Just when Pakistan was probably hoping that 2016 would bring them a fresh hope after the December 2014 Peshawar attacks, they experienced a nightmare so close to what they were hoping would never happen again.
On the foggy morning of January 20th 2016 at 9:30 am, the Bacha Khan University located in Charsadda, Pakistan, was amidst its usual hustle bustle of lectures and classes when an inconceivable horror dawned upon them. In a classroom packed with students who were gathered for a poetry recital to honour the death anniversary of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, there was an impulsive entrance of four unknown men. Within a split second, the men who looked just like you and me began mercilessly firing at everyone. With multiple blasts occurring within the campus simultaneously, at least 21 people were killed and 60 injured. It was said that the walls of the campus were low and lacked appropriate security, making it easy for the assailants to jump over and enter the campus through the nearby fields.
Soon after the attacks, Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan said “I’m deeply grieved over the attack, and we are determined and resolved in our commitment to wipe out the menace of terrorism from our homeland”. Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, issued a statement on his Twitter account saying “Strongly condemn the terror attack at Bacha Khan University in Pakistan. Condolences to families of the deceased. Prayers with the injured”. Adding to the mayhem this attack had caused, a commander from the Pakistan Taliban group – Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility adding that four attackers were sent to the university. But soon enough, the spokesperson for the Pakistan Taliban issued a statement declaring that the attack was in no way associated with them and described the entire act as “un-islamic”.
With the persistent terrorist attacks taking place almost all over the world, be it India, Paris or Pakistan, the public now feels extremely vulnerable and unsafe. For quite some time, the civilians have been made scapegoats in order to gain the government’s attention. Are our lives limited to fearing and protecting ourselves from further terrorist attacks? How safe are we? Why do we have to fear to send our children to educational institutions, wondering if they would ever return home? Why are we being terrorised, expecting to get attacked any moment? Where is the end to all this wreckage? When are we ever going to feel safe from the terror of anonymous individuals carrying out violence and ruthlessly justifying their actions? What is the world coming to?
With a little thought put into the present circumstances it can be easily understood that we, as an entire population of varied ideologies have been faulting somewhere. If we think further, we could begin to correct those faults. To begin with, countries need to stop funding the terrorist organisations and stop arming them. Violence needs to be curbed and there has to be and end to torturing people. Alienation of any particular race, culture, or group needs to end. One of the main reasons a group resorts to violence is because they are alienated from the general society. Everyone needs to stop fighting for oil. We all know how important the debate about the ownership of oil is, but it’s seriously not worth creating wars.
Countries need to begin working on crucial yet quintessential factors like health, poverty, unemployment, corruption, education, and hunger. Terrorism, in any way, is not holy or religious, terrorism is brutality to the human race. It is sheer violence. The ideology persisting among the majority of people cannot change within a day, but destruction will never cease to stop until one doesn’t begin realising that we, the people are solely in charge of what we do with our lives. Understand that what the world has come to now is a result of our actions. Hopefully, this understanding will pave the way for a better world.
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