It is time for the state to stand up, exert its writ, and restore the rule of law and supremacy of the constitution in every corner of Pakistan. The police, army, the para-military forces and civil bureaucracy, whose salaries are paid for by the national exchequer, funded by the tax payers, are there to serve this country, protect the lives of citizens and secure our borders from external enemies, be it another country or foreign funded groups, or those who challenge the writ of the constitution. For more than a decade, innocent civilians have been killed and terrorized as if they were cannon fodder, by religious extremist calling themselves ‘Taliban’, or sectarian outfits and armed groups or mafias backed by political parties and land or drug mafias, while sitting government and security establishments have looked the other way, failing to discharge their constitutional obligations.

Some political and defence analysts of this country have been involved in debates that claim that in order to protect the state, the constitution can be suspended, abrogated or subverted. It is this mindset which is responsible for justifying the use of force to subvert the constitution, forgetting that no institution raised and funded by the state or an armed private militia, has any moral or legal authority to assume unto themselves a role, which the constitution forbids. It is such misplaced concepts which allowed foreign terrorists to enter this country in violation of all rules, when no sovereign country would allow unchecked entry or exit of foreign armed groups or mercenaries on their soil. Today we are reaping the harvest of follies committed by the power of greedy self assumed guardians of the state, who exploited religion to perpetuate their illegitimate rule

MALIK TARIQ,

Lahore, January 22.