I do not, cannot and will not accept terrorism!

Published: April 29, 2013

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

  • Imad Uddin

    _U r totally right. Ur writing ha the true feeling of a Pakisani. Last stage of acceptance is most horrible. We feel numb,after having too much stress, not wanting to see or hear any such news- coz v think v cant do nything. This makes us to an extent, indifferent.Recommend

  • http://gujrat RAW is WAR

    Beeeti, we are talking of religion here.Recommend

  • GhostRider

    Brilliant write up…accepting the injustice is the worst crime a nation can commit and sadly we have resorted to committing this crime every day and every moment of our lives. Shame on us!!Recommend

  • http://faraztalat.blogspot.com Faraz Talat

    As a nation, we’re still stuck in denial.

    Still debating whether this war is ours or America’s. So far ‘only‘ 30,000+ of our people have been slaughtered by these terrorists. Maybe we need 30-40 thousand more to die before we decide that we’re officially part of this war.

    Meanwhile, I’m stuck at “depression”, and will probably stay here for a whileRecommend

  • Ali

    Excellent Piece Of writing . . . Real Situation write up and portrays true feeling of common mindful ppl Recommend

  • Burhan

    An Excellent and Wonderful piece of writing !Recommend

  • Stranger

    So what do u think is the solution ?Recommend

  • choclat85

    Fizza Ali you wrote a brilliant piece here. I commend you for writing this.Recommend

  • 80s

    I agree with the author! But what is a definition of “terrorist” or who do we consider “taliban”? I believe it to be not just an organization but a mind-set. Unfortunately, mind-set appreciated and possessed by many in our society. A true example was the appreciation shown for a murderer of Governor of Punjab. I witnessed it with my own eyes when well-educated individuals showered petals on the murderer. The only difference between a person who chooses to act on his thought and a local cleric shouting out hatred or who justify violence, is a pair in his pants. Yes I do not accept, but we need to understand that we are not just fighting a recognized organization, like LeJ, but we are fighting a deep rooted mind-set and the only chance we have is to educate them.Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo

    You are a brave girl and on the right lines . May your tribe grow and bloom ,we need more like you .Recommend

  • Mehdi

    shutdown all the madrasahs that preach radical Islamic concept. Jail the ulema for life for supporting terrorism without any possibility of parole. secularize the military and education institution.Recommend

  • Smile

    The terrorists havent asked you whether you accept or notRecommend

  • Another Pakistani

    Excellent. We will NEVER give up!Recommend

  • Parvez

    Now that was a stirring, powerful piece of writing.
    I just wish to point out one small fact that in my opinion is extremely important. You write that we have accepted that our government has failed us………….. in my view our governments have betrayed us.

  • Iyaz Ali

    A terrorist and a freedom fighter are 2 sides of a coin. Do u feel the pain we Indians felt when we were being killed by terrorist in various parts of India who were sent from Pakistan and u guys called them freedom fighters.Recommend

  • American

    Were you sleeping for last 35 years while Pakistan based terrorists indulged in mayhem in Afghanistan and Kashmir ? If you had protested and fought at that time, Pakistan would not be in this situation today. Better late than never ! Recommend

  • PakArmySoldier

    Doesn’t matter if YOU reject or accept terrorism until the rest of the country feels the same way. Terrorism is a mindset.Recommend

  • The Rebel

    Wow. Hats off to the author for writing this. One of the best articles I’ve read in a long time. Portraying the true feelings of almost every sane Pakistani.

    @80s : You’ve hit the nail on it’s head. It’s not only the terrorists we should fight, but this orthodox religious mindset that’s eating away at our society like a plague. I hope the people of this nation wake up and realize that it’s not a ‘foreign hand’ that’s destroying this country…rather we ourselves are. And for the sake of this country, the sooner they do the better.Recommend

  • http://tribune.com p r sharma

    i am sorry to say that your’s is a wish list and wishes do not materialize unless sincere efforts are made in the right direction.

    Author is right to refuse to accept the tyranny ( as their destiny)and wants to fight the murderers/extremists .. But it is the ideology which is to be protested and the time available is short..

  • Muhammad Tufail

    Dear Fiza

    Outstanding literary piece. plz also write down regarding moral degeneration of our youth as especially our educational Institutes have become the center of brothels not center of education.Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @p r sharma:
    sir, I just provided the solution. I am keenly aware that this wish list will never be implemented. This would require a huge undertaking by Pakistanis. FYI I am not a pakistani. I am also a observer like you.Recommend

  • AK

    Agreed, brilliantly written, we all refuse to accept It, we can’t and we never will. God bless PakistanRecommend

  • Milestogo

    If we follow true Islam, things will get better.Recommend

  • Mehdi


    So how many do you anticipate in Pakistan to follow true Islam in the near future. Recommend

  • American

    @Milestogo and @Mehdi

    It’s like saying that the world would be a better place if only every one is honest and selfless.

    It never was, and it will never be.

    Pakistanis are living in a fool’s paradise and looking more foolish by the day….Recommend

  • Mehdi

    agree with your view points. this is also part of denial process, if people were tolerant intolerance would vanish. Simpleton minds think this way. Critical introspect and bring about changes.Recommend

  • zahra

    Proud of you. I am so glad you wrote this. We will never accept. And trust me we out number the terrorists.Recommend

  • Raj Kafir

    @Mehdi: Sir I am your fan. You are always objective. Persons like yourself and Hassan Nisar are capable of giving positive direction to Pakistan.Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Raj Kafir:

    I am not a pakistani. thanks for your kind wishes. I do respect Hasan Nisar, only a handful of pakistani that I actually respect along with Pervez Hoodbhoy when it comes to political discourse.Recommend

  • Deb; India


    I am following your posts on different pages of ET and all I can say is Respect.
    Wish there were more sane voices like yours in this sub continent in general, but being an Indian I wish you were an Indian. All of us need to seek the truth and say it as it is. Recommend

  • Abbas Raza

    100% agreed very goood keep it upRecommend

  • Laila Changezi

    You represent the women/ladies of today! We are growing in numbers and please continue the good work. I salute you! A overseas Pakistani. Recommend

  • get forward

    terrorism in your country is backlash of policy of ur govt.Recommend