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National Tragedy

“It took us 20 years to raise our children. They took them in 20 minutes,” A father was mourning at the death of his child in Peshawar attack.

Dear father, it took our establishment 35 years to make them able to kill your child. The seed of this militancy was sown on the creation of Pakistan and it became a strong tree on 7 September 1974 when Ahmadis were declared non-Muslim through 2nd Amendment in the constitution. This tree has grown up with Pakistan and now has established its network all across the country. With the passage of time, we have become prone to all such tragedies. The word tragedy and casualty has become common in Pakistan. People die every day on sectarian and jihadi basis, and all these killings are named as National Tragedies but nothing has been done so far to curtail the influence of militant approach in Pakistan.

It was a national tragedy when more than 200 Ahmadis were killed in sectarian riots just after 5 years of the birth of the country. It was a national tragedy in 1974 when state decided the faith of its citizens. It was a national tragedy in 1984 when state took all rights of freedom and worship from Ahmadis. It was also a national tragedy when 85 Ahmadis were killed in Lahore on 28 May 2010. It was a national tragedy when a total of 43 Shias were unloaded from public transport vehicles and were killed after being identified by CNICs. Again, it was a national tragedy when 113 people died in Quetta on 16 February 2013. It was a national tragedy when 75 Christians were killed inside a church in Peshawar in September 2013. Now we have another national tragedy where so many children were killed by our very own Taliban offspring.

We are a nation where even if such extremists are brought in custody, they are not charged rather released to avoid their fury because our judges are afraid to bring them to justice. No criminal has been penalized in any of the tragedies because we live in a society where there is no room for difference of opinion – faith is a far cry. The narrow approach towards the understanding of each other’s thinking has made us volatile to bigotry and intolerance.

More than one hundred and thirty children were martyred and as usual it is being termed as a national tragedy and a loss for humanity. Do we have some humanity left in us? A meeting was called and they all prayed for the deceased. The flags will be hoisted at half-mast for a couple of days and then what?

The killing spree will continue with jihadi madrasahs running all across the country. The new breed of suicide bombers is under training for some future ‘national tragedy’.

The situation will not change until foresight measures will not be taken to address the militant mindset in the country. The nurseries for these sectarian and jihadi occurrences should be eliminated. Steps are needed to curb the religious extremism as a whole, in full view of all its forms. Unless, the people of Pakistan realize the harm being done to the social fabric because of religious zealots, attacks like Peshawar will continue to happen and our each living day will be a national tragedy.

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