I am amazed. I am disappointed. Not only because the Kasur incident occurred in the first place but because of clear contrast in the way it was covered, explained and followed-up as compared to APS incident.
I still remember all those unending talk shows highlighting the brutality of militants. Repeated footage of blood spilled everywhere with crying mothers and sobbing sisters, calling for strict action against the offenders; Interviews of victims’ friends, mentioning the slain as heroes while committing themselves to their education and vowing to defeat the militants with their dedication; discussions with psychiatrists about how to bring the affected children out of this trauma; statements from all the big players in Pakistan where Barack Obama tops the list, followed by Gen. Raheel Sharif; and the list is simply endless. As a result, a strong popular opinion was created backing up Army to speed up the on-going operation. I also denounce APS massacre and those involved must be punished; but it looked like that the whole follow up of the incident was so carefully and strongly staged by media that there was no way to have a second opinion about what’s the way forward. Even, two of my friends’ removed me from their friends’ lists on Facebook because I simply just refuted to go with the explanation of events ISPR & govt. were collectively putting up. That was the heat of moment.
Time passed by and we got a way more heinous incident than APS in Kasur regarding child molestation. APS victim families were granted a free trip to foreign countries to help them get back to normalcy while Kasur victims are not even gifted with a free picnic at Clifton.
So, why are these two incidents are being treated on a different scale?
I can come up with two reasons. First is that Kasur incident has nothing to do with on-going Army offense and therefore it can’t be used to build public opinion to create further support against religious militancy. US, which is the biggest single provider for Army operations, is not going to grant any aid in connection with Kasur incident so there is no point in covering this incident the same way APS incident was covered. I bet, if TTP or any other religious militant organization is connected to Kasur incident, you would have witnessed a totally different response from everyone, right from Malala to Barack Obama and Nawaz Sharif.
Our history of 60+ years is filled with such double standards. Kasur incident is not the first example and I am quite sure, it will not be the last.