By Lal Khan
Nobody can predict when the so-called moderate clergy would morph into his terrorist version and vice-versa.
With almost a dozen terrorist attacks from Lahore to Sehwan and Peshawar to Balochistan this week, the terrorists have yet again struck Pakistan with a vengeance. Hundreds perished while many more have been maimed. The resurgence of this orgy of dreadful slaughter and mayhem by the forces of black reaction has shaken both the state and the society. The shock and grief for the already traumatised masses aggravated their suffering, being inflicted through class oppression. For the ruling elites, it was the usual response of condemnations and the impotent rage to eradicate terrorism. The tragedy would soon pass into oblivion while the nauseating routine of hurling corruption allegations, scandals and bickering of the ruling elite’s warring factions captures the media and the social psyche in this period of social inertia. The surge of terrorist acts is not due to changes in the military’s high command as depicted by some media analysts but is the manifestation of a deeper socio-economic malaise. The intrusion of religious fanaticism by General Zia at the behest of US imperialists to destroy the Afghanistan’s 1978 Saur Revolution has come back to haunt the imperialists and the Pakistani state. However, the official ideology indoctrinated in the state’s institutions, agencies and intrusions, in the constitutional clauses continues to be practised even today. The policies based on religious sectarian doctrines of Zia’s dictatorship have been pursued even by the ‘secular and liberal’ democratic regimes, leading to the disastrous ramifications that are ravaging Pakistan. These reactionary ethics are embedded in the attitudes of mainly the upper and middle rungs of the state’s institutions. There is a palpable reluctance in the sections of officials in taking any decisive action against these fundamentalist citadels indoctrinating hatred to the level of inculcating terrorist impulses in raw minds. These are run by obscenely rich Mullahs through the massive influx of black capital generated through crime and terror. The intrusion of dirty money in the structures of the state gives a material basis to this mindset and reactionary thinking. Nobody can predict when the so-called moderate clergy would morph into his terrorist version and vice-versa. For almost 40 years, the educational syllabi, and the society’s morality and ethics have been shackled into these bigoted fetters. It is this sectarian hatred that provokes acts of terror and mayhem. Serious sections of the state and the ruling elite now feel threatened by the catastrophic devastation being perpetrated by these once compliant elements. The top echelons of state desperately want to eliminate this menace but not so hidden hands within the executive structures always succeed only in attacking selected targets during the state’s operations. In the name of the national ideology of political Islam, the black mafia bosses heavily invest in the political parties, institutions and echelons of state power. They have eroded the discipline of the state structure and are now posing a threat to the civic existence of society. The desire for a substantial policy change by stakeholders of state and political power is a pipedream as they are compelled to continue the Zia-era policies benefitting the vested interests of the reactionary, corrupt, upstarts’ and crime infested ruling classes. It is this economic character of the present system that these political and state actors are destined to serve. Proxy wars are strategies by the new states in a period where the national and world wars are unaffordable, unsustainable and could end up in the mutual destruction of the adversary elites. The involvement of a ‘foreign hand’ cannot be excluded in this terrorist wave but laying all the blame on external factors actually conceals the failure of the state to eliminate terror and the complicity of certain official elements in the protection and nurturing of these reactionary forces for their vested interests. Now the successors’ of the mentors of these Frankenstein monsters are faced with the retribution of history. The mingling of these terrorists in the thickly populated cities and suburban towns makes it a herculean task to find and surgically remove them out of the population in general. Even though these religious bigots have a meagre support base amongst the masses, they have organised structures and an abundant capital. They can launch small demonstrations to pressurise the corrupt rulers with hundreds of destitute children seeking shelters from the socio-economic onslaught of capitalism in their seminaries. Such sectarian bastions exist in the hearts of Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and other cities and towns across the country indoctrinating sectarian hatreds. They defy the laws by bribing state officials and threatening the judiciary. Above all, they exploit the religious and sectarian sentiments of the state’s petit bourgeois functionaries. But these policies of proxy conflicts and the exacerbating infightings of the varied capitalist interests are tearing apart the social fabric of the country. The collapse of the left and betrayals of traditional parties and leaders have further added to this apathy. The ultimate weapon to eradicate terrorism — the people’s mobilisation — is crucial to crushing these forces of black reaction. With no real revolutionary alternative in the political spectrum has blunted this revolutionary weapon of the class struggle. In the present state of inertia temporarily blanketing society, lumpen sections of the petit bourgeois youth despaired with the prospect of a bleak future can move towards such outfits in sheer frustration and commit such harrowing acts. The neoliberal economics that replaced the failed Keynesianism model is rapidly intensifying inequality and social turbulence. The crisis of the capitalist system is so acute that its historical obsoleteness and economic bankruptcy has not only debilitated the state structures but also the surge of Islamic fundamentalist terror is a manifestation of this crisis. Terrorism can neither be eliminated through peace deals and agreements with these bestial creatures nor can it be crushed by the states that cast them as proxy options. Without transforming the socio-economic material basis of these vile outfits the scourge of terrorism cannot be eliminated. This social, economic, political and administrative system is obsolete and beyond repair in its terminal decay. Only the mobilisations of the toiling classes can fight and vanquish religious terrorism and reactionary socio- cultural onslaught upon society by putting end to the system that needs these evils for its exploitation and ruler ship.