SYEDA SIBGHA HAIDER

Lahore - How tragic and remorseful it was to watch and feel the gruesome genocide of innocence, the vulnerable cries of the mothers, the blood stained bodies, and the small coffins; is this the world we want our children to be born in? I believe it is high time to sit down and sternly reconsider whether we are worthy of being called humans?

I keep staring at the blank word processing document. The cursor blinks continuously - ready to host my thoughts: am I prepared for this? Am I courageous enough to act oblivious to the pain, jot down a hundred words, and continue with my daily chores? Am I ready to erase 16th of December 2014 from my memory? Are we, as a nation, ready to ‘move on’?

Majority of people might dismiss my rhetorical questions. But the reality of this busy world is that we all shall forget this day, eventually. The whole world will forget.

But the mother, waiting for her son to show up just because she made his favourite chicken biryani for lunch, won’t. The father, who was supposed to take his son to the market, is now carrying his coffin to the graveyard; he shall never forget.

It is quite undemanding to put up black display pictures on facebook, tweet about how the killings should not have taken place or post a status sharing your sincere condolences with the families of the martyrs.

It is even facile to decry this callous act or call an emergency All Party Conference with all the luxurious luncheons.

It is effortless to call off sit-ins, hold peace walks, light candles or host TV shows wearing all white. It is easy to distribute a small amount of money amongst the families who lost their glowing lamps and believe that the job is done. It is easy to show our solidarity as one nation using hashtags. What isn’t easy is to be them - those who sacrificed their lives and those who are suffering behind.

So Mr Prime Minister, I ask you how many more lives need to be sacrificed? How many of us would have to die in the name of religion, by the terrorists? How many more laps will be tormented? Do our tears hold no gravity? How and when will you decide to avenge the deaths of the 144 wilted flowers? Isn’t there an exigency to punish the people responsible for the agonised hearts of the mothers of Peshawar schoolchildren and to design a long term solid policy to minimise such incidents in future? How can we flourish when we fear sending our children to school?

This is the worst tragedy for the country and nation, not to mention the ‘gift’ from our enemies on the anniversary of the fall of Dhaka.

Let us all learn the lesson to restructure our national mindset to eradicate terrorism from this red-rimmed nation.