Children died in Karachi today

My little brother asked me innocently, ""Why didn't the Taliban just shoot the guy instead of bombing his house?"

Zara Tariq September 19, 2011
Today’s bomb blast at SSP CID Chaudary Aslam’s house was a rude awakening. Suicide bomb blasts are common place in Karachi now and have made us all dangerously thick-skinned. 


In the aftermath of such news, I for one am usually thankful that I don’t live near the area under attack and am glad to see my family safe, but beyond the immediate effect it has on my life, I am completely undeterred from and do not let it affect my day's activities.

This is to some extent a necessary approach to take, for if we were to let such attacks on our city hinder us from our day to day activities, then the city would suffer great economic loss. However, this approach has made us cold and unfeeling to the loss of life suffered in these attacks.

Today, for the first time, I felt truly afraid. For a hardened Karachite like me, to feel something is quite an accomplishment.

I was sleeping at the time of the blast and due to my house's proximity to the affected area, the windows right above my bed rattled uncontrollably. I ran outside my room and saw my mother who was under the impression that it was an earthquake. I immediately quelled her fear of an earthquake and informed her that this was certainly a bomb blast.

We turned on the TV and waited with baited breath, as Pakistani media had not yet caught on to what is undoubtedly going to be their cover story for the rest of the day. Finally, when the network informed us that the blast was at the SSP’s house, I realized that it was right next to my youngest brother’s school. Thankfully my family’s lateness had finally proven useful. He had not yet left for school. I was obviously deeply grateful that we were all safe but still the proximity of the blast left me unnerved.

I was glued to the TV, and the news, in their attempt to sensationalize everything, no matter how coarse and unsettling for the viewers the images may be, took their camera to Jinnah Hospital’s morgue. There they showed a shot of child who had been murdered in the blast. I will never forget that image; it was truly horrific. They spared us by not revealing the child’s face but showed his body. He was a thin little child not more than 6 or 7-years-old with these adorable blue sneakers. He was still wearing one of his sneakers but the other was missing and I could see his grey socks. All I could think at my moment was of my own young brother and how he too wore grey socks to school. As irresponsible as news reporting is, I am grateful for that image because it has finally made me feel something.

The Taliban are aggrieved by the government, I don’t want to sit here and discuss their agenda or perverse reasoning. I write this as an open letter to them to plead that they develop some humanity and to stop these attacks on innocent children. They were clearly aware that a blast outside the SSP’s house would affect the school going children of the area and conducted the attack to maximize casualties, as 7:30 am is usually the time that most children are on their way to school. Last week there was an attack on a school bus full of children in Peshawar.

Before I was leaving for work my brother turned to me and asked me ever so innocently:
"Why didn't the Taliban just shoot the guy instead of bombing his house, so close to the school where all my friends and teachers go everyday?"

I wish to ask the Taliban the same question; why are you killing the innocent?
Zara Tariq A lawyer based in Karachi who graduated from SOAS.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Awais Khan | 12 years ago | Reply The objectives of the terrorists are clear and they have no value for life.
US CENTCOM | 12 years ago | Reply After recovering from the horror of another Taliban attack on morally pure children, I ask why Taliban are day after day killing innocents, and our future generations. Is it not true that this is the Taliban trademark? Do they not attempt to intimidate us all by killing innocents? Taliban deliberately chose to attack early in the morning, exploding a bomb powerful enough to damage their target and, without concern or mercy, to devastate a nearby elementary school just as students were arriving to start their day in the classroom. Have we not seen the Taliban attack a school bus full of children and kill five kids in cold blood? Taliban are given a free pass on too many of our forums. Is it not time to recognize the Taliban as the main enemy of peace and humanity in Pakistan? The sensitivity of the situation in Pakistan requires us to be vigilant against the obvious terrorist threat posed by these criminals and to seek swift justice for the loved ones who fell prey to Taliban ruthlessness.
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