Determined Democracy

True patriotism serves the ideals upon which a nation was founded, and it hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else. True patriotism strives to leave a better world, a more peaceful and harmonious world, to the next generation of citizens.

In all respects, the brave villagers of northwest Pakistan are to be commended. Hundreds of villagers, though poverty-stricken and away from their families, have volunteered to join the army in the fight against the Taliban.

How many among them would be Pakistan’s future professionals, destined to bring noor to their name by becoming lawyers, doctors, thinkers, teachers? Imagine the young, shy teenage boys who somehow muster up the courage to take up arms against an ideology that will never grant them liberty. These boys know they may be killed, but they take that chance so that in their country, founded upon the Quaid’s dream of a prosperous state, others shall enjoy the peace that was denied them? That is what it means to be true patriot.

The villagers, in forming these lashkars, have done nothing short of a remarkable job. Pakistani military officials credit them with helping defeat the Taliban in the Swat Valley, and in ridding whole districts of their once shining militant ideology. These men have an instinctual knowledge of the land, it is that skill they share with the Taliban. By assisting the federal government’s efforts, they acknowledge the future of Pakistan is at stake and they will do whatever they can.

No one wants to live under Taliban rule. No one should ever have to be caged in an unforgiving, miserable, heartless existence.

Fortunately, the country is working with all its might against the Taliban and their sympathizers and the results are slow and steady.

The past several months have shown the Zardari administration’s policies to be fruitful. The President called for unprecedented unity amongst the political factions; their resounding call for the defeat of the Taliban most certainly sent shockwaves not just to the extremists but to the international community as well. It was refreshing to see the country speak as one. That set in motion a series of tough decisions on the part of the President, coupled with strong action and unwavering support from the people have done the people well.

The Taliban are losing, and they are afraid. Where once extremist ideology found a safe haven in remote villages, now they are chased out as Pakistanis rise up against their internal cancer.

For awakening this national pride, we can thank the men and women who stood in the halls of power and demanded we take action, we can thank Pakistanis all over the world who wish to see a stable homeland, and we must continue to thank and support the village lashkars, for they serve as their President’s front-line against an appalling evil.

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