Sabahat Quadri Works


There should be squares in every city reserved for the public execution of the Taliban.

Let them swing.

Five hundred Taliban, mostly low-level soldiers, sit on Death Row in Rawalpindi. Five hundred out of thousands released because our weak judiciary was intimidated, or because our corrupt politicians consider them allies. Five years ago, when the shrine of Data Darbar was attacked by two suicide bombers, killing 42 pilgrims, Shahbaz Sharif stood on a public stage and whimpered, “why are you attacking us? We are one people.” For that statement alone, Shahbaz Sharif should also swing. It’s no coincidence that the Pakistan Army has not been allowed to conduct any operations in the Punjab against the various Lashkars operating with impunity in the province—they’re Shahbaz Sharif’s people, after all.

We’re sitting under a deadly cloud of black rain today. Alternating between a soul-crushing depression and a bitter rage at the actions of a small group of seven men who managed to destroy the lives of 141 people, 132 children among them.

This was not an attack on an educational institution. This was a specific attack on the children of servicemen fighting the Taliban in Waziristan (part of the North-West province, Khyber Pukhtoonwa). SSG Commandos report that the gunmen, wearing suicide jackets and carrying big guns, entered the school and asked which children were military offspring. When the children raised their hands, they shot them. They riddled their small bodies with bullets. This wasn’t an attack on the ‘Westernized’ education system in our cities. It wasn’t an attack on girls’ education. This was an attack on the army. Of the nine adult casualties, three of the teachers were army wives. Just like the children, these women were specifically targeted for their military association, and the Taliban statement clearly says that the attack was in response to the hundreds of Taliban fighters, and their families, killed by the military.

All day today, I’ve had the TV running in the background, listening with shock and horror as anchors openly wept. When I heard my government speak, however, all I could do was cringe. There have been questions raised about our security, about our governance and about the priorities of our government officials. Questions I dearly want answers to.

I want to ask Siraj-Ul-Haq if these children deserve the status of martyrdom that you and your party (the Jamaat-e-Islaami) have been so quick to bestow on the Taliban killed by the military? The status that you insist the army servicemen who have lost their lives fighting the Taliban should not be awarded? These children were not fighters, they weren’t killers. But they were children of the military. Should we call the seven gunmen martyrs instead? Will you be continuing to support the Taliban, even after today?

I want to know how the Sharif brothers justify the expense of keeping 19 elite men from the Punjab Police on guard duty for a peacock (yes, you read the right—a peacock), and 40,000 men on VIP duty (guarding politicians and their families) instead of letting them secure the citizens of the nation. I want to know how they justify their fortresses and summer palaces in the face of such violence and insecurity towards the people. I want to know how Nawaz Sharif, who stood over Zia-ul-Haq’s grave and promised to keep his legacy alive, can dare to pretend that he wants the Taliban eradicated. After all, in many not-so-secret circles, Zia is considered the official patron of the Taliban (the unofficial patrons being the House of Saud and the CIA).

I want to know where Maulana Diesel (also known as Maulana Fazlur Rehman) got the title ‘Maulana’ from? Maulana is usually reserved for venerable, erudite persons, particularly those with a deep knowledge of Islam and the Quran. There are two shining principles of Islam (regardless of what Fox News may tell you) that you seem to know nothing about: moderation and justice. Aren’t you the man who condemned Operation Zarb-e-Azb (Pakistan’s military operation against the Taliban) when it started? Aren’t you the one calling the Taliban your brothers, your children? Are you standing with your brothers today, or are you a collaborator? Should we erect gallows for you as well?

I want to know if Imran Khan will finally stop insisting that this is not our war. Will he give up this insistence that the Taliban are our people, and we must not fight them? Are you aware, Mr. Khan, that the seven gunmen were not Pakistani? And yet, the TTP, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, has claimed them as their own.

I want to know what Asma Jehangir, Aitzaz Ahsan and Ali Kurd are feeling right now, because it was their Lawyer’s Movement that reinstated Iftikhar Chaudhry to Chief Justice and it was Iftikhar Chaudhry who released thousands of terrorists because of ‘insufficient evidence’. Iftikhar Chaudhry who promised to reform the judiciary and instead, left it as a pile of dung on our streets, a weak, snivelling bench that folds to the demands of every corrupt politician and Taliban sympathiser in the land. Do you feel good about what you did? Do you have the ‘independent judiciary’ that you so craved?

I want to know how the government, both present and past, can justify spending $4 billion on a metro transit system in Islamabad, and not have adequate policing in Peshawar. How Qiam Ali Shah can justify buying a helicopter for himself (as Chief Minister of Sindh, the cost of the helicopter comes out of the provincial coffers), while 132 children bled out in Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital, 197 children died of starvation in Thar due to the famine, 8 infants died in a hospital in Punjab because of faulty equipment, and god knows how many more children will suffer because no amount of money is enough for you and your ilk?

These are names the world should know. These are the ‘democrats’ that the first world believes will be Pakistan’s salvation. They are, either directly or indirectly, responsible for the deaths of 132 children who had the misfortune of being born into a military family:

The Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, currently Siraj-ul-Haq, and the founder, Qazi Hussain, who might as well be the Taliban’s blood brothers.

Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif, whores for Saudi oil and the sweat and tears of ordinary Pakistanis.

Maulana Diesel, the stepsister of Jamaat-e-Islaami, and another Taliban blood brother.

Imran Khan, a student of Hameed Gul (the architect of the ‘mujahideen program’ during the Afghan War and currently a strong supporter of the Taliban), a misguided fool who lacks judgement.

Asma Jehangir (ironically, a representative of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and a vocal critic of the Pakistan Army. She rarely challenges a politician’s human rights record because they’ve been democratically elected. Apparently, democracy is a ‘get out of jail free’ card.), Aitzaz Ahsan (Bhutto sycophant) and Ali Kurd (architect of the reinstatement of the one of the most corrupt judges in our history).

Qaim Ali Shah, Asif Zardari, the Bhutto clan and their myriad supporters who all, like the Sharifs, are only interested in their personal bank balances and not the welfare of the people they want to ‘govern’.

Remember these names, because these are the names constantly thrust upon us under the guise of democracy. These are the names of the ‘popular’ men and women who allow the Taliban to roam the streets of Pakistan and who just couldn’t give a damn about 132 children executed in a public school on December 16, 2014.

Let them all hang.

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