When Jihad was waged by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)or his companions known as Suhaba it was always led by a leader who authorized the campaigns and those who comprised the force always included the immediate family members of leader. These days Jihad has assumed a totally new meaning, which has no relation to Islamic traditions, norms or conventions. It has become an extremist venture, and this distortion of what was a holy campaign, took place when scores of funds and human foot-soldiers were pumped to raise a force to fight the Russian occupation by exploiting poor illiterate unemployed Muslims who were led to believe that they were waging a holy war.

Can anyone name one general or our so-called Ulema who led this war or whose son or brother was killed in this campaign, where hundreds of thousands lost their lives? The manner in which holy war has been distorted has wrongly been accepted and we see by these leaders living in large villas and farmhouses, driving expensive limousines, with no known sources of income, except funds raised by those who are led to believe that they are taking part in a holy war.

Responsibility for this exploitation of innocent Muslims lies squarely upon state and its institutions, which were raised on tax payer funds, for rule of law and supremacy of constitution. As long as paid servants of state and elected executive do not come down hard on such practices, where even basic document for eligibility of nationality such as NIC is available for as low as Rs 5,000, through agents visible outside offices of NADRA etc, in full know of law enforcing agencies and our numerous intelligence networks, the security of Pakistan will be at stake.

Such massive corruption can only take place with connivance of top bureaucrats, political leadership and members of security agencies. Responsibility for defending and securing Pakistan lies solely on the shoulders of Pakistanis, who consider this their motherland where they would live and die. The main question now is do we have any such people among the ruling elite who are more like conquers who come plunder and leave ?

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, November 13.