A Conversation With a Diehard PTI Supporter

This is not a single conversation but an amalgam of several conversations I’ve had with several diehard PTI supporters over the past two months. The gist and outcome of these conversations is always the same although the way the conversation begins varies. The simplest method to get one of these conversations going is criticising PTI or Imran Khan. So now that we have got the disclaimers out of the way, let’s move on to the conversation.

Me
Hey, did you hear about the attack on the police bus in Karachi?
Diehard
Yes I did, it’s condemnable and you have no right to use it for your anti-PTI and anti-Imran Khan propaganda.
Me
Excuse me?
Diehard
You heard me, its a tragedy, not something for you to use to try and discredit Imran Khan!
Me
I never mentioned Imran Khan. I asked a simple question and we could have both condemned the TTP and moved on.
Diehard
Yeh right, as if that would happen, you were thinking of blaming Imran Khan for this, just because he’s pro-peace does not make him pro-terrorism!
Me
When did you start reading minds?
Diehard
What’s that supposed to mean?
Me
You just proclaimed to know what I was thinking so you must be able to read my mind!
Diehard
Ha Ha, very funny
Me
Thanks…
Diehard
Seriously the only option we have for lasting peace is negotiations.
Me
Maybe but right now, we are going to the table from a position of weakness and that will force us to agree to demands we never should agree to!
Diehard
How can we go to the negotiations from a position of weakness? We have nukes!
Me
What good are the nukes? We can’t exactly nuke our own country, can we now? The nukes only work as a deterrent against state actors, the TTP are not state actors.
Diehard
Oh so you mean the TTP are not afraid of our nukes?
Me
Nope, they are not because unlike you, they know that Pakistan is not going to nuke Pakistan!
Diehard
So our army, airforce and navy can take on the Indians but not the TTP?
Me
Against the Indians, the nukes work as a deterrent, neither side is willing to push the other side into a corner where mutually assured destruction seems like a viable alternative. Sadly, with the TTP, there is no mutually assured destruction, we’d be killing ourselves if we nuked our own country!
Diehard
At least we are trying something, what’s your solution? Going to war?
Me
The war has been ongoing for several years now, how else do you explain roughly 70,000 people the TTP and their ilk have killed?
Ever read the poem ‘First they came’?
Diehard
You mean:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.”?
Me
Yup, that’s the one. Notice the similarities?
Diehard
Yes I did, if we started an operation against the TTP, we’d be the Nazis!
Me
Say what? You are joking, right?
Diehard
No, I am not. The Nazis were technologically more advanced compared to the people they were oppressing and similarly, in our case if we started an operation, we’d be the ones with technological superiority making us similar to the Nazis.
Me
Errrmmmm the distinguishing feature of the Nazis wasn’t their technological superiority, it was their fanaticism, their totalitarianism. In our case, name the group that has been cleansing the country of groups not sympathetic to their cause?
Diehard
If we start the operation, it would be us…
Me
Errrmmm try replacing Socialists with Ahmadis, Unionists with Hindus, Jews with Shi’ites or Christians, does that describe what HAS been happening in Pakistan?
Diehard
The government of the UK had negotiations with the IRA, why can’t we have negotiations?
Me
That situation was completely different, the IRA wanted a separate country. Also, the British government did not invite Sinn Féin, the political party with ties to the provisional IRA, to the negotiations until the IRA had declared a ceasefire.
Diehard
Errrrmmm but what about the creation of Bangladesh? Had we not sent in the army, we would still be the same country.
Me
Not really, the military operation in East Pakistan was just the tip of the ice berg. The real problems were social inequality and injustice…
Diehard
Well that’s similar to what’s happening to the people of FATA.
Me
You didn’t let me finish. The problems came to a head when after Mujeeb’s Awami League comprehensively beat Bhutto’s PPP at the polls, Bhutto decided it was somehow his right to form the government with the complacency and support of the people of West Pakistan. This combined with all the injustices since the independence proved to the people of East Pakistan that they’d always be second class citizens hence the formation of Mukti Bahni which resulted in the deployment of the Army.
In the current situation, the TTP’s demands are unacceptable for most of the people of Pakistan and the TTP does not have any legitimacy whatsoever. Oh and most people in FATA want to get along with their lives and no, most of them do not support some sad basket blowing himself up at their son’s or daughter’s school.
Diehard
Well if the people of KPK didn’t want talks, they wouldn’t have voted for PTI, Imran Khan made it clear during his campaign that he wanted negotiations.
Me
For starters, most of the people of KPK wanted change and PTI seemed like the only viable alternative. Secondly, how about giving ground realities some consideration? The TTP had plenty of opportunities to take the government up on the offer of negotiations, they chose not to do so until recently.
Diehard
And what opportunities might those be?
Me
Oh I dunno, maybe they could have dropped some hints during one of their phone calls to the media while proclaiming responsibility for the attack on a church or imam bargah or military convoy?
Why is it only now that the masses had started to accept this war as our own that the TTP used this negotiations card? Don’t you find this the least bit peculiar?
Diehard
So what exactly do you want?
Me
I want justice for the Pakistanis that have been slain by these monsters regardless of their religion, sect or ethnicity. I want to be able to go to the mosque and say my prayers, if I so choose, without fear for life or limb. I want equality for everyone regardless of their gender, religion, sect or ethnicity. Oh and while we are at it, I want world peace and a black unicorn with a red horn.
Diehard
You are just a selfish person who loves war! Trust me, war’s uglier than you can imagine.
Me
We should ask the Hazaras from Quetta, I guess they’d know something about the ugliness of war what with the genocide and all that. And how am I ‘just a selfish person’?
Diehard
Yes there is a Hazara genocide. That does not mean we should start a war.
Me
As I said before, there is a war being waged against the peaceful people of Pakistan, you just don’t want to acknowledge it.
Diehard
If we declare a war against the TTP, there would be collateral damage.
Me
Heh it’s not like the negotiations have stopped the TTP from carrying out their attacks, there have been bomb blasts on an almost daily basis since the negotiations started.
Diehard
And the TTP have said they are not the ones responsible for those bombings.
Me
So who else is it? The tooth fairy?
Diehard
It’s the CIA, RAW and MOSAD trying to make the talks fail!
Me
Errrrmmmm actually the group that has been proclaiming responsibility for these attacks claims to be a part of the TTP which has decided to go its own way because the TTP is apparently not doing enough to bring Sharia law to the country!
Diehard
That’s your opinion.
Me
It is? I mean they did accept responsibility for pretty much every attack and they are ex-TTP. By the way, to be perfectly honest, I don’t for a second believe they are ex-TTP…
Diehard
Neither do I, they are clearly foreign intelligence agencies trying to destabalize Pakistan.
Me
Actually, I was about to say in my opinion, there never was a split in the TTP, it seems they are using the negotiations as a smoke screen while continuing with their military operations, it’s a pretty good strategy, keeps the national consesus divided and lets them do whatever they want to do!
Diehard
You are blind to the facts! How many dollars did they pay you to get you to spout this nonsense?
Me
How very…eloquent…you work at an American multinational, how about you resign?
Diehard
Wow, why should I resign?
Me
Getting dollars is clearly bad, you should join a madrassa.
How long do you think we should continue with these sham negotiations?
Diehard
YOU SHOULD JOIN A MADRASSA YOURSELF.
And we should continue with the negotiations as long as it takes.
Me
Regardless of the number of people killed while we are playing peace-talks?
Diehard
Yes!
Me
What of the families of those killed? What if they demand justice?
Diehard
They should see the bigger picture! Peace is the only solution.
Me
What if, God forbid, your brother or your parents are killed in a terror atta…
Diehard
CENSORED
Posted in Politics.

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