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Young beacons of hope... By Atif

13 January, 2014

Aitzaz Hussain is yet another martyr of Pakistan's war on terror. The country has got a hero who will be remembered for his extraordinary courage and resolve against terrorism. Nations survive on the tales of bravery exhibited by its heroes in their time of need. This act of young Aitzaz has reminded everyone in the country of their sacred duty to safeguard the country against the ominous threat of terrorism.

Without going into the debate of who started the war and whether it is genuinely a Pakistani cause, it seems the new generation owns it a lot more than the older people. The incident also manifests that it is a war now effectively sucking another generation of Pakistanis into it. Every generation needs heroes to look up to but, unfortunately, in the last 12 years it is the section of young Pakistanis that has paid the price of the wrong doings of their elders. Bravo to the younger generation, which is extinguishing the fire with their blood, the fire that was lit by the hypocritical few from the older generation. People like Malala and Aitzaz certainly connect with the new generation of Pakistanis and are their heroes.

The great sacrifice rendered by the young man has once again exposed the elements of right wing politics who, in the garb of justice and faith based politics, are trying to confuse and divide young Pakistanis on the issue of terrorism. The unprecedented apathy of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government over the incident has raised great concerns in the minds of all regarding the recently framed so-called security policy against terrorism. Unity is the call of the day against the threat that has fractured the foundation of Pakistani society, historically founded on the ideological basis that sprang out of inclusive Sufism.

State sponsored orthodoxy has taken a heavy toll on the unity of Pakistani society. The country already had serious ideological issues in the shape of a faith-based state narrative conflicting with the culture-based regional narrative of nationalism. As if it were not enough that the state sponsored further divisions by shunning tolerant Sufism and replacing it with an extremist, intolerant, far-right orthodox interpretation of religion, the bitter fruits of which are now ready to be reaped. In these times of dismay and hopelessness, people like Aitzaz are keeping spirits alive. It is about time that the confused older generations respond to the call of the motherland like Aitzaz did.

Melbourne, Australia

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