Apr 15, 2009

My thoughts on the retired Indian colonel's letter to General Kayani

I'm in two minds about the suggestions in this letter outlined by retired Indian colonel, Harish Puri. Colonel Puri like most of us, is horrified by flogging of a teenage girl, within the borders of Pakistan. He writes...
...the video of the teenager being flogged represents an even more abject surrender by the Pakistani Army. The surrender in 1971, though humiliating, was not disgraceful. This time around, sir, what happened on your watch was something no Army commander should have to live through. The girl could have been your own daughter, or mine.
However, I'm not shocked by the imposition of Sharia law in the northwest to appease the Talibanesque community that resides there. After all, we've had Sharia based law in all of Pakistan during the 80's. And that area has never really been under the control of the central government.
I, like most like-minded individuals wouldn't mind seeing the Taliban blasted into the sky. However, that's not going to cure the disease. The ideal situation would be to provide security for the people of this region, allow them to live their lives WITHOUT the Taliban influence, and gradually weed out ignorance that spawns them, with education. The army can definitely help with security for schools, infrastructure and provide stability to the region.

But the onus is upon the educated citizens of Pakistan, the middle class, the urban elite. They have to stand up in unison, against the influence of the Taliban, against possible future military intervention in the political arena, and aggressively towards focusing on the education and of our women and children. At least the Indian colonel sees a glimmer of hope....
But in the gloom and the ignominy, the average Pakistani citizen has shown us that there is hope yet. The lawyers, the media, have all refused to buckle even under direct threats. It took the Taliban no less than 32 bullets to still the voice of a brave journalist. Yes, there is hope – but why don't we hear the same language from you? Look to these brave hearts, sir – and maybe we shall see the tide turn. Our prayers are with you, and the hapless people of Swat.

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