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There’s a 9/11, 26/11 and 7/7. Then there’s Everyday in Pakistan.

Posted on May 24, 2011
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Media Matters, Society
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Adil Najam

The headline is actually a tweet that has been floating around since the attack on Mehran Naval Aviation Base in Karachi two days ago. As far as I can tell it originated from @thekarachikid. Short. Pithy. Poignant. Depicting a truth that Pakistanis can feel in their bones.

The power of the statement is that the sentiment requires no elaboration. However, it does invite introspection. And, maybe, one question: Everyday in Pakistan does now feel like 9/11. 26/11 and 7/7; but what about the day after everyday? Do Pakistanis react to the day after everyday, the way others reacted to 9/11. 26/11 and 7/7? If not, then why not?

35 Comments on “There’s a 9/11, 26/11 and 7/7. Then there’s Everyday in Pakistan.”

  1. Arfeen says:
    May 25th, 2011 2:37 am

    How true, and how sad.

  2. HarooN says:
    May 25th, 2011 2:39 am

    I think the question you end the post with is even more important than the headline.
    The difference is that others learn from these tragedies, unite and act to ensure that this never happens again.
    We Pakistanis bicker and fight and point fingers at each other and make up conspiracy stories.

  3. Asim says:
    May 25th, 2011 2:45 am

    Our standards have gone so low that we dont even feel that we have a right to complain when something goes wrong or when someone breaks a law!

    Time to stop counting on our government and other governments to fix our issues. When anyone say or does anything bad for Pakistan or Pakistani, dont laugh with them.

    When someone makes jokes about our founding leaders, dont laugh with them. let them know that you are offended.

    When someone breaks any law, report them to media and police. Continue to do so until they take action. If you give up, no one else will pickup where you left off.

    Dont let jahil and mullahs put you down because you want to improve your living quality by your hard work, unlike their lazzzy asses sitting in masjids 24/7.

    Dont let anyone put you down because you like to shave and use tooh brush and tooth paste to clean your teeth and not miswaak.

    Appreciate made in Pakistan things when they are made good. Provide constructive feedback when quality is an issue.

    Quation government servants when you see your tax money getting wasted.

    Question political leaders when they take loans and aid from foreign gov’ts and dont use it for public advantage, that you ard your kids would have to pay back.

    Rather them giving money to someone for one time meal, learn some kind of trade and teach it to others so they could feed themselves.

  4. walking_by says:
    May 25th, 2011 3:23 am

    Stop the self-pity already. 9/11, 26/11 and 7/7 were notable because they were attacks undertaken by Islamic terrorists of foreign origin or sympathy in non-Islamic, democratic countries. These events cannot be compared to anything in the modern history of any of the affected countries.

    Now consider the events in Pakistan. An attack by Islamic terrorists of native origin (or long resident foreigners) on an Islamic country. A country whose (mostly military) rulers cultivated Islamic terrorists as part of its security and foreign policy. A country that distinguishes among Lashkar-E-Taiba (good dog!), TTP (bad dog!), Taliban (good dog! go fetch some strategic depth!). Why should the world bother? You lit the fire, buddies. Now it threatens to burn down your own house.

    Please don’t start shouting about injustices in Kashmir (and I agree, there are way too many) or Palestine (worth a few books) right away. There will be time for that later. Or whisper how Mossad and RAW (Mossad would be insulted by the comparison to RAW) were responsible for the murder of Liaquat Ali Khan, the attack on Mehran and everything in between.

    Think for a bit and acknowledge that the monsters birthed by Zia-ul-Haq (with US aid) and nourished by his successors have grown out of control. Take a deep breath and decide if you really want a Pakistan that uses religious fanatics as tools of statecraft. Decide if the Army should cede control of security and foreign policy to civilians, no matter how corrupt the latter.

    If you read this far, I’ll leave you with a few questions.

    Should Islam be a part of State policies? Take a hint from what official endorsement of one religion did to people of a minority religion in your neighbor’s state of Gujarat. Alternately think of how the only European country with an Islamic majority has managed things so well.

    Should the State decide who belongs to a religion and who has blasphemed? Ask the Brits, they have literally centuries of experience in this.

    Should the State use religious fanaticism as a tool of domestic and international politics? If you want some ideas Google for “Indira Gandhi” and “Bhindranwale”.

    Can Islam be relegated to the private sphere? At least, can religion be removed from the law books?

    I hope that after the grief subsides you can have rational conversations about your country. I think that such conversations and actions borne out of those conversations, no matter how small, are the best way to react to the tragedy engulfing Pakistan.

    PS: I hasten to add that I am an Indian before anyone accuses me of being one.

  5. MilesToGo says:
    May 25th, 2011 3:46 am

    Its funny how Lucman is interviewing Hafiz Syed as if he was Eidhi and PDF guys are pledging to kill NATO and Indians and Hamid Gul and other intellectuals are saluting Osama for being a great soldier of Islam- and you are weeping on terror attacks in Pakistan…

    Give it some time and a part of your army will be figthing, other part of your army, Hafiz Syed’s of Pakistan will fight Salman Taseers and the Katrina/Shahrukh fan generation will be begging Kafir USA to protect them and the rest will make a line infront of wagaha border.

    The time for pen and paper is gone.

    Its really sad.

  6. Eidee Man says:
    May 25th, 2011 5:08 am

    I believe the writer Mohsin Hamid was the first one to put it this way, that (paraphrasing), 9/11, 7/7, and 26/11 has been turned into our 24/7/365.

  7. ShahidnUSA says:
    May 25th, 2011 7:28 am

    I am certain that Pakistani security agencies somehow would able to control all the mess, because they have got the ‘discipline’. Its good that people are pointing out the mistakes, turn it into lessons and it would help them to frame the future.

    NOT! fascinated at all with the word 9/11 or 7/11. Wish it wasn’t the Pakistan that takes over the negative news headlines everyday, I still have lot of positive hopes for the country.

    Somewhere in the past the country took a wrong turn, may be it was the wrong (non practical) interpretation of the religion or they wanted to be known in the world and have a purposeful life.

    I have a ‘faith’ that ultimately the country would be back on a right track because there is no other way.

    The country would soon find its missing ‘unity’ in the correct order.

  8. MilesToGo says:
    May 25th, 2011 8:32 am

    Things always get back on track – that’s how nature works. Its just matter of time and blood.

  9. shahid says:
    May 25th, 2011 2:24 pm

    The situation is reminiscent of the limerick-

    There was a young lady from Riga,
    Who smiled as she rode on a tiger.
    They came back from the ride.
    With the lady inside,
    And the smile on the face of the Tiger

    No great intelligence required to identify who could be who

    At this juncture it is very important that -
    Rise people of Pakistan.
    Rise against injustice.
    Rise against ignorance.
    Rise against closed mindset.
    Rise against the vested interests which keep you in bondage.
    Rise against prejudice.
    Rise against feudal exploitative system.
    Rise against existing land distribution pattern
    Go for liberty, equality, fraternity and knowledge and use them for the welfare of humanity and the future is yours.

  10. Salman Pindiwala says:
    May 25th, 2011 2:34 pm
  11. TT says:
    May 25th, 2011 4:22 pm

    Let all of us stop lip servicing and start compiling a list of ACTION’s that need to be taken immediately. Below are few that i can think of but please free to add more..

    1- Fence and mine pak afghan border.
    2- Send all Afghan immigrants back to afghanistan immediately.
    3- Shot down drones and ask USA not to send any more or else get ready to face consequences.
    4- Stop receiving US aid.
    5- Cut down ties with haqqannis, lashkers and siphas..forget the “strategic
    depth and leverage” fallacies..
    6- Forget about KASHMIR..let kashmirees decide what they want..its better to forget about a piece of land that was never ours instead of disintergrating the whole pakistan. Because of Kasmir we have lost east pakistan and now the remaining Pakistan is at risk.

    This is not a final list and can be debated but once finalised, we should all force our political and army leader to execute these action immediatly.

  12. F K says:
    May 25th, 2011 6:35 pm

    I like your list for the most part TT. Some constructive comments on it:

    Wikileaks cables that Dawn has disclosed has shown that the army is working with the US in coordinating drone attacks (and in some cases requesting more) then feigning anger to placate the people. Given this scenario, we can not expect the army to shoot down any drones. The army must take control of the entire country, in this modern day and age, we cannot say that we don’t have control over FATA because of historical reasons etc. Every country is responsible for what happens within its borders. If Pakistan secures this area, then the US will have no need to do any drone attacks. This is a grey area though, we don’t know what politicians or the army are up to behind closed doors or what agreements they are making with Americans so we should have full disclosure in these matters first (not holding my breath on this).

    I agree 100% that the Afghan border should be fenced (not mined though) and that Afghans should respectfully be repatriated to Afghanistan. Take some of the defense budget and put it towards border control on the western front.

    Stop receiving US aid: Let’s be very realistic. Pakistan must fix their economy in a way that loans and aid from the US (or IMF or WB) are not necessary. This is a long term goal. At this point, there is no way Pakistan can just “stop receiving aid”, the country would not have enough money to function and this is a sad reality. If we do stop receiving this aid, we have to identify realistic ways that the difference can be made up. The sloganeering about taking money from corrupt politicians is nice but is not a long term solution. What is the long term solution (I don’t know)? If Pakistan was sincere about tackling this issue, I would say work with China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE and see if they can purchase Pakistan’s debt to the IMF and WB and restructure it so that it can be paid back and maybe cut defense spending to do so(?). Once the debt is taken care of, then the aid question can be addressed,
    The Sharif brothers decided to symbolically stop their agreement to allow US aid to build some schools and a water sewage plant in Punjab. Besides political posturing, I’m not sure what this is supposed to accomplish. If you don’t want other countries to build these things, at least build them youselves.
    I think the main thing Pakistan needs to do is really assess the defense budget/spending. The army says that if there is war with India, they will have to use nuclear arms because conventional weapons won’t work. Because of this, Pakistan is building more short and medium range nuclear missiles. If that is the case, we need to look at why so much is being spent on conventional weapons too. No matter how many weapons you have, if a war does come around, you need to be able to finance it, and Pakistan can’t. They had this same issue in 1965 and 1971. The US conducted a raid in Abbottabad and the army had no idea of it until it was concluded. Keeping all these things in mind, I think that Pakistan should focus on more on its people (healthcare, schools, macro economy etc). Sorry for the long post.

  13. Khuram Khan says:
    May 25th, 2011 9:20 pm

    I always thought that Pakistani people let the emotions take better of them in every field specially politics. I was wrong.

    Our Nation has braced, in fact, embraced the ‘ground realities’ and they do not wish and expect any change any time soon. It goes to the credit of the President and Prime Minister, who understood the public mind and adapted very skillfully to the needs of times. No wonder there are no or muted protests, be it load shedding, petrol or gas. Terrorism is not a factor here. Opposition is game too.

    So what is the reason behind this? Charismatic Leadership???

    Well it is people’s loathings for rule of law. Gone are the days when people looked up to The Military.

    Our people have found affection for ‘Jamhooriat’ in the last three years for different reasons. They are enjoying the fruits of free speech, this media, independent Judiciary, very incompetent governance and of course corruption. We have taken the last two like fish to water. It has now travelled down to what is popularly called grassroots level.

    Life is good. No one is prepared to annoy US barring in TV Shows. Everyone looks forward to ‘Soap Operas’ at 8 pm. And crafty Minister for Information ensures Sharmila’s presence in most shows. She may replace Hussain Haqani on US Administrations’ demand.

    This change in our behavior is in fact backlash of the movement to restore the Chief Justice. People did not get justice but Mr.Chaudhery became Chief Justice again. What is the point in getting baton charged for nothing in return? Latif Khosa was not badly off though.

    To conclude, our people do not want governance which has anything moral or lawful to offer. So prepare yourself for another five years.

  14. May 25th, 2011 9:55 pm

    yes, Pakistan has to react after after every day of bloodshed!!! after every day when a mother loses her son, when a daughter loses her father and when a sister loses her only brother!!!
    we have to take actions….and why not??
    we have had a maximum loss of lives over these years, 35000 humans lost
    it must not be just another day for us!!
    its our responsibility, and its only us who can bring the change.
    we talk about accountability of generals, politicians, ministers and who not!! but have we ever looked into our own selves!!!
    have we changed ourselves?? wats our contribution to the development of this nation?? what have we done??
    we xan talk aat length but our practical approach is nil!!
    yes we have to bring the change in our attiude first! we shud not forget that we are Pakistani, we are the future of this world!!

    N.B, whenever ANYONE WHO TALKS ABOUT ISLAM, MOSQUES, MUSLIMS, PLZZZZ DO CONFORM IT WITH ”PERSONAL” EVIDENCE!!! JUST PRESENTIONG THE VIEWS OF SOMEONE ELSE WONT EVER HELP UR ARGUMENT!! PLZZZ STOP MALIGNING ISLAM!!!

  15. Shez says:
    May 25th, 2011 10:06 pm

    Did anyone notice PM has recommended Lt. Yasir to be awarded Nishan-e-Haider? It would be a great shame to give this highest award to him when he did not perform any great act of bravery. Some even say that he did not even fire a single bullet and was one of the first ones to be put down during the early stage of infiltration. What about the brave navy commandos and rangers who put their lives for the cause?

    Also what about those who freed the hostages in the GHQ crisis? And especially those who are laying their lives at the tribal front?

    Also did anyone notice the presser of naval chief? He came across as an uncouth, unprepared, and ill-mannered person. No wonder the defense of our country is in “capable” hands.

  16. banjara says:
    May 26th, 2011 1:20 am
  17. Zareen says:
    May 26th, 2011 6:07 am

    Do Pakistanis react to the day after everyday, the way others reacted to 9/11. 26/11 and 7/7? If not, then why not?

    To answer your question, I think,
    1. The majority of Pakistanis are not reacting because they are worried about their next meal. A malnourished and hungry person can protest only so much. The middle class is disappearing slowly – majority are falling into poverty. The other side, is a very small percentage – who are very rich. This includes our leadership, media etc.
    2. In the events of 9/11, 26/11 and 7/7, the governments were the first ones to take actions; in our case, our government is our biggest problem.
    3. For mass movements, people need a leader to follow. We, as a nation, are unfortunate in this respect. Real dearth of honest and sincere leaders!
    4. We the educated class, are not motivated enough to take this hard road. Or they are not living in Pakistan and therefore, like to discuss but not to be part of the action.

  18. readinglord says:
    May 26th, 2011 6:24 am

    @Shez

    Well said!

    Nishan-e-Haider is perhaps awarded to one who dies in fighting than can it be granted to a ‘Shaheed’ who cannot even be called dead according to a Quranic injunction. I think the Orians, destroyed by the terrorists and, of course, Sharmila Farooqi, deserved it more but I cannot say why.

    Have we not become a joke of the world, utterly a ‘Baatil’ entity in Quranic words?

  19. Anwer says:
    May 26th, 2011 10:53 am

    احمد فراز

    برباد کر کے بصرہ و بغداد کا جمال

    اب چشم بد ہے جانب خیبر لگی ہوئی

    غیروں سے کیا گلہ ہو کہ اپنوں کے ہاتھ سے

    ہے دوسروں کی آگ مرے گھر لگی ہوئی

  20. Khuram Khan says:
    May 26th, 2011 12:52 pm

    Shez,
    I am not sure about this but you can expect anything from this PM.I am sure he would’nt know what NH stands for.
    Sadly but apparently this officer lost his life by not following, if there was any, S.O.P for such emergencies.He was an aeronautical engineer and should have nothing to do with the Security Troops.If he was appointed in charge security then this also reflects on the pathetic system in the Navy.May Allah bless his soul.

  21. Shez says:
    May 26th, 2011 2:51 pm

    @Khurram

    We can expect the worst from this PM and president but what about the media? They are projecting that dead lieutenant as a great hero, which he obviously was not. They have not given any coverage to others who laid their lives. Others who actually confronted the terrorists and killed them. They are the real heroes. It would be a great shame if they give NH to that not-so-brave lieutenant.

  22. Khuram Khan says:
    May 26th, 2011 4:13 pm

    Shez, only one tv channel called samaa is persisting and there could be some underlying reason that you and I cannot fathom.

  23. zia says:
    May 26th, 2011 5:35 pm

    To stop this terrorism by American-Taliban(TTP, kharjis), we most replace our government. We most join in the darnas aginst drones.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWi5OhF4QyQ

  24. Shez says:
    May 26th, 2011 6:05 pm

    @Khurram

    Geo and Express also gave undue attention. Shaheed this and shaheed that. But yes Samaa is going overboard.

  25. Asim says:
    May 26th, 2011 9:01 pm

    I am just happy for the PPP leadership’s generosity for not asking Nishan-e-Haider for Zulfiqar and Benazir Bhutto

  26. Asim says:
    May 26th, 2011 9:02 pm

    Oh no, did I just give PPP leadership an idea?,…..oooopppss!

  27. Shazia says:
    May 27th, 2011 12:14 am

    These lyrics “always” inspire me and remind me the basics of our religion taught through childhood bedtime stories. Do they touch your heart too???

    Heart of a Muslim Nasheed Lyrics

    Looking up at the sky, searching for Allah most High
    He rejected the way of worshipping Gods of clay
    Prophet Ebrahim knew that Allah was near
    And that the heart of a Muslim is sincere

    Under the hot burning sun, he declared God is one
    Though with stones on his chest, his Imaan would not rest
    The Muadhin knew that right would conquer wrong
    And the heart of a Muslim must be strong

    It’s the heart of a Muslim through the guidance of Islam
    That makes you fair and kind and helpful to your fellow man
    So living as a Muslim means that you must play a part
    Allah looks not at how you look, but what is in your heart

    In our poor meager state, little food on our plate
    Mother said she was glad, always sharing what we had
    When I asked how can we share what’s not enough
    She said the heart of a Muslim’s filled with love

    He said its time you should know, you will learn as you grow
    That some people around will do what’s bad to bring you down
    Father said to be a star that’s shining bright
    For the heart of a Muslim does what’s right

    So whatever you do, make sure your words are true
    Honesty is the best, because life is a test
    Even if it hurts so much you want to cry
    For the heart of a Muslim does not lie

    Read more about Zain Bhikha – Heart of a Muslim Nasheed Lyrics – Islamise by http://www.islamise.co.uk

  28. Adnan says:
    May 27th, 2011 1:42 am

    Shez,

    Because Lt.Yasir was a Shia hence Shia PPP government is trying to cash this opportunity to get a Nishan-e-Haider in their pocket.

  29. Shez says:
    May 27th, 2011 2:04 am

    @Adnan

    NH is the highest military award and is given solely on the basis of extraordinary valiance. It’s really shameful if PPP is thinking on the lines you mentioned. In that case, they should find a shia who actually fought at the tribal front and laid his life after fighting gallantly. That would be better instead of giving it to a victim of terrorism. There are more than 35,000 of these people. Will the govt award NH to each and everyone of them?

  30. Shez says:
    May 27th, 2011 2:10 am

    @Asim

    PPP wallahs would be happy to stead your idea. Bhuttos/Zardaris are the greediest, both for personal wealth as well as for fame and recognition. Let’s see when they get their hands on NH.

  31. Khuram Khan says:
    May 27th, 2011 10:45 am

    While one feels for the loss of someone but those someones left behind should maintain dignity especially if they are from similar proffession. The repeated appearance of the family on TV is an insult to the departed souls of this tragedy. The doubts need to be cleared before rewarding or punishing those involved.NH is certainly not to be considered as this would undermine the highest honour connected with this gallantry award. Please read this.More will come soon.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13508864

  32. Shez says:
    May 27th, 2011 1:43 pm

    They should instead consider the martyred naval commandos and that sipahi Akhtar for this award. They deserve it, not that dead lieutenant who simply happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
    http://www.express.com.pk/epaper/PoPupwindow.aspx?newsID=1101250286&Issue=NP_KHI&Date=20110527

  33. Saeed says:
    May 29th, 2011 8:55 am

    History tests nations. This is our test. I hope we will rise to the challenge and emerge as a united nation out of this.

  34. Dr Saqib says:
    June 5th, 2011 3:51 pm

    We must think that by just lying down in front of US will not help us….. one must think…their one 9/11 has created 9/11 for millions of muslims,and specially for Pakistanis everyday… Our leaders are disasters… they must think..all Meer Jafars & Meer Sadiqs have same end, their money never is for them at the end.. We need prayers, Istighfar and sincerety on individual basis…INSHALLAH a bright day will come soon..

  35. December 2nd, 2011 3:30 pm

    Alas…..!!
    Our leasers do not recognise the importance of a life and thats it!!!!

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