On November 21, a drone unleashed its fury of missiles on a seminary in Hangu district butchering six people and once again violating what little was left of our sovereignty. Four out of six slain were allegedly aides and commanders of the Afghan Taliban whilst the other two, well they were shall we say ‘victims of the oh-so-accurate missile’, or may we just call them ‘collateral damage’. This after PTI had warned that they would stop NATO withdrawal?

Then the world saw a tilt in the US dealings with Iran. It was only to look for an alternate route out of Afghanistan! An important point to bear in mind is the fact that this is an interim deal — spanning over a time span of six months —; clearly this denotes the fragility of the Iran-P5+1 deal in Geneva, which brings us back to the point; does the US depend exclusively on the Chaman route for exit? The answer to this is not as murky as some would have us believe. In all probability the Chaman via Karachi route is the pivot point for NATO logistics in Afghanistan; ironically, despite our cardinal role in the war against terror we continue being defiled by those who we deem as our allies and ‘friends’.

I vividly remember watching the adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security— Sartaj Aziz— popping out of nowhere and gleefully assuring the nation of the US’ pledge to halt drone strikes as long as the Pakistan government was engaged in appeasement talks with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan; only a few hours had lapsed when the Hangu debacle occurred. One clearly stands appalled at the federal government’s impotence to deal with the issue at hand; the last thing one expects is dillydallying and mincing of words on part of the federal government.

There certainly are examples of brave behavior and moral and ethical rulers in our history or have we lost all sense of right or wrong? Who are our friends and who our foes are, we need to draw a line and be clear in our dealings. Our rulers are answerable for every death that happens in the country as they are the sworn custodians. The accountability of the top brass and the political elite leaves much to be desired and unless we do not take ownership of our fallacies we would continue being mocked and treated contemptuously by the world at large.

Ali Butt,

Lahore, December 3.