Iss parcham ke saaye talay
It’s been more than a decade since I have felt safe in my own country. Through times, I have experienced phases that this country has seen, but never have I seen such a demanding situation that seemed never ending. But now, finally, there seems a light at the end of this tunnel – maybe children will be able to play on the streets again… like I used to. Now, finally, we are taking the war to the enemy.
I remember the day Lal Masjid was attacked. There were many discussions on various forums about whether the government was right in taking action or whether we were killing our own people. That was when I realised that we, as a nation, were lost. The feeling of disparity, of losing our own, has affected us deeply, yes, but the disparity of not knowing whether what had happened through the years is right or wrong is something that would be embedded in our collective conscience for many generations.
Back in the day, an operation was a very contentious topic – people used to question the basic grounds on which the war on terror was being orchestrated, and whether Muslims killing Muslims made any sense. The most important question was,
“Is this really our war or are we hired mercenaries?”
There is no easy way to answer these questions and there may be many schools of thoughts and debates on such issues, but as a Pakistani citizen who has survived two suicide bomb attacks, I can say one thing for sure: this might not have been our war when we began fighting it, but with time this has become our war.
There was a time these terrorists were targeting schools and universities, and my university was on the hit list. For many months, I would to wake up every day and take a good long look at my mother’s face before leaving for university, because, everyday, there was a slight chance that I wasn’t going to come back home. If you are wondering how that feels, believe me when I say this, it is the worst feeling one could ever experience.
I know there are still people who are against operation Zarb-e-Azb. I would like to remind them that we have lost some really good people during this war, people who believed in Pakistan. We have shouldered a lot of coffins. And during this entirety of this operation, we might lose many more, but as of now, while I write this blog, there are parts of us, our fathers, brothers and sons out there, making their way through every hill, every cave, every street and every house to cleanse the threat that has infected our country for more than a decade.
They will leave no stone unturned until they eliminate every last threat to this country. They are awake so that we can sleep. My prayers are with them and my tears are with their families.
I understand the agony, the loss… my own cousin took part in the Swat operation. For any family whose relative is in the army, under such circumstances, each tick on the clock seems like a lifetime and each ring on the phone is a blow to the heart.
An army officer once told me not to cry over the death of a soldier; he said it was a sin to do so. According to him, a soldier is born to lay his life down on the line of duty for his country; a soldier dies with dignity, honour and valour. Crying on the death of soldier means we regret their sacrifice.
In the end, it comes down to two kinds of people – those who believe in this country and those who have given up hope. I salute these brothers, sons and fathers who are fighting for our hope. May God be with them and may we see a new tomorrow where we don’t have to live in anguish and sorrow.
Pakistan’s flag will soar high in the sky once again because,
Iss parcham ke saaye talay hum aik hain
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.