Home > No shortcuts – The Express Tribune

No shortcuts – The Express Tribune

It is sad to see a politi­cally and econom­ically stable countr­y like Turkey going down the route we once traver­sed

JUBAIL, SAUDI ARABIA: How true is it that the only lesson we ever learn from history is not to learn any lesson? The other day, I saw news clips showing Army Chief General Raheel Sharif meeting his Turkish counterpart General Hulusi Akar while the tickers at the bottom of the television screen were breaking the news that the death toll after the attack on a peace in Ankara had reached 128. Is there anything surprising here for Pakistanis, even if this must have come as a shock to Turks?

In the early 1980s, we decided to become a supply conduit for a war between two superpowers on the soil of our neighbour Afghanistan. It is now 2015 and we are still stuck in that quagmire. The superpower we supported all these years is now in the process of leaving Afghanistan for the second time, and we are here to deal with the consequences, as we certainly can’t change our neighbours! It is sad to see a politically and economically stable country like Turkey going down the route we once traversed. Becoming a supply line in a civil war and then hoping that it won’t backfire was once a sweet dream that is now fast becoming a nightmare.

One hopes that General Raheel has given his counterpart some practical tips on how to avoid getting stuck further in this mess. There is no shortcut except to put aside all long-term political interests in Syria and only worry about one’s own country. As it stands, the alleged monsters behind the Ankara attacks were Islamic State (IS) operatives. The IS continues to send a powerful message at the cost of innocent civilians, i.e., it does not appreciate the presence of other countries in Syria.

Masood Khan

Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2015.

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