Reassessing Priorities and Aiming Higher

It cannot be as simple as that. The sheer adamancy over holding the final of the 2017 Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Lahore cannot be as simple as that. It seems a stance simple enough for the common man to accept, but not one staunch enough to ably convince the civilian and military leadership alike to put their foot down.

To stand brazen in the face of adversity is commendable. But to hold up a red cape in front of a crowd of angry bulls is not courage – it is stupidity. Where your citizens’ way of life stands paralyzed, with schools shutting down and cultural avenues being foreclosed, the principal aim for the leadership ought to be the grass-root level eradication of this cancerous tumor of terrorism.

Radd-ul-Fasaad will now pick off where its elder brother Zarb-e-Azb left off, but to continually call in the armed forces in aid of civil power should not be the longstanding permanent solution – it is unsustainable.

For the large part, the Government must strengthen its own institutions, including NACTA and the ministries, as well as improving inter-provincial coordination and harmony, and upgrading the NAP to make it watertight. The loose frays of the implementation of the ATA need to be sorted out, its exploitation needs to checked, and measures to fortify, enhance and build the capacity of Pakistan’s existing criminal justice system should be drafted, approved, enforced and effected.

The media, too, on its end, should act as the responsible independent (journalistic) entity it claims to be, rather than regressing towards frivolity and an exacerbation of the already suffocating air of panic. There is no glory in seeking ‘first-mover advantage’ – neither in breaking the most morbid news in the goriest fashion nor in ‘confirming’ news without any reliable basis.

It is imperative that Pakistan dream bigger and avoid such tunnel vision. Not hosting PSL’s final this year is neither defeatist nor an act of cowardice. Rather, the collective aspiration ought to be two-fold: becoming robust enough to host the entire PSL within Pakistan and, subsequently, regaining the ability to host international cricket at home.

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