This Cancer is terminal - One country - One Law
That is why this war is so important. Winning it reclaims the idea of Pakistan and creates space for a better future. Losing it leads to possibilities too horrible to contemplate: among them the erosion of national morale and the death of the notion that the army was the first line of national defence. Ayaz Amir
The skewed interpretation of Islam by various factions is the terminal cancer that may undo the state as it exists today.
The majority of Muslims in Pakistan are born into or subscribe the Hanafiya Fiq'h of Sunni Islam. They comprise over 80% of the population. Then there are the Shias. And the fringe brings up Isma'ilis, Ahmedis, Nazaris and then Hindus, Sikhs and Christian.
The terminal cancer that is brought upon the nation is mainly by the Sunnis.
At the end of an "Islamic" Conference held at Islamabd during the Zi(n)a era, the participants broke up for Maghreb prayers. There was not one jamaat. Each faction held its own namaz, loathing to offer the prayers behind the leader of another faction.
This abuse and distortion of the universal injunctions of Islam has turned Islam into a derisive and laughing stock locally and internationally. It has also contributed in increasing suspicion and intolerance among everyone.
Add to above the near total disenfranchisement of the average Pakistani from the political process once the elections are over and the absence of basic utilities, law and order and you have the making of a potboiler.
The poor, in majority, disenfranchised and disillusioned by the life style of the decadent and corrupt around them are ready fodder for the pseudo Islamists.
This duel in Waziristan will be a Qabristan (graveyard). This is an oversimplification. The only intrigue here is whose qabristan - the Army's or the fanatics'?
On one side is the US equipped Army of Pakistan that has enjoyed a mostly unchallenged reign over the land it occupies. Three wars, some minor encounters, some civilian interludes in governance aside, this Army had it easy.
In the process, it has acquired a lot of fat around the waist and burgeoning bank balances for its generals. Pity the young soldiers who are asked to sacrifice their lives.
The only redeeming fact that saves this Army's reputation in politics is the civilian governments that briefly thrived were worse and even more corrupt and inept.
The average Pakistani is caught between existence and survival.
S/he has no access to clean drinking water, basic food, amenities that are taken for granted elsewhere in the world. His children cannot go to schools. His health care is scant. There is no law that comes to his protection. His politicians are corrupt and self absorbed.
The only ones who listen and promise him salvation here and in the hereafter are the religious factions. He abandons his children to them. They teach, feed and brainwash the children and use them as fodder to kill and maim their enemies and brothers in faith.
Do you blame him?
Where are the politicians who promise him law and order and access to education and affordable prices for daily needs?
Where do yo think his sympathies would lie?
He has tried them all. Now the religious fanatics offer him hope. Here and in hereafter.
This is the dilemma the country faces.
Here is an Army that is fighting its own people who are resilient and have faith and motivation that seems to be lacking in the 'trained' army.
This action in Waziristan has to succeed. Fauji failure would mean the end of state as it exists today.
Harsh words? Yes.
This is the watershed battle for one country: one law.
The Army, the politicians, the establishment and the bureaucracy and the people have to come together and fight this battle as one.
If the fanatics win, all hope is lost. You lose. I lose. Pakistan loses.