Heads must roll after fresh terror wave in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
[Dawn] They are no more. The clutches of death deprived dozens of innocent people of their right to live a long full life.
The abrupt end of life, under most violent and tragic circumstances, has turned them into numbers: 15 dead in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar's February 22, 2012, bus stand kaboom; 41 dead in Parachinar's terrorist attack; four dead in Peshawar cop shoppe attack; and five dead in Nowshera kaboom.
Their bereaved family members, friends and enemies would, though, recall them by their names, for many among newspaper readers and television viewers they have slipped into the memory databank as mere numbers.
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
information minister said after the Nowshera blast that his party had lost 550 party workers in various terrorist attacks.
Mohammad Israr, Sabz Ali, Tariq, and Mohammad Hussain, all ANP workers, are the latest addition to the tally after they fall victim to the Nowshera roadside kaboom blast approximately 17 minutes after Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti was flown in a helicopter after addressing the party workers.
According to the government's tally, the country has lost 35,000 civilians. Perhaps, it requires to update its much repeated figure of 35,000 lives lost to militancy, all carrying an equal price tag of Rs300,000 in compensation for each of the victims.
Moslem and Abdullah could see only 8 and 12 springs, respectively. They might have slipped from the readers' mind who read the new stories of their death. They have been lost to the barbarity of criminal hands who planted a deadly bomb that destroyed a Peshawar bus terminal on February 22.
Their deaths did not attract reaction from the official quarters or the civil society in strongest possible words. The carnage of Parachinar, too, could not jolt the society's conscience in the manner it should have. The smoothness with which three jacket wallahs entered a heavily manned Peshawar cop shoppe exposed our vulnerabilities, but no one raised voice for naming the names for the administration's failure. The chief minister flew in and out of the Nowshera public meeting venue amidst tight
security, but what happened to Israr, Ali, Tariq, and Hussain.
No questions being asked, it seems complacency has penetrated deep into the social order.
Perhaps, the society on the lam has become prone to shocks after having suffered so many terrorist attacks during the last ten years. The killing of an X-number of people in, an every other day, terrorist attacks has, apparently, left so deep an imprint on the minds and consciousness of the many that people have started taking it as an usual happening, nothing extraordinary.
The fact, however, remains clear: they have not fallen victims to the causes of their own making. They died because of the incapacities and inefficiencies of those who are responsible and paid to protect them.
In their deaths they demand: they should not be taken as mere numbers, heads must roll, and responsibilities must be fixed to save countless others who are at risk of meeting the same sorry end in identical circumstances.
Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti and Governor Masood Kausar are expected more to do than expressing condolences. People want them to reach out to them. Extraordinary situations necessitate unusual responses from those in power. Leadership role does not give a right to govern, it requires greater responsibility. Good leaders are remembered for serving their people,
steering them out of problems.
Nothing can be more disappointing than hearing the Peshawar's top cop during these past few days. Altaf lamely said after the February 22 kaboom that such attacks could be expected anywhere since the war on terror had been going on.
He could have done better by explaining the preventive measures he has taken to thwart future attacks. Cops are viewed by people as their saviours. They are trusted for their valour, professional skills and ability to protect citizenry against all odds.People have a right to be told about the 'effectiveness' of police checkposts that have been thrown around the city to curb the terrorists' entry to the capital city. Those at the helm of affairs should accept their failure, at least.
Posted by: Fred