Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decided to combat terrorism in his country the same way he tackled skyrocketing inflation – by doing nothing.
During his speech on terrorism in Pakistan to the National Assembly, he constituted a four-member team to negotiate with the dreaded Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to give “peace another chance”.
A rogue intelligence official, a journalist, an ex-Ambassador and a senior columnist will talk to a group with lots of arms&suicide bombers!— Raza Rumi (@Razarumi) January 29, 2014
Any bets on how many of them are going to return with their heads?
The prime minister started off on the front foot by saying that the situation won’t be tolerated anymore and the country cannot be held hostage by terrorists. Most people in Pakistan would agree with this statement.
The unfortunate souls who lost loved ones in TTP-orchestrated suicide attacks could probably hear the sounds of war drums beating when the prime minister declared a “clear stance” on terrorism.
He told the members of parliament that all stakeholders and political parties had been consulted and it was “time to reveal the government’s plan of action”.
Taking the recent spate of terror attacks into consideration, the prime minister’s speech was surely heading towards its logical conclusion - the announcement of a military operation. “It is the government’s responsibility to protect the masses,” he said.
So far, so good.
“Nobody should be allowed to raise a hand against the respect, property and safety of the Pakistani people. The country is in the grip of terrorism. Citizens and our children are being killed on the street. Terror reigns supreme.”
“Despite everything, we offered peace talks earlier. What was the reason for this dialogue? It was to ensure that the militants stop playing with the lives of innocents,” said the prime minister. “However, they refused and killed Major General Sanaullah Niazi and other army officers instead.”
Sharif seemed to understand the desperation of the people who voted him into power and his army. He would, unquestionably, leave no stone unturned to defeat the enemy that terrorized his country and orphaned thousands.
So what is the government’s grand plan to eliminate a force that can only be called an enemy of the whole of Pakistan? Surgical sir strikes? Ground action against militants?
Nope. Sharif wants to offer the militants another chance to negotiate peace and lay down their arms “despite the bitter experiences of the past.” He also called for an immediate halt to acts of terrorism.
Perhaps someone failed to inform Sharif that the TTP attacked the Pakistan Rangers in Karachi on the very same day of his address to the National Assembly.
Award for most schizophrenic speech-How many people thought Nawaz Sharif was going for military operation before he took U-turn? #PMSpeech— Mehreen Zahra-Malik (@mehreenzahra) January 29, 2014
Before concluding his speech, the Pakistani prime minister said that the country cannot bear to pick up the dead bodies of its children any longer, but this statement itself leaves one wondering how many more innocent people will perish before the government realizes that talks have failed.