The recent act of terrorism and barbarianism in Lahore has caused havoc among the masses, and has further added to the woes and sorrows of the already suffering population of Pakistan. As a mother, it was heart breaking for me to see the images of catastrophe that hit in the heart of the country on Sunday, taking away lives of 73 innocent people, including 29 children. Despite being immensely saddened by the carnage, government stands resolute against terrorism, as it would continue to fight, taking the entire nation on board, to ensure complete elimination of this menace from the face of
The brutal attack, which was dubbed by some factions to be an attack on the Christian community, was actually an attack on the ideology and sovereignty of Pakistan. These psychotic and cowardly activities would not affect the resolve of the nation, and we would not let anyone shun the ideology behind the creation of our beloved homeland for which enormous sacrifices have been rendered.
All efforts by government to root out terrorism would only be successful if each of us plays a constructive role in line with the vision of the civil and military leadership of the country. It is unfortunate that some opportunists, even after an incident like this, remain busy in taking advantage of the situation. The incidents of destruction of state property, coupled with the ongoing ‘senseless’ sit-ins in Islamabad, not only makes it difficult for government to focus on the core issue but it also sabotages the country’s image, which the government has been rigorously trying to revive after years of turmoil.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his address to the nation has warned that the government’s leniency should not be construed as weakness. In such a sensitive situation, it is welcoming that, unlike before, the government and the armed forces are on the same page and share a common agenda against extremism. The PM has resolved that the on-going military operation, Zarb-e-Azb, and the National Action Plan (NAP) will continue unabated until the scourge of terrorism is eliminated from Pakistan. He also directed proactive coordination between law enforcement and intelligence agencies, saying that the provinces should speed up intelligence-based operations against terrorists and we must take this war to the doors of terror outfits before they are able to hit our innocent countrymen again. As per the Inter Service Public Relations, Pakistan army along with intelligence agencies and Rangers have arrested a number of suspected terrorists and their facilitators while recovering a huge cache of arms and ammunition from different parts of Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan.
Through government’s NAP, in Punjab alone, from December 2014 to March 2016, as many as 45,111 operations have been conducted; 7,648 culprits have been arrested; 62 terrorists have been killed, while 333 executions have taken place. Similarly, as many as 2,042 people have been arrested for delivering hate speeches and propaganda, while 41 premises have
Apart from government’s efforts, it is also the dire need of the hour that all our political parties and religious groups leave behind old animosities and unite to cleanse this cancer from our society. We must learn from the past and abstain from repeating the same mistakes that have let others implement their agendas. It is due to the immature actions of some of our political parties that enemies of the state take advantage of and use it for their own purposes and designs. Coordinated efforts at regional and international levels are imperative, as the world has realised that terrorism is no longer subjected to a particular country, region or religion, as it has now emerged as a
Amidst the chaos, we must not forget that our existence is tied to the existence of Pakistan. Before criticising the government, everyone must understand that we are facing a unique phenomena that no other country is facing, and getting rid of such a menace requires a lot of hard work, but nothing can be achieved without forging national unity.
Every citizen of Pakistan must make a resolve that “united we stand divided we fall” is the need of the hour in these times of distress and chaos.
The writer represents Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in the National Assembly of Pakistan. She tweets at @MaizaHameed