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Charsadda attack–another tragedy befalls Pakistan

Once more, the nation is in a state of shock and mourning. Our politicians have set aside their differences and united in the face of another national tragedy–one that incontrovertibly involves more dead bodies. Condemnations and condolences seem to be the order of the day yet again. Yet again, we collect bodies of our students and our teachers, killed in a war they had nothing to do with in the beginning.

As is the case usually with tragedies and terrorist attacks in Pakistan, groups of militants barged in the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda and opened indiscriminate firing on several students and university staff members. As many as 11 blasts took place inside the university, as reports started doing the rounds that as many as 20 people, including an assistant professor had succumbed to their wounds and died. Security officials and Pakistan Army soldiers moved in quickly to secure the area, killing as many as 4 terrorists.

We were already reeling from the heart-wrenching APS massacre from December 2014, when we had to deal with the Bacha Khan University massacre just 13 months later. What drives such heathens and beastly hordes to murder innocent students in respectable institutions, is beyond me. What malice could you possibly harbour against someone who turns to books rather than bullets, to cement his future? Why harbour acrimony against someone who has resolved to spend his/her future as an educated and aware individual?

If these terrorists and militant organisations are hell-bent on winning hearts and minds, they’re not doing a great job I’m afraid. By killing innocent people who venture out to study in worthy and acknowledged institutions, you’re turning the tide against yourself rather than in your favour. We have often seen how political parties such as the PTI, PML-N, JI etc have distanced themselves from the prospect of dialogue with such militants after the APS massacre, when these political parties themselves were the biggest advocated in favour of negotiations with the outlawed TTP.

One must understand the obscene, delirious yet tactical strategy behind attacking educational institutions. The mere idea of an educated boy or girl, petrifies a certain mindset. The same mindset that benefits from keeping us in the dark and away from the benefits of knowledge. Only a mind bereft and deprived of knowledge, education and logic can be brainwashed to fulfill their nefarious agendas. Therefore, the best way to defeat such attacks and provide them a befitting reply is to continue on with our mission and continue seeking education.

In the end, I’d like to offer my deepest and most sincere condolences for those who were mercilessly slaughtered today. They did not deserve this inhumane massacre and neither does anyone else, for that matter. However, every war has its casualties and we have had plenty of ours. Pakistan once again has to pick up the pieces and deal another strong blow to the terrorists that seem hell-bent on martyring our future. We shall and we must do that, but for now, let’s take out a moment to grieve for the ones we lost today.

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