I thought I simply would not be able to write this week, so heart-broken am I after seeing the pictures of the innocent children so cruelly cut down by the savages; savages who are the children, by their own admission, of people like Hamid Gul and Maulana Samiur Rehman. Always first to parcel the blame elsewhere, many such warriors, including self-same Hamid Gul are already out making excuses for the TTP (in spite of the fact that it has accepted responsibility for the carnage), saying it was actually Indian agents.
But write it I had to, if only to commiserate with the parents and the family members of the teachers and staff, and of the three young soldiers who too had gone to the school to drop their little children for another day of learning that turned into a nightmare of blood and gore, and screams of agony and pain. And to send a big laanat and a bigger dur fittay muun on the perpetrators and their aiders and abettors. May they all rot in hell.
Let me add here and now that whilst our hearts break for the little children who have so cruelly been robbed of their lives by the murderous monsters, these monsters (and their cousins) have long spread mayhem and murder in this hapless country. Many of them have proudly taken responsibility for the killing of, say our Shia brothers and sisters and their children. Indeed of our Ahmadi brothers and sisters and their children.
Meena Bazaar, Peshawar, October 28, ’09: 137 dead, 200 severely injured, mainly women and children. Moon Market, Lahore, December 7, ’09: 60 dead, 80 injured. TWO Ahmadi Mosques, Lahore, May 28, ’10: 94 killed, 120 injured. Hazara Town, Quetta, February 16, ’13: 110 dead, 200 injured. All Saints Church, Peshawar, 22 Sept., ’13: 127 dead, 250 injured. Wagah Ceremony, Lahore, November 2, ’14: 60 dead, 100 injured.
Note please that there have been many other attacks against the minorities including the Shia; some proceeding to Iran for Ziarat; some going home for Eid to Hunza and Skardu. Tens more have died in these attacks, most of which have been claimed by the various militant and violent organisations that do as they will in this country, even driving official policy. Incidentally, the Wagah attack has been claimed by TWO: Jundullah, and the TTP, so proud are they of their handiwork.
But back to the present: Already some of our TV channels are running riot, calling them ‘foreigners who were speaking Arabic/Dari/Uzbek’, you name it; and others still putting them down as the agents of un-named foreign powers out to break up Pakistan, with not a shred of evidence. Anything to fob off the matter; and to shovel it elsewhere, as long as it is away from our pristine land.
Let’s consider for a moment that these murdering beasts were, say, Arabs paid by India to wreak havoc in this country. The first question is how they got to the school (unless they parachuted on to it!) located in Peshawar, a heavily fortified town in a dangerous part of the world? Were they given local hospitality on their way through our tribal areas and in and around Peshawar until they were ready to embark on their murderous spree? If so why didn’t our myriad intelligence agencies; the K-P police, and its CID etcetera, know?
The dastardly and cruel Peshawar attack on school children was a long time coming; the murderous brutes called the TTP were bound to hit back considering the effective way in which they are being targeted by the army and air force under a clear-eyed leadership, disrupting their lines of communication; destroying their hideouts, some located in the middle of thriving bazaars in Fata.
There is much, too, on the social media about whether this is our war or not, the majority at last accepting that it is, indeed, our war. I’ve been crying myself hoarse over many years that it IS. I give below two links to old articles and a short excerpt: On May 23, 2010 I wrote in Dawn and on August 16, 2012, writing in this paper of record
And on May 3, 2013 I had written in this paper: ‘I say to the “this is not our war” crowd: for heaven’s sake wake up even now, and open your eyes and ears to the daily salvoes being let loose by the TTP. According to a report in this newspaper of record of April 30, Hakeemullah Mehsud has said from an undisclosed location that the “TTP’s aim would be to end the democratic system”. The report goes on: “Mehsud also urged TTP militants to target senior politicians and party leaders, while continuing the battle against security forces”.
‘Why don’t those political leaders who are on the right side of the TTP today realise that tomorrow they, too, will be on its wrong side: when they preside over the army’s efforts to rid the country of this monstrous scourge? For there is no other way, the traditional tribal leaders having been killed by the Taliban and their foreign fighters’.
So, in the end, heartfelt condolences to all who have lost their loved ones. May Almighty God grant you the strength to bear your irreparable loss. May he also grant strength and wisdom to our leaders to cut off the head of the snake now that the knife is sharpened, lest it bite even more horrifically the next time around.
The brilliant writer Mohammed Hanif:
“Pakistan ki siyasi aur askari qiadat sey darkhawast hai keh woh inn bachon ki akhrat kay baray mein pareshan na hoan; Aur jab dua kay liye haath uthayen tau apni maghfarat kay liye dua mangain; Aur dua keh liye inn haathon ko ghaur say dekhein: keh inn par khoon kay dhabbay tau nahin”. Made me weep.
P.S. Was listening to Canon in D: Neville Marriner – Academy of St. Martin In The Fields, and Bob Dylan’s ‘It’s all over Baby Blue’ as I wrote this, which has proved to be one of the most difficult pieces I have ever written.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2014.