The other day I was having a word with a friend who moved to Lahore after her marriage. We were discussing how the lives of an average Lahori been affected by the recent wave of terror attacks in the city. According to her the outgoing residents of this lively city feel extremely insecure while going out. But one can’t change its life style because government has failed to provide decent security to its taxpaying citizens against a group of terrorists who are out there to change the way we live our lives. I on the other hand was feeling lucky to be living in Karachi which was considered comparatively more protected, as no major terror attack took place since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The local Government claimed that it’s a result of their firm security measures against the growing threat of “Talibinization”.
But like any storm there is an episode of unfathomable silence, the two year peace turned out to be same. While I am writing this post, 45 reported civilians have lost their lives, 150 or more are injured and many disfigured bodies are yet to be identified. The second tragedy that shadowed the impact of the bomb assault was an immediate attack on Pakistan’s biggest wholesale, cloth and plastic market in the same area. Thousand or more shops were burned down and business worth billions of rupees turned into ashes while the shop owners were helplessly witnessing the site. Every shop is equivalent to a family so one can only imagine what these families will go through in the coming future.
Like after any other tragic incident (which in Pakistan occur quite frequently) every tom, dick and harry (including myself :P) was out there with their views, reactions and suggestions. Majority condemned the bombing and the attack on the residing market in the area, while some like always proposed the million (Afghani) dollar solution, which involved negotiation with the Zaliman (better known to them as Taliban). Now I fail to understand that whenever a terrorist attack takes place, why on earth the failed religious cum political parties, their leaders and fans proposed this flop idea or try to link the incident in Pakistan to US attack on Afghanistan? If an Afghani is killed by Nato or US troops in Kabul, does it becomes a moral and religious obligation for a Pakistani Taliban to kill a Pakistani civilian in Lahore or Karachi? And if that is the case, the argument to hold peace talks with these terrorists, is a suggestion which is criminal in nature itself.
Another absurd argument that floated; was calling the Moharram processions off or limiting it to a close compound (by close compound I guess they meant, a concentration camp). Now if these well wishers ever bothered understanding the history of Mohrram processions and its significance to the shia community, this kind of unfeeling offer would never have been given. The month of Moharram is commemorated throughout the Muslim world in remembrance of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) family and friends. In these processions, millions of Muslims register their protest against oppressing and extremists elements that are present in every era. These processions are extremely close to shia belief, calling off Moharram in other words is a suggestion to call off burial of a family member. But even if we set the above stated facts aside, can anyone claim an event when a mourner (while participating in moharram procession) ever broke law or committed a criminal act? If not then why the terror victims should pay for crimes they never committed.
These facts paint a very gloomy picture of our future, but hope is all we have. The question is, are we ready to surrender our way of living and everything that is close to our belief? If yes then how far are we ready to go with this surrendering attitude? Is this attitude going to guarantee us our lives? I don’t think so, if you are ready to surrender the very principle that represents your existence then my friend you just lost yourself the right to exist.