What happened in Lahore is heinous and has no comparison for its sheer sense of horror. What sort of mind targets children and women to attain what sort of goal or underscore what sort of commitment?
A harsh and strident question doing the rounds on the social platforms asks those wedded to violence: who are you, what do you want?
To a great extent it now seems violence for the sake of violence. There are so many militant groups in the world that one is hard placed to grasp and hold on to any philosophy. If fear is the key then this lock has had its levers turning endlessly. Paris, Brussels, Lahore, Peshawar, where does it get anyone except a torrent of grief and the loss of the innocents…
These were women and children playing on a Sunday afternoon, not a target for terrorism.
The global response is muted because there is that unexpressed belief that if you espouse terrorists and nurture them for your own ends, one day you will turn from benefactor to victim and pay the price of that folly. There is also this media-generated perception that if a Muslim nation is targeted by Muslims there is a sense of shoulder shrugging dismay like it was par for the course.
No, it is not par for the course. This thought process is deeply dangerous because it stereotypes whole nations.
These children and their mothers and sisters who perished or lie in agony in hospitals were not fodder for some outfit, they were not the price to be paid for past policies. They were just human beings taking a little time out before getting ready for the next week, enjoying the fresh air, never contracted to be sliced by shrapnel.
It is odious to make comparisons about acts of terror by geography. Every horrific act that scars the globe is an attack on everyone who believes in peace and goodwill.
These words have been corrupted and now are flung with meaningless casualness. Yet, paradoxically, they are our only hope. We have to go beyond regret and condemnation. The tax is high on years of expediency and governmental skullduggery in arming and feeding and giving harbour to such factions not just in Pakistan but in every country that has attempted to raise a monster in its backyard… and their numbers are extensive. In the end the monster bites the hand that feeds it.
Time to close the gate and raise the drawbridge.