Thursday, June 3, 2010

PML-N and Militancy

“It is the duty of the government to protect the life and property of any citizen belonging to any faith and sect,” says a statement by Nawaz Sharif in the aftermath of the tragedy in Lahore where over 80 members of the Ahmedi sect were murdered. The body count is still rising. This comes only two months after Rana Sanaullah was seen campaigning with Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, a hitherto disbanded organization, in Jhang. When confronted with this, Sanaullah said that campaigning with SSP makes political sense as it has a big vote bank in Jhang. This statement coming from the Law Minister of Punjab of all people. It should be noted here that many people now fear that the PML-N has given a new lease of life to SSP. It also helps organizations like Jaish-i-Mohammad and Lashkar-i-Taiba to stay active and above the law as documented by Ayesha Siddiqa who calls the Punjab Government "a district administration that has lately been going out of its way to hide the activities of an outfit. The game is that you are not allowed an opportunity to prove anything because the evidence suddenly disappears once you raise a hue and cry."
The fact that militant organizations in South Punjab are allying themselves with the Taliban in the frontier region is also well documented, but yet again denied by the Punjab government, who lets these groups operate freely and without fear. It has even pleaded with the Taliban to leave Punjab alone, such is their disregard for human life. So no, Mr. Sharif, you do not get to condemn the events in Lahore today, you do not get to condole the grief of these people, you do not get to say that the "government shall not spare the terrorists," because the fact of the matter is that you have not only spared them but supported them, unflinchingly so. If you are the man of principle that you would like us to believe, then go to Jhang and Khyber-Pakhtoonkhawa and congratulate these people for what they have done today in Lahore.

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