I do not, cannot and will not accept terrorism!

Published: April 29, 2013
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Please never forget that our families and the peace of our country are still on the line here. Our enemy hasn’t given up yet. Why should we? PHOTO: REUTERS

They say there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and lastly, acceptance. We witnessed, experienced and survived all five of these stages each time we gathered our courage to dig up mass graves for promising young individuals, devoted fathers, caring mothers and innocent children.

Denial

We’ve grieved at our loss as a nation, regardless of our belief. We’ve sat in our homes watching the news, denying that we live amongst people who’d do such things — who’d kill people with such brutality.

We fail to accept the loss of our loved ones, the loss of hundreds of promising, capable, talented individuals who’ve been helping and would have continued to help our country grow – who would have helped it survive.

We’ve spent hours and even days in denial; denial of the cruelty and violence that we’ve witnessed in these last few months.

Anger

We felt the anger run through our veins; rage that made us feel helpless and broken. We calmed our anger by organising countrywide protests, and spent days and nights out in the open trying to get justice for those who could no longer speak for themselves.

Bargain

We’ve bargained.

We’ve thought of all the ‘if-onlys’,

“If only our army had control,”

“If only the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) was actually banned in our country,”

“If only they didn’t target homes,”

“If only they’d have exempted women and children,”

“If only we had a better government,”

“If only we had better security measures,”

Hundreds of other ‘only-ifs’ exist.

Depression

We’ve faced depression, haven’t we?

We’ve been depressed as a nation for weeks as we saw families accompanying the dead bodies of their loved ones for days, in bone-chilling winter rain, shielding the bodies beside them, cherishing their memories as they fought for their lost loved ones. We’ve been depressed after looking at the wreckage of the Abbas Town blast, the blasts at election offices, the death of young children and more depressed after listening to heart wrenching stories of their families.

I think it wouldn’t be wrong if I said we are still depressed at the state of affairs in our country.

Acceptance

In this stage of grieving, you learn to accept and deal with reality of the situation, you find a way to look forward.

But I, for one, refuse to accept!

I didn’t lose anybody from my family in these incidents; they were not my relatives or friends. But I know for sure that they could have been; I know for sure that they could be next.

So how can I accept to spend my days in total ignorance while I know for a fact that the next phone call I receive could be the one that tells me that my brother or my dad have been shot?

How do I accept that I’m not even safe in the sanctuary of my home anymore because now homes are their targets too?

Nevertheless, I accept. I accept the reality of what is happening around me. I accept that our government has failed us. I accept that minorities are no longer safe in this country and I accept that we are at war; I accept that we are the victims, the targets.

However, I do not accept ignorance. I do not accept forgetting those who lost their lives for being Shia, Christian or Ahmadi. I do not accept getting used to the concept of sectarian violence. I do not accept the murder of young children. I do not accept the daily threat to our lives. I do not accept terrorists, bomb blasts and blood of the weak spread across the walls of my nation. I do not accept to see hundreds of families being destroyed, hundreds of women being widowed and hundreds of children being orphaned. I do not accept.

Would you have accepted the injustice had your family lost someone? Are you waiting for it to happen?

I’m sure, just like me, you’re not.

Let’s not forget that the war is still on, terrorists are still active. They are still brutally killing people in Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar – ordinary people like you and me. Residents of Lahore are still receiving death threats.

What scares me is the fact that we, as a nation, are starting to accept –starting to accept victimhood, loss, mass graves and target killings because we’ve seen so many of them. Please never forget that our families and the peace of our country are still on the line here. Our enemy hasn’t given up yet.

Why should we?

Fight for what’s left. Don’t give up. Don’t get used to seeing the mass graves or very soon these graves will be the only thing you see in this country. Do not accept, because all is not lost, because this, for us as a nation, is unacceptable.

Fight!

Fizza Ali Syed

Fizza Ali Syed

A textile designer and a teacher on a quest to untangle the threads of life.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.