Terrorists, be they TTP sectarian or criminals threaten our way of life, killing innocent children, men women and elderly, obstructing polio vaccination drive, blowing up schools and colleges, attacking our sensitive defense infrastructure, and yet they have few apologists within our own rank and file. It took over twelve years for us and Gen Raheel to stand up and face enemy by embarking on Zarb-e-Azb. Once the military operation has accomplished its task, comes the difficult phase, which is to put in place a more credible system to fill the void, instead of existing corrupt Political Agents. Whether we like it or not, this is collective failure of political, security and surveillance agencies, whose negligence and policies have allowed them a sanctuary within our motherland.

Responsibility lies on those who crafted our security and foreign policy, and their myopic vision which failed to visualize backlash of their actions. Our foreign and internal security policies need to be re-evaluated. Also the competence, qualifications, professional skills and dual nationalities of those tasked to frame them should be tested. Tackling terrorism is a specialized skill, for which we need to put in place tools necessary for eliminating and punishing them, not existing system, which has failed. Our free media also failed, by focusing on political and internal squabbles, with no air time for terrorism. Writ of Law and supremacy of constitution alone can make Pakistan secure for its children to go to school.

It is time Pakistan closed its doors to foreign mercenaries, severely punish corruption riddled government agencies, responsible for allowing them entry, including those who know where they reside, yet failed to use full force of state power to eliminate private militias. Sensitive intelligence agencies must disband political wing and confine their energies to combat terrorism and threats from across our borders. There is no choice, we eliminate them, or else they will, or force us to lead our lives in accordance with their distorted version of a religion, which has nothing in common with Islam and teachings of Prophet (PBUH). Let us pledge never to allow anybody like Zia to sow seeds of terrorism in this country.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, December 17.