For almost 60 hours there was this hideous silence of local, provincial and federal political executive. Our paid bureaucracy, an elaborate intelligence and security apparatus and all and everyone maintained a deadly silence at the slaughter of hundreds of innocent citizens. They reminded us of a pack of wolves who have just devoured a herd of sheep and then wait till the next slaughter. Why have these particular people been targeted no one has any idea.

Hazara’s, having been driven up against a wall where enduring further pain was unbearable were forced to stage a protest that should have immediately shaken the rulers sitting on their thrones. So desperate were these unfortunate citizens of Pakistan, who were promised by Quaid-i-Azam to be treated as equal citizens, that men, women and children were forced to stage a protest exposed to very harsh elements. Why did the state wait so long to take any action and forced its desperate citizens to seek justice? Were the insensitive rulers, who were seeking short term political gains and keeping intact a dysfunctional coalition government headed by a clown, thinking there seats were more important than the people of this country?

We are reaping engineered political discord along ethnic, sectarian and linguistic divides sown by military dictators like Zia, followed by Musharraf to thwart a united political struggle against their illegitimate takeover. As if this was not enough, they created the illegitimate NRO to protect and facilitate corrupt men to bring into disrepute democracy and help them evade accountability of massive corruption, hiding behind smokescreen of what was expected of this corrupt mediocrity. It is high time people of Pakistan stood up to protect Pakistan from dangers within. This can only happen if everybody, including our masses, civil or khaki bureaucracy, political parties, and members of responsible media understand that each of us have faltered in the past and now there is no room for further mistakes.

For more than four decades, with exception of few individuals, Pakistan’s destiny and policies have rested in the hands of semi literate mediocrity, pygmies without any vision or sense of history, abusing state power, all driven mostly by lust for power, ill-gotten money, unlike the political leadership of our pre-partition era where icons like Quaid-i-Azam, Allama Iqbal, Sir Syed, all highly educated men with vision to look beyond their self interest dreamed of a free country for Muslims, not Sunnie or Shias but all Muslims alike. Even after SC had declared this dysfunctional Raisani setup unconstitutional, Islamabad decided to flout its judgment and keep the clown, with disastrous consequences.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, January 14.