Monday, October 24, 2016

Terror and confusion by KHURRAM HUSAIN

.... And this story, of confusion and colliding narratives and asinine interventions to try and hijack the visceral sentiments unleashed by such a tragedy towards overtly political purposes, has been continuing for well over a decade now. After every strike, the same litany of statements pours forth  - ‘we will not allow terrorists to succeed’ and ‘all institutions of the state will give a coordinated response’ etc.

Let’s be clear about a couple of things first before connecting any dots. The terrorists are not asking anyone’s permission to proceed. The state should have awakened to its obligations to secure the population more than a decade ago. And if any external agencies are using the terrorists to attack Pakistan, they are spoiled for choice when it comes to militant groups to use for the purpose, given that the state in Pakistan has been in the business of creating and harbouring militant groups for many years now.

It is natural for confusion to prevail in the aftermath of such an attack. But instead of connecting dots that don’t exist and pointing fingers in every direction, the first order of business should be to study the site of the attack and find out, empirically and verifiably, who exactly sent the attackers and who 
ordered the hit. Those who do not have the evidence on this front should refrain from surmising.

But here’s the biggest thing: to win this war we have to stop lying to ourselves about why we are in it in the first place. The Americans were told a big lie by their leadership in the aftermath of 9/11 when they asked ‘why do they hate us?’ They were told that the terrorists hate American values and freedom. That wasn’t true. What the American public were never told was all the things their military and intelligence agencies had been up to in their name over the decades. And that lie ate out their mission from day one, initially by making them arrogant, and later by sapping their morale.

Likewise, the Pakistani public is unaware of what all has been done by their own state in their name, and so long as that lie relating to the nexus between the security establishment and the militant underground is left unacknowledged, they will continue to flock to ignorant and sham narratives following each attack. The terrorist threat is distilled reality. It exists independent of our will and volition, and cannot be wished away nor can it be defeated with delusions and lies. A decade into this war, and we’re still scratching our heads… read the full article: