War Against Pakistan: We Need More News Like This

Posted on November 14, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Media Matters
Total Views: 26231


Adil Najam

Something important happened in Pakistan today – something that is not getting enough coverage in the print of electronic media; something that should.

Railway authorities near Multan identified a suspicious briefcase left in a railway compartment. The bomb disposal squad was immediately called. The timed brief-case bomb that is reported to have been capable of very large damage was demobilized and disposed successfully. A massive planned attack right before Eid was averted.

This is not the first time that a tragedy has been averted by the concerted and timely actions of street-level officials doing their job right. It is also not the first time that such news has been ignored both by the chattering classes and officials. Indeed, there is not enough of such news, which is why we remain condemned to hearing of tragedy after tragedy after tragedy.

But we do need to highlight such news when it happens because this knowledge strengthens the resolve of those fighting against these terrorists and it also sends a signal to the terrorists that we as a society remain vigilant of their murderous intentions. Indeed, it is only when the good news outnumbers and overwhelms the bad news that the tide will begin to change. And for that to happen we need to get to not only averting attacks, but also apprehending and convicting the culprits. That, as we have argued before, is where our official attention should be:

As long as we hear more stories about ‘successful’ violence than we hear stories of culprits being apprehended, tried and punished for these acts, the violence will only multiply. We need to change that arithmetic… Action must lead to a change in the stories that we see plastered on our TV screens. What we now see are stories of bigoted terrorists “succeeding” in their attacks. What we need to see are stories of our police and legal system bringing these terrorists to justice. Stories that signify the failure of their plans, not the success.

Today, I heard one such story. Small, maybe. But important. It strengthened my own resolve and gave me a sense that the odds are great and the times are tough but we are not helpless. If this one attack can be foiled, then so can others. If this one attack can be foiled, then so must other.

I fear that the story will drown and soon be forgotten in the flood of nothingness that so consumes us all the time. Before that happens, let me at least share this story with you. Here is the news as reported in The Express Tribune.

MULTAN: A disaster was averted when a briefcase full of explosives was seized from one of the bogeys of the Shah Rukn-e-Alam Express in Multan today (Sunday). The seized explosives were successfully defused by the Bomb Disposal Squad. The squad said if the explosives had detonated, they would have caused massive destruction in the area. Police have started investigations into the incident.

The Shah Rukhn-e-Alam Express was coming from the port city of Karachi. The metropolis was witness to a brazen terrorist attack on the main operational headquarters of the Sindh Police’s Crime Investigation Department (CID). Security forces are hunting militants belonging to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) for their involvement in the deadly attack.

May our news tomorrow be better news than our news today!

18 Comments on “War Against Pakistan: We Need More News Like This”

  1. HarOON says:
    November 14th, 2010 12:25 pm

    Excellent point. Yes, we need more news like this and we also need to highlight this type of news more to encourage and then to reward those who are keeping us safe.Your point that this sends a message to the bad guys that we are on their case is also a very good one.

    But our media is all caught up in the political topi dramas.

  2. Junaid says:
    November 14th, 2010 12:47 pm

    Reading this news gives me the encouragement that we can do this. I wish we begin foiling more and more of these and catching more and more of the terrorists so that the BIG STORY can begin changing.

  3. Humaira says:
    November 14th, 2010 12:56 pm

    I did hear it on Dunya News, but you are right it was played as a small insignificant news. I guess the fact that hundred of poor Pakistanis lives were saved by this is not news these days!

  4. Nadeem Ahsan says:
    November 14th, 2010 1:38 pm

    This is brave work indeed. They need to be applauded. They are the unsung heroes in this war against Pakistan.

  5. Vicky says:
    November 14th, 2010 1:39 pm

    Now that you mention this, I have heard other such news too but really I am also to fault because I did not take them seriously. You are right that we should. Imagine if all these foiled attempts were not foiled?

  6. Raheel says:
    November 14th, 2010 2:09 pm

    tujh ko kitnoun ka laho chaheeaye aye arz-i-watan

  7. Watan Aziz says:
    November 14th, 2010 2:30 pm

    I fear that the story will drown and soon be forgotten in the flood of nothingness that so consumes us all the time…

    Well, ATP was busy with tamshbeen.

    Good news.

    Now get us some good news on expansion of judiciary.

  8. Nasim says:
    November 14th, 2010 3:05 pm

    Well done ATP for highlighting. For you the national interest is always the only thing, for our media and also for so many blogs it is ideology or sensationalism that is important. The heroes we need are the people who found the briefcase and the bomb squad staff that decomissioned the bomb.

  9. Naan Haleem says:
    November 14th, 2010 4:23 pm

    Will the CIVIL SOCIETY write another JOINT LETTER to highlight this point???

    Seriously, everyone must propel a drive of awareness and community policing among masses. I propose an intensive media campaign comprising several 15-30 seconds public service messages guiding the audience how they can keep an eye on their surroundings, identify suspicious happenings (what, why and how) and report accordingly.

    I know its a childish idea, but peace cannot be achieved without involving the potential victims and making them realise about their responsibility towards the danger.

    “sawaari apnay saamaan (aur apni jaan) ki khud hifaazat karey”

  10. Zulfi says:
    November 15th, 2010 12:51 am

    When a nation becomes so corrupt that even a positive news can be construed as a lie. How does one know if this was not a set up to satisfy America’s demand to stop Taliban? I’m sorry, I’m not a pessimist! I’m a realist. Anything less than a revolution in Pakistan is not news worthy. We must eliminate top 1000 gangsters who take turns to govern and steal!

  11. sidhas says:
    November 15th, 2010 1:17 am

    we do indeed need to highlight good news.

    The Hashashins of our time will be defeated and the devils abode Alamut will be destroyed.

  12. sidhas says:
    November 15th, 2010 1:27 am

    Naan Haleem, i liked the idea. its not childish my friend. jaan par bani hovi hai.

    but it is funny.

    You need to come up with something khofnaak.

    bazoo baitha hova shakz ya saman kabhi bhi path sakta hai. Khayyal karaeen. Allah apka nigahbaan.

  13. Naan Haleem says:
    November 15th, 2010 2:15 am

    A not-so-relevant but important message. May be it will help reduce trust deficit between people and police


  14. ali b says:
    November 15th, 2010 11:52 am

    The cleaner in Multan did an excellent job by informing the authorities about the suspicious suit case left behind by the terrorists.It shows that the public is awake but the government is sleeping. Time and again they attack the offices of the security personnel’s offices across the country and get away with it and it seems that the security personnel are totally unprepared and poorly trained to defend themselves and thwart any sudden attack.

  15. November 16th, 2010 3:42 pm

    Yes, Pakistani people have now opened their eyes. They see everything carefully on their way whether they are travelling by bus, train or even they are in a highly populated area. But then again, if nobody notices anything strange which actually very hard to find out then such incidences occur.

  16. November 26th, 2010 12:37 pm

    Another piece of good news.

    Planned attack on Islamabad Mosque and Parliament foiled.

    We need more news like this!

  17. Qadir says:
    November 26th, 2010 12:51 pm

    Excellent. I am glad the Islamabad plot was caught in time. You are very right. This is the news we need to hear more of.

  18. s says:
    May 25th, 2011 11:24 pm

    Hey Zulfi,
    You want revolution do’nt you?
    Then you are a commi.
    Go to some red country – Russia or china and become their agent.

Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say)