It was just a little over a month ago that ‘important’ journalists were telling us that ‘Pakistan is winning the War against Terrorism’? There was this:

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against which I had argued, among other points:

This narrative of ‘good’ mass murder (our Army’s) vs. ‘bad’ mass murder can’t fly. To even use the phrase ‘war on terror’ is a problem because it imposes a foreign framework of thought on what are regional – politically, historically, conflagrations and require local resolutions. You can’t kill a people’s discontent, you can’t repress political voices. Egypt tried this and has failed. The Army is not winning anything other than a war to coerce media messages – such as this piece clearly published in an American mag to satisfy our American patrons, but anyone who works on the ground knows and sees a people’s anger. It is this anger that requires this repressive apparatus against media and criticism. Our journalist are killed or quit and the army launches a massive PR campaign. Anyone who has spent a day in Quetta, or tried to speak to people anywhere near the FATA areas, knows about the massive human rights and common moral and ethical violations that are the footprint of our ‘brave’ military and its generals. What is taking place is mass murder of Pakistani citizens by its own military establishment, which uses selectively murdered ‘bad’ religious types to veil its other larger acts of criminality and violence. From Swat to Baluchistan, what is being sown will soon be reaped.”

and then there was this:

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In response to this one I had argued, among other things:

[The article] takes a very simply and disingenuous definition of ‘terrorism’. terrorism is not attacks – terrorism is politics by other means. and if the situation that created the politics remains unchanged, the means will remain unchanged. the State can only repress and disrupt, disperse and partly disuade through bribes, and other acts. but if you continue to believe that terrorism has no meaning, no politics, no history, no intent, no goal, no thought, no plan, you will only always see the solution to it as more and more violence, more and more brutality, and paradoxically create a situation of more and more counter-violence and more and more counter-brutality. ISIS is a living example, the TTP is a living example in Pakistan. the attacks are getting more and more spectacular, and bigger, though their numbers are falling. but the fact remains that the Pakistani state is on the wrong side of this situation i.e it is a state aiding and colluding with an illegal military occupation of a state where a large part of the inhabitants refuse to recognize the occupier-installed and funded government, and are determined to overthrow it. as is their right. tragically this reality upsets a lot of people, but you don’t have to like or condone a society to acknowledge that it has rights too, and that these rights are protected by international law and ideas of justice.

What happened to all that bravado?

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Hanif will have none of it, and I am glad for it.

After the 2014 attack on the Army public school in Peshawar, where more than 140 schoolchildren and their teachers were butchered, we decided to go to war. Not just another army operation, but a proper war with fighter jets in the air, tanks on the ground, bloodcurdling war anthems on television, and summary trials and pre-dawn hangings. A final decisive war in which every last terrorist will be eliminated, we are told every day. We are happy because some of us had begged for this war for a long time. We are loving this war. “Bomb them,” we tell Pakistan’s army, “crush them, hit them with all you have.” Taliban were very fond of showing us videos of them killing us. Now we say: save us the gory details, kill them and keep the pictures. Sometimes we find out about hangings through a tweet from the army spokesman: four terrorists hanged this morning. Victory.

So much bloodlust among the otherwise faint-hearted, human-rights loving, free-range egg consuming people is a slightly disturbing sight. Many more people have marched in support of Qadri than we have had express solidarity with the families of thousands who have been killed by Taliban. We want the state to protect our lives, property and way of life. Sometimes we are not quite sure that this way of life is pious enough.”

Indeed, our free-range egg lovers are again calling for more blood, and more of the same policies of killing and mayhem. The mad continue their madness, and the rest of watch can only stand and look in fear over our shoulders