According to diplomatic cable sent by the then principal officer at the US consulate in Lahore in November 2008, revealed through WikiLeaks, $ 100 million sent by the Saudi monarchy and other reactionary gulf sheikhdoms was routed to some clerics in southern Punjab. Part of the booty was used recruit and indoctrinate youngsters, turining them into jihadists and potential suicide bombers.
Unarguably, this war is no unidirectional fight. It is a multidimensional battle, to be fought out on multiple fronts and in the minds. The counter-offensive has to be multi-pronged, for which you need leaders who show themselves apart, not for custom-made robes, but for richness of intellectual faculties, creative thoughts and innovative ideas. But the leaders in the saddle across the spectrum have established beyond a shred of doubt that none of this is their forte. Clearly, this war has to be battled not just on the security front. It has to be fought as much on political and development planes. But this leadership is yet to show anything worthwhile on its slate by way of political initiative to cope with the existential threat of wicked terrorism monsters to the polity and to the state. So much so, it has spectacularly failed even to drive home to the mass of our people that the war we are now pitched is none else’s but our own.
Such an utter disappointment has indeed this leadership been that for almost two years it ran the crucial finance ministry on ad hoc basis. It had had no regular finance minister and the key portfolio of finance was handled by a variety of cabinet ministers as an additional charge. And shockingly enough, till now this leadership has unfolded no economic policy. At best, its act on the economic front is marked with firefighting; at worst, its economic policy boils down to begging and borrowing money from international donors. And no move whatsoever has it made to modernise the curricula of madrassas. It indeed gives the vibe that this task has never been on its agenda. At least, Pervez Musharraf made an attempt to this end, though he too in the end caved in to the awe of the clerical orders. This leadership has not even ventured on this task, feeling it safer to steer clear of this ticklish enterprise.
Even on the security front, this administration has not anything grand to boast of. The field is cluttered with its inactions, inertia and sloth. Even after three years, it is still hovering around the inanities of “has decided”, whereas by now it should be talking in the lingo of its decisions “being carried out decisively” and “curbing the terrorists crushingly”. Nothing of the sort is happening. No counter-terrorism strategy is visibly or perceptibly in play. And where order should have necessarily prevailed by now still reigning supreme are anarchy and chaos. No coordinations or collaborations between the various parts of the state security apparatus are in evidence. Each seemingly is working in its own light and in its own direction. And the lashkars and jaishes of all brands and hues are running their trades unimpeded and unobstructed, even the known outlawed ones openly under not-so-veiled new banners. And hate literature is circulating without any fears or inhibitions.
Not that the grandees occupying the opposition tents are showing any better. Superficiality and hollowness fills their camps as deafeningly as the official corridors, while the clerical orders for their own religiosity see spotless white what is visibly only opaque black. But none should harbour any hallucinations. The country is caught up dangerously in the stormy whirlpool of an existential threat which if not tackled unitedly would throw this nation in such an irreversible crisis that each and all will rue inconsolably. So each in own interest must see what is in the making and work to avert the otherwise inevitable grim eventuality at every cost. Terrorist are certainly no friends of this country and its people. They in reality are this nation’s foes.