September 11, A Tragedy of Our Times – By Bahadar Ali Khan
Can we dig Zia out and let him see what he had done to Pakistan, a beautiful country?
It has been seven years since the sad day that dawned upon the skies of the New York City. It was one of the worst single incidents of terrorism that shook the entire world in general and America in particular. It was a day when fear gripped everyone in the world and also it was a day that changed America, as we knew it then, for ever.
I wish the events of 9/11 would not have happened. Three thousand in New York and one million people around the world would still have lived.
But it happened! I don’t know what was achieved through these attacks but the lives of one billion Muslims around the world have been made miserable in the aftermath of this brutality. I also wish that the president of the world’s only super power would have been a statesman and knew the impact of revenge. Revenge by the powerful sparks atrocities, atrocities cause grievances, grievances usher vengeance and vengeance produces extremism. By this I am not suggesting to follow the Bible and offer the other cheek. But find out the real culprits behind those attacks and bring them to justice.
Instead of punishing the real culprits, a mass hysteria was launched against a particular ideology and profiling of specific backgrounds. Muslims living in the West who might hate Osama, Taliban or any other derivatives thereof, began to live under a constant fear. Every day they would pray for the safety of the world, not that suddenly all of them joined Human Rights Watch, but because they knew that behind any sort of terrorist activity anywhere in the world somehow a Muslim name would pop up. This would make them even more apologetic in front of their neighbors, their co-workers and society in general, for a crime non of theirs.
On the other front, over this period of time, extremism has developed like a cult and generated its sympathizers too. People who started justifying the suicide attacks as weapon of the weak. But this weapon of the weak is always used against the weak. It always killed innocent people. Not acknowledging the fact that bomb attacks doesn’t do any profiling and kills equally. Seeds of hatred sowed by the politicians of the world have now morphed into a crop of hate, ignorance and brutality. Every person is now dejected and perplexed as what kind of world we are going to hand over to our next generations.
Another perspective of current day events dates back to late 1970s, when Soviets invaded Afghanistan. I wish Brezhnev have not done this. That invasion proved to be the root cause of all current times evils. Also I wish Jimmy Carter then, should not have endorsed Zia-ul-Haq regime which subsequently planted the nursery to generate fanatics, called Mujahideen. These so-called Mujahideens were the darlings of the entire ‘free world’ at that time. They served as the human fuel for the war machinery against Soviets. In 80s a whole generation was raised with only one purpose. To fight. Killing human was the only teaching they were imparted. And they mastered their subject very well. But wars have to finish and so did that bloody war in Afghanistan. Arab petro dollars and US green backs flow stopped to those ‘Mujahideen’ of Afghanistan. They were rendered job less but nonetheless, they attached a baseless euphoria of being triumphant against ‘infidel’ Soviets. As I said earlier, they knew only one art and that was fighting, so they started fighting each other for the booty of the war in Afghanistan.
This whole scuffle in Afghanistan caused a huge damage to the social fabric of Pakistani society. A very tolerant society was pushed into wrongly interpreted religious ambit. Criminal and thugs started disguising themselves as religious leaders. The clamour of ‘Jihad’ always sounded high in every sermon they would deliver. The entire government machinery was at their back. Thus you get what you yearn for. Now Pakistan is the target of all sorts of accusations. Can we dig Zia out and let him see what he had done to this beautiful country? No. What can be done? This is an open ended question with a lots of confusing answers. Please think.
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