- Sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind
There are two kinds of threats to politicians during the elections, those from the terrorist networks and those from religious extremists and political fanatics.
In elections 2013 three parties were in the cross hairs of the dreaded TTP — the ANP, PPP and MQM. They were told by the terrorists that they could contest the elections only at the risk of their candidates’ lives. The parties picked up the gauntlet, lost leaders, workers and family members. This being an unequal fight, they lost the elections. Only two parties were allowed by the TTP to contest, the PML-N which was in contact with them and PTI which supported them beside having Sami-u-Haq, the self-styled ‘’Father of the Taliban,” by its side. Neither the PML-N nor the PTI commiserated with the parties who were targeted by the TTP.
But as Hillary Clinton aptly put it, you can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours. Now that the snakes are out NACTA says there are threats to Imran Khan, Akram Khan Durrani and even Hafiz Saeed’s son Talha Saeed, besides their previous targets. Eight days back 10 PTI workers were injured in a blast at their candidate’s election office in North Waziristan. Last week seven including an MMA candidate were almost blown up in Bannu. The super terrorist IS is out to target the Afghan Taliban, Haqqani network, the TTP as well as the present and former allies of these terrorist networks.
Media persons were the first target of the PTI promoted culture of intolerance. The party’s social media trolls painted all who dared to criticise any PTI policy or find fault with anything said by Imran Khan with the same tar brush accusing them of being on the pay roll of Nawaz Sharif and threatening them of dire consequences. The attack on Sharifs’ Avenfield flats is the expression of the same fascistic streak. In a democracy opponents are to be treated as competitors but not enemies. Unless restraint is practiced Pakistani society would degenerate into a Hobbesian state of nature where everybody’s hand is against everybody.