The issue of terrorism has divided the Pakistani nation into several groups. One such division is based on the socio-political ideologies people from these groups adhere to. Here, I will attempt to explain the motivations and justifications for these ideologies that have left the national consensus in tatters.
1. The Militants
- Their particular brand of shari’ah should be imposed in the country.
- Establishment of a caliphate.
- The NATO forces should leave Afghanistan.
- Afghanistan under Taliban rule was a model Islamic State.
- Pakistan’s role in the war on terror and the subsequent removal of the Taliban government makes Pakistan an enemy of Islam.
- Any one who disagrees with their interpretation of Islam is an infidel.
- Strongly against any formal education for women. Have blown up several girls’ schools.
- Strongly against co-ed.
- Strongly against vaccination and immunization.
- Strongly against family planning.
- Strongly against the banking system.
- Suicide bombing and killing unarmed civilians (regardless of their religion, sect and ethnicity) is permissible if the goal is to steer society in the desired direction.
- They have released several videos and pics showing them beheading their captives while reciting verses of the Qur’an.
2. Militancy Supporters
- While they don’t get involved in open hostilities, they strongly believe in the message promulgated by the Militants.
- The Militants killed during hostilities against Pakistan army are martyrs (Munawar Hassan, Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami at a press conference).
- Even a dog killed by the Americans is a martyr (Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, Amir Jami’at-e-Ulama-i-Islam (F) in the National Assembly after the done strike that took out Hakimullah Mehsud).
- The Taliban are fighting our war (Maulana Sami-ul-Huq, Amir Jami’at-e-Ulama-i-Islam (S)).
- Drone attacks are a cause of militancy.
3. The Negotiators
- Any past transgressions by the Militants should be overlooked so there can be peace in the country.
- Britain negotiated with the IRA.
- West Pakistan’s failure to negotiate with East Pakistan resulted in the creation of Bangladesh.
- They are mostly against the Militants but vehemently oppose any use of force against them.
- They expect the Militants to voluntarily lay down their weapons.
- They propose social reforms in the areas currently controlled by the Militants to combat any further militarization.
4. Justice for their Fallen Compatriots
- Vehement opposition of the Militants’ brand of Islam.
- They demand justice for the 60,000 to 70,000 people the Militants have thus far killed.
- Since the Militants took up arms against the state, they have committed treason and should get punished according to the laws defined in the Constitution.
- Question the sincerity and feasibility of the Negotiators plans.
- They raise the question that if the families of the people killed in acts of terror took up arms to exact vengeance, will the state negotiate with them too.
- The solution of militancy is a full scale military operation.
- Until the Militants have the ability to carry out attacks against Pakistan, there can be no negotiations.
- Begging the Militants to negotiate puts Pakistan in a position of weakness and would result in more of the Militants’ demands getting accepted.
5. The Egalitarians
- Mostly strongly agree with the group that demands justice for their Fallen Compatriots.
- Religion is a personal matter, not something for the state to enforce.
- Gender equality.
- Minority rights.
- Some of them condemn homophobia.
(This article is dedicated to a dear friend of mine. She convinced me to write it and I have the utmost respect for her and her opinions matter)