Height of Barbarity by Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam (December 17, 2014)

The gruesome murder of 142 students in a school of Peshawar by Pakistani militants, reportedly Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, is a reprehensible act of barbarity. Those innocent children were nobody’s enemies. The indiscriminate firing and grenade attack left many more wounded, some crippled for life.

We condemn the attack and sympathise with the victims and their families. We also assert that terrorists are nobody’s friend and all kinds of terrorism anywhere on earth–private as well as state are reprehensible, equally and unequivocally. Pakistan has virtually become an ungovernable country because of rampant terrorism.

Pakistan has become a danger not only to itself, but to its neighbours as well. Only a few weeks ago, Pakistani terrorists attacked the border post at Wagha, killing a number of people on the Pakistani side of the border, barely a few metres away from the Indian personnel and citizens. They threatened to attack on India side the next time.

Such people have the potential to ignite a destructive war between India and Pakistan if they manage to stage a huge attack on the Indian side. Both sides being nuclear-armed, such a conflict could endanger the security of entire South Asia. We are living in dangerous times, in a dangerous neighbourhood.

Constantly unstable situation in Pakistan since Partition has rendered it vulnerable to dangerous ideologies. Such persistent instability led to a civil war that divided the country in two parts and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. Such fissiparous tendencies are again active in Pakistan. The country’s integrity is again at risk in Sindh and Balochistan.

To the credit of the Prime Minister, Mr. Narender Modi, goes India’s initiative of observing two minutes of silence today (December 17) in schools all over the country in the memory of the slain children. This rightly sends a signal to Pakistan that we (India and Pakistan) have a common past and there is no reason why we cannot have a common future. Even as two countries, we can be one people.

The latest massacre in Pakistan shows that all countries today have a common mission to stop terrorism together, whatever garb it comes in. This also gives us the impetus to increase Indo-Pak cooperation in all fields, including military and security cooperation, besides economic and technological cooperation.

Great pacts and understanding between countries once hostile to each other have emerged over years of hard works by the two sides. Let India and Pakistan begin work on a common, peaceful and prosperous South Asian future.


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