Blame it on us

Published: September 22, 2013
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The writer is Editor of The Express Tribune

The writer is Editor of The Express Tribune

Have you ever wondered what conviction is needed for a person to enter a church and blow himself up in the midst of innocent men, women and children? How can an ideology justify this and where do we come across such people? It boggles the mind to understand the psychology of suicide bombings and the ease with which one takes the life of the other in the name of faith.

But that’s not all. Equally puzzling is the mentality that justifies this on the grounds that because these people have suffered themselves, therefore they are liable to act in the manner they do. There are many among us who defend the actions that are taken, giving the suicide bombers space and shelter, knowing full well that the targets of these persons will be fellow Pakistanis.

Peshawar on Sunday witnessed the worst attack on Christians in Pakistan’s history. Nearly a hundred people died as two suicide bombers detonated themselves within the All Saints Church. This is the first such attack to take place on this scale against the Christian community, or for that matter, against any religious minority in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Given how much violence that the province has seen in the past decade, one would have assumed that such incidents against religious minorities are commonplace in K-P. That is not the case.

That is what makes this attack unique. Imran Khan, however, argues that this is the 210th such attack in K-P and the second major one after the Meena Bazar bombing. He also condemns not those who carried out the attack but those parties who he says played politics after the attack which resulted in protests in the city. It’s a strange stand to take at a time of a crisis of such magnitude.

Where do we go from here? This isn’t only about Christians or religious minorities. Our soldiers and officers of the army have also been attacked and killed as have members of the Frontier Constabulary and the brave police force of K-P, which continues to battle on despite all the odds. This is in addition to the thousands of civilians who have died, many of them not even remotely connected to the war against militancy.

Pakistanis are dying in large numbers, mostly at the hands of religious militants who insist that their war is with America and not with us. One does not understand the logic of this. But it is an ideology that finds favour with many. It is equally puzzling to see some leaders in our midst cry themselves hoarse over drone deaths but remain quiet on the deaths of all other Pakistanis. Why is the life of one Pakistani dearer over another? Is this not hypocrisy?

In K-P, the double standards are having an effect. The militants are now tightening the noose especially in areas where the army said it was now withdrawing in favour of the civilian administration. Members who have opposed the militants are being targeted. And the government is looking the other way, as if it does not want to know.

This is a depressing scenario for all. Today K-P, tomorrow the rest of Pakistan. Lahore cannot live in isolation. What does one see ahead? In all probability, more violence not peace. Maybe because we have held on to the wrong end of the stick.

Can we continue to talk about peace when we are seeing no response from the other side? We blame one group or another, some insisting that these splinter groups are conducting these attacks to sabotage the elusive talks. But where is the state in all this. Do we strive for peace and let others wreak havoc on us as a result?

Whatever happened to the terrorism policy that the government was devising? All we know is while our people are dying, the government has decided to talk and not fight. What we don’t know is who we are talking to, what we are saying and what are the objectives for these talks. The other side is the one laying down the conditions. We do better than this in our negotiations with the IMF. One fears that the talks are a farce and that the other side is buying time. If that is the case, we will have no one to blame but ourselves for what lies ahead.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd,  2013.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Parvez
    Sep 23, 2013 - 12:31AM

    What has become very apparent is that no one is willing to bell the cat……..and now the debate of ‘ are we are even capable of doing the job ? ‘ shows only one thing and that is the narrative is being controlled by the cat…….and it’s a known theory that he who controls the narrative, controls the game.

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  • MSS
    Sep 23, 2013 - 1:10AM

    Mr Siddiqui, you are right on every count.
    These are sick people. It is a plague that might kill a lot of population unless a cure is found fast. IK is losing respect and trust of his supporters.

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  • Ahmed
    Sep 23, 2013 - 1:19AM

    Dear Kamal,
    You are rt on the money. It seems we have no government in power and people have to fend for themselves.
    I am telling you the truth that I had a dream just a night before that I am in Pakistan and I can’t get out of any airport because I am afraid of the kidnappers because they are operating from the PM ‘s office. Of curse it was a nightmarish dream but the reality is not far from over. We should learn from India? When they are confronted with terrorism do they talk peace or take the fight to terrorists? Why did Lanka do? Why the heck we have one of the largest armies in the World and we are still afraid of a 1000 men of TTP that no one can even utter a word against them? If these politicians are so scared then they shouldn’t have run for office.

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  • Jat
    Sep 23, 2013 - 1:27AM

    How dare you speak against Imran Khan and his brothers ? Just because a hundred Christians were killed ? Where is your sense of proportion ?

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  • darbullah
    Sep 23, 2013 - 1:54AM

    This is what happens when your country was created out of hate for the other.

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  • shahid
    Sep 23, 2013 - 6:52AM

    A lot of this germinates in Punjab. How many Christians have been killed there in the past five years. Central Punjab, Southern Punjab and even Lahore and its surrounds have seen carnage perpetrated against Christians, more often than in KPK or Balochistan. So why do we not start a military operation against these killers in Punjab first before going after the killers in those areas? If a military operation with full force is acceptable in KPK and Balochistan why not in Punjab before else where? Or may be that is hitting too close to home and the consequences may not be acceptable ….

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  • amit (India)
    Sep 23, 2013 - 7:41AM

    I couldn’t bring myself to read the details of the mass murder, its just too heart rending. I sincerely hope your country can find a way.

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  • wonderer
    Sep 23, 2013 - 9:13AM

    Allah is Just.

    He would not be Allah if He were Unjust.

    Not even a leaf on a branch can quiver without Allah’s consent.

    Whatever is happening in Pakistan is Allah’s wish.

    There is no way we can undo Allah’s wish.

    Allah wants us to submit to His wish.

    Is this not what we have been taught right from our childhood?

    Are we not paying for our past sins?

    Qayaamat is still far, far away!

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  • Go Zardari Go!!
    Sep 23, 2013 - 7:20PM

    If you don’t know who you’re talking to. Then who are you going to fight.

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  • ahmed41
    Sep 23, 2013 - 8:44PM

    @wonderer:

    You know,sir, one has to be logical . Mankind can be brutal humans. That is the fact.

    Since RELIGION is not working , don’t put the blame on GOD .

    Put the blame on a total lack of humane attitudes to the other in our midst.

    This is a cancer in the name of religion.

    Cure the illness >>>>> don’t blame God.

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  • wonderer
    Sep 23, 2013 - 9:31PM

    This is my third attempt. I cannot see why the following is not acceptable.

    Reference: My comment above invoking Allah.

    Just to lighten the despondent mood the nation finds itself in after Peshawar and Nairobi, I suggest a poem on the link below, sung by Raj Kapoor on screen. It is about Khuda and us.

    What Sahir Ludhianvi wrote way back in 1958 is even more valid now.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb-dXP2h4zw

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  • wonderer
    Sep 23, 2013 - 9:52PM

    @ahmed41:

    Thanks Sir, for noticing my comment, but you have got me wrong. I am in agreement with every word of what you say. Who am I to blame Allah? Or for that matter, any one else?

    Please listen to something composed by Sahir Ludhyanavi which is more in line with my thinking.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb-dXP2h4zw

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  • nn
    Sep 23, 2013 - 10:05PM

    The other side is the one laying down the conditions

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  • Green Tiger
    Sep 23, 2013 - 10:33PM

    Why focus only IK in your article? Isn`t there any attacks in other parts of the country? Its only that Christians have been attacked, & not muslims. In Punjab however, the attack on Navy has happened. Why isnt the army called?

    IK has won the election purely on the promise of negotiations with Taliban. Remember, ANP was at War with TTP and IK was all for Peace with TTP which is why he won the election and people supported it. Secondly, there`s no proof of the attack on Church. No one claimed responsibility. So why blame it on TTP without any proof. When Barader has been released for sake of peace, why not for the sake of peace, Negotiation can be carried out?

    IK was able to convince all the other political parties for Negotiation and which is what came out of APC Resolution. Why single out IK?

    Shame on ET for publishing articles like this.

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