Kamran Shafi, in his piece for Dawn, shares interesting thoughts. Excerpts follow:
[...]It is time that you and I took matters into our own hands for the sake of this country in which we live, for if Swat goes so does Pakistan, slowly but steadily down the tube.
Perhaps, a relief caravan of several hundred vehicles — cars and buses and trucks — could carry thousands of us to Swat, and along the length and breadth of it, defying the handful of murderous thugs who hold that part of our country in their deathly grip and before whom even the great Pakistan Army seems to have given up the fight. And, in our travels, one could distribute food and clothing and other items so badly needed by the poor.
Let our political leaders lead the caravan, protected by us the ordinary people of Pakistan. Let President Asif Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Mr Nawaz Sharif travel in one vehicle; Qazi Hussain Ahmed (who has, credit to him, severely criticised the hooligans for destroying girls’ schools in Swat) and Imran Khan and Dr Farooq Sattar in one; and Asfandyar Wali and Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi in another, and so on.
Let us just march into Swat, unarmed, and say to the barbarians: “Do your worst, you despicable Yahoos who slice off old men’s ears; who murder defenceless women and children! We the common people of Pakistan will simply not let you take over our country by force of arms!!”
Let the media be part of the caravan to Swat in vast numbers too: with newspaper editors leading their reporters and
writers, and the independent TV broadcasters with their best comperes and current affairs’ hosts broadcasting live the progress of this journey of peace.[...]
[...]We should, however, give thanks that the Pakistan Army has at long last indented for equipment that will pinpoint Mullah Radio’s FM station from which he has been broadcasting his poison! The Lord be praised that the army has finally seen the light, after the many years of mayhem spread by this FM station, and has decided to obtain the wherewithal to locate it. Even though the technology to pinpoint a radio station that is broadcasting on a certain frequency is as old as the Swat hills themselves, thank God for little mercies again.
For, if the Pakistan Army had decided, in its own wisdom, not to locate and take action against Mullah Radio’s FM station what could anyone have done?
P.S. The DG ISPR is reported in this newspaper of yesterday as saying that MNAs and MPAs of Swat had returned to Swat and had started interaction with the local people. The truth of the matter is that before the COAS’s visit to Swat last week, three MPAs out of a total of seven elected from Swat were taken by military helicopter in the morning and were flown back to Peshawar in the afternoon after holding a press conference in Mingora! Being so very economical with the truth will help no one, sirs.[...]