What is the stance of the ordinary citizens?
The zealots have been granted their demands, condoned for their excesses and generously compensated for the return fare.
Where do the peaceful, progressive, rational, tolerant but silent Pakistanis stand on this issue? Do they not have a voice, a narrative or a set of demands? Vulnerable to collapse at the slightest pressure by the numerous shades of religious extremists, the Pakistani state needs to undo some of its mistakes, distance itself from the militants and reform its systems and processes. Should the ones listed below not form a minimum agenda for the much needed reforms and remedial actions.
1. The DG Ranger Lahore must resign for his funding and goodwill towards the militants who challenged the writ of the state.
2. It is appropriate that the DG Rangers Lahore must be made to pay from his own pocket the entire amount that he paid to those who attacked the state of Pakistan. The tax payers’ money cannot be used as a reward or an incentive to those who fought with, tortured and killed the law enforcing personnel of Pakistan.
3. The leader of the gang who organized the Faizabad Dharna must be arrested, tried in a court of law and asked to bring forward all those who were involved in the kidnapping and brutal torture of the two policemen in Rawalpindi.
4. The Interior Minister must be held accountable and asked to resign from his post for utter failure, ineptness and complete cluelessness in the handling of Faizabad ‘dharna’.
5. The police force at the Federal and the Provincial levels must be unplugged from the clutches of the politicians and re-organised into autonomous, well trained, well equipped, well paid and well respected professional bodies. It must never be launched minus its weapons and bullets to fight armed and unruly militias.
6. The ‘Rudd ul Fasaad’ which seems to have rapidly turned into another ‘National Action Plan’, be re-evaluated for its effectiveness. It ought to focus on eliminating terror groups and to undertake complete nation-wide deweaponisation.
7. The state needs to clamp down on all militant ‘madrassas’ and all those who are engaged in hate speech towards other sects, religions and state organs.