Peshawar carnage

Published: September 22, 2013
There can be no justification for this, no prevarication, no semi-sincere regrets. PHOTO: AFP

There can be no justification for this, no prevarication, no semi-sincere regrets. PHOTO: AFP

It was the softest of targets. A Christian church in Peshawar, which with a dreadful tragic irony had been built to resemble a mosque as a gesture of interfaith harmony. The congregation had just said Mass and was leaving the church, which was packed with men, women, and children, when the two suicide bombers rushed towards the throng and detonated themselves; one inside the church the other outside after having been stopped by police. Body parts of both have been recovered for forensic examination. By 4 pm on the  afternoon of September 22, it was being reported that there were 60 dead and 120 injured, with the number of dead set to rise as many are said to be mortally wounded. Protests are being held in Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad. The carnage had not been claimed by any group by late afternoon.

Given the tardiness of politicians to respond to acts of terrorism in the recent past, they moved this time with considerable swiftness. Leaders of all parties deplored the killing and the president and the prime minister were forthright in their condemnation. Assorted dignitaries Tweeted their shock and disgust and there appears to be some unanimity in collective abhorrence at what may be the largest mass-murder of Christians since the massacre at a church in Bahawalpur in 2000. The chief minister of Punjab has convened a meeting to discuss the incident on September 23 and it must be assumed that the chief minister of K-P will be doing the same though it has yet to be announced.

There can be no justification for this, no prevarication, no semi-sincere regrets. Over 200 innocent people worshipping as is their right under the Constitution have had their lives blighted by bigots and murderers. Those who did this are in all likelihood allied to those who last week killed two senior army officers in the Swat valley. And some of our politicians believe we should be talking to these people? We suggest they take a reading of the mood of the general public and if they do, they may find that talking is not uppermost in the minds of most at this time.

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

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Reader Comments (8)

  • imran bhatt
    Sep 23, 2013 - 1:08AM

    Sooner you hear people with outlandish theories about this carnage to confuse people, making it impossible to carve out a rational and logical course of action against these barbarians. However, if state can not protect its minorities, it should allow them to defend themselves on their on. If it can not do this then all minorities should join hands together and demand a separate homeland for themselves. I am sure all those who believe in Two Nation theory will support them in their just demand for separate homeland to live the life the way they want to live.


  • Arindom
    Sep 23, 2013 - 2:01AM

    Given the religion of the victims, everybody will come to the conclusion that these are “good terrorists”. Nothing will come of it. Dear Pakistanis, you need to change your mindsets first.


  • Striver
    Sep 23, 2013 - 3:24AM

    We are with you in your grief. Our hearts ache with yours.

    All Pakistanis must come out on the street and say enough is enough. We want action against these terrorists. We must take the fight to those who support them.

    We have a professional army fully capable of showing the world how to deal with terrorists and bring peace. Imran Khan is right: why is there always an increase in terror attacks and drone strikes just when negotiations are put on the table?

    We have the answer, we know who they are, the government must show its mettle.


  • Indian Wisdom
    Sep 23, 2013 - 11:15AM

    Can’t speak anything……simply disgusting……
    God, please don’t forgive them because they know what they are doing………..


  • IM
    Sep 23, 2013 - 3:09PM

    Poor people ,Nothing going to change in Pak, life will go on… neither Extremist will be caught nor they will punished.


  • ahmed41
    Sep 23, 2013 - 8:22PM

    @Indian Wisdom:

    “—God, please don’t forgive them because they know what they are doing—“

    Don’t bring god into this barbaric act.


  • Praful R Shah
    Sep 23, 2013 - 10:47PM

    World need to respond how Pakistan treats dwindling minorities. The in action or lack of action by Pak Govt. regrettable. All other nations start imposing sections on Pakistan.


  • Anya Bahaus
    Sep 24, 2013 - 8:28AM

    I can feel the writer’s passion. We all want a peaceful Pakistan. Could there be a possibility that the attack was conducted not by the “one” we have initiated peace talks with, but the ones that do not want this peace talk to take place. We should keep an open mind, only then can we find where the problem lies and come to a proper solution.


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