A ‘Sharif’ state of affairs

When the operation against MQM started some days ago, there was much jubilation from many quarters in Karachi. This was thought to be a good move because people believed that the city would finally be cleansed from target killers and extortionists. It was also said that the Rangers – the paramilitary forces – would also be going after the militant wings of other political parties.

Sounds good. Let's go after these criminals and get them sorted out. A question however remained in my mind: what about the promise of ridding this country of Islamist terrorists? This promise was made by both the government and the establishment, vociferously, over and over again.

However, militant Islamist organizations are still running around freely, threatening people and engaging in killing sprees.

So these were clearly hollow promises. The state is an absentee and the establishment is politically motivated. It is running the country behind the scenes and primarily looking for photo ops. That's all that is happening.

The "cleansing" of MQM is politically motivated to get this organization out and let their stooge (I refuse to call him poster "boy") Imran Khan get some headway in Karachi. That's all there is to it. Nothing more.

To me it is very clear. A little bit of Zarb-e-Azab every other day, with a lot of our chief's photographs keeps everyone diverted from the fact that nothing is being effectively done to get rid of the Taliban types.

And our Prime Minister seems to have basically decided that it is best to remain PM in name only. It is better than not being PM, which is always the Damocles' sword hanging over the heads of Pakistani PMs.   And now there is the added question of whether we will help our anointed overlords, Saudi Arabia, bomb another country.

Whether this happens or not isn't the issue. The issue is that both the government and the establishment are not doing their job, which is to protect their citizens and this is not being done as it should be. People are still being killed in the name of Islam and this is followed by the usual hyper nationalist rhetoric that should fool no one.

I am just confused. I hear speeches every day by both the Shareefs, saying that they are going to get rid of Islamist terrorists. Now that they have curtailed the nefarious activities of MQM, I am waiting to see similar actions against all Islamist organizations.

When is that going to happen? How long do we have to wait for this to take place?

I want to know when action will be taken to make Pakistan the bastion of peace that I have been hearing - again and again – they are going to collectively make it. Can someone answer this for me? Anyone?

Saima Baig

Saima Baig is a Karachi-based environmental economist, climate change consultant and a freelance writer. Follow her on Twitter

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