By Maria Khan.
So the Prime Minister of Pakistan along with other prominent cabinet members once again followed the norm and ‘condemned’ the blast at Sehwan Sharif shrine. Since 2017 has kicked off, Prime Minister has remained so busy in issuing condemning statements. First on Lahore attack, followed by Quetta incident, then blast in Mohmand Agency, suicide attack at Hayatabad, then attack on military personnel in Awaran and so far the last statement he had issued dates back to the attack on Sehwan Sharif Shrine. I as a Pakistani citizen, pray to the Almighty that may He protect us from this tradition followed by our Higher Ups in the days to come. Amen.
The most amazing aspect of the whole scenario is that our leadership never gets tired of issuing such stocked phrases. I personally feel that as if they have kept the condemning statements in writing long before any incident takes place and once something unfortunate happens, they, with the speed of light, throw their cliché statements to every media outlet, which too, do not get weary of playing up that statements again and again because the President, PM and other cabinet members think that they have done their job and now its turn of the media to show some loyalty to the leadership and play its part.
But are these statements of any use to people who have fallen prey to the attacks or their loved ones? A big no. They are just regarded as old chestnuts that do not serve the victims or the mourners in anyway. Like who will care about what the PM or CM has said when one will come to know that the ‘nearest’ hospital where one can take his loved one injured in Sehwan blast is situated 49 kilometres away? The one critically injured will definitely give up his/her life on the way to the hospital but that would not shake a single brick in the wall of Surrey Palace. Who will be looking forward to see what golden words of condemnation the leadership has uttered when one will come to know that the threats of Lahore attack were issued before hand and the attackers freely roamed around the heart of Pakistan to find their target? Who will be interested in such worn out phrases when the whole nation is clearly aware of the fact that our military personnel have always been attacked by enemy across the border?
Our leadership is very dedicated and always in the line of duty. The very first thing they do is to book their very first flight to Pakistan. Then they never forget to visit the victims of suicide attacks in hospitals and going to the homes of the ones who have lost their lives in the attack and always offer some sort of compensation to the families of the victims. How generous of them! More compensation is offered to the families whose loved ones die in the blast and a bit less for the injured. In the wake of recent incidents too, this duty was performed as a custom and the compensation was announced in a specially organised press conference so that every media outlet sing praises of the leadership that how generous our leaders are and how much they feel for the ones that have gone too far, for good. What if they did not provide you better health and education facilities while you were alive, now that you are dead, your family has been given ‘once in a lifetime’ sort of compensation.
Definitely such sort of monetary compensation cannot be a substitute for someone’s father, mother, sister, brother, daughter, son, wife, husband or kid gone in the attack but just a fulfilment of duty on part of the government. That’s all they can do. They do not realise that it’s just not about 88 people in Sehwan that have been killed, it’s about 88 dreams that have been shattered, 88 families that have been ruined, 88 hopes that have been torn into pieces. It’s totally not a case of 15 people who have lost their lives in Lahore, it’s about 15 heroes Pakistan has lost. 15 names that would have taken their country higher. It’s not about 3 military personnel that were been attacked, it’s about three defenders that the motherland has lost. It’s literally not about a soul murdered in Hayatabad, it’s about a vision that could have shaken the castles of the mighty. It’s not about 5 innocent beings targeted in Mohmand agency, it’s about 5 torch bearers of peace that could have made the earth a better place to live in. The same goes for each individual of Pakistan who has lost his/her life in the bloody war against terrorism. They were not individuals, they were complete stories within themselves.
Every individual in Pakistan, at the moment, is looking at the leadership. Will they repeat the cycle of condemnation, taking flights to Pakistan, visit the injured, offer compensation and then end up like nothing happened and quarrel in front of Supreme Court after each hearing, accusing each other using nasty language and then letting that single issue totally overshadow other issues at hand? Or will they come up with a strong policy on how to curb the monster of terrorism for good? Will they treat the facilitators of such attacks in the same way those beasts treated our kids at Army Public School? Will they ever come out of granting status of the ‘most favoured nation’ to a country that has butchered our people in Pakistan and Kashmir? You cannot bring back 50,000 heroes that have lost their precious lives in war against terrorism. You cannot undo what brutality had been done to our kids. But you can come up with some practical measures to resolve the issue.
It’s high time that the leadership should take some practical actions against the enemies of humanity. Enemies of peace loving people. Enemies of our students, enemies of our defenders, enemies of our protectors and guardians, lest we forget, our heroes, who have sacrificed their today for our tomorrow. This is the time that we all should, as a nation, stand united against this new wave of terrorism and renew this notion with firm conviction that we will not forget our heroes! We never will.
Maria Khan is student of Media and Communication Studies and Lobbyist at Youth Forum for Kashmir. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org