hasaan Hashmi

Pirzada Hasaan Hashmi

The writer is a political activist and a spokesperson for IHRP (Interfaith Harmony for Religious Peace). He tweets @shanihashmi

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.