The real mistake in Pakistan was the confidence that rebel outfits could always be controlled.
The character of the monster in Pakistan – which claims several of minority lives each day – is such that the state is struggling in letting it loose. That is main fact, which distinguishes the horror set free in Peshawar and that experienced by civilians in Nairobi Westgate Mall, Kenya. In pure shapes, both acts of inhumanity are based on the ultra-fanatic beliefs that take it upon itself to decide who is a Muslim and who not, while waging war on against all others, be it non-Muslims or different sects within Islam or in general anyone not within that demented circle of self-defined identity.
But al-Qaeda linked militants may have targeted Kenya because of the action taken by Kenya army against the Somalia-based militant group al-Shabaab. In Peshawar, the barbarity was perhaps carried out by members of groups that have, at some point or the other, received state sponsorship, or at least were condoned.
The real mistake in Pakistan was the confidence that rebel outfits could be used as an instrument of domestic and foreign policy, and that they could always be controlled.
Later, as some of the outfits thus offspring expanded their operations, the logic of good terrorist and bad terrorist was practiced. Even now, as the Pakistani state has acted against the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) in some areas, it leaves some of its associates unscathed in other areas. Unless Pakistan, more so the army, dumps this demonic double approach, it will keep bleeding.
Even as a senior general was killed, days before the massacre on Sunday, the Nawaz Sharif-led regime was talking of negotiations with the TTP. Instead, the beast needs to be dealt with by dumping the ‘double approach’.