by Ms. Sadaf Arshad
Coordinating Editor Media Monitor
South Asian Free Media Association, Lahore
Many deadlines have expired because every time the deadline meets the fate of an expansion. In the crisis of Laal Masjid, the government strategy seems going very successful and since yesterday the impressions is that the government has not committed any folly. The whole nation is appreciating the leniency in government’s attitude towards students of Jamia Hafza and Jamia Fareedia, the Madrassas owned by Laal Masjid. Thousands of students have surrendered to save their lives and they are still coming out every time ultimatum is given.
The matter of the fact is that no state within state is tolerable but who were those actors in this episode: government and both Aziz brothers. Today’s developments have explicitly divulged that the whole strategy could have been put in action yesterday if the government was inclined towards isolating the whole Masjid and the decision could have been taken in early hours. What could have been saved: human lives, which unfortunately have lost its value?
The factors which sparked the confrontation and this bloody war were not hidden from the nation and we have a big heart to compliment the government, but realizing the situation that could be averted much earlier, no appreciation is left for the government. When the Musharraf government initiated a dialogue through Ch. Shujaat, such operation was inevitable at that point of time. This government is well known for its crack downs on religious extremist organizations then why the need to have a dialogue was felt rather a crack down. This question often perturbed the minds that what stopped the government from taking any step against Laal masjid because in clear terms it was the government which rendered so much autonomy to these brothers who contributed a lot in radicalizing the society.
Now a balanced Pakistan is a concept unheard and unseen by the world. The army dictators have in past showed an inclination towards religion in order to justify their invasion or presence. The right time was when Jamia Hafza students began kidnapping women under the pretext of running brothels and massage centers, but the government always loosened its grip may be in the wake to reach the climax. What have we lost, would never be back, but the moral of the story is that unless and until any group is in the interest of the government it stays and when it is not, it goes does not matter how. Same has happened with these two brothers, they have been manipulated and being utilized by the military government to serve their purposes; when needed.