As expected, my last ST article on the above subject received a mixed response. Two responses that are worth mentioning are from strangers, but both from the Malakand area and relate to the above question. 'There has been a barrage of criticism against the introduction of Nizam-e-Adl in our area and though we are not happy about the Taliban and the idea of 'sleeping with the enemy, as you describe it, but unfortunately we have no option. 'The people of Swat, like Balochistan, have been abandoned and betrayed by the people of Pakistan . Our area has been neglected for many years and we have suffered terribly. Those who have resisted or challenged the Taliban, have been slaughtered in front of their families, like those who tried to resist the Nazis during World War 2. We have lived with this fear and terror for the last six months. All we now want is peace. And what was also surprising was the same bitter response to the article, 'I want my country back by Sehar Tariq. I am reproducing below some of the cries of anger, disappointment and frustration expressed by Ms ST, which all of us share and the response to the article. 'Eight years ago I boarded a plane to the US to come to college. I was 17 and as I left, my father hugged me and told me to never come back because he believed that soon Pakistan would not be a country fit for me to live in, but we had laughed it off. 'At that time, I was inspired, energized, hopeful and optimistic and was determined to prove him wrong. Today I am neither and I have lost the debate with my father about the fate of Pakistan . The Parliament, by endorsing the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation, has heralded the end of Pakistan , as I knew and loved. When there is no hope, no optimism, no security, no justice, no education, no progress, no culture, then there is no Pakistan . The response to Ms. Sehars article is also from a gentleman from the Malakand area, who has actually lashed out at all those Pakistanis who left for the west for a better and safer tomorrow for themselves and their families. 'Miss Sehar Tariq is demanding that she wants her country back, but where was she and all those who deserted Pakistan when the country needed them? Where were they when our constitution was being 'butchered and our institutions, including the judiciary, being destroyed by tin pot dictators? 'Where were they during the 'killing fields of Karachi and Hyderabad? The March of the Taliban started during Zia-ul-Haqs time and all knew that Pakistan was sliding into chaos, but most of the educated and the privileged ran. And now they want their country back. 'Well sorry lady, it is no longer yours to ask back. You sold it to the corrupt leaders, politicians, extremists and the highest bidder, with their 'one law for you and one law for me and self above all policies, lot, stock and barrel, when you ran away many years ago. And unfortunately, we have to pay the price now. Mr. Ardeshir Cowasjee, like Ayaz Amir and Dr. Farooq Sattar of MQM, who had the courage to openly challenge the 'March of the Taliban and walked out of the NA in protest, have also been very critical about the governments capitulation to the Taliban and have warned us of things to come. AC, in his recent article, 'The price of moral cowardice, warns us, 'More bluntly, it is moral cowardice, exhibited by pathetic men and women who offer concessions at the expense of others. It is an indulgence in wishful thinking, peace in our time, at the price of surrender. US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has also clearly said that she believed the Pakistani government was abdicating to the Taliban and other militants and warned that nuclear-armed Pakistan was becoming a 'mortal threat to the world. We are the second largest Muslim nation in the world and despite of being a nuclear power, we have been on the verge of economic collapse several times. We are now being described as the worlds most dangerous place and are again fighting for our survival. For ordinary citizens, the threat from the Taliban is very real and one would have to be blind or stupid not to realise that. In 03, I had written a ST article on 'A clash of vision, in which I had written about this impending threat. I had stated that ever since the creation of Pakistan , there has been a tug of war between those who believe and share the Quaids vision of a moderate, tolerant and progressive Pakistan and the religious parties and those who live below the poverty line and happen to be the majority. They have nothing to loose, as they have been denied even basic civic facilities for decades. Thousands of their children have been enrolled into the madrassas since puberty, where they have been brought up under harsh and strict conditions and taught nothing but Islam according to the Mullahs understanding of the Quran and totally disapproves the vision of a modern, progressive Pakistan . They condemn it as being un-Islamic and truly believe in an Islamic Pakistan , which strictly follows the teachings of Islam, in letter and in spirit. The madrassas have been teaching their students to demand that Pakistan should be governed according to Sharia and Nizam-e-Adl. These students are now adults and have become a part of our political system and are practising what they have been preached. As they say, you reap what you sow. We all agree that the only way Pakistan can become a prosperous nation, is through a progressive, moderate and tolerant society. The governing elite, the educated and the privileged minority, who enjoy the feel good factor and the 'mercs and perks of life, also share this view. But this can not be achieved in isolation and as we have failed to play our role as socially responsible citizens and establish a just social order or address the social needs of the majority of the citizens, we are now paying for our sins of omissions and commissions. This clash of vision has been continuing since our independence and now, once again we stand at yet another crossroad in our history. However, this time, the 'clash could result in a epic struggle between the 'haves and the have-nots, which could destroy the country, if not checked. In CNNs 'Global Political Square, Fareed Zakaria, has highlighted this fight for our survival in an interview with Richard Holbrooke, a 'must watch program, for it is a final 'wake up call for all of us. (http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2009/04/19/gps.richard.holbrooke.int.cnn). So, the million-dollar question is where do we go from here, to hell and back? E-mail: trust@super.net.pk