It was Sunday evening when one of my friends texted me: “Are you ok? A bomb blast occurred in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park”.  I was really shocked to read his text. I, however, didn’t reply at the time. As I switched on my laptop there was a pool of blood and scattered body parts of innocent children, women and men. My Lahore was really bleeding. Then I replied to my friend and told him that “I am safe. But the whole Lahore is bleeding and weeping.”

Being a student of politics, I started analyzing the attack and updated my Facebook status as:

“Lahore: Blast at Gulshan Iqbal Park leaves many innocent children, women and men dead. 
May their souls rest in peace!
Why innocent children have been targeted once again and this time in Lahore, Punjab? Who will benefit from this barbaric terrorist attack locally, nationally and internationally?”

Mumtaz Qadari’s ‘Chehlum’ was also being observed on the same day and a violent mob was moving toward the Red Zone in Islamabad at the same time. This day now has more significance with reference to the bomb blast in Lahore.

As everywhere in the world, here too, intellectuals and general people started sharing their perceptions and misperceptions on social media to answer the question as to who did it? Who was the author of this tragedy? And why? Few answered it.

There were some people and a small group who have their very strong position on any terrorist attack across the globe, as it occurs, they simply comment: “Look at Islamic terrorism. The Islamic militants. The rule of Mullah” etc.  Sometimes, they forget to learn that the terrorists were not Muslims. I have my heartfelt sympathies with these people.

The other group blamed the west and the world powers that wanted to shatter ‘Muslim Ummah’. I have no words for such geniuses.

The all-wise Donald Trump tried to associate the attack particularly with Christian minority in Pakistan:


He is like a teenage boy who thinks he can earn, manage and control everything within and out of family. Is it too much? No. I don’t think so. He almost always behaves in such a childish way.

More interestingly, there was a group whose members think that the government did it to divert the attention of media, civil society and masses from the ‘other’ issue (by other issue they meant the activities of violent mob at Red Zone Islamabad).

I am, honestly speaking, not really comfortable with such type of ‘wishfulness’. I have reasons for my discomfort though. If the state can control everything at the time of Mumtaz Qadri’s execution then why can’t it control things after 28 days of his execution? Will anyone suggest such actions to be taken after Model Town tragedy and will PML-N follow such ideas once again? Kill people brainlessly to shatter them so that a routine problem gets serious? Media can be asked strictly not to give coverage to the protesters and the security institution like army could be asked to shatter the mob of 10,000 people, but the bomb blast, attack on press club Karachi and violent yet uncontrollable mob in Islamabad presented the civilian government as helpless and very weak. A total failure of governance.  And I believe governments never want to be perceived as helpless and weak whatsoever the circumstances are. The point is simple: Lahore Bomb Blast didn’t divert the attention of media from the ‘other’ issue rather there were more focused eyes over it.

There were also a few voices to be heard saying that the attack might be sponsored by the Army as it wanted both to show the world that the civilian (representative) government is weak and helpless and Army as an institution has the capacity to control and regulate all the critical affairs. Also, Raheel Sharif may want to start an Army-led operation in Punjab and this attack will provide a justification to initiate the operation immediately.  Yet again, the Army at this stage and Raheel Sharif at this period of his tenure would never commit such blunders. He does not need to kill kids to start an operation. He does not need it. We all know it. Don’t we?

Then what is the case after all? Who did it and for whom? And why?

Let’s try to buy the answer of this complex question from the market of global politics--- perplexing and dirty politics.

Dr. Moeed Pirzada tweeted after a few minute of the blast tweeted:


 


Is there any nexus between the RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) involvement that has been recently exposed by Pakistan and the bomb blast in Lahore? Probably yes. But we have to explain the reasoning behind this ‘yes’.

I hope many of you remember the pre-Pathankot global political scenario with reference to Pak-India relations. Pakistan provided solid evidence to the United Nations and United State of America. Even though the fact is that no one bother it, yet they had broader political significance. More importantly, the arrest of RAW agents from Karachi turned India into defensive mode and Pakistan came out as a victim of atrocities and proxies of India. But as the Pathankot tragedy took place, everything changed within no time. Indian media shaped a strong narrative and hit Pakistan below the belt by pressuring Pakistan up to the extent that it had to register an FIR against the alleged, directly or indirectly involved, individuals. And Pakistan was portrayed as ‘a safe haven of terrorists’ and a state which protects those who fight against India. Now Pakistan was on the defensive.

Internally, prior to Pathankot, Pakistan Army under the leadership of its current army chief kept on fighting against terrorism and gained historic success. The whole world admired and praised the Army Chief. Pakistan was getting stable and becoming peaceful. The world started thinking about Pakistan that it was changing. Religious extremists were uncomfortable. Pakistan was moving toward progress and peace in a sophisticated way.

Pakistani agencies have arrested a RAW agent from Baluchistan, who was involved in anti-state activities and was also training separatists. India, with a spot of shame on her face, owned the agent. Pakistani government and media presented the case before the world power that how India, the bigger country, is penetrating in Pakistan’s internal affairs and inciting violence.

India once again was not at ease. Pakistan’s narrative was getting strong in hours. India needed a counter and stronger narrative to divert the attention of media (local, national and international) and to mold public opinion with reference to its involvement in Pakistan. 

The present attack can be beneficial for India in two ways; first, “If Lahore is unstable”, as Kamran Khan has argued, “the whole Pakistan is unstable”. Second, religious extremism continues dominating Pakistani society and minorities are being killed. It sends a strong message to the whole world. Also, it will, as a fresher attack, play its part in coming nuclear summit in Washington.

In coming days we will see a strong, more powerful and collective narrative of Indian and global media narrative against Pakistan---ultimately Pakistan will be branded and presented as the most unstable state in the world. India knows how to exploit the whole situation.

Therefore, RAW is using religious fanatics to destabilize Pakistan for its vested political interests, to keep Pakistan on the defensive mode.

Now let me briefly comment on those so-called lovers of my beloved Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) who have been destroying everything national and demanding some novel things from the government to do. As the daily Dawn described:

“The demands included the unconditional release of all Sunni clerics and leaders booked on various charges, including terrorism and murder; the recognition of MumtazQadri as a martyr and the conversion of his Adiala Jail cell into a national heritage site; assurances that the blasphemy laws will not be amended; and the removal of Ahmadis and other non-Muslims who had occupied key posts. They also demanded the execution of blasphemy accused Aasia Bibi, the woman former Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was killed for defending.”

I request these protesters to learn only and only one thing that we are a part of 21st century. We are living in the world of Facebook and Twitter in which wars are being fought through narrative shaping and image building tactics not through sticks and bricks. So, let’s come out of the world of imagination. May Allah bless Pakistan with peace and prosperity!