As we come to mark a year of the unforgivable Peshawar Tragedy, it is important to remember that violence is never callous or apolitical. It is systematic and deliberate.
While we mourn for the 141 lives and futures lost to Pakistan and the world, it should be kept in mind that the State of Pakistan and the military has learned nothing from it.
Both keep on snatching lives of children belonging to the tribal areas and Afghan refugees. As we promise ourselves to open up fully functional 141 schools as a response to TTP, it should be remembered that children are still being ceaselessly displaced and abused. And even more after the tragic 16/12.
It should be acknowledged that Pakistani military had increased operation against the Taliban since mid-2014 with no regards or whatsoever towards the civilians trapped in between. Civilian deaths and displacements, the refusal to enter other provinces, and almost no relief work or compensation after the offensive ended, scream the absolute disregard of humanity towards our own Pakistani brothers. People of Waziristan and other Pashtuns are simply considered as lesser citizens and the history of systematic dispossession against them proves it.
This 16 December I mourn the 141 lives and all the lives that have been taken in the aftermath, by the State, Military and Police of Pakistan in the name of Peshawar Attack. I mourn for the families and children who’ll be displaced again on and after 16 December as nationalism runs high. I mourn for children whose lives do not matter because they are from FATA and surrounding areas. It is easy to dismiss them because the State hasn’t even recognized their rights.
This 16 December, respect the deceased by acknowledging the state sanctified terrorism in Pashtun areas.
“I call on Pakistan to not kill the Afghan children,” Ajmal an adolescent student, who was among the protesters said.
The Khyber Offensive conducted by the Pakistani military with no consideration to 18,000 people displaced. Pakistani media of course never highlighted the issue.
Mehreen Kasana aptly pens down our hypocrisy as we continue to denounce Israeli terrorism against Palestine (as we should) but ignore the same situation occurring in our land.
“None of my family members except me and my brother leave the house now. Our children do not go to school, they do not even go to play outside anymore”
More than a million people will be forced to leave to a country now unknown to them as Pakistani state deliberately forgets that Afghanistan’s communal unrest is only due to Pakistan’s war activities in the 80’s.
While nothing can justify the terror of Peshawar Attack, it should be taken into account that the activities of the government and military led to it. With so many IDP’s, who are being offered no concession and protection, the country provokes hatred and violence.
Hence, as you grieve and mourn for the 141 lives lost in the Peshawar Attack, acknowledge the increased amount of violence against the Afghan refugees and the Pashtun. Many will be displaced and terrorized in the next few weeks. My heart sickens to the core; knowing that people will use Peshawar Attack to justify their racism against the helpless. Don’t be one of those. Respect the deceased and their non-violent dreams.