Will Hakimullah Mehsud be the ‘man who wasn’t given a chance’?
Hakimullah Mehsud is dead. Pakistan should be celebrating because we are rid of the man who has caused so much pain to us over the years. However, I cannot shake off the sinking feeling that whether we like it or not, Hakimullah Mehsud will emerge as the man who was wronged.
This man will not be remembered for the blood he has shed, but will be the ‘man who wanted to talk but wasn’t given the chance’. That is the importance of timing. Mark this statement because we are all going to hear it for years to come from our beloved right wing ‘extremists’, much as it pains me to say this.
America is not here to stay. In 2014, they intend to pull out and they don’t have much to lose with regards to how Hakimullah Mehsud was killed; for Pakistan, however, it’s a different story. Now, and for years to come, many children in FATA and KPK will be told stories of the “great warrior” who fought against the American “devils” and in the end he ‘died a holy death’.
Any other narrative will not be accepted by most.
The timing of Hakimullah Mehsud’s death was poor to say in the least. Many Pakistanis, including Imran Khan, have maintained that drone strikes are counterproductive. Haven’t we heard about Naik Mohammad and Waliur Rehman enough already from Imran Khan? Did we need another ‘martyr’ added to that list?
Don’t get me wrong; just like other families who were caused grief by this man, I too wanted revenge – I wanted justice for thousands of innocent Pakistanis who lost their lives at the hands of Hakimullah Mehsud. Today I rejoice, but I believe that this drone strike has done Pakistan a disservice because the right-wing bandwagon will, no doubt, see this as a step to ‘derail the peace process in Pakistan’.
In fact, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar stated that these drone strikes were aimed at sabotaging efforts to establish peace in the country.
You and I did not make this decision, but the sad truth is that we are the ones who will have to live through the consequences; I am certain that the Taliban will have their vengeance and the innocent like us will suffer. I believe that we should have given peace a chance when the opportunity arose, but when America made the decision, it did not take into account that the cancer, that is the Taliban, is still rampant within the organs of Pakistan. To tackle the entire growth of terrorism, talks were being initiated and by interrupting this process, America has, no doubt, unveiled itself as the ‘evil’ that does not want peace to prevail.
Imran Khan, as expected, came out bashing the Americans and urged the government to block NATO supplies going through the country. He has every right, now, to hold is head up high and maybe even say ‘I told you so’; Pakistan will, thus, continue on its path of division.
Perhaps after this death, our civil-military leadership will get together and figure something out, just like they did at the recent All Parties Conference. Another offer of peace talks might be extended to the TTP; another Lt General might be attacked; another drone strike may take place and we will go run the mulberry bush again.
All the while, TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud will be remembered as the one who could have made peace talks a relaity but wasn’t given a chance.
Welcome to Pakistan!
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.