Would you be surprised if I say that Pakistan is one of the countries in the Commonwealth? Okay- put it this way, how many of you are aware of this? Yes! Not many, as I suspected.
Well… even if you knew about the fact mentioned above; my line of argument is that why are we walking all over Pakistan? I shall tell you of a heartbreaking incident: the horrible attack on Peshawar’s APS (Army Pubic School), on the 14th of December, 2014. You might not believe me but the truth is that the death rate hit 141. Who was affected? Innocent children; who did not even understand the meaning of terrorism. The limits of brutality were reached when the terrorists burnt the teacher alive who was trying hard to save the naïve children. This tore us (Pakistanis’) hearts apart. Yes. Only Pakistanis’ hearts because very few people knew about this in other countries. Why? Because international media could only be bothered to show it only for a day on the TV, unlike the Paris attack.
So, let us come to the point. I realised that I just cannot always blame the media. It is most of the times our schools too, who should be blamed!
When I heard this news in the morning on (obviously) Pakistani news channel first. It ripped my heart apart.
When I got tired of the dull tears in my normally lively yet now dead eyes, and the fact I could not do anything about it, and not let western people know about it (because most of them claim Pakistan as a terrorist nation, but in fact it’s the heartless terrorists who don’t let them live) haunted me. So I made my way to the person who I thought could do something about it (in our school).
Disappointment! We cannot do that. We cannot do a one minute silence for the loss of 141 kids and 141 families. It was only ONE minute. ONLY ONE MINUTE! It’s not as if that ONE minute was going to take one HOUR. See- that one minute’s silence wasn’t going to bring back those martyrs. It was just to show that we had sympathy for them, which I now doubt that we hadn’t.
It made me think that we didn’t care about them. We hadn’t accepted them in some way, and that’s why their loss was not counted as our loss. When you are emotionally attached to someone, when you have an emotional relationship with someone, only then can a person understand this kind of pain, and this is why a brother of a sister came out safely from behind increasingly stuttering rapid crackling (APS attack), but then-- he realised that--- he’d left his sister behind. This relationship with his sister, just a statistic to us, forced him to go back to fetch her. Sadly, he himself NEVER came back out. On the one hand he lost his life for his sister, however on the other hand we couldn’t even take a moment just to stand there, holding our hands, and looking down.
Nothing was done for that. The love of Islam and the grief of the APS attack spurred me to do something again but it didn’t work either. All I asked for was just FIFTEEN minutes, to gather pupils in the assembly hall, and present a presentation, to let western people know about “actual” Islam and the cowardly attack on APS, but again, the request was rejected!
“We’ll let you do it in June (in a debate) when all other pupils are debating on religions”. I was told that in December, 2014, and here I am writing about this in 2016. It didn’t happen, maybe because it was about Pakistan.
It is not that I forgot about it. It is just that I cannot handle pleading with them to show their OWN sympathies for APS anymore.
The attack on Paris (which I am sure we all know about) in 2015 again shocked everyone; the whole world. Asians’ hearts got ripped apart about this because they know how it feels when a beloved one is lost in such a vicious way. Unsurprisingly, western people were almost crying over it. Their Facebook DPs were changed to a “France flag”. It made me think that they didn’t do it for humanity’s sake. They only did it because France is a well-known country because if it was about common humanity, they would have done that for Pakistan as well, because humans live there too!
One minute’s silence was observed. I stood there, for a minute, looking absolutely stunned! I forgot that why was I standing there, as a shower of thoughts on ASPS and the rejection of a minute’s silence crossed my mind. Oh Allah! How sorry and totally embarrassed I was; to my country, to MY Pakistan, for letting people degrade it, for allowing them not to take Pakistan seriously.
Why is that? Why is so much prominence given to one country and to another, not even a minute of sympathies? We care about India. We make trips to India, but for Muslim countries…? Forget about the trips; just think about a minute of silence at the moment, we can’t even do that. What a shame!
In 2016, on the 20th of January, again a ruthless attack occurred at Bacha Khan University where students were killed viciously, and a professor was killed while backfiring at them, for his own and his students’ defence. Almost nobody knew about it and when I answered my friends about why I was upset, they said “Oh…” That was all! Firstly, they didn’t even know about it. Secondly, they did not really show concern. It was clear from their act that “it’s not a big deal”. How painful is that? Only I know…
Although I was running away from this, I did not want to blame the school for it, but these are the solid proofs that schools can also be held responsible. Many people hate Muslims because they don’t know the reality. Pakistan is in top 10 countries that are under terrorists attack; still they look at Pakistanis with hatred in their eyes because even our schools are letting Pakistan and countries like Pakistan suffer. They don’t take a moment to talk about Pakistan. Maybe they don’t want pupils to know about what happens out of the UK, Europe, and America. Or maybe they just watch the news too much, and learn from news channels how to avoid eastern countries.
Once, two people were walking behind me in school and said: “ALLAH O AKBAR! Bomb Blast.” You would only understand the pain, if you were there, standing where I was standing that day. I complained. Nobody took action against it. I was told to ignore them. How could I…? Anyhow! I stayed quiet because nothing is ever going to be changed. It seems to me that western countries will continue to receive prominence and eastern countries will be doomed because of this injustice.
Passing through the school corridors, I see “6 million victims of holocaust” on the windows. Yes. That is unbearable. Agreed! Now let me tell you, if you start counting the victims (victims of terrorism) in Pakistan, you will run out of the numbers. My only question is that why cannot these kinds of incidents from Pakistan, or any other Muslim country, be mentioned for longer? International media- trust me! That will get you good ratings too…
They did not let me explain the worth of Pakistanis/Islam nor did they take any action on what happened to me that day. That was the day when I took an oath; in the presence of my God that I will bring change. I will take a stand for our rights. I will bring Pakistan to people’s consciousness. I will make Pakistan a proud country and I. Have. Started. Working. On. It.
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