Whether it’s Daesh, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda or Taliban, their target remains the same which is instilling fear and terrorizing locals and nations. Showing videos of beheadings, indiscriminate killings, bombings, enslaving of captured women and such other crimes not permitted in any religion or country. It’s to test the resolve of those who dare to challenge them and win over a submissive population. No cricket team has visited Pakistan for last so many years; only because Taliban and their sectarian allies were able to terrorize the cricket-loving nations of consequences of playing in Pakistan.

Similarly Pakistan has not held the traditional military parade on Pakistan Day for last 8 years, only because of security concerns. Obviously we can’t force foreign cricket teams to visit the country but by withdrawing from the spectacular military parades, we in fact gave a wrong message to terrorists, we let them think they had won! After many years of inaction and reluctance, as has been evident from the half-cooked measures to counter terrorism, finally we see some change in Islamabad’ attitude as for the first time, no one is that the Taliban are our ‘misguided’ brothers.

Pakistan is going to hold the military parade on March 23, 2015. To prepare for the parade and to make it safe for distinguished local and foreign guests, Islamabad administration has asked forty religious seminaries, which lie within the 2 km zone of parade venue, to shut down for a week. One may appreciate these actions as security for guests should be a priority, but what about when there is no parade? If terrorists can hide, plan and execute from these seminaries on March 23, why not on other days?

We need to be consistent in our words and deeds, if it’s our resolve that there is no distinction between good and bad Taliban, then we need to prove the same. Pakistani nation expects from its government and army a terrorist-free country, not just a secured parade ground for few hours.


Saudi Arab, February 17.