The wasted lives of faceless target killing victims
Would my death be noticed if I had influential contacts or if I was a political activist? Yes. But all other target killing victims are just faceless statistics to gain sympathy.
Reading reports about target killings has led me to wonder about my own death. What if I get killed tomorrow? Just like that milk man who just wanted to earn his living and feed his children? Will it matter to anyone or will it just be another nameless, faceless, worthless target killing? Is my life worth only a ticker on a news channel and a blurb in the newspaper? If yes, then why? I am a citizen of this country. I want to study and then work. I want to fulfill my parents dreams and prove that a daughter can be their son. I simply want to live. I am not faceless, nameless or worthless!
But my death will be noticed if I have some influential contacts or if I am a political activist. I ask on behalf of the hundreds killed under the banner of ‘target killing’, why are they treated as nameless, faceless and in turn worthless? Isn’t anybody going to own them? Will they be counted only when our political parties hold a competition of how much they have ‘sacrificed’ for ‘democracy’? What was their fault? Did they all deserve to die?
I keep reading that killers ‘escaped’ on motorcycles. Either they are sharp enough to outwit security forces every time or there is simply lack of will on the government’s part to catch them. These target killers are not travelling on a magic carpet neither do they have Aladdin's lamp with which they can disappear in a moment’s notice.
What tears me apart is the fact that we are still quiet, as if nothing has happened. We are quiet and say, ‘It didn’t happen in my city,’ or ‘in my area,’ or ‘to my colleagues,’ or ‘in my family,’ or ‘to my friends’. In the end we will end up saying, ‘at least it wasn’t me!’
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2010.