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Steeped in hypocrisy

In Indian mythological texts, King Vikrama faces many difficulties in bringing a vetala to the tantric. Each time Vikram tries to capture the vetala, it tells a story that ends with a riddle. If Vikrama cannot answer the question correctly, the vampire consents to remain in captivity. If the king knows the answer but still keeps quiet, then his head shall burst into a thousand pieces. And if King Vikrama answers the question correctly, the vampire would escape and return to his tree. He knows the answer to every question; therefore the cycle of catching and releasing the vampire continues twenty-four times.

The Pakistan government could do well to pay heed to this Indian fable. Even though it knows how to tackle terror, it does nothing. The release of Lakhvi is just another symptom of Pakistan’s ineffectualness when it comes to tackling terror. Sometimes knowing the answer to a riddle just does not help.

The sight of smoke bellowing from the red-sandstone dome of the Taj Mahal hotel is still fresh in the minds of millions of Indians. So are the ghastly images of that night which played on an infinite loop on our television channels. For the next of kin of those who perished in the massacre that night there seems to be no closure on the nightmare of that night. Today Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the diabolical brain behind the Mumbai attacks, walked out of a Pakistani jail, after a court ordered his release. His release was met with cheers from other fundamentalists. In a Friday prayer sermon, Jamaat-Ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed told supporters that the “government’s hypocrisy had been exposed”.

The Jamaat-Ud-Dawah chief was right about one thing. The Pakistani government is a hypocrite of the highest order. For one it has consistently refused to learn its lesson: do not go easy on home grown terror; there is no good or bad Taliban.

The Pakistani government has time and again indicated its resolve to fight terror but nothing has really changed. Nothing has changed after Lakki Marwat when 105 spectators of a volleyball match were killed by a suicide bomber in a pickup truck. Not much changed when 96 Hazaras in a snooker club died in a double suicide attack.

The 132 children killed in the ghastly Peshawar attack, are now dry statistics. The memories of the Peshawar attack have been quickly forgotten and life has moved on. Pakistan refuses to learn its lesson. The hydra-headed monster which is Pakistan fostered terror lives on. Lakhvi’s release is another shot in the arm for this monster.
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