Screenshot from Hamid Mir’s Capital Talk, Geo TV, Jan 20, 2016
I wrote this piece on Jan 20, 2016 on the barbaric attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda. Published in Scroll.in on Jan 22, 2016.
As Pakistanis look for solutions, a consensus is emerging that people killed in such attacks should not be called ‘martyrs’ or ‘heroes’.
By Beena Sarwar
There is now a numbing familiarity to the kind of news that broke on Wednesday morning from Pakistan.
This time, heavily armed militants in suicide vests scaled the walls of a sprawling university campus near Charsadda, a picturesque town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as North West Frontier) province near the Afghan border. Gunfire and explosions starting at about 9 am resounded through the dense fog enveloping Bacha Khan University, set idyllically amidst sugar cane fields some 13 km from Charsadda.
The four assailants killed at least 19 students and teachers before themselves being killed by the police and army in a three-hour long gun-battle.
The casualty rate was far lower than the attack on the Army Public School in nearby Peshawar just over a year ago on Dec 16, 2014 in which militants killed some 150 school children and teachers.
The relatively low casualties, pointed out Senator Rubina Khalid of the Pakistan People’s Party, is not a basis for self-congratulation.
Filed under: Terrorism, Violence in the name of religion | Tagged: Bacha Khan University, charsadda, Ghaffar Khan, Media, Pakistan | Leave a comment »