Acid burn attacks — another day, another tragedy. Why write about them when we’ve already made an Oscar winning documentary about it. Surely that proves we care. Not enough to actually do anything to stop them, unfortunately. With cases being reported, but not read, the list of victims continues increasing. And the perpetrators seem to multiply and take courage, instead of decreasing and being put behind bars.

With the attacks primarily against women, it is not just the victims themselves, but also other women who are witness to such events who regulate their behaviour in fear of similar treatment. The exact nature of the perceived offence is unpredictable, but the result is saddeningly reliable. A single column report in the papers, a few people tutting over a newspaper editorial for a few moments, and the next time they see another such case, perhaps the onset of fatigue and apathy.

Is it our destiny to write hackneyed lament after lament for tragedies that just don’t stop? Why not just stop the lament, then. Accept that this is as much a ‘cultural landmark’ as the Minar-e-Pakistan, and throw up our hands in embarrassed apology?

The only thing that keeps this from happening is probably the crippling fear that this could happen to someone you know tomorrow — if not to you yourself. Until that day, until the horror comes home, we’ll keep tutting over the editorials and feeling proud of our pity and ultimately doing nothing. Perhaps it’s time to accept that we’ve failed. That perhaps women should not expect security in Pakistan. That perhaps these perceived offences are par for the course for permanent physical disfiguration. And if you read this and don’t agree, do something about it.