Islamabad, Feb 20 (IANS) A leading Pakistani daily is upset over the cowardice of civilian leaders who don't "name and shame" those responsible for terror attacks.
"It is an indication of the state of the nation today that when a politician names the perpetrators of a series of brutal attacks - perpetrators who have already named themselves - it is hailed as an impressive move," said an editorial in Dawn Wednesday.
Referring to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan speaking out against the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the daily said: "But the fact that his remarks stood out from those of other politicians reflects one of the main reasons why we are where we are today: the cowardice of our civilian leaders."
"There is no particular bravery or leadership in vaguely condemning sectarian attacks or in saying terrorism is a bad thing; that is the least politicians can possibly get away with in Pakistan today," it added.
The editorial asked "how often do our parliamentarians and other political figures - particularly the leaders of religious parties - name and shame those responsible, whether it is the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan or any other militant organisation?"
Criticising the civilian leaders, the daily pointed out that they get together at multi-party conferences and "even at this point prioritise talking to militants without making any mention of military action, failing to appreciate two things: that at this point talks will probably not solve the problem, and that in the democratic system they claim to value, any military operation will be a non-starter without their support".
It went on to say that they "should learn a thing or two from the community leaders, both Shia and Sunni, who have courageously condemned the violence and, without pitting one community against the other, named those carrying it out".
"The Hazaras have been particularly impressive in their restraint, arguing that the country's Shias and Sunnis are not at war and that the problem lies with the ideology of the particular militant groups behind the attacks. So far their level-headedness has helped unite the country rather than exacerbate its divisions..."