Driving past an Army Public School I saw barricades in place that were not there before the fateful day of massacre in Peshawar. Children, barely six or seven were walking past the barricades with their parents towards the parking lot as the school had just ended. I was thinking of the psychological impact on these young angels. They see it on TV, then everything’s different the next day they come to school. It’s hard to imagine what they must be going through, of course, such questions are beyond the intellect of those who planned and executed this act, which can’t even be described with words like barbarous and heinous. Much has been said and written and no words are strong enough to condemn the act enough but there is another dimension to it.

As always, our liberal intelligentsia has come down hard on Islamic narrative in our society. It is ironic, however, that such incidents are most damaging to those sincere elements within our society, who work for the cause of Islam, for apart from humanistic aspect, it also has an impact on their intellectual discourse. The secular brigade tends to bracket anyone with a dissenting view as an apologist. Pinning all evils against Islam and its political dimension has been the mainstay of all their arguments.

Cashing in on the sentiments of people at such a critical time, they further their agenda of creating schisms within our society. This so called ‘progressive’ segment of the society has a lot to answer. For too long they have been proponents of adopting ‘War On Terror’ as our own war. Much blood has been spilled since then. They are the very same people, who propounded the idea of launching a military operation in North Waziristan. We have witnessed horrific incidents such as Wagah border attack and now Peshawar massacre which speak volumes of their failed approach.

They now call for an integrated strategy with civilian leadership playing its part as well. In display of sheer disregard for Islamic principles, they even supported moratorium on death penalty, yet many of them now want public hangings. In effect our secular and liberal intelligentsia has morphed into a fascist breed, that has little tolerance for anyone with a counter narrative. As much as they speak for freedom of speech and expression, they do not tolerate criticism or opinion, contrary to their understanding and logic.

For instance, following the Peshawar incident, some suggested foreign involvement, proponents of such views have been subjected to harsh criticism and are being labeled as conspiracy theorists or apologists. We might never know the entire truth, but time will tell who actually gained from the entire episode and that might enable us to reach conclusions. Yet for the ‘enlightened’ ones among us, let’s just group all those who still hold Islam as Pakistan’s raison d’etre and gag their voices once and forever.

USMAN ZIA,

Islamabad, December 21.