Murphy's law of terrorism

Ever heard of Murphy's Law of Terrorism? It says: “If a suicide attack can take place, it will.” And the likelihood rises in sectarian-torn Punjab.

Ammar Yasir September 03, 2010
Ever heard of Murphy's Law of Terrorism? It says: “If a suicide attack can take place, it will.”

If the province is Punjab and the interior minister is Rana Sanaullah, the probability of a terror attack maximizes. But it would be unfair to other law enforcers (intelligence agencies in particular) if the entire credit of incompetence, criminal negligence and corruption goes to the PML-N minister. After all he’s not the only one who allowed sectarian violence to prosper and flourish under the protected umbrella of law enforcement. Pakistani courts, military agencies, police and rangers made sure not to catch any terrorist who was linked to sectarianism and if someone ever was caught, they were back on the streets on the basis of lack of evidence, political influence or for reasons that we don’t like to discuss in public.

A prime example is the escape of four Jundullah militants from police custody in June, who were being tried for the deadly Ashura attack earlier in Karachi. The government later blamed the police for the security lapse (how convenient).

After the Ashura incident a series of sectarian attacks took place including an attack on a bus full of women and children who were on their way to attend Moharram procession. Sectarianism in Karachi didn’t stop there, there hasn’t been a month when sectarian killing didn’t take place leaving many innocent civilians shot dead. Brothers Shahzad Raza and Asif Raza belong to one of the many families who lost their loved ones in sectarian violence.

I am aware that this country is going through the toughest times in its 60 year history. Every day there is a new story which leaves us shocked, distressed and dispirited. We detach ourselves from every incident unless it is personal. We indulge in discussions that revolve around how these terror attacks are CIA funded or a reaction of Muslims who are disgruntled by the US presence in Iraq, Aghanistan and Pakistan. Religious clerics who can actually talk some sense into the trigging hands and stop them from killing fellow Pakistanis, conveniently shy away - taking no responsibility at all. But then religious clerics who went out of the way to condemn terrorism, like Dr. Sarfaraz Naeemi, paid the price for their patriotism.

So the question arises where we go from here? We can blame Black Water and call attacks a reaction to drone attacks because we don’t want to take any responsibility for the religious intolerance that has existed for years. Or we can adopt the easy way out and ban the religious processions because ideologically speaking we don’t have anything to do with them and every blast brings strong graphics on the screens which kind of spoils our mood. Or can we just condemn these attacks and ask victims to stay calm because that’s what  authotities do best after every attack.

As terrorist attacks continue it’s hard to keep track of who died and for what reason but with every innocent death, Pakistan dies a little. With every lost life, the flame of what remains to be called hope diminishes. And this will continue to happen, unless we decide enough is enough!
Ammar Yasir Co-Founder of, Pakistan's largest blog aggregator. He writes on social and political issues concerning Pakistan and the Muslim world. He writes on his blog RONIN and tweets @ammaryasir
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Kashif Raza | 13 years ago | Reply but how is this all gonna stop ??? when will we say enough is enough ???? i dun see it happenning any time soon unfortunately
Bilal Raza Qadri | 13 years ago | Reply Today people, considered as moderate in Pakistan, criticize religious figures and parties for the current militancy and sectarianism but ignore the fact that people like them who were and are in power, should be held equally responsible for it. During Zia Ul Haq era, military establishment allowed Afghan refugees to settle in urban centers of Pakistan which affected our economy, demographics, and made the way of never return. Instead of just using Afghan mujahideens as proxy against Soviet Union, locals were also encouraged. Most important a particular sect was patronized and allowed to make connections with Afghan Mujahideens and prepare for pushing their own agenda in Afghanistan, once USSR leaves. There was no track record and restriction of foreign aid from Gulf States to a particular sect for opening up new seminaries across the country. Later when a low intensity war was initiated by our military establishment in Occupied Kashmir using proxies, countless militant organizations were permitted to operate. These organizations trained tens of thousands of people but sent people in hundreds to Kashmir. The rest were trained to strengthen their sects and fight opponents within Pakistan and not outside. Deobandi sect wholeheartedly participated in Jihad of Afghanistan & Kashmir and spread their network of seminaries, especially in Khyber Pakhtukhwa and marginalized people of Barelvi sect, which are largely peaceful. All this contributed to militancy as there was no forceful voice to object and resist within clergy. Today as well situation is not much different; the Punjab government has allowed banned organizations, which provide recruits to Taliban, to freely operate. Same is the case with other provinces where Sipah Sahab, a banned & mother organization of lashkar Jhangvi, is getting strengthened. Arresting of few terrorists and military operations in FATA will not work if new recruits keep on going to training camps and on return use their safe heavens located in seminaries and mosques for terrorism.
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ