Do you care about my dead uncle?
Armed men kill my uncle. But no one cares because the headline reads Shia doctor assassinated by militants in Quetta.
My uncle was killed this month. But, you don't care and, you'll care even less as you read on. His death knell was sounded about two weeks ago - not by God but by six armed men.
The headline of this sort of story, due to its lack of significance for the rest of the world, may read something like this:
Very conveniently, the media simplifies the most important event in his life, and the life of his family members, to a war between two groups.
Out of the entire population of Pakistan, the number of people who will be able to gauge the importance of his tragic death will be tiny. Of all those who are blessed with enough resources to be able to buy a newspaper, the number can be narrowed down to those belonging to the Shia community and/or those who are doctors.
Now let me tell you the place of this tragic event: Balochistan.
By this point most Pakistanis will lose all interest. If you are from Balochistan you may read the story otherwise you will simply flip the page to focus on something more interesting.
So trust me when I say you don't care. But you will eventually. It's all a matter of time.
My uncle was the head of the psychology department at Bolan Medical College, but more importantly he was a husband, father, son and a brother. Two weeks ago, on his way to work, his car was intercepted by six armed men who kidnapped him.
For two weeks, our family tried to negotiate terms for his release and when they finally arrived at a financial settlement in exchange for his life, his captors brutally murdered him and left his body on a street of the city he served his entire life: Quetta.
It's hard to judge whether you care or not, because you may feel sorry for the loss of life, but at the same time, because the incident took place in Quetta, and not somewhere close to where you probably live like Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad, a part of you is comforted.
The person not robbing you today is not refraining from doing so because he does not want to, or because he can’t. It’s because he is busy robbing someone else at the moment. Tomorrow, when he runs out of options, the picture will be different.
I am afraid of the future
When I think of what Pakistan will be like 10 years from now I think that this incident could happen in any city.
Imagine, sitting in the safety of your house thinking about how all your friends have been robbed or abused; thankful because you were lucky to get away with minor scars.
Perhaps we will reminisce for the good old days when then president, Asif Ali Zardari had exceptional control over the political scenario and the law and order situation was better.
Men here kill each other like they used to in olden times, except people use sophisticated weapons instead of swords and spears. And, you can’t do anything.
You made this future through your insensitivities that you have exhibited to our fellow countrymen.
You didn't care then, and you probably won't care now either, so don't worry. You'll learn to live with it, much like the family of my uncle did.