From jihadi Taliban to media Taliban – By Sohail Qalandar

Our own monsters

Political leaders, intellectuals, influential media personalities and the military leadership of the country have to be united on a single-point national agenda: the elimination and total destruction of all militant organisations and their supporters from the soil of Pakistan. The blame game has to stop. We just cannot afford to indulge in conspiracy theories and blame every body under the sun for our own home grown indigenous misfortunes. Our self created terror structure has to be destroyed; we just cannot afford to support, pamper and nourish the jihadi outfits mistakenly labeled as our strategic assets by successive previous regimes and our intelligence agencies.

Political parties, irrespective of their manifestoes, have to be united on the question of religious fanaticism and terror. This issue should be treated like the Kashmir cause or the nuclear issue. Since the birth of Pakistan, the leaders and parties have never differed on Kashmir or the nuclear policy why can’t they unite on the policy on terrorism? Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan, Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman and the leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami have to stand up and be counted; Either they are with Pakistan or with the evil forces of religious fanaticism. The Zardari-Gilani regime must ensure sincerity, transparency and seriousness in their efforts to root out the scourge of religious fanaticism. The government of the day has issued stringent security guidelines for all educational institutions to implement or face closure. Do these rules apply to the innumerable deeni madaris mushrooming all over the country? Our leaders and security agencies are not blind to the fact that many of the religious seminaries are the breeding grounds of terror and religious intolerance. Have we forgotten the lessons of Lal Masjid? Why have we not heard anything about reining in fanatical mullas preaching hatred and sectarian violence in the madras?

Pakistan of today is held hostage by many religious militant organizations. We are looked upon with suspicion by various western countries. Foreign capital is flying out of the country and Pakistan is fast becoming the most difficult country to govern. The choice before the elected government is clear: face the forces of fundamentalism and obscurantism and defeat them, or hand over the country to these forces so that they can implement their own version of Islamic law in the country. (Source: Our own monsters, Tariq Aqil, The News,