War Against Pakistan: We Need More News Like This

Posted on November 14, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Media Matters
18 Comments
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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 responses to “War Against Pakistan: We Need More News Like This”

  1. Zulfi says:

    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!

  2. Naan Haleem says:

    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”

  3. Nasim says:

    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.

  4. Watan Aziz says:

    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.

  5. Raheel says:

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

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