Stand up and be killed
One cannot find words to condemn the barbarous and insane attack by the TTP on a van carrying school children in Matani, killing four and injuring18. The attack is yet another indicator of the moral bankruptcy of the Taliban. History has recorded numerous incidents where even the most bloodthirsty and depraved killers had spared the children. How many of those under treatment in the hospital would succumb to their injuries or become physically handicapped is yet to be seen. How many would drop out of the school after the traumatic incident also remains unclear.
Claiming responsibility for the dastardly attack, a TTP spokesman has said the terrorist network wanted to punish the parents of the children for organising an anti-Taliban militia. He also warned that the attacks would continue if those in Matani did not stop supporting the government. The residents of Matani, situated half a kilometer from Khyber Agency, have been targeted by the terrorists half a dozen times during the last nine months. In March, the Taliban had attacked the funeral prayers of the wife of a member of the Addezai Lashkar, killing 25. The militia comprising volunteers had been raised to stop the Taliban activity in the area. The terrorists have invariably attacked the militia members and punished the populations indiscriminately to demoralise the public. It is the duty of the government to provide support to those resisting the Taliban. The continuous attacks on Matani indicate the government’s failure to fulfill its obligations.
The incident should open the eyes of people like Joe Biden who have accused Pakistan of not doing enough to fight terrorism. Washington fails to realise that Pakistan has fought steadfastly against the terrorists and continues to do so. In the process, Pakistan has made more sacrifices than the US or any other country. Many more Americans would have died if Pakistan had not taken the terrorists head on, paying heavily for it. Washington will find it difficult to extricate itself from Afghanistan, let alone defeat terrorism globally, if it continues to distrust and abandon Pakistan as it is doing now.