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Showing posts from December, 2014

A haunted nation

On December 16, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists attacked the Army Public School in Peshawar. At least 141 people lost their lives, 132 of them children. Many others are injured.

Writing about the worst terrorist attack in Pakistan's history - and we have seen countless terrorist attacks in the last decade - is extremely difficult. How does one pen down words when all you can feel is numbness? As my friend Umair Javed tweeted: “Don’t know how people are finding the time or mental space to analyse this tragedy’s cause and effect. Just lots of incoherent grief here.”

But it is not just incoherent grief one feels. There is more. Anger. Helplessness. Frustration. Shame. Horror. Disgust. And then grief hits you, once again. Three days have passed since the attack but there is no end to our grief. How can one remain calm when you see the images of the bloodied floors and walls of the school, when you see photographs of the children who have died, when you hear the accounts o…

Pakistan must aim for Taliban ideology, not just heads

The December 16 Taliban attack is the worst terrorist attack in the history of Pakistan.

Shahzad Iqbal, a journalist who reached Peshawar some hours after the attack, said to me there is extreme depression in the city. “You need a lot of strength and guts to visit the injured and I feel very weak to do that,” said Iqbal. When even professional journalists find it hard to report this horror, it shows that the scale of the tragedy is immeasurable.

The Taliban have a mission and they are hell-bent on achieving it. They have not just terrorised an entire nation but the entire world.

And they will not stop. There will be more attacks, some may be even more horrifying than the recent one. There is only one way to stop this cruelty: crush the Taliban. The state of Pakistan cannot eliminate them just by carrying out military operations. As yesterday’s Dawn editorial (‘New blood-soaked benchmark’, December 17) stated: “Military operations in Fata and counter-terrorism operations in the cities …

Light and dark

Four different news items: three of them show the dark side of Pakistan while one of them - interlinked with the three in a way - shows how there are people who still give us hope in these difficult times.

One: ‘10 thalassemic children get HIV from transfusions’ (Dawn). The story says: “At least 10 children - between the ages of 5 and 16 - already afflicted with thalassemia, have tested positive for the HIV virus after allegedly receiving a transfusion of infected blood.” This story highlights how neglected our healthcare system is and how much more needs to be done. Ten lives of innocent children have been ruined because of medical, nay criminal, negligence. We do not know how many more lives have been destroyed in the same manner because nobody reported them. Just the other day, a friend was discussing how corruption is prevalent in the health sector in Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab. Unfortunately, such stories rarely make it to our talk shows because human interest stories d…