Killing children does not make anybody brave; so those were coward terrorists who did the gruesome mass murders at the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16. Their argument of tit for tat act against the backdrop of air strikes by Pakistan military in the region of Pak-Afghan border that killed many of their females and children does not make any sense. No child can be tagged as an instrument of war. The life of no child can be wasted in the nonsensical power play that the savage elders pursue in the name of sect or affiliation.

The word Taliban means student in Pashto. But these lunatic butchers carrying such name slayed the innocent students and their teachers to prove their insane point. A killing machine cannot defeat the spirit of freedom or passion of learning. Killers cannot scare the students, how tender their age may be, even if those barbarous men mask themselves with a homonym. They can never claim to represent any faith. They can never stand by their cause, if any.

Peshawar’s children are quite close to my heart. Two of them of pre-independence period ruled a billion hearts for their exalted cinematic histrionics. Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar lived their innocent years under British rule in this mountain-hemmed region. But the ghastly incident at a school under sovereign rule bespeaks tragedy at such a scale that my unconscious memory has now been deluged by the screech of boys and girls.

Religion never teaches violence. Ignorance never stops anybody making mistake let alone the blind followers of a scheme or outlook. But then a caveat; the mistake must not adopt violence as its expression. I offer my deepest condolences and sincere prayers for these children and their teachers. The carnage will continue to be mourned across the globe in the foreseeable future, and their memory will undeniably inspire the world to evade the total collapse of humanity amongst us.

The government of Pakistan perhaps will take a note of this; and will depart from the path of terrorism to achieve narrow political goals – at least they are neither ignorant nor irreligious. It should also not go in the same way aftermath Belsan School Siege in September 2004, concentrating more power in the President of Russia, and we now see the consequences.


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