WHILE INDIAN TELEVISION channels have practically waged a war against Pakistan, and shrill anchors are setting new normals of what can be uttered on television, Punjab Today brings to you this Editorial by Pakistan's leading English language daily, Dawn, published on February 23, 2019. It is true that there is no end to rabble rousing anchors on both sides, but we must not lose sight of the courageous voices on the other side.
There's a courage of the kind Arnab Goswami is capable of. On his Hindi Republic channel, he actually held a debate with the subject line: "For Arnab, Anti Arnab". The subject was he himself, and many in the studio audience waived huge tricolors, with the anchor himself raising intermittently raising slogans of Bharat Mata Ki Jai. (See video below)
While some Pakistani channel can be inspired to do something similar, read this Dawn
editorial that could have been from any of the national newspapers of India:
"The JuD is of course an avatar of Lashkar-i-Taiba, one of the many jihadi groups that dot this country’s landscape. However, making an announcement about the group’s proscription is not enough... for nearly two decades now, the state moves to ban militant outfits, but, in very little time they are back, up and running, with new names and the entire structure of violence intact...the groups continued to peddle hate and violence, making a mockery of the proscription."
The editorial blames the Pakistani establishment’s attempts to ‘mainstream’ violent actors as "legitimate religious scholars" and "relaunching the jihadi lashkars as political parties." It says such "parties’ fundraising, communications and organisational systems must be targeted to put them out of business; imposing mere ‘bans’ is futile."
"It was unwise to allow these outfits to operate in the past, and efforts are needed to shut them down permanently," the Dawn editorial said.
You can read the entire editorial here. Punjab Today has not redacted a single word from the editorial.
Ban on JuD
Editorial in Dawn; February 23, 2019
THE decision by the country’s civilian and military leadership to take action against Jamaatud Dawa and its charity wing, Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation, is significant.
On Thursday, the National Security Committee, with the prime minister in the chair, took the decision, with the Prime Minister’s Office later saying that the state cannot be allowed to "become hostage to extremism”.
The JuD is of course an avatar of Lashkar-i-Taiba, one of the many jihadi groups that dot this country’s landscape. However, making an announcement about the group’s proscription is not enough; if the state has evidence of the outfit’s involvement in militancy it should present the facts and pursue the legal course so that JuD’s leadership can face justice.
As has been witnessed for nearly two decades now, the state moves to ban militant outfits, but, in very little time they are back, up and running, with new names and the entire structure of violence intact. For example, in 2002 the Musharraf regime banned a host of jihadi and sectarian groups, yet this effort had little practical effect because with a mere change of nomenclature, the groups continued to peddle hate and violence, making a mockery of the proscription.
Moreover, the establishment’s attempts to ‘mainstream’ violent actors — eg presenting them as legitimate religious scholars or relaunching the jihadi lashkars as political parties — have also failed to steer these groups away from violence and hate. For example, a sectarian party has been repeatedly allowed to take part in general elections, but its senior leaders have failed to cease spewing venom.
History has shown that while low-level jihadi and sectarian party cadres perhaps can be deradicalised and mainstreamed, their leadership is committed to the ideology of violence and can only be silenced through the legal path. These parties’ fundraising, communications and organisational systems must be targeted to put them out of business; imposing mere ‘bans’ is futile.
In the delicate post-Pulwama period, Prime Minister Imran Khan must be praised for saying that those who use this country’s soil to attack others are enemies of Pakistan. The government has now started to take action. For instance, reports emerged on Friday that a key madressah associated with Jaish-e-Mohammad in Bahawalpur — another militant outfit accused of orchestrating cross-border attacks — was taken over by the Punjab government.
These moves indicate that the leadership has perhaps realised that taking half-baked steps against violent actors is dangerous for Pakistan’s internal security, as well as its external relations. Now the elected leadership and the military establishment must take this campaign — as envisaged under NAP — to its logical conclusion by ensuring that non-state actors are not able to raise armed militias, and that those spewing hatred against other countries or spreading sectarian views are prosecuted.
It was unwise to allow these outfits to operate in the past, and efforts are needed to shut them down permanently.
(As published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2019)
Watch Arnab Goswami conducting a debate:
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