03 March, 2019

ON TACKLING THE #JIHADIS

While one can fault Pakistan for a dozen reasons, blaming it for Jihadi terror and Kashmiri militancy doesn’t serve any fruitful purpose. 

One may argue that Pakistan used this as its strategic weapon against India and may actually have fostered many of its strands and patronized many agents provocateur. But not all of them are and can be under its control. Religious frenzy can do Pak leaders in. Salman Taseer and his killer are a case in point. Some like Hafiz Sayeed are not easy for Pak leaders to deal with. 

What can you do to someone willing to die, go claim his seat in paradise? His birth / rise to terrorism must be – and can painstakingly be – stopped. His ilk can, and should, be pre-empted / aborted. And that requires holistic understanding of his life and society, sincerity, social cooperation and civil society action, long term planning, even-handed and humane approach, teaming with progressive Muslim clergy and leaders, and, above all, a lot of patience. Our problem is that we take a couple of laudable initiatives and something somewhere goes wrong and we abandon this approach. How na├»ve of us to think that any one of them is in charge of all of them! 

These fellows are themselves pawns in the hands of international politics, sort of victims of history’s ironies. They won’t and can’ be wished away. Let there be interaction between all the three parties at all levels, without dropping our guard. Let there be a well-thought-out, long term no-turn-away strategy, based on universal principles of human rights and rule of law. And let us first rise above religious / communal bias ourselves, and reign in our jingoistic nationalists. 

In this context I whole-heartedly appreciate IOC’s invite to India, and India’s decision to depute Sushma Swaraj to attend it. Delinking Pakistan from Islam, and reaching out to other Muslim countries is a decisive and very fruitful initiative that must bear positive results. But, pray, do not expect any quick turn-around. 

And, for nation’s sake, let us educate our media and impose a mechanism for some form of self-censorship. With your help our organization, SPRAT, is willing to set up a rudimentary system of auditing and ranking media on truth index. 

And finally, it is my firm belief that nothing but embracing RATIONALITY across the entire spectrum of our personal and public lives holds the panacea for delivering our humanity from the morass our irrationality has dropped us into.

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