Peshawar massacre: Pakistan’s enemy within

Pervez Hoodbhoy writes: The gut-wrenching massacre in Peshawar’s Army Public School has left Pakistan aghast and sickened. All political leaders have called for unity against terrorism. But this is no watershed event that can bridge the deep divides within. In another few days this episode of 134 dead children will become one like any other.

All tragedies provoke emotional exhortations. But nothing changed after Lakki Marwat when 105 spectators of a volleyball match were killed by a suicide bomber in a pickup truck. Or, when 96 Hazaras in a snooker club died in a double suicide attack. The 127 dead in the All Saints Church bombing in Peshawar, or the 90 Ahmadis killed while in prayer, are now dry statistics. In 2012, men in military uniforms stopped four buses bound from Rawalpindi to Gilgit, demanding that all 117 persons alight and show their national identification cards. Those with typical Shia names, like Abbas and Jafri, were separated. Minutes later corpses lay on the ground.

If Pakistan had a collective conscience, just one single fact could have woken it up: the murder of nearly 60 polio workers — women and men who work to save children from a crippling disease — at the hands of the fanatics.

Hence the horrible inevitability: from time to time, Pakistan shall continue to witness more such catastrophes. No security measures can ever prevent attacks on soft targets. The only possible solution is to change mindsets. For this we must grapple with three hard facts.

First, let’s openly admit that the killers are not outsiders or infidels. Instead, they are fighting a war for the reason Boko Haram fights in Nigeria, IS in Iraq and Syria, Al Shabab in Kenya, etc. The men who slaughtered our children are fighting for a dream — to destroy Pakistan as a Muslim state and recreate it as an Islamic state. This is why they also attack airports and shoot at PIA planes. They see these as necessary steps towards their utopia. [Continue reading…]

Make of it what you will, but a statement attributed to the newly formed al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), strongly condemns the massacre.

In Peshawar army school attack, more than 130 children have died. “And to him we belong and to him we return”. On this tragic incident, our hearts are deeply saddened. There is no doubt about the oppression of pakistan army and that its crimes have exceeded all limits. Truth is that, Pakistan army has exceeded all limits in its subservience to Americans and the massacre of Muslims. Its also true that, America is totally dependent on Pakistan’s army to silence any voice for Shariah.

But these crimes of Pakistan army and its horrific oppression CANNOT justify that its revenge be taken from innocent Muslims.

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