Peshawar Church Attack

We have become a country where identity – be it religion, ethnicity or gender – can be the difference between being allowed to live and having a permanent death sentence hanging over you.

Christians are slayed while they pray, Shias are dragged out of buses and killed over belief and women are murdered, raped and humiliated because of traditional forms of ‘honour’. The Christians – as patriotic and as Pakistani as any of us – have hardly ever been involved in controversies and have generally chosen to keep a relatively low profile, speaking out only peacefully about the ceaseless social, economic and religious discrimination in their face. Yet, they suffered the same faith as does all other minorities and weak sections of our society.

Over 200 innocent people worshipping, as is their right under the Constitution, have had their lives ruined by bigots and murderers. And some of our politicians believe we should be talking to these people?

We can’t simply be told that these talks will miraculously resolve everything.  How can we talk of peace when we are seeing no response from the other side? We blame one group or another, conducting these attacks to sabotage the elusive talks – including the so called ‘foreign hand.’  The absolute last thing we need right now is the usual fit of conspiracy theories.

Talking with the Taliban is fruitless. The government should now order the army to take the gloves off and use whatever legal means practicable to eradicate the bigoted barbarians who threaten the very existence of the country. The attack on Peshawar Church was an attack on everyone who refuses to accept obscurantist agendas. We have remained silent for far too long and silence now will have blood on its hands.

23:15 hours
24 September 2013

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