Pritam K. Rohila, Ph.D.
After years of dilly-dallying, the Pakistan government and the Army have launched an offensive against the extremists in Swat, Buner and Dir. In retaliation, extremists have carried out brazen and well-planned suicide and car-bombing attacks in different parts of Pakistan. They have targeted police and military personnel and installations, prestigious hotels, crowded markets and even religious scholars and mosques.
The Army offensive has resulted in displacement of three million people. Millions of those who did not or could not leave their homes are trapped in the crossfire.
Had the Pakistani government and army done what was needful before the extremists got entrenched in some parts of the country, things would not have been as bad as they appear now.
If the government and the Army score a victory in their current struggle against the extremists, we still do not know how durable it would be. To enjoy its fruits longer, the government, the Army and the civil society will have do all that is necessary to ensure the country’s transition to a peaceful and just social order.
Most important, they will have to see that the young people’s minds are not poisoned with hate and prejudice against others, and they are not encouraged to use violence to resolve their disagreements with others
. Also, they will have to train the young in the art of critical analysis, independent thinking, good citizenship, and how to live in peace and harmony with others. Î¦