The long war – Personal Political column in Hardnews

Oct 22, 2009: Slightly amended version of my column for Hardnews, November 2009 issue


Beena Sarwar

My 13-year old daughter and her friends were thrilled when the government announced a nation-wide closure of schools for the rest of the week. Their joy dimmed when they learned why: suicide bombers at Islamabad’s co-ed Islamic University had killed several students. Amidst fears that more educational institutes would be targeted, armed forces-run schools were already closed.

Pakistan is at war. The entire country is the battleground. The series of bomb blasts gained momentum as expected, in the run-up to Oct 17 when the army launched its ground offensive in South Waziristan.  During the first two weeks of October, militant attacks killed over 150 people, including some 40 on a deadly Thursday in Lahore, Kohat and Peshawar.

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