Pakistanis Die. Pakistanis Cry. For What? For Whom? Why?

Posted on April 2, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Foreign Relations, Law & Justice, Religion
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Adil Najam

I open the ‘top stories’ page of The News today and two headlines scream out at me. The first tells me that twelve people, including three women and two children have died in a US drone attack in Orakzai. The second tells me that militants have killed five in an ambush on a police van in Dir. All this while the tears from the carnage at Lahore are not yet dry.  For what? For whom? Why?

The Americans tell us that they must do what they are doing because they have to stamp out terror. The militants say that they too must do what they are doing because they are fighting the enemies of Islam.

All I know is that it is Pakistanis who continue to do the dying. For what? For whom? Why?

For the life of me I cannot understand how the US thinks it will root out terror by lobbing bombs at Pakistani women and children. Nor how these militants think they are helping Islam or fighting America by killing Muslims and Pakistani, bombing girls schools, or terrorizing civilian populations.

It is obvious that the Americans are not winning their “war on terror” through these tactics. Nor are the militants and extremists making any dent in America or its policies through their terror. Every minute of every day is a reminder of the face that terror has not been “defeated,” nor is Islam any more “safe.” All we know for sure is that innocent Pakistanis are dying. For what? For whom? Why?

The Obama Administration says it will give Pakistan $1.5 billion a year for development. Economists estimate that the war on terror cost Pakistan $6-8 billion last year. I don’t find either number relevant. All I know is that over a thousand Pakistanis died last year in this conflict. For what? For whom? Why?

The newspapers are full of statements and analysis. They offer little solace, and even less insight. They only add to a noise that is now no less deafening than all the bombs themselves. We must speak out and act up against the forces that spread terror in our country. But we cannot remain silent on the deaths of Pakistanis by those who claim to be our friends.

No one seems to care about the death of ordinary Pakistanis. They deaths don’t even merit a statement of condolence, of remorse. Everyone seems to have a ‘great cause’ to fight for. A cause greater than the life of a child, a mother, a father. The Americans have ‘Terror’ to fight. The religious extremists and militants have ‘Islam’ to save. The Pakistan government has no clue who or what they are fighting for, with or against. In the midst of all of this, ordinary Pakistanis become mere ‘collateral.’ For what? For whom? Why?

Today, my words are not the voice of analysis. Today, my voice is the voice of angst. I know that my words will make little difference. I know my voice has neither reach nor influence. But let me say to all and any who may be out there to listen: We are not collateral.

And so, today, once again, its was Pakistanis who died. Pakistanis who cried (1, 2, 3). For what? For whom? Why?

(Note: Pictures above are from funerals of those who died during the terrorist attacks in Lahore).

57 Comments on “Pakistanis Die. Pakistanis Cry. For What? For Whom? Why?”

  1. Farrukh says:
    April 2nd, 2009 12:18 am

    Dear Adil

    This is moving and heartfelt stuff. You express the feelings and pain of so many of us Paksitanis. Why are people who claim to be our friends (the USA as well as the Taliban) both killing our people. Is that supposed to make us feel safe or like them? How?

    Thank you for writing your heart out and speaking for all of us.

  2. Shiraz says:
    April 2nd, 2009 12:20 am

    Adil Sahib,

    I am with you…if you study other wars in Palestine, Sudan, etc…same thing started with small deaths and increased to epic proportions. Still NO ONE cares.

    Sure, we feel like by using of internet we are doing analysis but situation on ground remains dire.

    I am pretty hard headed but first time in my life I felt scared by seeing situation in Pakistan.

    Situation in Pakistan started from FATA, Swat and now it is in Panjab..and will spread more and more.

    By stating US should do this or that, nothing will happen.
    and nothing good will ever come from our ruling elite.

    I am afraid to state that unless people like us run for office both in Pakistan and abroad, situation won’t change.

    There should be a dedicated effort to support Pakistanis who want to run for office. Support them by contributing funds, time, extending them your contacts etc.

    Hopefully in next election, new bread of sincere Pakistani legislature brings some change.

    If we choose not to do it and keep our focus on our own careers, there is chance that we won’t have Pakistan like we have when we were born!

    Lets NOT become part of another Udas Naslain and say to our kids “Sorry beta…ham kuch naheen kar sakay…aap he kuch karain”

    So my question to readers is:
    Who wants to run for office and what support you need from us ?

    If you cannot run for office, will you support others ?

    It would be great to do a poll in these questions

  3. April 2nd, 2009 12:44 am

    And where is Army who played prostitute in whole affair with USA since 1979?

    After swat is lost from Pakland, Lahore is already under seige. What else left. Where is Army who is responsible to defend our land?

    So where is trillion dollar army now who ate all budget over health, education and development since 1958.

    “No more SALAM to Army”.

  4. Gorki says:
    April 2nd, 2009 12:45 am

    It is sickening to open the daily news and read the tragic way this war is being conducted; and I am not even talking about the ethical\moral implications of killing civilians as

  5. fatima says:
    April 2nd, 2009 12:48 am

    its a terrible fact that pakistanis are dying on daily basis
    but only few people care abt it
    i wanna do something
    i wanna condemn it
    but when i asked people around me to come out
    they all thought i have lot of idle time to do all that stuff

    i dont know when they will realize that wth each pakistani
    we are dying as a nation.
    and its high time we should realize that.

  6. ASAD says:
    April 2nd, 2009 12:57 am

    Adil, one of your best.

    One can see this is written with sadness and from the heart.

    You so rightly say: “Every minute of every day is a reminder of the face that terror has not been

  7. Saad says:
    April 2nd, 2009 1:45 am

    Very passionate piece but unfortunately it is found wanting on making practical recommendations; since most only sound good in ‘theory’. What Pakistanis need is a government that cares about what Pakistanis want; not what Americans wants or what Europeans want or even what the Indians want. Democracy has come to Pakistan but it will take time to rectify it to become actually effective since the current PPP government is inept, impotent & in cahoots with the Americans much like Musharraf was. Pakistanis cannot just sit at home & expect the world to change. Even the recent lawyers movement didnt see as many Pakistanis on the streets as should have been the case. We have become a nation of slackers, we want things delivered on a platter. We will criticize outsiders; each other, but never critically examine our own selves. Till we learn to do that, nothing will change. Great nations of the world today are at where they stand because they toiled with blood, sweat & tears and they remember those sacrifices year on year. We, Pakistanis have forgotten how Pakistan was achieved; what Jinnah stood for, what Iqbal dreamt of, what Sir Syed spoke for. Until we, as a nation stand up for our founding principles, the corrupt feudal lords will continue to eat up whatever is left of our country.

  8. Sheikh says:
    April 2nd, 2009 1:52 am

    Dear Adil Sb., ANd all other who think the same way.
    How true are the words you had written, but still they are very small to our pain. From all this , how many TALIBAN or those expensive AMRICANS have been killed? How many 9/11

  9. safdar ali says:
    April 2nd, 2009 2:01 am

    If our LEADERS can unite for restoration of judiciary than why cant they unite against American drone attacks and American so called war on terror.if we all unite together today, AMERICA shall never violate our sovereignty…why they don

  10. Aisha says:
    April 2nd, 2009 2:09 am

    This wouldn

  11. Jusathot says:
    April 2nd, 2009 2:36 am

    While almost all of us feel the pain and anguish at the current state of affairs

  12. faisal says:
    April 2nd, 2009 5:16 am

    @safdar ali


    Because WE harbor very sick people, thinking THEY are OUR BROTHERS.

  13. walking_by says:
    April 2nd, 2009 5:21 am

    I’ll play Devil’s Advocate here. First, some additional information: the New York Times reported that the latest drone strike was targeted at one Hakimullah Mehsud, a prominent lieutenant of Baitullah Mehsud (see link below).

    Now, did you say you want to prevent drone strikes? Excellent. You have several options. I’ll list some of the interesting ones below.

    1) Make the Americans stop. This can be done through means varying from diplomacy to shooting down the drones to forcing the Americans to leave the neighborhood sooner than they want.

    2) Tackle Hakimullah Mehsud (and others) yourself. The way I see it neither he nor his friends are doing you any favors.

    Take your pick. But for your own sake, hurry.

  14. April 2nd, 2009 5:39 am

    It is hard to think dispassionately about our own people, our own county & our own children. When our own are dying , when we have no idea who is our friend and who is foe, when as a nation we face collective lack of understanding of who are we actually fighting against; one feels sadness, helplessness and despair. Our collective national impotence is forcing us to make strategic choices which are contradictory in nature and yet have to be made because of the lack of options.

    Here are some of the contradictions Pakistan is faced with:

    1. Pakistan does not like USA given all the history of abandonment and betrayal & mutual mistrust but Pakistan need USA to root out Al-Qaida in its border territory to stop Pakistan from becoming a launching pad for future terror attacks around the world
    2. Pakistan want USA to stabilise Afghanistan before it leaves so that the country does not collapse into civil war once again and Pakistan is once gain inundated with refugees from that country but Pakistan want USA to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible so that Pashtun insurgency in its own tribal lands cools down
    3. Pakistan does not want India

  15. Fariha says:
    April 2nd, 2009 7:40 am

    Very powerful writeup. Thank you.

    Exactly right. Pock be on the talibans and extremists and pock be on the house of the Americans. Neither is a friend of Pakistan. But the real tragedy is that our own leaders and government is not our friend either.

  16. Saba says:
    April 2nd, 2009 7:55 am

    The senselessness of this is horrific. You have put your finger on the issue. Why are we Pakistanis being killed both by the Americans and by the jihadis. And both claim to be killing us for our own good!

    Thank you for expressing these sentiments of all Pakistanis.

  17. April 2nd, 2009 7:55 am

    As I read the news and claims and counter claims of rival parties, my observations are as below.

    a. Nato alliance is fighting the Taliban-Al Qaeda groups in Afghanistan. FATA talibs are helping and harbouring the leaders and fighters, many of whom are of Punjabi, Arab, Chechen origin etc

    b. Pakistani forces are supposed to stop the activities of the anti-Nato alliance in Pakistani territory.

    c. Pakistani policy is to counteract the militant activity through military action, but NATO wants to eliminate the leaders and non-Pathan element by air strikes whereever they are. Pakistani disagree officially as this appears as an attack on the Pakistani soil.

    d. Militants carry out terrorist activities in Pakistan to demoralize the population and destabalize the government.

    I am not sure if this straight forward explanation does any justice to the situation on the ground. We have to throw a few more facts in the mix.

    1. India has close ties with Afghan government. Indians would like to keep the Pakistan Army busy at the western borders to consolidate her position in Kashmir region. Moreover, the right wing policy makers would like to see Pakistan suffer in the same way India has suffered in Kashmir. Thus it is not far fetched that India is supporting the FATA Taliban. Again, I have to consider that Pakistani soldiers would find it hard to fight other muslims unless there was a valid excuse. Indian involvement may provide that reason. Secondly, Indians can not and will not risk their position at the world stage by acting against the NATO military objectives, directly or indirectly.

    2. Religious seminaries all over the country are producing Talibs in their thousands. Many of these follow the same ideals as displayed by Swat Taliban and they join these groups very eagerly.

    3. The families affected by the air strikes and military operation want revenge. Pakhtun culture is deeply associated by the sense of honor and revenge. This provides many recruites to the militants. Also, the tribal conflicts may result in parties joining militants or the army and no one knows the true allegiances of these tribes.

    4. ISI has a history of playing with the tribal politics and religious sentiments for the past 25 years. It is not impossible that they are still involved in the similar tactics to create new groups to cause problems for NATO forces. It is not unusual for a government agency to act independently against the set policy. CIA has been known to do that. Being an intelligence group, the ISI attracts the ideological right wingers from the army ranks. I had the previlage to meet the civilian ISI operatives long time ago, and their favrourite book was the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. I believe that the patriotic, but religiously and politically dangerous minds are still among the ranks. I will not be surprised in ex-ISI personell are implicated in anti-NATO activities in the coming months.

    5. It is very dangerous to deal with the Hamid Gul type ISI operatives by the government. There has been an attempted coup and assasination attemp before. It is thanks to the more moderate sections in the army that these zealots are kept at bay. I believe that the PPP is holding back its true sentiments not for the sake of ANP allies, but for the genuine fear of a coup. PPP destabalized Punjab for power, they can afford to say no to swat militants, and Gen Kayani is no big fan of the settlement either.

    6. It is very important for the PPP government to distance itself from the opposition and ensure that COAS can take appropriate military decisions in FATA and Swat. Also, the drone attacks shambles should be accepted as a policy. These hollow diplomatic protests are fooling no one. We can bargain with NATO to obtain better technology and military equipment.

    7. As a nation, Pakistanis should accept that no matter how moderate and peace loving 150 million people are, there is a large number of zealots and bigots who would like nothing better than an all out war with all the infidels. The war has to be declared openly and this war should be fought in the society, press, TV stations, schools and universities. Gen Zia showed the poor classes of Pakistan a good use of their time and lives.. They all went to war against the USSR. Gen Musharraf wanted them to find something else to do. He tried throwing money at the Universities, but forgot the primary and secondary schools. Unless the peasents and workers of Pakistan are not supported for the education of their children, we will see their generation to become future militants.

    8. We must accept that yes, we produce more terrorists per 100 persons in our cities and towns than any other country. Once we accept the truth, we can solve the problem.

  18. PMA says:
    April 2nd, 2009 9:08 am

    America has offered 1.5 billion dollars to Pakistan government for the next five years in return for Pakistan government’s cooperation in America’s ‘war’ in Afghanistan & Pakistan. Is this arrangement of servitude in the best interest of Pakistan and her people? If not then does the ruling class of Pakistan has the moral courage to say no to this American money? Would the rulers of Pakistan, at least this time, let go the opportunity to get further rich on American money at the expense of Pakistani people? Both Sharif-Mairaj clan and Bhutto-Zardari clan are billionaires. Do they need any more money? How many more houses and apartments Pakistani civil & military officers need in America and West?

  19. Farrukh Aziz says:
    April 2nd, 2009 9:24 am

    It really hurts when we see US senators saying that Pakistan has to do more and show its commitment.
    1000s of Pakistanis losing their lives is perhaps not the same as few americans losing their lives.

  20. walking_by says:
    April 2nd, 2009 9:46 am

    @Farrukh Aziz: did it hurt when the Army upgrades it toys using the money from Uncle Sam? Or when the brass went to Washington, DC to ask for more? Those US senators ponied up the money to pay the piper; why are you surprised when they call the tune?

  21. Bashar Siddiqui says:
    April 2nd, 2009 9:51 am

    We have to find retired Pakistani over 65 years old. Finance them and ask them to risk their lives, go to pakistan and run for all political offices. Neither PPP, nor MQM or any political party in pakistan will like it. But this is the only option.
    Hope we can weed out so called political activist in USA to take advantage of this theory.

  22. aTii says:
    April 2nd, 2009 10:07 am

    You are right. We dont need analysis, we dont need solutions, atleast not right now. We need a minute of silence, minute of mourning. a second to feel the deep hurt that comes only with the death of someone very close and then may be somewhere inside us, we will find that murderer, that enemy thats killing us.

    Whats the point anyway…. I feel no hope, I see no hope, and I wish for no solution. End of story.

    Are these politicians blind, are these leaders brain dead and are these soliders and police junkies out of the squishy brains.
    We are 60+ year old nation with the the thousand year old history of captivity and illiterate traditions. We need to do a lot of things but how and when. Looking at the nature of nature, I truly wonder if we are just puppets in the hand of naturaly phenomenon / cycle of rise and fall of nations. We just happen to be in the era when our nations is simply at the short end of the stick… We are to either flee the scene or turn away. We are doomed or the change has to come from within.

  23. Abdul Qadeer says:
    April 2nd, 2009 10:55 am

    The best sugestion for getting out of this morass has been made by Mr Bashar Siddiqui of involving simple, educated & retired Pakistanis to fight elections. Let the legal community who waged a valient struggle for restoration of the independent judiciary take a lead again. Let this begin sooner than later.

  24. Salman says:
    April 2nd, 2009 11:41 am

    Excellent post Dr. Najam.

    The tactic of terrorism endangers ordinary people by reducing them to “collateral damage” or those whose “blood may legitimately be shed”. In short, the attacker acts as judge, jury, and executioner.

    Following articles explore relevant themes.

    “Terrorism: Theirs and Ours” By Eqbal Ahmed
    A Presentation at the University of Colorado, Boulder, October 12, 1998 :

    The Return of Just Wars? – By Robert Spaemann
    “Terrorism will prevail if its mentality infects the civilized world, and if state leaders resort to terror to fight terror. Fighting terrorism is not a war, because terrorism itself is not a warring party, but a means to an end. Terrorists, when caught, are subject to criminal sanctions and punishment under the law.
    Countries unwilling or unable to prevent terrorist violence emanating from their territory forfeit their right to territorial integrity, and others can declare war on them to pursue the problem at its root. But those who adhere to the motto

  25. Javed Khan says:
    April 2nd, 2009 11:53 am

    Do not forget that Talibans are monster created by ISI and big wigs in the army. And like Frankensteins monster it is trying to destroy its creator. The enemy is within us.

  26. mohasbah-e- nafs says:
    April 2nd, 2009 12:28 pm

    The decades old fire that the majority started against the minorities has now engulfed every one. As you sow, so shall you reap. How true!

    A house with its foundations based on tolerance, unity, inclusion, and enlightenment is impregnable. Not so for Pakistan, which unfortunately, has been hollowed away at its foundations by juhl and nafsa-nafsi.

    Every Pakistani has a long criminal charge sheet . It is time to look within and acknowledge your participation in self preservation, corruption, intolerance, bigotry, and ignorance. Blood of the minorities murdered in the name of Islam, blood of the poor who are ‘destined’ into servitude, and blood of the very core of Islam itself.

    Now that long march is in vogue, why not do long marches against the God-like mullahs who issue verdicts about wajib-ul-qatal. Instead of watching indifferently when minorities are killed in the name of Islam, do some self reflection and embark on a jihad against your own nafs. Remember that divine help is promised only to those who help themselves.

  27. Bloody Civilian says:
    April 2nd, 2009 1:31 pm

    East Pakistanis died. East Pakistanis cried. For what? For whom? Why? Every 12-15 years Baluchis die. Baluchis cry. For what? For whom? Why? Since 2004 Pashtuns have been dying. Pashtuns have been crying. For what? For whom? Why? From 1982 to 84 Sindhis died. Sindhis cried. For what? For whom? Why? In 1949-50, 1953 and 1976 Qadianis died. Qadianis cried. For what? For whom? Why? Every 10 years or so the constitution dies. Democracy cries. For what? For whom? Why? Jinnah died. Jinnah tried (even cried, at least once, according to his sister). For what? For whom? Why?

    Did we ever cry for any of our own above? Did we ever repent? If we can begin to answer these questions, we can begin to find the strength to stand together and find a way to stop Pakistanis dying. Pakistanis crying. We can begin to learn to live for Pakistan. Die for our children, if need be, fighting the murdering Taliban and Al-Qaeda and their supporters and appeasers in our midst. Whatever it takes. America would neither need nor dare to interfere (with or without regard for our lives).

    Half a million girls, class 4 and above, will not be allowed by the Taliban, even under Nizam-e-Adal, to return to school and have an education. Is this peace or surrender? Can we please honestly answer that first? Before accepting the current ‘solution’ or even beginning to look for others. Over a period of two years, 200 schools were blown up in Swat. One Police Training Centre attacked in Lahore. Do you see any difference in our reaction to either? How do you compare the media time given to each? If yes, why? Let alone all the deaths in Swat. In FATA. All over NWFP. Why is Nizam-e-Adal and a peace deal with the Taliban good or the best solution for Swat but cannot be contemplated for Lahore? Why is using guns against those who use guns, and refuse to lay them down, not an essential part of the solution? How is it a ‘peace deal’ and not surrender if the Pak Army has to withdraw but the Taliban have not required themselves to lay down a single weapon? Why can’t and hasn’t the Pak Army engaged the enemy at close quarters, man-to-man? Isn’t that how every other army fights guerillas and insurgents? How do you get ‘unacceptably’ high civilian casualities when you engage man-to-man? Or do the Taliban possess heavy artillery and air power so cannot be approached? Or do we not have an Army of 587,000?

    We might capitulate to our murderers and call it peace. Sacrifice one set of Pakistanis to save another. Other countries won’t treat the lives of their citizens like we do ours. If we don’t sort out those who threatent to murder them, they will come in and sort out themsleves our citizens who issue open threats to them from our soil (that we have ceded to them).

  28. aTii says:
    April 2nd, 2009 1:44 pm

    What a bizarre mixture of comments and who are these people making it about religions, minorities, or crap load of casts. Whatever. How can you be just pakistanis if you keep talking about sindi balochi punjabi all the time.
    Lets not talk about that. Lets talk about qadianis or god knows what. Just understand the gravity of the situation. I think there should be a minute of silence in our country to mourn the death of these young people. We need to let everybody know that we are hurt by it. There is no greater threat to these terrorist organization that to let them know that we stand united against them. Anyway. With a mofu leader like Zaradari, we have really touched the bottom of the pit. Whats really next?
    Some people talked about getting 65 year old people from original freedom movement. Those are the very people that never really laid the right foundation after pakistan came into being. They looted, they signed illegal papers, they took jobs that they were not truely trained for, 100 years of freedom fighter wanted to sit in a big office and enjoy the bureaucracy, the very thing that they were fighting against.
    Isn’t this what the biggest tragedy of our nation is. We claim to fight against things that we very much want in the first place. We all blame america for everything but then we would not hesitate to come here….. I dont really even know how this can be solved anymore or what we should do. My heart is too sad to see all those dead ones and their families to point fingers or find reasons.

  29. FAUZIA says:
    April 2nd, 2009 2:15 pm

    Janab Adil Sahab

    This is a cry of the heart and one can feel your pain. When friends and foes both are killing you what can you do.

    But you should stop writing these since most of your commenters are not even reading what you say and just ranting on the same drivel they always write on every post no matter what.

  30. faraz says:
    April 2nd, 2009 2:17 pm

    Let me politically incorrect. As long people die in NWFP and Baluchistan; our media and our politicians will not care.

    When people will start dying in Lahore and Islamabad then Elites of Pakistan will find a way out!

    If people of Lahore have to live under Taliban for one day then our establishment (media + polticians + judges +army) will wake-up and will do something about it.

    Well on other notes I do agree with socialist that Taliban is symptoms of a failed state. The State which don’t provide justice, clean water and opportunities to its citizens. Our elites should start thinking about it otherwise these lunatics Taliban will eat the whole country.

  31. mohasbah-e- nafs says:
    April 2nd, 2009 2:35 pm

    @BC, well said!

    One must not expect a different result by continuing on the same old failed path towards self destruction. Pakistanis created the problems. They need to solve the problems. They must begin with recognizing and acknowledging the mistakes of the past. The jahil mullah and the corrupt politician are the traitors. They must be dealt with accordingly. Ship out the failed, expired politicians to Dubai, SA, England or where ever they have their palaces. Ship the mullahs who were against the creation of Pakistan and the inheritors of their bigotry back to secular India or wherever.

    People must demand a constitution which was based on the principles laid down by our beloved Quaid(ra). Any politically motivated modifications that were made to the constitution to appease the mullahs must be undone. The constitution must safeguard basic Haqooq_ul_Ibaad, including individual freedoms, security, education, opportunity, and justice. Let the true core of Islam shine through without shoving its perverted misinterpretations down every ones throats.

    There must be a handful young, capable Pakistanis to step forward and take charge. Is there any mai ka laal to stand up to the challenge? Is there a Mohammad Ali Jinnah out there to lead the lost herd back onto the promised pastures?

  32. mohasbah-e- nafs says:
    April 2nd, 2009 2:43 pm

    It is time for self reflection for the people who are wondering what they can do when friends and foes have turned against them.

  33. Javaid says:
    April 2nd, 2009 2:51 pm

    If we Pakistanis don’t care for teh lives of otehr Paksitanis, no one else will.

    I say throw out all these Jihadis and Taliban… Muslim or not, just throw them out… and then also throw out the US….

  34. Bloody Civilian says:
    April 2nd, 2009 3:58 pm

    “Nawaz Sharif said the Inter-Services Intelligence could no longer back activities that harmed the country and the west.” [Dawn 02.04.09]

  35. Bloody Civilian says:
    April 2nd, 2009 4:27 pm

    “He [Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani ] also said that ISI was working with US in recent past therefore criticism on ISI is senseless.” ['Live with Talat' 02.04.09]

  36. Till the 'Drone' Doth Us Part says:
    April 2nd, 2009 6:10 pm

    Has anyone EVER wondered about who the casualties are after drone attacks?

    Pakistan is worse than Afghanistan this way. At least there the journalists go and find out who has been bombed.

    In Pakistan these attacks are much more frequent nowadays. These drones also ( surprisingly) miss CIA-agents like Baitullah Mehsood who provide America with the excuse to continue their attacks.

    However, what is even more regrettable is that none from the so-called free-press cares ( or dares) to visit the sites of these attacks.

    Instead the billionaire media tycoons prefer to play third-rate bollywood clips on their networks waiting for Americans to announce 6 months later about such and such unknown Al-Qaeda leader dying after the attack. They do not realise that it is their duty to raise public awareness against these attacks. This is reprehensible.

  37. Aamir Ali says:
    April 2nd, 2009 6:11 pm

    The surrender agreement in Swat was proposed by the democratically elected government. The politicians relentlessly criticized Musharraf for using military force and advocated “peace agreement”, jirgas and negotiations to solve the problem.

    So don’t complain now that the elected politicians have fulfilled their promises.

    I also agree that when the Taliban reach Punjab is when Pakistanis will realize that this war on terror was always their war.

  38. Obaid says:
    April 2nd, 2009 6:29 pm

    Taliban beating young girl…

  39. roxana says:
    April 2nd, 2009 6:41 pm

    We should realize that being Pakistani Muslims is an entity and we are as good muslims if not better than the Arabs and THEIR ideological spawn THE ALQAEEDA. NO BODY cares about Pakistanis dying except Pakistanis! but alas I do not see Pakistanis any more as they are all trying to buy certificates to jannat through alqaeeda buy killing innocent muslims . good job! all that we ever do is lash women for being women and blame the west for our own short comings and corrupt ways.

  40. bonobashi says:
    April 2nd, 2009 7:25 pm

    In the middle of mourning, we must pause to take note of the berserk courage of the security-men who stormed the Police Camp, and how they clearly gave no pause for breath to the attackers. If there is no other force that will fight the terrorists, then these tough elite force people are the only ones standing between their country and desolation.

  41. D says:
    April 2nd, 2009 8:00 pm

    Well it also doesn’t help that there are a lot of Pakistanis in the diaspora (especially in England) that express full support for the Taliban and their vision of an Islamic state.

    Why don’t any of you do something about the extremists that support the Taliban in the UK in order to prevent them from killing more Pakistanis?

  42. Aik Pakistani says:
    April 2nd, 2009 8:09 pm

    This is the way to go. Make our own policies and protect our own interests including getting rid of the extremists and terrorist.

  43. Wajida says:
    April 3rd, 2009 12:23 am

    Does’nt the US realize that these bombs are not helping them meet their strategic objectives and only alienate Pakistanis and strengthen the rhetoric of the terrorists?

  44. Imran says:
    April 3rd, 2009 6:11 pm

    This is very powerful words. Thank yo for writing this. We have to condemn everyone killing Pakistanis, may they be US drones or Taliban criminals.

  45. Qasim says:
    April 3rd, 2009 9:40 pm

    Far too many people aren’t bothered or moved by the suffering other people face, they’ll decide to do something only after this suffering becomes a personal problem, that they personally face in their everyday life.

    Adil Sahab raises a very interesting point, in that these militants and the US drone attacks both accomplish the same objectives, they destabilize Pakistan, make it look like a failed state, and indiscriminately kill innocent Pakistanis. It isn’t hard to see that even a relatively small militia needs a steady supply line. They need hundreds or thousands of rifles, a steady supply of ammunition for these rifles, intelligence info on what to target and when. And food, it’s no small feat, providing food three times a day, to even a thousand people. During the Afghan-Soviet war, Pakistan provided this supply line to the Afghan mujahidden, using caravans of donkeys laden with supplies and what not. A very pertinent question is, where do these militants get their supply line from?

    And Al-Qaeda just looks like an arm of the CIA. When Bush was raving against Iran, Osama Bin Laden’s son was supposed to be in Iran, and Al-Qaeda was supposidly launching attacks into Iraq, from Iran. Now that the US says it’s very concerned that Pakistan’ll turn into a failed state and some militants will get the nukes, all the Al-Qaeda suddenly props up here. If the US decided to deal with Venezuela, I bet all the Al-Queda will suddenly and conveniently be found there. Each drone attack gets these Al-Qaeda militants fresh recruits from the tribal areas, because relatives of people killed in those drone attacks want revenge, according to their pakthunwali code of honor. And all these militants kill people and stage incidents that really help the US in it’s assertion that Pakistan’s fast becoming a failed state.

    Mush already sold everything out, and the US probably already knows where key Pak nuke installations are, and I wouldn’t be surprised if US special ops teams start coming in and trying to take them out. Or maybe Israel gets to stage another air assault, like they did to destroy Iraq’s nuke facilities in the early 80′s when Iraq was a key friend of the US. It is a documented fact that an Israeli attempt to attack the Pak nuke facility at Kahuta, was foiled in the late 80′s, and an airforce officer is still imprisoned for selling out state secrets, in that incident . And in 2006 Israel attacked and destroyed Syria’s nuclear research facility. What form of justice, or perverted ideology, gives the US and it’s friend the right to decide who can or can’t have nuclear weapons.

    And all the while, our US backed, widely unpopular political leadership provides the US with airstrips for these drones, while professing that they’re unable to do anything to stop the drone attacks.

  46. April 4th, 2009 2:03 am

    This from today’s The News

    MIRANSHAH: Thirteen people were killed in US drone strike in Data Khel in Miranshah.

    According to sources, US drone fired two missiles at a house of local Tariq Khan in Data Khel killing 13 people. Some foreigners including three women and 4 children were also reportedly killed in the attack.

    The bodies have been recovered from the rubbles. This is the first drone attack in Data Khel.

  47. Yaqoub says:
    April 4th, 2009 2:11 am

    The Taliban are beating our women. The jihadis are bombing out cities. The US is sending drones and killing children and women. Jaa-aiN tou jaa-aiN kahaN.

  48. Adil Saleem says:
    April 4th, 2009 8:23 am

    Pakistanis are dying, crying and suffering because of it’s corrupt leaders. Pakistan’s leaders (including both ‘Dictators’ and the ‘democratically elected’ ones) are directly responsible for this. They allowed the US to start its misadventures in Afghanistan in the first place. Then they took money for handing over the people to the US. Now they are doing nothing to stop the drone attacks because they are fearful of losing their ‘Kursi’ if they speak/do something against the US. The $1.5 billion aid is there to keep mouth shut of our leaders. It will not reach the real needy ones. It will all be taken by the NGOs, advisors, consultants, beauruecrats, officials, politicians etc… If our leaders were sincere, they would have stopped cooperating with the US by now.

  49. coldrain says:
    April 4th, 2009 5:22 pm

    We will never allow injustice to be forced upon us.

    We will fight back.

  50. readinglord says:
    April 4th, 2009 7:29 pm

    It appears the international forces that be have written off Pakistan as, in the words of Bush, ‘Not with us’ and decided to close the noose around its neck. The government of Pakistan seems to have become irrelevant for them. The Western powers are mainly concerned only with its, so called, ‘Nuclear assets’ which, they fear, are in danger of being taken over by the extremists who may cause havoc for the world. May God help us!

  51. H says:
    April 5th, 2009 6:14 pm

    I must say that Pakistanis are the most confused people in the world and Adil, your article only added to that confusion, like every media outlet has done on this issue.

    Nobody is realizing the fact that our country is falling apart and we are looking around clueless, trying to find a hidden conspiracy, while conveniently ignoring the real facts.

    Blindly hating America will not help us when Talibans take over the country piece by piece and our country disintegrates.

    If you think that the disintegration is not a possibility, just pay close attention to the statements of a particular “leader” who has been a staunch opponent of Talibans and have been urging the citizens to start buying arms.

  52. nasah says:
    April 7th, 2009 3:06 am

    There is a small minority (0.000002%) — of crazed barbarian Muslims — among the 1.2 billion of an otherwise normal run of the mill, us Muslims — that possesses a grotesque bizarre view of an otherwise normal

  53. Ali says:
    June 28th, 2009 3:56 am

    Very well written and thoughtful.

  54. June 28th, 2009 6:28 am

    Well we have been contemplating the useless deaths for ages, even since the inception of Pakistan. Imagine what the MQM has done in Karachi? And the massive patients who have died in the ambulances as the VVIP traffic made the traffic come to a holt? Have you forgotten how late we were to save the earth quake victims? Do you recall that we have sectarianism of Sunni and Shias? Aimless killing is everywhere. Talibans have just been added to the top. Really, we need to rethink.
    What I dont understand is that why arent the major politicians targets as taliban attacks? Why only the poor and innocent?Here is a poem I wrote some verses

    we will have no tomorrow
    if we will comprise on our todays
    for our yesterdays haunt us still
    we live in coffins day to day
    our breathes vomit our existance
    are we still alive?

  55. November 8th, 2009 11:13 am

    Very well written.

  56. Will says:
    November 8th, 2009 11:16 am

    One thing I don’t understand about the title is that it says Pakistanis cry. For what? For whom? Why? We cry for the people who lose their lives. IMHO, shouldn’t the title just be Pakistanis Die. For what? For whom? Why?

  57. May 25th, 2011 4:32 pm

    Yes, indeed, we are not collateral damage. Thank you for this post.

    It is time for Pakistanis, wherever they are, to speak up and voice the fears lurking in their hearts.

    If you will care to analyse the drama of Abbottabad closely, you will find many pointers to the underlying truth:

Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say)