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Daily Times Editorial 20 June 2020

Rangers under fire

 

It ought to seriously concern the government that three Rangers personnel have been martyred and at least one seriously injured in three separate attacks in the country over a 24 hour period. And since these are the latest in what is now clearly a series of attacks on law enforcement agencies, there is every chance that the monster of terrorism is trying to come back to haunt us. It was only very recently, after all, that we killed and buried it after a very costly – especially in terms of human lives – war on terror of our own. Perhaps it is rightly said that such is the nature of this enemy that if you take the foot off its throat even for a short while, it will once again try to come for yours.
One would have hoped that the pandemic that has got the whole world falling all over itself would also put a dent of sorts in the terrorism industry. For, surely, bad guys too must have to follow social safety rules and stay well away from each other. And if they cannot collect in one place and train and equip their personnel, it would be a little difficult for them to plan and oragnise attacks as well. But such simple, straight forward thinking seems lost on terrorists in our neck of the woods. It seems they are more inclined to exploit all the loopholes this pandemic has created in the country’s security mechanism. Gladly, though, the security agencies are still at the top of their game and these few incidents, too, will be solved sooner rather than later and the guilty parties made to pay the highest price.
Pakistan’s military as well as civilians have paid with far too many lives to be rid of the menace of terrorism once and for all. It should not be forgotten that ours is the only such accomplishment ever since guerilla warfare in the Himalayan mountain region became the stuff of legend and folklore. The best example comes from next door Afghanistan, where this myth still stands, since the mightiest and richest nations in the world are just realising that they have been bested by one of the poorest and most impoverished countries that have ever existed. Pakistan simply cannot, and must not, ever take its eye off the ball again. And it is assuring to note that even in testing and uncertain times as the present, nobody has forgotten that.

 
 

Hope against hope

 

It seems the World Health Organisation (WHO) is hopeful that a few hundred million Covid-19 vaccine doses could be produced by the end of this year – and be directed at those most vulnerable to the virus. Yet those who have been following the pandemic very closely understand well enough that the soonest experts are expecting anything resembling a workable vaccine is one-and-a-half to two years. And, once again going by those who are considered experts in this field, that too would be something of a miracle considering that normally this process takes well over a decade; sometimes even more. Hopefully, then, WHO is not simply hoping against hope to rally its committed and commendable workforce, etc.
Yet WHO should not be written off altogether. No other agency possesses the kind of footprint that it does, which enables it to gather data from more corners of the globe at any given time regarding any given medical emergency than any other outfit at the moment. And those pointing fingers at it for getting its initial estimates about the coronavirus somewhat wrong should also remember that this particular virus was, rather is, so novel that it confounded pretty much everybody initially. If anything, WHO has really picked up its game and provides more timely analysis and projections than other sources. Still the bit about the vaccine seems to require substantial facts to back it up. Unless the oragnisation knows what a very large number of people in this world do not, which is very much possible, it could well be only trying to lift spirits at this particularly depressing time. It’s no secret anymore that gambling with relaxing the lockdown across the world is not quite working out like expected. And since new cases are mounting by the day, in all corners of the world, it is only a matter of time before lots of things have to be shut down all over again.

 

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