Imran - Inkelab -Tsunami Khan, has proved once again to the nation that he has the courage to Walk the Talk and even challenge the mighty USA over the illegal drone attacks in Waziristan.
Clive Smith of Reprieve, an NGO working for the rights of prisoners and Medea Benjamin, leader of a delegation from the US peace group CodePink, apologized for the drone attacks, saying: "We are so grateful that you understand there are Americans in solidarity with you and against our government policy.", while former US diplomat Ann Wright led the demand to an end to the drone strikes, shouting in Urdu “Bas karo, bas karo, drone hamlay bas karo.”
However, before they could reach the final destination, Imran was strongly advised by the army and other security agencies against proceeding further and taking any risks, which could jeopardize the life of the marchers.
As such, keeping in mind the numerous deadly attacks on similar julsas in the past and the assassination of former Governor, Punjab and Mohtarma Benazir, Imran wisely decided to take heed of the warnings and not to endanger the lives of the participants and, calling a halt at the Jahaz Ground, Tank.
“We could have been stuck with a 100,000 people in Waziristan after sunset. I could not be so irresponsible to risk their lives, as the army told us that there was a genuine risk to our convoy”.
If Mohtarma had also heeded the warning, things would have been different today in this land of the Pak and the Pure.
Imran’s detractors are pleased that the Aman Kaafila did not reach its final destination and are calling it just a ‘Political Stunt’, forgetting that the government, in its usual knee jerk reaction, had tried to block the Kaafila from reaching Kotkai with containers and barbed wire, but the human tsunami managed to sweep them off the road.
The Kaafila has been widely reported in the local and foreign media and there have been conflicting views by analysts on its success or failure, depending on their political loyalties.
According to senior office bearers of PTI, they had no illusion of being able to stop the drone attacks through the Aman Kaafila. The objective of the March was to draw world attention to the suffering of innocent men, women and children who are the victims of the ‘Collateral Damage’ caused by the drone attacks.
And for an ordinary citizen like myself, the Kaafila definitely succeeded in drawing the attention of the world to the illegal drone attacks and the suffering inflicted on innocent citizens, which are casually referred to as “Collateral Damage”.
Imran, in a message to the United States, had said: “The more US resorts to drone hits in Waziristan, the more hatred it increases in the hearts of the people of the tribal belt, who are brave and know how to cope with difficult times”.
A view that is shared by many, both at home and abroad, including the Americans, that the attacks are a sheer violation of international laws and human rights. However, according to media reports, our government has given a silent nod to the US for the drone attacks, while in public they speak against them.
But Imran’s verbal attack on the President and other political and religious leaders was totally uncalled for and in bad taste. IK should avoid the politics of mudslinging and wild accusations, as it has a negative effect on his character and questions his credibility and mind set.
And not to be left behind, MQM also had organised a ‘Peace Walk’ the same day, against the spread of sectarianism and religious extremism, in which hundreds marched through the streets of the usually quiet neighborhood of Karachi’s Old Clifton.
The participants of the walk included Shias, Sunnis, Barelvis, Deobandis, Sindhis, Punjabis, Pakhtuns, Kashmiris, Hindus, Sikhs and others. But unfortunately, even during the Peace Walk, the killings in Karachi continued and over ten innocent citizens lost their lives.
And at the same time, thousands of citizens participated in the “Namoos-e-Mustafa” march taken out by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in protest against the US made sacrilegious film that hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the world.
And as the election date draws nearer, we can expect an increase in the Kaafilas, Tsunamis and Julsas, with each political party, jostling the other, in their attempt to woo the gullible voters, using their sufferings and injustices against them, as a springboard to win their vote.
The cowardly shooting of young, but brave, Malala has shocked and disgusted the world and there have been worldwide condemnations against the attack, including from the President of USA, UN Secretary General and political and religious leaders and are praying for her full recovery.
Unfortunately, the other young students, who were also injured in the attack, have not received the necessary medical attention that they need and this has forced their parents to appeal to the authorities to also provide medical care to their daughters. This sadly exposes the VIP mindset of our government and our nation,
And despite the worldwide condemnation against the attack on Malala, the US President and the world are silent over the continuous ‘Collateral Damage’ caused by the drone attacks, which also kill and maim innocent men, women and children. Such is the travesty of justice. Unfortunately, the paradox is that the drone attacks are against the very extremists who attacked Malala.
The entire nation has united in prayers and in condemnation of the cowardly attack on young Malala. However, will the nation stand united, Walk the Talk and collectively demand action to root out these extremists from our country, like the Sri Lankan government had done, to eliminate the Tamil Tigers, with a zero tolerance policy?
If not, then no man, woman or child in Pakistan will be safe from such attacks and it could be the beginning of the end of Quaid’s vision of Pakistan.(email: email@example.com)