The K-P Finance Minister apparently has said that all citizens from the ages of 18 to 35 should be given military training to be prepared for “Jihad” and the K-P government might be willing to pay for it. I do not want to continue with this trope too much, however another not so honourable member of the National Assembly has recently said that Mumtaz Qadri should be released immediately. Individual opinion, we are told. Sure, so given the precedent of compelling Makhdum Javed Hashmi to retract his statement on Mian Nawaz Sharif being his leader, would the offending MNA be told to do the same? If he does not, will action be taken by the party? If that doesn’t happen, it is hard to believe that it was “individual” opinion, particularly when the party and its coalition partners seem to have a rather large number of “individual” opinions, which by some coincidence are uniformly dispiriting and aligned. In the interest of fairness, the PML-N opinion on militancy and terrorism is exactly the same as that of the PTI. It is a reaction to the “war on terror” drones, etc. The false moral equivalence is getting nauseating. It reminds of something that I heard someone say a while back: “These are the sort of people who, discovering a viper in the bed of their child would place the first call to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.” Anyone who dares to draw a correlation between the Shias being killed and drone attacks should be treated with contempt. It is cruel and ignorant of history. There were sectarian murderous outfits before September 11, 2001 and not to acknowledge that is either ignorant or malicious.
The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) continues its murderous spree with impunity. The Hazaras killed in Balochistan are everyone’s concern. The PML-N federal government cannot shrug its shoulders and claim that it is a provincial matter. Firstly, murder in the name of sect and religion is a challenge for everyone. Secondly, the LeJ has its headquarters in Punjab. The PML-N ran a non ideological campaign, promising better roads, the unironically named “bullet train” flyovers, etc. That model served it quite all right in elections. However, it cannot run a “non-ideological” government. It is impossible to remain non-ideological in this country. Underpasses and ring roads will not make the challenge of militancy go away and will become irrelevant in the long run if that challenge is not eliminated. The TTP and the LeJ and their friends have already made their choice for us and we can either surrender or fight. BB would have fought, she went down fighting. The PML-N has gotten off on the wrong foot in the fight. It seems too preoccupied with giving provincial governments deadlines. Perhaps, it is time for it to realise it is no longer in opposition and for the next five years, all long marches lead to Lahore.