Stop wasting time discussing a tattoo

Tattoos on terrorists is not our concern, security of citizens, creating environment encouraging economic activity is.

Tazeen Javed December 17, 2012

If Pakistanis are good at anything, it is forgetting the core of a problem and going in pursuit of the frivolous. The recent case of this inanity followed after the weekend attack on Peshawar airport and the PAF airbase adjoining it.

The attack on the airport killed around ten people, including five of the attackers, and wounded dozens. It should have forced us to rethink the possibility of coming up with the alternative counterterrorism, counter-insurgency and intelligence strategies because the ones that are at present in operation are clearly not working.

One would have thought, or rather hoped, that the politicians, policymakers and defence strategists would sit down and try to come up with a long-lasting effective solution but no tragedy in this country is big enough to make us do that. However, a tattoo on the body of one of the slain terrorists has made every politically religious-minded person come out in defence of the TTP (which has already claimed the responsibility for the attack). It clearly indicates that our priority lies not in making the country secure for its citizens but in coming up with excuses that Muslims cannot kill Muslims and in justifying that members of the TTP cannot sport tattoos of fantasy and erotica genres.

From Mufti Naeem of Karachi’s Jamia Binoria to Professor Khursheed Ahmed of the Jamaat-e-Islami to Tahir Ashrafi of the Pakistan Ulema Council, everyone has come out and said that a practising Muslim cannot have such demonic images on his body.

Their argument is fallacious and we know that Muslims kill Muslims all the time; they did that during the Iran-Iraq War, they have been at it since the Soviets left Afghanistan and they are doing it every day in Pakistan. Muslims can and do have tattoos — and with a 97 per cent Muslim population, the tattoo business is on the rise in Pakistan’s big cities. One must ask these gentlemen about the non-practising Muslims or those who probably dabbled in Goth rock previously and then were recruited by the Taliban. We know that nothing is out of the realm of possibility.

This is not the first time we have deviated from what is important and focused on the peripheral. The current adviser to the prime minister on interior has likened attackers in the past — in the case of the PAF Mehran Base — to characters out of Star Wars. Most of us joked about Darth Vader attacking the base but let us pause and pontificate about the feelings of the families of those who perished in the attacks and had to listen to supposedly responsible officials making a mockery of their loss by giving such statements.

Parliamentarians in the Punjab assembly do not care about going after the religious extremists and terrorists present in the province, instead preferring to go after tax-paying cellular companies, their customers and their late-night telephone habits. If our parliamentarians cannot discern between the importance of a few hundred thousand teenagers indulging in late-night romance and terrorists involved in heinous sectarian killings and suicide bombings, then they perhaps should not be sitting in the august assemblies lording over our fates.

Tattoos on the bodies of terrorists, late-night phone packages and Dilip Kumar’s 90th birthday are not our concerns; the security of citizens and creating an environment that encourages healthy economic activity are. It is about time we focus on the fundamentals and ignore the frivolous.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2012.

Our Publications


BLUE BIRD | 8 years ago | Reply

She wrote this article cuz she will be given Nobel prize or National prize or Oscar or any other prestigiious award given by Foreigners. Who always support the person who is anti Muslim.

Dear Author, If you are Muslim atleast be Muslim. If you can write that wisdom article you must know the reality. Who is the terrorist. Who was behind Iran Iraq war! Who is destabilizing Iran and Egypt. Who supported Israeli attack on Palestine. Wake up dear otherwise it will be too late. funded articles soon would be vanished. Stop brain washing People know the reality and Even if floods come you would say TTP claimed they were behind it. com'on.

Pro pakistani | 8 years ago | Reply

I dont know what rubbish author is talking about it looks she hadnt got any knowledge about what has been happening in pakistan. Few of our religious scholar has been killed by these TTP because of condemning thier acts and just to clarify that TTP are anti pakistan. Since begining they been bombing and killing innocent people how can they considered as muslim. Author wants to ditract our attention from the issue and she wants us to believe on her utter rubbish as putting all religious groupes in a same place. If this was the case then TTP had never killed scholars in pakistan who talk against them or issue fatwas against them.

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ