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Tweets versus reality... By Masood

03 February, 2014

Presently all those who keep an eye on Pakistan's political war being fought on Twitter know about Bilawal Bhutto's tweets. His out-of-the box tweets hitting the right-wing parties and their supporters are often re-tweeted. His opponents accuse him of doing politics from the safety of high-walled Bilawal House in a posh area of Karachi. They challenge him to come out in public and face the crowd. The security situation in Pakistan doesn't permit any public figure, even the right-wing party leaders, to move around without a contingent of armed guards. Also, most of the liberal political leaders are on the militants' hit list. In such circumstances keeping a low profile is recommended.

One cannot ignore the seriousness of Bilawal's tweets. He hits hard at the religious and sectarian militants, praises Malala Yousafzai, and condemns the killing of Chaudhry Aslam and Aitzaz Hassan in suicide bombings. His stance is understandable. But the question is, is he really serious? He is the chairman of a political party which has been ruling Sindh for the last six years. Has the government in Sindh been successful in curtailing religion-based militancy there? Who is not aware of areas in Karachi where people from Khyber Paktunkhwa's (KP's) urban and tribal areas have settled after migrating from there in the wake of the 2008 military operation? Most of these localities have become no-go areas for the police and paramilitary forces. The Taliban run their own courts there to settle local issues. Increased cases of sectarian violence fomented by thousands of seminaries across Sindh, especially in Karachi, have gone unnoticed. We do not know about any action taken against these elements, except the usual rhetoric. The polio health workers are intimidated, injured, even killed, in broad daylight. And nothing is done.

Similarly the abduction of Hindu girls has gone unnoticed, in the sense that the criminals have not been pursued and punished. It's easy to criticize the KP government for its covert or tactical support to the religious militants. But where does the Sindh government stand? We should not wait for the militants to take over Karachi as that will be a point of no return for the whole nation.

Masood Khan
Jubail, Saudi Arabia

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