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In national interest

Umar Farooq

This writer is a Senior Journalist And Analyst

The government has stated that it acted in national interest and has withdrawn cases against Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) MNAs Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir over attacking the Kharqamar checkpost and a military convoy in South Waziristan.

An Anti-Terrorism Court acquitted them of all allegations and the case has been dismissed. Mohsin Dawar said the government had no option but to absolve him or else many state secrets would be revealed. The truth is that many people lost their lives and a case was registered. How could they be released merely on the decision of a Jirga? The government should conduct an impartial investigation to ascertain if there are responsible for the incident and hold them accountable.

Both PTM leaders were arrested after the attack on the Kharqamar checkpost in Boya, South Waziristan on May 26, 2019. It was reported that they instigated the protestors who eventually opened fire and three people lost their lives. The government‘s decision to withdraw the case has raised questions over any external influence. The PTM made a mockery of the military and a malicious campaign was initiated to defame national institutions. The army had evidence that PTM orchestrated the attack. By suddenly withdrawing the case, the government has taken a U-turn and will have to face the repercussions.

The tribesmen of FATA cannot fathom at the government’s decision to bestow such favours on the PTM who is involved in propaganda against state institutions.

While on the other hand, the loyalty and patriotism of the tribal people, who fought alongside the army in the war against terrorism and made numerous sacrifices, is being questioned. This clearly shows that the inept government is more concerned about narrow vested interests than larger national interests.

The government’s attitude has raised concern over the merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkwa and the promises made to the tribesmen. Many FATA lawmakers have termed the merger as unconstitutional. More worrisome is that the prime minister called the tribesmen as agents and traitors. Former President JUI-F FATA Muhammad Ali has demanded that the prime minister should apologize for his remarks, whereas FATA leader Brigadier Nazir even went on to say the 25th Amendment was imposed on the tribesmen.

Terrorism is once again rising as twenty security personnel were martyred within a day in two separate attacks in Ramzak, South Waziristan and Omara in Balochistan. When cases will be withdrawn for attacking state institutions, terrorists will be emboldened to carry out their activities. The gains and sacrifices that we achieved are being erased by abysmal policies and the nation will suffer.

A mockery is being against the state on the pretext of national interests and human rights. A handful of people are creating chaos and anarchy in our society. The judiciary is also unable to take much action in such circumstances. The Peshawar High Court has halted the trial of social activist Idrees Khattak who was being tried in a military court and the issue remains unresolved.

It has become a norm that culprits and offenders are being defended just because others have any ethnic or linguistic similarities with them. What could be more unfortunate that we side with the oppressor and do not provide justice to the victim? This is done in national interest but it should also be remembered that giving relief to culprits, hiding their crimes and covering their tracks merely for votes and vested interests will serve no real purpose.

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