Obama is not the only hypocrite

We must care about other injustices just as much as high-profile deaths. All life should be of equal worth.

Myra Khan January 06, 2013
A few weeks ago, there was a great outrage when the killing of school children in the US state of Connecticut, USA was compared to the tragic deaths of children killed in drone attacks in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. An article in the Guardian succinctly described the gloom felt all over Pakistan as children lose their lives as collateral damage.

All criticism was regarded impassively by US diplomats who are rumoured to have ignored similar sentiments expressed by the NYU-Stanford report on drones.

If our fury is directed towards the unfair attention and outrage felt for the loss of some lives, and sheer ignorance towards other killings, we must take a moment to reflect on the unfairness of this.

Having worked long enough for the Peshawar city pages of The Express Tribune, it is safe to say that at least three to four stories are filed daily about people being murdered because of  ‘petty arguments’ in the province.

These stories pour in from just a couple of districts in the entire province, and that too from families of victims who are brave enough to lodge FIRs with the police.

If we feel sympathy for one particular killing incident, we must remember that dozens more, lives are lost exactly the same way. Most of them are just remembered through a mere 30-word brief, probably alongside a news story about a motorcycle theft.

It’s not that we should not care about high-profile deaths, but we must care about other injustices just as much. All life should be of equal worth.

We are quick to criticise US President Barack Obama’s speech after the Connecticut incident, and say that it is ironic that his sympathy isn’t directed towards children killed through drone strikes in Pakistan.

But then, aren’t we perpetuating the same ‘irony’? Aren’t we being unfair too? We must stop and think.

Read more by Myra here or follow her on Twitter @myrakhan
Myra Khan A former sub-editor on the Peshawar desk at The Express Tribune. She tweets @myrakhan
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Rex Minor | 11 years ago | Reply @Alz: there is only one consolation for decent people who genuinely feel the pain of victims; God has created the universe and controls it as well! Rex Minor
Alz | 11 years ago | Reply Our heart sunk and ache a lot when we see children dying either in US or Pakistan reason is it's human nature. Who is hypocrite and who's not its both sides of the world has to decide make them realise the simple act live and let them live or in other case tit for tat. Irony is that we don't go into facts and figures least amount of research mostly based on the fabricated stories in the news we try to make our points to be more factual and authentic. We can't impose our views and opinions on other people unless or untill it's based on the meaningful and genuine research with facts and figures. Whole point is how many of children are dying with unprecedent and brutal air strike no one know even the author doesn't even have the clue. With few dying in US how would that justify the illegal and immoral killing of children in Pakistan.
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