The news that TTP have declared allegiance to ISIS is not surprising. Taliban commanders have mentioned working with ISIS since several months. This is a bad sign for Pakistan when we have already spent $2 billion on Zarb-e-Azb operations that show no signs of progress. But actually, this is not the worst news for Pakistan, even if it is the most sensational. Jihadi extremists working with jihadi extremists is to be expected. What should worry us most is not the state of militants, but the state of our own civil society, which appears to be descending into a state of rot.
Before TTP and ISIS held gave their infamous statement, the signs of rot came to light on Friday when Javed Hashmi was attacked on his way to attend funeral prayer at Nishtar Hospital. The former PTI president was not attacked by Taliban militants. Neither was he attacked by Gullu Butts of any party. He was attacked by doctors.
When I read this news I was immediately reminded of another incident not too long ago, the murder of Governor Salmaan Taseer. Actually, it was not his murder which was brought to mind but the reaction of lawyers who praised his murderer and showered him with flowers.
Doctors. Lawyers. These are supposed to be the most educated of our society. They are revered and trusted for their learned opinions. And they are behaving like lunatics in an asylum. Faraz Talat, a young doctor, has noticed this, too.
In recent years, however, the broken state of whom we reverently call the “cream of the nation” has been made all too evident.
We’ve seen enough footage of lawyers and doctors strutting about like gangsters to forever shatter the allure of an MBBS or LLB title. We’ve encountered enough engineers and MBAs trolling the internet as ‘like’-armada for every bigoted and jingoistic post available.
Pakistan is facing an existential crisis. This is not hyperbole, or empty warnings. This is a sad reality. We are currently spending billions to fight an enemy that has killed over 50,000 with no end in sight. To win, we will need to harness all the intellectual power of our best and brightest minds. But our best and brightest are being assassinated and forced into exile. Those who are left are acting like the very enemy we are desperate to defeat.
Our doctors are behaving like goondas, and our children are contracting diseases all but wiped out in the rest of the world in record breaking numbers. The rot has moved from the limbs to the heart of society. Soon it will be too late to save the patient.