by Fatima Arshad

Remember Remember the 16th December

6 years ago | Posted in: Articles | 918 Views

They did it – again.

They murdered children – innocent children.

They burned women alive – innocent women.


The Taliban came for children and not for the last time. Next could be a child in Singapore, or in Manchester, Mumbai, New York or Dublin. You might have to carry that small coffin that weighs the heaviest. You might be crying those tears. You might be waking up every day with an empty heart.


Much as you and I would like to think otherwise, the Taliban will be back at our doorstep because there are among us those who pray they do. There will be those secretly delighted at this monstrosity. You disagree? Tell you what, someone gave those men a place to stay, someone prepared a meal for them, someone wished them luck before they went about doing their damned business. How do you know that someone won’t do the same again? You don’t because you can’t, simply because they won’t show themselves, they won’t come out of their hiding places. Because they hide in plain view. It may be the person sitting next to you on the train, or behind you in Starbucks. How many of this kind are there? I do not know, but indeed a number plentiful on its own.


The Taliban will knock at our door again because our political unity is limited, none but a fool could think there is any truth in the grand statements issued by politicians beyond the momentary plays of an All-Parties Conference.  These splendid statements of resolution have been echoing since the birth of this collapsing state. Whatever unity’s been mustered will disappear in a puff of political self-interest once the red tape is peeled off and the tragic day the Taliban came for harmless children will be forgotten.


The Taliban will smash down our door again because we’ll let them. There is no ache beyond the candlelit vigils scattered across town, and the miserable whining of the social networkers who equate daft keystrokes with political activism. What essentially has to be, but never will be, is that the paths of every inhabited square inch of the country be jam-packed with the average man and woman marching en masse against that what has been done. But it won’t ever happen because as people with the collective short-term memory of a goldfish we’ll doze off and get side tracked by screams of an alleged blasphemy that has been committed in some place far away and hurry; let’s dash off and gut the blasphemer this instant, because that’s what really matters.


The Taliban will tear down our house again because there exists a fiasco of governance that dates back decades and incorporates every single political party that has ever had the stewardship of Pakistan. No exceptions. Be it constant authoritative failures in recognizing what has been stirring up in terms of the radicalization of our national state of mind (indeed backing and elevating that radicalization on various instances) or turning a blind eye, a deaf ear and a mute mouth if they did see it in fear that action and accountability would knock over the priestly decision centers. Our preceding governments have never exactly let loose on themselves glory when talking of combating the dark forces, have they? The state is in need of a lot more than the sacrifices made by the military — which at this point in time seems to be the only institution getting off of the right side of the bed.


The Taliban will break us down again because they aren’t dented by empty statements, over ambitious nationalist rants, unaware activists or random statistics and mere prophecies. They have a clearly demonstrated ability to launch complicated operations whenever and wherever they fancy. They are a well funded and elite group that focuses on long-term plans and carries them out with clear objectives and professionalism, over our short term and badly executed ones. Yes… I did say professionalism. They murdered children in cold blood, these are not amateurs; they’re battle-hardened and disciplined.

The Taliban will continue to haunt us because they know what they stand for, they impose rules and stick by them (regardless of how inhumane they are). We need the death penalty. Period. Constantly taking it in and out of use does no one any good. There are many who argue against the death penalty because it contradicts human rights. I agree; it’s an inhumane act. But we must also realize that given our current situation, eradication of terrorists for good may be the only option. The fact also being that by refusing to do so, we’ve put innocent lives at risk by protecting (intentionally or not is debatable) those who’ve never believed in any human rights, who belong to no faith nor who know of humanity. Times have made it a ‘necessary evil’. Being a parent or relative of the 148+ lives lost is not the criterion that is needed to agree the death penalty is justified hence forth; you need merely be human.


The Taliban will be back. Ready for that are you? Thought not.


By: Fatima Arshad


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