Let us concede the fact that it took us 144 lives together to realize the worth of life of every single one of those individuals who became victims of brutal terrorism in the last few decades. A year has already passed since that dreadful incident of terrorist attack on APS Peshawar took place which claimed several dozen innocent lives.
Dying is natural, and the principles of nature are very clear: death of an individual is sad, murdering of the same is awful, but butchering the innocents is terrible. And what is the worst stage of grief is seeing sacrificial killing of innocent children at the altar of religious extremism by those who claim to enforce religion.
Even after the passage of one year, the feelings have not changed. Even now; seeing a child, walking down the street in green jersey with yellow stripes is going to bring tears in your eyes, watching a father on bike taking his three children to a nearby school would flash in your head to give him way, and seeing a mother holding her 5 years old daughter’s hand to school is going to glow affection in your heart, seeing a group of students standing at a bus station is going to let run a ray of coldness in your body, and seeing two siblings crossing the road holding each other’s hands is going to beat your heart a little louder.
This bereaved nation has decided to #neverforgetAPS, however, the question still arises that are we ready to equally accept the responsibility of APS massacre? Do we want to accept that we are similarly guilty of butchering of the innocents? After watching every new video released by ISPR, do we just end up with it without having tears in our eyes? Even then, did we, even after a year, try to find the loopholes that assisted the terrorists in getting successful in their sinful aims? Have we, till now, succeed in relieving the mothers’ hearts? The answer to all these questions is a clear No.
Regardless, we have declared their killing as a sacrifice for the country, but we completely forgot that there was no element of intent shown by those 144 victims, none at all, in giving away their lives. None of them ever thought that he would not see the school again, none of them thought that this would be the last time his mother is kissing his forehead, none of them thought that this was the last morning when his father would scold him for making excuses for not going to school, and no one would have thought that this is the last test and last lecture he is going to take in his life.
None of them went to school just to die, because people don’t go to school to get killed. None of them told their mother/father, “Baba/Mama, aaj men marr k dikhaon ga” (Baba/Mama, today you will see me dying). We let them die, and now we are declaring them the ‘sacrificed ones’ and promising each other that we would not forget them?
New-year is going to commence in a few days and our elders, the representatives of state institutions, have advanced promises to the entire nation of eradicating this evil of terrorism. I like many others, hope and pray that they get successful in their mission as promised.
However, it is the time to do more than that. It is time to not let more people die. It is the time to save lives, lives that we need. Instead of letting them die and subsequently say that he was sacrificed, we need to realize the worth of every single human being before (God forbid) another brutal massacre happens. Though, in the end “we surely belong to Allah and to Him we shall return” (Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un).