The registration of FIR against Abdul Aziz is a welcome development in the aftermath of this week’s tragedy. Most inspiring were the crowds who gathered outside Lal Masjid and refused to be intimidated as they demanded justice and an end to support for terrorism. However, I still worry that we are getting our hopes up too quickly.
Abdul Aziz was an obvious target after he refused to condemn the 16th December attack at APS Boys, but remember that Munawar Hasan also had petition filed against him after he termed jihadi terrorists as ‘Shaheed’ but not our own soldiers. Over a year has passed, and nothing has come of it.
We are once again hearing about ‘zero tolerance’ for militants and that ‘Good Taliban Bad Taliban’ policy is finished, but mention of Hafiz Saeed and Jamaat-ud-Dawa is glaringly absent from any such talk.
While people protested outside Lal Masjid, they was another demonstration going on in support of Abdul Aziz and the ideology he promotes. Members of ASWJ turned out in force to show their support even while threats of suicide attacks were thrown about. Registering a FIR against Abdul Aziz is one thing. Registering a FIR against Ahmed Ludhianvi is another.
Inshallah the martyrdom of those 141 angels in Peshawar will finally spark real change in this country. But don’t think it will be instant. Reversing decades of creeping extremism will require a long struggle, and it will not be easy.