I am guilty! In my last blog post, like a majority of my fellow nationals and rest of the world covered in deep sorrow over the events of Tuesday in Lahore, the attacks on our guests the Sri Lankan team I completely forgot to honour the seven lives sacrificed on the altar of terrorism.
I don’t know their names, or their backgrounds, but I do know that they were sacrificial goats presented by Punjab government to the inhuman butchers, the terrorists. I don’t know for sure but I really doubt that the police guards were adequately trained to deal with a terrorist attack like the police and paramilitaries used to be in Ireland. I don’t know for sure but am positive that none of them was wearing a bullet proof vest that a bobby on local beat in peaceful communities is always wearing in the UK. I don’t know but I am confident that they did not have the fire power to match and respond to the professionally trained and equipped terrorists. If I am wrong on any of these accounts then what logical explanation is there that they got slaughtered by two terrorists in an open space like Liberty Square in Lahore.
I do know for sure that among these policeman was a father and a son and a husband who did not return home Tuesday night. His name will be identified in media in passing as “the deceased” and then quickly forgotten. His family will probably be handed over a meagre 1000 pounds (for a photo opportunity for the Governer) and then left to rot in poverty.
Since the beginning of the illegal war carried out by Tony Blair in Iraq 179 British soldiers have given their life in the name of Queen and Country. Every single one of them is remembered and honoured. When remembering them no one is bothered about the legality of war – important is the life that was lost.
As the front line state in the war on terrorism we have lost more Pakistani soldiers, para militaries, and policemen then United States has in Iraq and Afghanistan put together. Do we announce the exact number? Do we even make a passing attempt to remember and honour?
As a nation we are reaching a state of mind where an individual life has lost its value, its sanctity. We do not pay attention until the number of dead is not above a certain threshold. And this threshold is increasing as the time goes by.
And where is accountability. In a civilised nation a soldier gives his life in combat – his family takes the ministry of defence to court because it failed to provide mission critical equipment to army in Afghanistan. In a highly charged security environment of Pakistan, government of Punjab assigns an ordinary police contingent to guard a VIP visiting cricket team. Accountability for murder of this police team rests with those who assigned them to this responsibility. But no one will be brought to court while the Judiciary is embroiled in its own identity crisis.
We can’t solve all these problems today, but for the moment we can remember and honour those who gave their lives on Tuesday. God grant them their just place in afterlife.