Failure to protect


The blame lies on us all



There are moments in life when everything loses its meaning and words become shallow. The day before yesterday was one such day when over 145 children in a Peshawar school were sacrificed for the political agenda of terrorists. It is not a failure of just the state or intelligence agencies, it is a failure of all of us as a society. We are all responsible for this carnage regardless how much we try to convince ourselves to escape out of this guilt. I saw a father on a TV channel proudly saying that he was happy his son was a shaheed. There is no doubt that the kid was a shaheed whether he chose it or not. But what will we tell God when we are judged as fathers who fail to protect their kids from the wrath of criminals, butchers and terrorists? What justification will we provide for our inability to capture, prosecute and punish these criminals and their masterminds?

Yesterday our politicians gathered in an All Parties Conference (APC) in Peshawar to issue condemnation of these acts, promised to fight terrorists till the end and laid blame on some invisible hand that had conducted all these terror acts. As usual, they made announcements to ensure medical treatment for the kids that were seriously injured and compensation for those that were dead. They issued statements of condolence to the grieving families. And then they all went home to their families that live in lavish houses protected by hundreds of guards provided by the state. In a few weeks all of us will forget Peshawar and get ready for condemnation of the next terrorist act that is bound to happen because the state and the nation has yet again failed to take concrete steps to apprehend and punish these criminals. Politicians that are in the government are busy in corruption of the highest order and those in opposition are angry that it was their turn to be king of which they have been deprived of with illegal means.

We have all kind of intelligence agencies but the most prominent are ISI, MI and IB. These intelligence agencies are not short of resources or talent but still they are not able to do their jobs. One main reason for it is that there is no oversight and accountability of their performance. In the last many years there have been many high profile counter-intelligence failures like the attack on Karachi airport, Mehrangate, GHQ attack, Peshawar church attack, attacks on Hazara Shia community in Quetta and now this school attack. But despite these failures no high profile official has been sacked for this poor performance. When civilians question the performance of ISI, in executing counter-intelligence strategy, then civil-military relations suddenly deteriorate and all kinds of conspiracies are hatched. It is about time this changed.

Even if the civilians are not capable of doing it, why can’t inter-departmental investigation and accountability be done? Peshawar is at the epicentre of terrorism and its sector commanders for ISI, MI and IB should be asked why they failed to have prior knowledge of these attacks. High profile terrorist attacks require a lot of planning, logistics, finances and training. It requires months of work to prepare for one attack. For all these months what were our counter-intelligence experts doing and why none of them have been sacked from their jobs? What has happened to the dignity of our officers that they can’t come forward and voluntarily resign from their positions for these failures?

Our madrassas are producing graduates that know how to memorise Quranic verses and hadiths but are not conversant with the spiritual teachings of the religion. They sit on the pulpit every Friday to deliver long winded sermons that have no relevance to our contemporary lives and fail to guide people about the teachings of Islam related to our social issues and how to deal with it. At the time of attack there were close to 500 children in the school, the ones that survived will be struggling all their lives about the true meaning of Islam because they heard terrorist shout Allah-o-Akbar before they opened fire on innocent and unarmed friends of theirs. Do we as Muslims really understand the teachings of our religion? How much time do we spend to understand it and then try to live accordingly?

Now everyone is suggesting that all of us have to get united and fight this menace. How should we fight? No one is willing to tackle this question. We have to do soul searching and find out whether we really want to fight this menace or not. If we decide to fight then we have to take some tough decisions and actions that include regularisation of all madrassas in the country and performing regular audit of their curriculum, funding and enrolment. We have to decide that there are no good or bad Taliban; they are all extremists and must be dealt with iron hand. We have to execute the punishments granted to these terrorists by our courts and refuse to accept any inside or outside pressure to hesitate about it. We have to ask our counter-intelligence experts to focus on securing the country and stop meddling in the politics of the country. All those that fail to perform should be relieved from their duties and others should be appointed that are passionate about their profession and perform it with the highest standards.

We owe this to our martyred children that this nation embarked on the journey of progress, prosperity and national unity. We cannot allow the blood of our children go to waste and be forgotten.


  1. Listen clown of Imran Khan, who happens to be a taliban loving creature and still has lots of sympathies for them and wished to set up their office in Peshawar, this is failure of no body. An operation is underway and Army and intelligence needs our backing.

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