So, killed anyone lately?


Last Friday, 23 people died and hundreds more were injured as we got together, as a nation and celebrated our love for our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The country was given a day off and the good citizens of Pakistan went about to prove to the world that every stereotype, about Muslims being a self-destructive mob, is true.
I miss the days where every holiday was an excuse to get together with family or to go away for a picnic. Twenty-five years ago a day off for the celebration of the love for the Prophet (SAW) would have been a very happy day. In those days, people preferred their vacations violence-free. But, instead, everybody braced for a day of violence and nobody was disappointed. Scholars can discuss, ad nauseum, about the peaceful message of Islam until they are hoarse but in the end what will the world believe? A person sitting in the studio or the thousands in the street screaming, chanting and destroying everything in their path because…..because…..well the because doesn’t matter.

Violence is not easy. It is not supposed to be easy. The brain is hardwired to reject it, to abhor it. Even killing someone accidentally destroys people. Constitutions are moulded to protect the sanctity of life. Willful murder is considered the most heinous of all crimes and the harshest punishments are reserved for the perpetrators. Then how did we shift into this morbid, macabre pseudo-reality where killing someone was just something that got squeezed into the day between afternoon tea and a favorite TV drama in the night.

Around the world, roughly 150,000 people die each day. In Pakistan, the natural and accidental death rate is boosted substantially by the number of people who die in targeted killings or other senseless attacks. The seriousness of the situation cuts deeper when the times warrant websites dedicated to tabulating these deaths. There was a time when we heard of people dying, violent, untimely deaths. There was a time when we didn’t know anyone who knew anyone who suffered such fates. All that has changed drastically. now most people know somebody who has been affected directly by violence. Many people, including myself, have family members who have suffered the violence. But the question is, that if everyone knows someone who has been killed by the murderous hands of another, does the math dictate that most people know a murderer too?

There was a time when even being a professional executioner for the government ,or the “jallad”, was such a vile job that they wore a hood on their head so that they weren’t recognised. Some of the rifles for firing squads would always have blank cartridges so that the members of the squad would always be uncertain about who shot the fatal bullet. This was done to protect the sanity of the men on the squad.

Now, I wonder if you walked up to a crowd of people and asked the question, “How many of you have killed another person?”, will we be surprised at the number of people who will raise their hands?


  1. very well written and very true especially the fact that we dont lose a chance to be stereotyped as terrorists, I also wonder about the mental state of the people who destroy and kill all in the name of Islam.

  2. Well written acticle

    People don’t kill each other over religion. People kill each other over politics, and use “religion” as a unifying force for their side.

  3. Only a bleeding heart can comeup with such a truthful statement of facts. Wonderfully written article. Pakistan is at the crossroads where its people have to decide their destiny. A complete destruction or a beggining of a whole new Pakistan as envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam. Choice is ours. Please choose wisely.

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