‘15 people victims of target killings today’
‘TTP claims responsibility of attack on security outpost in North Waziristan’
‘Blast in orangi town claims two lives, injures 18’
‘Two unidentified gunmen opened fire on a car in Johar and killed a man and his driver on the spot’
Blood. These are more or less the average news headlines on a daily basis. Target killings are rampant in Karachi. We continue to be embroiled in a war with a virus like enemy in the north. No one has any idea about the incidents that never make it to the news room or the papers. The rural mess is separate (honor killings and what not). Then of course we have the missing persons thing in Balochistan. The tragedy in all of this is unfortunately not just the fact that there is a loss of human life on a daily basis being reported in the newspapers or the media. And not natural causes. The tragedy is that it has been happening for such a long time now that we have become immune to it. It does not shake us. It is normal. It is nothing out of the ordinary and let’s be honest, our lives haven’t stopped.
However there is an incident every now and then which is horrible enough to shake us out of this immune slumber. A month ago Hazara Shia’s were targeted in Quetta on a day which saw more than 100 people die as a result of terror attacks, target killings and other such incidents. 80+ people died in bomb attacks in Quetta targeting Hazara Shias. It sparked enough of an outrage in the country to get people to start protesting. Some brave people sat by the dead refusing to bury them until some serious notice is taken of the situation in Balochistan. And this was in early January when winters were also at a harsh peak this year. After 3-4 days of sit in protests not just in Quetta but in various cities of Pakistan the government took ‘serious’ notice of the situation and then took action. The CM was dismissed and governor’s rule was established in the province. One thought that ‘wow…the sit in paid off. Those people struggled and achieved something’. A month to that day and the horror has returned. On Saturday, 16th February 84 people (including women and children) lost their lives to yet another bombing. The banned LeJ have claimed responsibility of the attach and have apparently also sent out a warning to all Shia’s living in Balochistan.
Where the hell is the government in all of this? Why is a banned outfit like LeJ so comfortably moving around? Why is it that even after they have claimed responsibility of these attacks is there no action taking place? What golden eggs are being laid by our intelligence? Police? Army? Rangers? Security Agencies? Where is our mainstream media? The social media is screaming for justice (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and covering the various sit in protests against the ‘Shia Genocide’. I salute the people who have raised their voices on the streets and have made an effort to be heard. We must demand of our government and the other establishments responsible for the security and law and order situation of the country.
It is extremely sad and disheartening to see that people are getting more and more immune to this daily dose of violence and loss of life. Life keeps going on. I know it does go on and the world doesn’t come to a stop but what world are we living in really if it doesn’t do anything when on average 10-12 people are reported to have been killed on a daily basis. And that is just the reported figure.
Coming back to the Quetta killings and the Shia Genocide – roughly around 400 Shia killings took place last year. This year within just 50 days of 2013 around 200 Shia people have been killed. One person’s sentiment on social media: ‘The world ignored Rwanda till it got to a point where they just couldn’t anymore. Is that what we are waiting for with the Shia population in Pakistan?’ The placards being used in the protests say ‘ Stop Shia Killing. Am I next? ‘
One image puts the state of our slumber quite appropriately:
We must demand justice. We must demand action on part of the government and the security establishment. We must demand the basic rights of humanity. We must now be shaken out of our immunity and slumber and keep raising our voices. Not just for the Shia Community. Not just for the Hazaras. But overall – for humanity.