Mar 9, 2009

Another few funerals

Violent death is now a daily event in our country. We hardly react to it any longer; only the more audacious terrorist attacks cause us to sit up and take notice. But even as we grow less and less sensitive to death and suffering, as our children, like those of Palestine, Kashmir and other zones hit by war, act out the aftermath of blasts in street games or prowl through parks with cricket bats held like Kalashnikovs, the terrorists continue their actions. Most recently, they have struck a police check post on the outskirts of Peshawar, killing eight people including seven police personnel. Their bodies will have returned home to devastated households; to families who will now forever carry with them grief over the untimely death of sons, husbands and fathers.Our leaders continue to insist we are winning the war on terror. But there is little real evidence of this. The fact is that the terrorists have succeeded in changing countless aspects of life across our cities and towns. This, for them, is an immense victory. It is obvious they are now in control of many areas of the Frontier. The destruction of a market housing CD shops in Takht Bahai and the attacks on schools in Bajaur and elsewhere demonstrate just what they intend to do. The terrorists wish to take over our country and our lives. The fear they have created is a step leading towards this goal.So far, people have not been inducted into the struggle to defeat these killers. It is essential that this happen. The suicide bombers, the gunmen, the manufacturers of bombs, themselves belong to communities, to villages and to families. Pressure must come from within these communities to prevent boys being taken away for training in such violence. The war on terror is not one that the authorities can win alone. The violence we see almost every day is in fact proof of the fact that they have failed. New tactics are needed and these can be devised only with the fuller involvement of people who over the last few years have seen far too many deaths and far too many funerals

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