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Imran Khan and religious conservatives aren't the only ones taking criticism in the wake of Malala's shooting. In a daring essay in the left-leaning Express-Tribune, a lieutenant colonel now retired from the Pakistani military heaps blame for the country's radicalism on the generals.
The hands that today hold the weapons that fire on innocent girls like Malala Yousufzai are the same hands that were employed by the state to fight our secret war in Kashmir. The generals of that time propagated the brilliance of their military strategy that employed a few hundred jihadists to engage and hold back half a million Indian troops in Kashmir, thus blocking any Indian military design to challenge us on the eastern front. Little did the generals know that the same guns will one day be used to kill our innocent daughters.
The writer, Muhammad Ali Ehsan, goes on to argue that it's not enough to push the military to clean up the mess of radicals it created. He argues the Islamic radical mindset won't be defeated by killing the believers in the hills, but by bringing to justice those who egged on the beliefs from the barracks.
Those who formulated and implemented the policy in the past of supporting, arming and training militants to fight proxy wars against India and Afghanistan must be held accountable. If this is not done, we will have many more leaders playing with the future of this country, leaving Malala, her generation and the generation after that to pay the price.
That's a sentiment rarely aired in a country where the military is often relied upon to clean up even its own mistakes.
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