No more firefighting


Steel gates installed and locked at school entrance, armed security guards deputed, walls raised, walls barbed wired, CCTV cameras installed at crucial locations and being monitored by someone during school hours, teachers trained in weapons usage, arms distributed among teachers and other staff, communication channels identified to contact police and other LEAs in case of attack on the school — these are the minimum preparations provincial governments are asking schools, colleges and universities to manage (forget the security enhancement cost at the end of the day has to be paid by parents). Today Taliban are attacking our educational institutes and we are getting prepared to face them – what about tomorrow if they start attacking hospitals, or railway and bus stations, shopping centres and markets, sports stadiums? Can we protect all these soft targets? Obviously it’s not practical and it’s not going to happen. Then what’s the solution? Nip the evil before it hits you. Yes, military installations are protected all over the world, but are we going to change the schools, universities, hospitals, railway stations and malls into fortresses?

Let’s come out of this on-spot firefighting mentality, and fight the real enemy. If today, general education is rejected by Taliban, then tomorrow they may denounce the medical advancements, or declare the new modes of communication and transportation as forbidden — there is no end to this madness. We need to address this mindset which is after liberalism and enlightenment. This mindset can’t be annihilated by bullets, bombs and drones. We need an alternate narrative to counter terrorists’ philosophy but only when we wake up from deep sleep.


Jubail, Saudi Arabia