Shia processions in Lahore and Karachi – commemorating the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (RA) – were attacked. In Karachi seven people were left injured. In Lahore 18 were killed, 190 injured. The suicide attack on the Lahore procession triggered panic, mayhem, and further clashes. Sectarian tensions, already high as a result of a series of orchestrated attacks against Shia targets, have been further flared by these inhuman and murderous attacks.
Once again, my hands are trembling as I type this post. With rage. With anger. With anguish. I have no words that can console the wounds of those who have fallen. No words to explain the horror that has, yet again, transpired. No words to express the angst that tears at my heart – wanting so badly, needing so desperately, for this madness to stop.
I have chosen the two pictures above for a reason. The first is of what seems like a young boy, wounded and bleeding, in Lahore. The second is of two suspected gunmen who had allegedly opened fire in Karachi. The first is a representation of the anguish I feel. the second of the anger I seethe in.
I do not believe in vigilantism. But I do believe in justice. (How could I not with the name I have?). I do not know how the rot that has taken root can be stemmed, but this I know: law and justice will have to be a large part of what happens. The rate at which killers and would-be-killers are prosecuted and brought to justice has to exceed the rate at which they blow themselves up.
Why is it that we keep having to write these horrendous and gut-wrenching posts about attacks on Pakistanis; again, and again, and yet again. Yet, we do not write posts about the killers and murderers who are doing this and planning this being brought to justice? We would like nothing more than to be able to do so. Believe me, we have tried. We scour the newspapers to find news of these killers and their puppet-masters being brought to justice. But we do not find them.
We realize that it is not easy to prove such cases. But that should only mean that we need to try harder. Pakistan is at war, and the course of this war will change when the narrative changes from stories about helplessness at these constant attacks and killings to narratives of ‘getting’ those responsible for this. That means that law enforcement – the police and the judiciary – has to be at the heart of this battle. Not only in reducing the number of such incidents, but also in bringing culprits to justice.
And that is why I have included that second picture. I want to know who these two men behind the chadors are. I do not want them to be lynched. I do want them to get a fair hearing. But I also want to make sure that if they are indeed the culprits then they are brought to justice. I want to hear about how they are tried. I want to know how our judges judge them.
And if that does not happen, then I want to know why the police was not able to make a case against them, why the judges were not able to swiftly bring them to trial and judgment, and why our self-important media did not make all the fuss about this that that are so good at making on so many other things.