As I rushed in the morning to get ready for office with the news playing in the background. I suddenly realized that it was December 16 today. The newscaster was remembering the 123 kids that got martyred on that fateful day at APS along with their teachers and Principal whose surname was coincidentally was also “Kazi”. As I shaved looking into the mirror remembering the day made my razor push harder against the skin so much that it cut through my skin and blood came oozing out. This little blood was nothing to the pictures of the little kids who laid their lives due to our indecisiveness and laid in their blood plied over each other. As tears marred my eyes. I could feel like that have we been honest to these kids as today if the reason for which they had to lay down their lives for this nation has been ascertained .
We chanted slogans for Pakistan. “Down with Taliban” as I led a protest at the Consul Generals home in Dubai on 18th of December 2015. We all had one grief and anger that we wanted revenge off those who killed our kids so brutally. Being a father myself it was unacceptable and I hoped that severe punishment would ensue and all those who even presents an iota of association would be wiped out from the face of the earth. The only thing in my mind was the pool of blood on the sacred grounds of APS. We all backed our state and unanimously expected our War Machine to unleash the same terror on the perpetrators who killed these kids. Avenge the spilled blood, avenge the screams, avenge the fear they would have faced before they were killed, and avenge the tears of a mother, a father. Avenge the scar that it would leave forever on us as a nation as a whole forever.
Three years down the road what do I see that the blood and tears have dried up. But Taliban problem still exist in Pakistan. Our government is enabling dialogues with the same. The spokesperson who announced accepting the responsibility of this heinous crime scene giving interview smilingly on TV. No closure till date on the incident. The enemy survives infact efforts develop to legalize the same. I am sure this would not be a pleasant sight for those who lost their loved ones.
The lack of decisive action against the enemy is what pains me a lot today and we kept on paying the price for it as later we saw the Safoora incident. Though I must say that with the sacrifice of our young men and soldiers fighting day and night the trouble has been controlled but then now and then an incident happens. Yes, I know that this could be done or planned in Afghanistan but I would have slept much happy that all the perpetrators were neutralized instead of offering an olive leave of any type. I just pray that APS was the last of such incidents and there would be “No more”.
Also today is the anniversary of the “Fall of Dhaka” when we lost half our country due to our hard headedness, arrogance, lack of empathy. If I add to it we lost because of our racist mindset where we thought that we and especially “Punjab” as a breed as superior and looked down upon the Bengalis forgetting that they had an equal if not lesser role in the creation of Pakistan . The polarization of the nation where we were told that everything is perfect and glory and even when the war began and till we surrendered enmass . We kept on lying to ourselves. Well I must say that this is not the first surrender historically but a public surrender and that too fighting those who once were brothers in arms especially which divided the nation in two parts leave a lot for us to learn .
Well I think that the only thing which we have learned is to how to quell the revolt or voices raised against injustice. We must redefine the narrative that anyone asking for rights is not a Traitor to the nation as well as reasons must be seen that what deprivation caused them to rise. Yes, we know that our enemies would like to abuse the situation and would like to make the best of it by attempting to weaken Pakistan. But at the end of the day it’s our job to not to repeat the same mistakes and should have one standard for all.
Those raising their voice or arms in Baluchistan are “Traitors” without seeing the deprivation they have been facing for the last many decades where clean drinking water is a luxury forget education, health and jobs.
Then Muhajirs are the other examples. I being one have to go one step ahead each time to prove my loyalty and fear each day like millions out there one half the mistake or utterance of any word would have triple the punishment for me if it’s not death or a bullet in my head . But then when I see other communities or sons of the soils like Punjabis till late under banner of TLP threatening our beloved Army and Generals are given an easier recourse and pardons or let’s say custody without the fear of the thirds or the tenth degree torture which a Muhajir or a Baloch political worker would face for one quarter of the stance they take.
I recall Taliban’s in Swat playing with the heads of our martyred soldiers. But no one call Pashtuns Traitors till date because of one disenchanted group of Taliban.
Today , especially Muhajirs are in a fix that everyone have to say “We are Pakistani” ironic isn’t it that after sacrificing so much for our beloved Pakistan we have to prove each day that we are Pakistanis .
One other habit is that conveniently sons of the soils would brand you as a Traitor straightaway if you highlight any wrong in the government just because you are a Muhajir just another ethnic identity like many others which exist in Pakistan.
I wish we could learn from the Fall of Dhaka incident and the state step up to quell such spread of title of Traitors being distributed to the disenchanted or deprived communities of our country .
One more reason this date is important as by 16th of December we all started to find out the gravity of the attack mounted by Jihad return Pashtuns on the Qasba-Aligarh Colony in 1986 where sadly under a martial law nearly 100 people were brutally killed many more maimed or injured. Till date no responsibility could be fixed and the perpetrators brought to justice. Whilst it’s the state whose responsibility was to bring a closure on this incident as well but at the same time sadly the political party which remained in power for so many years which though mark this date didn’t do much as well to bring a closure to the causes of this incident and bringing the culprits to justice.
Again, the incident at Qasba-Aligarh was a resultant of our interference in the Afghan war or the cause was due to the same. To be honest I as a common Pakistani always wonder that why we don’t have good terms with any of our neighbors. Perhaps there is some level of policy which needs to be looked into and revised.
Otherwise, we would keep on bleeding as a nation where first the nation divides into two, we would lose scores in events like Qasba-Aligarh, APS, and Safoora. Not forgetting the 80,000 we have lost to the conflict and especially our soldiers and jawans whose casualty count is much higher than the three wars which we have fought till now with India. It’s always a pain when a countryman die. The tears role not only for the kids of APS , the civilians or for the friends lost but also our soldiers , jawans and young officers giving up their lives for defending the nation.
The onus of the policy lies with the rulers including the establishment as in the end we are all answerable to Allah at the end as we don’t fear the Awam as rulers in Pakistan. As all those who get lost due to our lack of will, indecisiveness, our intent would be our burden on the Day of Judgment.
Equal distribution of wealth and justice is key for any nation to grow. No nation can grow with disenchanted communities living amongst. I think the first thing that the establishment must try is to unite the nation by addressing the pain points faced by various communities and have the same carrot or the stick when it comes to dealing with such not that carrot for a few just because they are from Punjab or Pashtun and stick for when it comes to Karachi and Baluchistan.
At the end, we write to show the mirror of what’s going wrong in the society. You may choose to call me a Traitor for speaking the truth but I am sure history would call me as a Patriot whose only fault was to seek the truth and give equal rights for all and get the same for himself.
I am sure we don’t want to be a nation further divided, further bloodied, further bruised. To grow we must first unite as a nation. Than only we should expect permanent prosperity otherwise misery would be our fate by choice. I am sure our posterity deserves better. Pakistan Zindabad!