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

Posted on April 2, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Foreign Relations, Law & Justice, Religion
Total Views: 48065

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 responses to “Pakistanis Die. Pakistanis Cry. For What? For Whom? Why?”

  1. Will Power says:

    Very well written.

  2. Saeed Shiekh says:

    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?

  3. Ali says:

    Very well written and thoughtful.

  4. nasah says:

    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

  5. H says:

    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.

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