Election campaigns: What about those who are not victims of a drone attack?
I request political parties to show empathy towards those who are under attack by their own people.
This is a request to those who are free to conduct election campaigns for their political parties before the country goes to poll on May 11, 2013. Most of you are lamenting the drone attacks on Pakistani soil and vow to change the situation as soon as you assume power.
Some of you are outright Taliban sympathisers and believe that a dialogue with them would yield desired results. A few of you have openly associated with terrorist outfits and have even sought their blessings before the elections.
Even though it pains me to see you succumb to them, I won’t criticise your diplomacy because a country like this indeed asks for the survival of the fittest and pragmatism demands that you maintain cordial relations with those obscurantist forces if you want to survive.
However, I would request you guys – the leaders of the political parties who are not under attack and are free to run their election campaigns – to take a few minutes out during the many jalsas and corner meetings that you address and show some empathy with the Pakistanis who are under attack from the Taliban.
They might not have been victims of a drone attack but they too have lost their loved ones, livelihoods and limbs in similar gruesome acts of violence.
The tragedy is that they are attacked by their countrymen hence rhetoric against their killers may not secure your votes, television slots and space in international media. You might also be afraid of the Taliban and wonder that if you voice grievance against their ways, you may join these parties who are under attack.
Your reluctance makes sense in the short run but what if they come after you once they get rid of these heathens?
Fear that future when you may need help but there won’t be anyone left to stand beside you.
Think about your countrymen who may or may not vote for you and have an ideology which is different from yours but they are a part of this country that you call home and they contribute to its society and economy as much as you do, if not more.
They need your support to survive right now, who knows they might end up voting for you in future elections if they manage to stay alive. Think about them, because if they perish, you may not even get to enjoy the election process in future.
A concerned citizen
(These children have lost their father on a bomb attack on MQM’s election office in Bufferzone Karachi. – Photo: Twitter TL)
(Another kid mourning the loss of his father after attacks on MQM election offices. Photo: AFP)
(Residents stand among rubble and debris at the site of the April 24, 2013 bomb attack in Quetta, the blast was one of the series of attack on Hazara Community. Photo: Reuters)
PS: There are far more gruesome photographs of children who have lost their eyes and limbs and dismembered torsos of men who have lost their lives. I did not post those picture because the point here is to invoke empathy for those who are fighting this war against Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and nothing else.
This post originally appeared here
Read more by Tazeen here or follow her on Twitter @tazeen