- No justification for tolerating extremist outpourings
The PTI government has been widely criticised for the biggest failure in its first hundred days of rule i.e. the criminal negligence in controlling the three day long lawlessness by the TLP followers. The government has also to answer for the kidnapping of SP Tahir Khan Dawar from Islamabad which should have been the safest of safe cities in the country. The way the kidnappers succeeded in transporting the police officer across the border to Nangarhar and killed him after torture also needs looking into.
The PTI was accused of developing cold feet when it came to dealing with the extremists. A timely decision by the army, duly publicised by media, should remove the anxieties of the government leaders who failed to stand by the SC when it took the courageous decision in Aasia Bibi case. In days to come the government will be required to take measures to rein in the extremists. One hopes it would act firmly, disregarding any soft corner that some of the party leaders might possess for the extremist networks.
The PTI needs to be reminded that the support offered by the military to all state institutions is strictly for a specific purpose i.e., ensuring the writ of the state and rule of law. The TLP leaders as well as their supporters who went berserk early this month have to realise that action will be taken by the coercive machinery of the state if limits are crossed once again. What needs to be emphasised is that it is not a blanket support. It is offered against lawbreakers but not against genuine political protests launched peacefully by the opposition or by civil society.
The government should henceforth concentrate on improving the law and order situation and providing the security of life and property which it has so far failed to do as illustrated by the TLP mayhem and the kidnapping of the police officer from Islamabad. Threats extended to, and attacks aimed at, religious minorities must be brought to an end. Pakistan should be turned into a genuinely democratic, pluralistic and welfare state as envisioned by the father of the nation.