When Taliban started arriving in Pakistan’ tribal areas after American ousted them from a post 9/11 Afghanistan, our rhetoric was — these are few hundred people, we will tackle them in no time. Within few years, Taliban killed a number of tribal leaders (Maliks) and occupied a place to form their own mini- Emirate and to take the war to Pakistan’ towns and cities. When the Taliban occupied the strategic valley of Swat, we surrendered in union and didn’t act until they started knocking at Islamabad gates. Is history going to repeat itself?

Again our rhetoric is same —- there is no Daesh here; it’s a Middle East based organization, nothing to do with Pakistan. List of Daesh-inspired suspected militants was withdrawn within hours of its publication. It’s now on record that Safoora Goth carnage was carried out by militants having indirect links with Daesh. All signs indicate that Daesh is no more a far-distant blood thirsty monster — it’s very much here with all of its ideology, pan-Islamic targets and sectarian narrowness. Pakistan’ education system, right-wing media and intellectuals have been working for decades to keep inspiring, generation after generation, of glory of Muslim past kingdoms, empires and caliphates. Now many educated young men find Daesh a real game-changer for Muslims in a post-colonial world which has established its own state and is implementing the rule of ‘Shahria’.

There is no point in denying presence of Daesh on Pak soil — should not expect Iraqi or Syrian militants here but its ideology is attracting not only dared sectarian outfits, such as Lashker-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) but a number of urbanized educated young men and women. It’s time not to bury ones head in sand, but to chalk out strategy to tackle the cancer spreading out not only from seminaries but from schools and universities as well. Soon they will have their counterparts in Afghanistan in commanding position wherein money is changing hands to bring Taliban in Daesh folds. That moment will be the real game-changer!

Let’s hope someone somewhere is awake from deep sleep and instead of putting excuses, will do something to stop the incoming flood of more inspired and educated militants.

MASOOD KHAN,

Saudi Arab, October 16.