A lifting of the freeze on the death penalty was the knee-jerk reaction, a first step the Pakistan government took, in the wake of the Taliban's brutal and gruesome attack on Peshawar's Army Public School, which killed one-hundred-plus people, most of them children. In other words, this became their way to cool down millions of angry, hurt and saddened Pakistanis who were demanding death to terrorists and nothing less.
So far two convicted terrorist/militants, Mohammed Aqeel Alyas, a.k.a Dr. Usman, and Arshad Mehmood have been executed in Faisalabad on the night of Friday December 19th. More hangings are scheduled.
But the million dollar question is: Is this the right step at the right moment to tackle terrorism of this magnitude?
In my opinion, it is. For a short term it is the right step. It gives a clear message to all those who think Pakistan is their safe heaven, who think they will make a state within a state, and (they believe) no one will bat an eyelash. Yes, it is a clear message that no matter what, we are not going to put up with them anymore. Enough is enough. It is time to rid ourselves of them once and for all. It is certainly a clear message for all who are against Pakistan, its people and Army.
These "terrorists/militants" are not people with whom one can sit--in trust and honesty--and talk of peace. And imagine this! After the two hangings, Al-Qaida of South Asia last night condemned the attack!
Somehow, the message had been given and received.
A UN report is also not in favor of that action. The report says this would not stop terrorism and might even feed a "cycle of revenge".
They have a point. A valid point. After the double hanging, the whole country is on high alert. Also, we know that was neither first nor the last attack.
Those who believe the Army has killed the seven militants who attacked the school on December 16th are mistaken. Those who think hanging militants will clean Pakistan from terrorists and terrorism are mistaken.
It can only satisfy our public for a short period of time because the real problem is extremism, not terrorists.
Extremism is that which gives birth to terrorism.
Problem is also not just in Khyber Pakhtoonkhu or FATA either, it is in nearly every province and every city.
This extreme mindset is dispersing not just in rural areas of up north but in urban ares east and south, as well. Southern Punjab is hub of TTP. They are in Karachi too in different form. We have people who are their well wishers, who call them "their lost brothers", and "their people."
It is no more the thinking of madersa people anymore. Problem is bigger than we think. It is more complex and complicated than yesterday.
Some people I know from urban Karachities agree with Mulama Abdul Aziz of Lala Masjid Pakistan, who believes that Pakistan is a non-Islamic state, that its constitution is non-Islamic. Army is killing innocent people of North Waziristan and Khyber Agency, fighting war of America, so attack on school and killing innocent children is a justified act of revenge. If Pakistan Army will kill their children and females, drones their homes, they will react and take revenge.
Female students of his madersa just issued a video in which they invited ISIS to Pakistan with NO SHAME.
There are people among us in every walk of life who are sympathizers and advocates of Taliban and ISIS.
It was not only Taliban who burned one teacher alive in front of students in class room that day full with revenge. Several months ago our own people burned a Christian couple alive in broad daylight, Kot Radha Kishan, Punjab filled with revenge.
Free English-speaking Pakistanis on Facebook writing about apostates and blasphemy law does not mean all is well.
To encapsulate, we are in a war which is anti-extremism. We are at war with people who are against Pakistan, with people who do not fear death.We are at war with people who are not afraid of burning others alive. We are at war with extremists who do not believe in individual rights, who want to take over our country, impose their laws, their norms, their ways. We are in a war with those who are brainwashing our people and creating division and hatred among us. We are at war with those who want us to remain in the Dark Ages. We are at war with that mind set who believe polio vaccine is haram.
Unfortunately, there is no national policy against extremism.
For politicians it is not an issue. Tackling extremism is neither their agenda, nor their priority. How can they do it when they are exactly the ones who play politics on issues like Drone attacks, go-home-America-go, who use blasphemy law for exacting revenge?