At fair grounds and carnivals organised around the world, ‘houses of horror’ are set up to thrill and scare people looking for such entertainment. However, here in Pakistan, we do not need such arrangements. The entire country is turning into a house of horror where anybody could die at anytime and anywhere. The blood that has been shed is a reminder of the extent to which the country has failed to contain the violence, which has taken thousands of lives over the past decade.
After a period of relative peace, the city of Peshawar was again thrown into agony by a blast aboard a bus heading from its suburbs to Charsadda. The bus was essentially intended to carry employees of the civil secretariat, though some civilians had also boarded it in Peshawar. The explosion that ripped through the vehicle as it prepared to depart, killed at least 19 people, including six women, and injured many more. Some of these victims still lie on hospital beds struggling for life. The bomb, according to police reports, was planted either inside or under the bus and appears to have been intended to target government servants who were travelling on it.
We all know who is behind these acts of terrorism. In recent days, it seems that the Taliban have been demonstrating their increased power to kill and maim. The question is that when we know who the culprits are, why can we not stop them. We see before us a complete failure on the part of our intelligence and security apparatus. This state of affairs has gone on for far too long. Pakistan has acquired a reputation as a country where terrorists strike at will with no one there to stop them. This is not at all comforting. So far, all the measures that have been taken to deal with militancy have failed miserably. As a result, innocent people continue to die by the dozen; life has lost value. So what are the answers? So far, we have not been able to come up with any but it is obvious that they have to be found no matter what it takes if we are to end the orgy of violence that continues to inflict deep wounds across the country and leaves it in tatters.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2012.
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