Red, White and Black


Is there a silver lining?
27 October, 2007, 7:58 pm
Filed under: Pakistan, Politics

Lately, all news that has poured in from back home has been anything but normal. Actually it hasn’t even come close to being normal. And it has been depressing. Very. Just 9 days ago Benazir’s political convoy was brutally attacked. A carnival was turned into a bloodbath.

I keep asking myself: who would do this? To kill a politician is nothing new, history is full of countless assassinations – but you know what was different in all of those incidents? Of course, you do. All the other incidents attacked one particular person. They specifically targeted one individual. They did not attack packed crowd of hundreds of thousands to kill one individual.

They did not aim to take close to 140 lives.

They did not mean to put in the agony the lives of another 500.

How do you explain it to someone? How do you explain it to yourself? What force could be so potent that it would compel someone to undertake such carnage? I have been a firm believer that incidents of religious extremism owe this roots to social and economic grievances. But I am hard pressed to explain this incident through that perspective. I have to tell myself that the person who carried it out was brainwashed to such an extent that he believed he was doing humanity a great favor by killing 140 innocent human beings? Sure, so the individual who carried out the attack was under adverse influence? But what about those very sane and rational individuals who planned it? What did they tell themselves? That they were attacking a stooge of the US or that they were attacking a woman who had dared to defy their notions of a woman’s position in Islam by venturing into politics? What motivated them?

I don’t know.

The trouble is that you cannot even begin unraveling this riddle unless you know why such acts are perpetrated. The solution to such a problem will not and cannot come solely in the form of a physical response. The solution will only become visible when you begin to address the structural dynamics of the problem. Only when you begin to understand and nullify the whys of the problem.

Rant over I suppose.

ps. What will become of your country when the ruling party, nay your very Prime Minister, visits Nine-Zero (yes, the very same) to devise a broad-based coalition for the upcoming elections? Of course, May 12 just happened and these guys weren’t involved.

pps. What will become of your country when BB insists that she has not cut any deal with the government, but is merely negotiating to assist “transition to democracy? Yes, we believe you. Just like we believe that you did not swindle $1.5 billion to your cosy little Swiss account. Yes, we do.

ppps. What will become of your country when beheadings of this sort begin taking place every other day in one of the most beautiful valleys of the country? And you know what the best part is? We let that one mullah develop his clout and decimate the area with his venom for over an year before we thought: oh shit! The government obviously had better fish to fry in the meantime.

pppps. I suppose the rant really is over now. Sorry.

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15 Comments so far
Leave a comment

you hv posted after a while – hope alls well with you and yours.

Am from your eastern neighbour and am hazaar worried about whats happening – May sanity prevail and things improve – the mindless killings of BB’s supporters (more security men actually)and other happenings in the NW are scary to say the least.

-Daz

Comment by dazzler

thanks for the concern Dazzler..just been busy with studies and don’t have enough free time on my hands these days.

and yes, lets hope that sanity prevails.

Comment by ayesha

cool.. good to hear that things are ok for you.

who do you think is best positioned to govern pakistan? The PPP or Army or PML(N) or anyone else?

BTW – what course are u studying for?

Comment by dazzler

None of them dazzler. None.

Comment by ayesha

probably the CJ then?? – seems like a decent sort but then again he alone wont be able to do much.. so who?

Comment by dazzler

i guess the q is auto-answered now… lets hope at least some good in terms of law and order comes out of this.

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