Syed Ali ZafarThere is certainly a plan afoot against Pakistan and we all seem to be helping. Pakistan participated in War On Terror without any strategy and in spite of being victims of worst terrorist attacks ever faced by any country Pakistanis were blamed for not doing enough. Many even hold us responsible for supporting terrorist organisations. We experienced our own 9/11 when a truck full of explosives rammed into and destroyed Marriott Islamabad, killing many, followed by an insurgency in beautiful valleys of Malakand destroying all prospects of tourism and pitting native tribesmen against Pakistani military. When we made a Peace Accord with Maulana Sufi Muhammad we were blamed for giving in too easily. Pakistan was labelled as the most dangerous place on earth, few were willing to visit the country and none was ready to play cricket or any sport in Pakistan. Against all this the Pakistani nation stood tall and optimistic, ready to meet all challenges and move towards positive. In pursuit of this the nation successfully got rid of a military ruler only to find very quickly that once again politicians had started bitter in-fighting and had forgotten their vows to work together in larger national interests. No matter how tough, every civilisation from time to time needs a shot in the arm to keep its hopes alive. A successful tour by a foreign team and a few days of lively sports would have been just the right recipe and at least given the semblance of normalcy to the people and indicating globally that things are improving. Sri Lanka, in a brave and defiant show of solidarity, agreed to become the conduit and go ahead with planned tour. What tilted the balance in favour of Sri Lanka playing test matches in Pakistan was the belief that whatever else may happen, targets of the terrorists are strategic military interests or political personalities and not sportsmen and that VVIP security designated for president/prime minister would be provided to them. Everyone knew that a successful tour would not only have paved the way for others to visit and changed the perception of many, even provided new impetus for the economy, but would also have disproved all those, particularly in India, who wanted Pakistan to be labelled as a failed state. We must remember that there is a strong lobby out there propagating that Pakistan's nuclear assets should be removed because it cannot safely control them. Surely our governments should know that failure to safeguard Sri Lankans for a few days would prove these lobbyists correct. All that was required from all concerned was to ensure full protection to Sri Lankan team (after all the president, PM and ministers go about their daily business safely). All hopes stood shattered on bloody Tuesday when in broad daylight and middle of the commercial hub of Lahore, armed men attacked Sri Lankan cricket team with rocket launchers and grenades, killing policemen and wounding cricketers and umpires. World witnessed in horror the images of the terrorist crouching, aiming and firing with automatic weapons and then confidently running away to safety. This cowardly act shocked cricket fans all over the world and stunned the nation. It is difficult to describe how my countrymen are feeling today. This tragedy has evoked sad emotions which were hither to not known but we have always come out stronger. The entire country is feeling grief and pride for martyred policemen in line of duty and let down by the politicians Sportsmen are considered to be ambassadors of a country and since times when nations started playing sports with each other, there have been hardly any instances where harm has been caused to visitors. Last terrorist attack on sportsman was more than 36 years ago when Israeli Olympians were killed in Munich in 1972 by Palestinian group called Black September. Israel was equally brutal and launched the 'Operation Spring of Youth' and 'Operation Wroth of God' assassinating most of those involved in the killings. Perhaps we also need to launch 'Operation Anger of Pakistanis' against all involved in this attack. The myth that sportsmen are not targeted in Pakistan is however now broken (we may recall the statements of Jaish-i-Muhammadi that "jahadis have no interest in targeting sportsmen" and Imran Khan's statement that he personally guarantees "that no terrorist shall harm a cricketer"). As seen on TV it was obvious that terrorists were well-trained for combat and were not typical suicide bombers. There were marked similarities between this and the attack in Mumbai recently. This attack was not aimed at any Western target and was purely anti-Pakistani. The aim was to ensure that no country visits Pakistan in future, demoralise entire nation, prove to the world that Pakistan is a failed state and to destroy it economically. The hand of India of course cannot also be ruled out and there is a letter written from CID to Punjab Police informing them that RAW is planning an attack on the Sri Lankan team during its journey to stadium. Who is involved, only time will tell, but the aim of every terrorist, whatever his belief, is to go against a high-end target and ensure that the attack achieves maximum publicity with most impact. Whoever was behind has certainly achieved this. We need to be grateful to Sri Lankan people, its cricket team and government who have not condemned us but have shown solidarity with Pakistanis. However people are ashamed at our politicians as immediately in the aftermath of the attack they have fallen into a bitter blame game. When the Mumbai attack happened there were visible security lapses by Mumbai Police and grave shortcomings in the government's response to tackle the terrorists. Yet the entire Indian nation, particularly its politicians, stood firm and united and immediately began an anti-Pakistan campaign which forced leaders of many countries to come forth to condemn the attack and point fingers at our nation. Remember, two airplanes crashed into the World Trade Centre. There could not have been a more blatant security lapse than this. Yet Americans, Republicans or Democrats, rallied behind their president and showed a united front to the world. It was later that positive feedback was given from various quarters on how to improve security for future. In sharp contrast to this Pakistan's response however seems to be sadly in a disarray. We have politicians from all sides blaming each other or our own government and agencies for lack of adequate security. PML-N is holding the governor responsible for such disaster. Imran Khan claims that the attack was a consequence of Pakistan's ill-advised policies regarding the War On Terror. I have heard many others saying that Pakistan has and is still allowing potential terrorist organisations to function within its territories. This is no time for blame games but a time to examine the security lapses and reaching a conclusion on "who is responsible." Why we always first downgrade ourselves and blame it on our governments. Politicians are fast digging their own graves by harming the country's crucial interests. After the elections with democratic government in place it was felt that peoples' will shall ensure that the greatest menace to the country's integrity, terrorism within Pakistan against Pakistanis, will be addressed. I and a number of writers had suggested various ways to deal with this menace. Unfortunately leaders of the two largest parties selfishly and unnecessarily started fighting with each other to the extent of being ridiculous. Nawaz Sharif continued to pursue his agenda against the existing judiciary in spite the PML-N being part of the Punjab government. There was contradiction in PML-N's stance while on the one hand it was refusing to recognise the existing judiciary, at the same time it had appointed its advocate general/additional advocate generals who appeared before the court everyday in recognition of the court's authority and validity. At the same time PPP too was constantly striving to topple the Punjab government. It is also sad that while for one year the two leaderships of PPP and PML-N continued to call each other brothers, as soon as the case was decided against Sharif, the president suddenly became a corrupt enemy and a call was given to the people to come out on the streets and topple the government. It appears that in the past where PPP and PML-N managed through various means to topple each others' governments eventually leading to army take over is being repeated. However the difference between then and now needs to be understood. At that time the country survived the in-fighting of politicians and even sustained ten years of army interference, but now physical threat of terrorist taking control of the country can potentially affect the country's integrity. Currently Pakistanis should not and cannot tolerate ill-advised and selfish actions of politicians. My suggestion is that the current assemblies (national and provincial) must be allowed to function for their full term. Struggle for power and to form governments is part of democracy as long as it is done within constitutional framework, no one has a right to object. If one is aggrieved by actions of another, parliamentary democracy dictates that resolution has to be made within Parliament and ultimately through votes of people in next elections. However no one should be allowed to go to the streets and create anomaly as this is only playing in the hands of the terrorists and further destabilising the country. I would urge all concerned that this is not the time for any agitation's. If the public is in favour of PPP's actions or against the removal of PML-N's leadership by a court order, they are entitled to vote in the next elections and if they bring PML-N back in majority, Nawaz Sharif is free to use that majority and pass an "NRO kind of legislation" in his favour and also let himself of any disqualification. However no one is entitled to upset the democratic process as this will only make a very dangerous situation unbearable. The writer is an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan E-mail: