Reprehensible act – 18 May 2023

Time to get real and look around with a sense of oneness

It was a reprehensible and disgusting act on the part of a policeman who opened fire at a school in Swat. The unfortunate incident led to the killing of a schoolgirl, and resulted in severe injuries to at least six students, and a teacher. The only consolation is that the insane constable has been arrested. This tragedy must not be seen in a superficial sense as an isolated attempt on the part of a deranged person, but sociopathic efforts made to read into the mindset of such people in our midst, especially those entrusted with guarding the people. It could be an outcome of rigid readings in our society on girl children going to school, or women at work, in our otherwise conservative society. There are instances of similar tragedies from neighbouring Afghanistan where radicalism paves the way for jingoistic tendencies.

Swat school’s firing has come immediately after a similar tragic incident at another school in Parachinar’s picturesque Shalozan area at Teri Mengal bordering Afghanistan. Eight people, including five teachers, lost their lives. Khurram Agency and Swat’s incidents must be deciphered closely to draw lessons. The intention is to create a law and order situation, at a time when the country is mired in upheavals. Similarly, the attack on Muslim Bagh in Balochistan on a Frontier Corps’ camp by terrorists, killing six service personnel, simply underlines that terror fissures are afloat, and are in need of being identified and taken out.

In the year 2022, at least 103 terror incidents were reported in which more than 150 civilians and two dozen security forces lost their lives. The pattern is very much alive in the last five months and, coupled with persisting political instability, is graduating into impulsive reactions. The countrymen deserve instant peace measures, and a sense of relief from terror and socio-political instability. That can only come with collective measures, and a higher level of vigil. Time to get real and look around with a sense of oneness.

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