“Peace is a journey of thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time” Lyndon B.Johnson
Peace is the right of all citizens in a state. Everyone in the world is wishful for having peaceful and harmonious society, where everyone can enjoy its life with liberty and freedom. But some of the satanic followers in the societies spread anarchy and commotion – who is not human lover, but even destroyer of peace and harmony.
On 30 November1981, United Nation (UN) recalling its resolution 36/67 in which it was declared that the third Tuesday of September shall be officially proclaimed and observed as International Day of Peace and shall be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.
In case of Pakistan, it has remained devoid from peace since last many decades, and has bred terrorism and militancy, which as a whole has hampered the development in country and made bleak socioeconomic condition too. According to a research study, from 2001 to 2013 more than 52000 innocent people have been killed in war on terrorism in different parts of Pakistan. Thousands of schools have been destroyed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, hundreds of children have been orphaned, tourism is affected (source of income of northern areas) Pakistan’s political system has been destabilized, the nation is always on the risk of insecurity, and one is not feeling secure even at his or her home.
Ministry of finance, in its annual economic survey (2010-2011), has mentioned that total $68 billion has been spent in war on terrorism from 2001 till 2011. The expenses incurred each fiscal year were $2.669 billion in 2001-02, $2.749 billion in 2002-03, $2.932 billion in 2003-04, $3.410 billion in 2004-05, $4.670 billion in 2005-06, $4.670 billion in 2006-07, $6.940 billion in 2007-08, $9, $180 billion in 2008-09, $13.560 billion in 2009-10 and $17.830 billion in 2010-11. In 2012-13 the same billion of dollars have been utilized to restrain war on terrorism. On the other hand, budgetary allocations and spending on education, health and other sector of people’s wellbeing are far less in the country.
Lack of injustice, poverty, unemployment, lack of health-related facilities, and mounting illiteracy are some of the foremost causes of militancy in Pakistan. Education and health are the most abandoned sectors as Pakistan spends only 1.8 percent of its GDP on education while Cuba spends 18.7 percent of its GDP on education. Around 40 percent population of Pakistan lives on or below the poverty line whereas the figure rises up to 45 percent in under-developed regions especially Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). World Food Program study states around 89 of Pakistan’s 112 districts are facing many problems including food insecurity and diseases.
Apart from it, the criminal activities such as street crime is also on rise, always it is risky now to go for shopping, outing or walking, because it is not safe. The incidents of mobile snatching and robbing the citizens of their valuables at gunpoint have become quite common in the urban centers of the country, particularly in Karachi.Looting and killing trend in the country is increasing, which is causing to mar the peace. Not only have many incidents reported in the media that at gun point homes are being looted and plundered in the big cities. Where is peace? Sindh is notorious for honor killing of innocent people. We are seeking peaceful society, but in return we find bloodshed and atrocities.
In the light of our religion Islam and the verses of Quran state about the peace, righteousness and justice,it is those who believed and did not pollute their faith with zulm that are truly in security and are rightly guided. (Al-Andam6 93).And in another surah it says … help one another in righteousness and piety, but do not help one another in sin and wickedness… (Al-Ma’idah 5:2).
Furthermore Allah explains O mankind! We created you from a single (pair of a) male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (one who is) the most righteous of you…. (Al-Hujurat 49:13). There is nothing valuable than Quran (the words of Allah) in our lives – the code of complete life, but we do not follow what Allah says but we do what we have wished to do for our personal interest and satisfaction.
It is laudable move from Pakistan Army starting operation zarb- e-Azb against militants and perished the destination of the militants in FATA and made the government writ over there. This will do some peace in the country, but how long that peace will remain it is too early to say anything about it?
Written By Murtaza Talpur & Wajid Saeed
The writers are freelance columnists and development practitioners and associated with Peace Mission; an INGO