A wish to represent a country which has earned a reputation for its progressive outlook liberalism, and economic and intellectual growth still exists in me. Despite having faced the most challenging times and strained relationship with neighboring countries, my belief as a Pakistani has been rooted deep, but once belief must have a logical and rational ground to last long. The nightmare of 9/11 bore fruits for Afghanistan, but Pakistan as a big supporter of Taliban was simply being between devil and deep sea which let it choose its own survival after having withdrawn its support on state level.
Any change in state policies is referred to what vested interests a state should have and what stakes are involved if that proposed change is not implemented. This withdrawal of support from Taliban in Afghanistan; who were prepared, equipped and used by Pakistan for Jihad in Kashmir and Afghanistan when Soviet Union invaded (now Russia) in Afghanistan; was not much welcomed and accepted in Jihadi circle. Unfortunately, as a universal truth, the weapons we make can always be used against us and Pakistan is the biggest and prominent example of this. Now the Pakistan governments in previous years have taken some actions against such extremist and terrorist elements after internal security of Pakistan has been threatened. Recent episodes of Swat operation and Mumbai blasts with a series of other issues have questioned the status of Pakistan in world and a terrorist state is what has been suggested.
After watching the video in which a Polish engineer has been beheaded by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Dara Adamkhel, Pakistan, I could feel an immense pressure of realization of where this country is heading towards achieving such status. Peter Stanczak, a petroleum engineer who was here on an assignment from his company Geofizyka Krakow Limited, was kidnapped on 28 September in Attok. His Pakistani driver, body guard and translator were killed on the spot. Later, the Taliban have demanded a release of 60 Taliban who are in government custody. The Polish government has tried to make his release possible through some undiplomatic means and offered huge amount which could not ensure his release. Taliban later has set a deadline of 4 February to meet their demand of releasing their people and stop attacking them. While seeing no encouraging signs, they have given an ultimatum of 48 hours and executed Peter. In the video, the poor soul was asked multiple questions and forced to deliver ready made answers by Taliban as his appeal to the government of Poland and Pakistan. His words to his government for not sending more troops in Afghanistan and stop fighting against Muslims have reminded me the announcement of Poland Defence Minister Bogdan Klich made in the first week of January. He stated that:
“Polant may send 400-600 additional troops to Afghanistan, raising its total number to 2,000-2,200.
This killing for sure would not stop it from happening and would not change any decision of Polish government, but it has surely brought bad name for Pakistan. The areas bordering Afghanistan have become dangerous not alone for locals but for foreigners. A rise in the attacks and abductions of foreigners, including aid workers, company employees, and diplomats has been witnessed over the past year.
Now this brutal act has once again surfaced Pakistan image as an extremist country and one of the most dangerous places on earth. To much of our surprise, Taliban have made the same demand in return to Peter’s body. The deal which could not be achieved in exchange of Peter would be impossible now, when he is dead. But these logics are for sane minds in human bodies, not for fanatics in animal bodies who have no religion and humanity. Pakistani media key point has always been to prove that those who are involved in such heinous crimes cannot be Muslims as Muhammad (PBUH) and Islam has taught tolerance and forgiveness.
But in my view, it is the most convenient way to overlook the weaknesses and blunders we have made in past. After building this public opinion that Muslims cannot be behind such acts, the media is in fact helping us to learn strengthening our false beliefs and timid hopes we have in people in the name of religion. Those who do not breathe humanity cannot represent any religion except barbarism and extremism. Violence in response to violence would not bring any solution rather putting this country in an odd situation where the whole world is looking for an answer, a solution and a remedy for this epidemic of Talibanisation from Pakistan.