Saturday, December 22, 2012

Bashir Bilour--A Victim of Military Inaction

Pakistan is a paradise but its milk and honey are for the two groups--the over 500k military and a few 1000s unleashed militants. The rest of the masses in the 180 million population has options open, though. They have to surrender to the will of the military and militants; keep calm towards the horror theater around them; or stand up.
The last choice comes with a painful ordeal. It blocks your path to bread and butter, exposes you to the fear of death, merciless beheading, blasts and opens gates of hell. This is what Pakistan has rewarded with all of its brave daughters and sons in recent history. Bashir Bilour-the loudest voice against atrocities in the country is the latest addition to the 'made-silenced' list.
Military and Militants Shared Interests:
The post-9/11 moments, instead of waking up the country's defenders to mounting challenges, were exploited for cleansing the state with what they call them rotten eggs--Bashir Bilour, Salman Taseer, Benazir Bhutto, Saleem Shehzad to name a few. They were all eliminated by a mindset that is hugely considered a brainchild of Pakistan military nationally and internationally.
Bashir Ahmad Bilour is a victim of deliberate inaction by Pakistan military. Under the watch of military's 11th corps, responsible for protecting the north-western borders and its people, FATA, PATA and fringes of Peshawar are no more governable. The militants attack their targets from their safe sleeping cells in the cities at their will. Just this week on Dec 16, a blatant attack at Peshawar's airport and nearby installations showed how openly the militants move around. The militants forced this week the government for suspending the essential polio vaccination after murdering the unguarded young female polio vaccinators in Peshawar and Karachi. The only force Taliban face is Pakhtunkhwa's police. That is one other reason Taliban treat police with the most horrible terror. One police officer of the level of SP was beheaded near Peshawar and they took away his head along with themselves, terrorizing the less-budgeted force who are never trained for fighting terrorists.
In Benazir Bhutto case, the then military ruler and commander of all armed forces of Pakistan Gen retd Pervez Musharraf is wanted in courts for his alleged involvement in treating her with a combo of bullet and powder.
Salman Taseer was martyred by his own security guard. The current Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani told western diplomats he couldn't condemn the murder as he had sympathizers of the killer in his rank and file.

Public Perception of Military:
Pakistan's Lahore-based journalist Najam Sethi gave several reasons for a failed policy against terrorism. However, one reason for military's inaction is very much relevant at this moment of national mourning. He wrote in Friday Times 21st Dec issue:
"The military leadership is wary of taking additional casualties. COAS General Ashfaq Kayani has been internally sapped by a string of developments - an unprecedented three years extension in service that hasn't gone down well with the rank and file, the Raymond Davis affair, the US Navy Seal raid to kill and extract Osama Bin Laden, the botched-up Memogate witch-hunt, mishandling of the NATO supply routes blockade, and aspersions on the business conduct of his brothers - and is therefore hesitant to take the brunt of decisions that could rebound on him."
The North-western Pakistanis add one  more sentence to Mr Sethi's comment--military and militants are the same in northwest Pakistan. They may appear different in shapes--one with clean shave in Khaki uniform, the other with long thick beard and flowing trousers. Their common target is, however, the same--people of northwest Pakistan and their culture. They may deny it but this is what people experience on daily basis. Late Bilour was the latest bitter pill they swallowed.

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