This was not revenge, this was murder without mercy

Published: December 18, 2014

The day was filled with sadness, anger and reflection for me, as I am sure it was for many of my fellow Pakistanis and human beings around the world. PHOTO: AFP

From today, we can no longer be divided into groups and raise slogans for politicians. Today, we need to join hands and stand together as Pakistanis for the future of this nation.

The ‪‎Peshawar attack is another brutal example of the heinous criminals that infest our nation. As the death count rises, we are counting the bodies of dead children. Dead children, for God’s sake.

There is no excuse for this brutality. There is no excuse for this infamy. There is no excuse for anyone to even consider fighting for anything other than the Pakistan that 132 families sacrificed their future generations for today in the attack on a school. They have given a sacrifice that should never have been asked for. Now, we must honour their sacrifice and eliminate the organisers, attackers, supporters and their financiers from our soil.

We must take this as a declaration of war by the terrorists on ‪‎Pakistan. They have launched a cowardly attack on our children; we must return it with the brutal force that our military possesses. We must deliver from the air and the ground, until the mountains of the tribal areas flow with the blood of the terrorists. We must avenge these deaths without restraint and without mercy.

This is not a time for questioning. This is not a time for consideration. This is a time for action, fierce military action, no matter if it means crossing the border into Afghanistan to take out the hideouts and safe havens within that country.

We can no longer be just Pakistani. We can no longer be just Muslims. We can no longer stand with politicians until this problem is removed from our soil. We must transform. We must rise. We must fight against the cancer that has invaded our land and taken our loved ones.

We must avenge the deaths of the 148 souls that were lost two days ago, just for going to school.

We must rise… better, stronger.

It was 5am here in Karachi and the day was filled with sadness, anger and reflection for me, as I am sure it was for many of my fellow Pakistanis and human beings around the world.

Throughout the day, there were lulls when we Pakistanis were alone with our families and ourselves, in a time of quiet reflection, as the television continued to flash the gruesome images of the carnage that happened in Peshawar at ‪the ‎Army Public School (APS). Dead children scattered around school grounds, in classrooms and cafeterias, like they were waste to be thrown away.

No, they were not waste.

They were lives of future generations that were lost because people can’t get beyond themselves to fight what is staring us in the face.

There are many who are taking great joy in pointing out on various international newspaper websites, that ‪‎Islam is to be blamed for this violence, forgetting that hundreds of thousands of ‪Muslims have condemned these actions since 9/11. No, they haven’t forgotten. They choose to be wilfully blind to our statements. We can never condemn it enough for them to listen or understand.

No, they are blind to the carnage in whatever form, they are deaf to the cries of families mourning the loss of their loved ones and they are dumb in every sense of the word.

There are many who are taking great joy in the carnage that was carried out because they call it “revenge” for the North Waziristan military campaign. They are pretenders of Islam, not real Muslims in any shape or form. But our condemnation of them falls on deaf ears as they are the same breed as those taking joy in relating Islam to terrorism.

Both of these groups share a similar position that is significantly different from where a human being would stand. Murder in any form is murder. You can cloak it in any language, wrap it in any faith and present it however you wish – it is still murder. These groups have a shared misunderstanding that Islam is a religion of war, hate and violence. Both do everything they possibly can to make sure that everyone else hears them above all else. They are more important than the dead children’s bodies. They are more important than the families that mourn. They are more important than humanity. They are more important.

And then there are those who are broken in their hearts, minds and souls trying to understand what these poor children did to deserve this brutality. They were not part of any war. They were not carrying weapons. No, the only uniform they wore was one issued by their school and the only weapon they carried were the textbooks that would guide them out of darkness and into light.

But let’s be honest with ourselves. The attack was not revenge for the North Waziristan military operation. No, this was a continuation of the carnage that Pakistanis have lived with since 2005. The carnage that has taken 70,000 innocent Pakistani souls from their families, their friends and their country’s future. They were not wearing uniforms. They were not carrying weapons. No, they were innocents just like the children that were murdered in Peshawar.

They were not fighters. They were not warriors. They were not enemies of anyone. And today, you are celebrating their death with your statements. You are dancing on their fresh graves, washed in the tears of their families, because you are more important than these 132 innocent souls that are gone.

So please go back to professing your hate. Go back to spreading your lies. Go back pontificating on things you have no understanding of. Go back to your self-contained world where only you matter.

The rest of us, those who still cling to humanity, we are calling it murder because anything else would just be inhuman.

Khalid Muhammad

Khalid Muhammad

A recently published novelist and political strategist. He tweets as @AgencyRulesPK (

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

  • Critical

    Revenge,yeah…So convenient!!!

    The other day I was on a comment war with a online muslim…He was talking about how Indian muslims actions were justified because of Babri Masjid demolition and Gujarat riots…Which then led me to think that muslims always give a reason for their actions…

    2 Muslims killed a Brit soldier as revenge for Afghan war…Taliban always points out USA invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq as an excuse…Also,everyone points out Israeli-Palestine war for their actions…

    Poor Indian muslims only have 2 incidents to point to..

    Why muslims alone continue to grow up with vengeance…

    USA destroyed 2 Japanese cities to nuclear dust,never heard of any Japanese militants taking revenge for that…

    Never heard of any Jewish group taking revenge on Germany for supporting Nazis

    Never heard of any Hindu group using the destruction of a Hindu temple in Pakistan to riot against Muslims in India

    Never heard of any Buddhist group attacking muslims after the destruction of Bamiyan Buddha statues.(dont bring rohingya,thats a different issue)

    No Vietnamese decide to bomb himself in a USA embassy or USA soil even after his brothers and sisters were napalmed

    This just proves that muslims are looking for blood and they just need a reason to justify them…It could be the destruction of a mosque 20 years ago or just anything… This is the reason European born muslims who had the luxury of being in a tolerant society still had plans to bomb their birth country for their actions against another muslim country they dont have any relations to…

    ET Mods…I know this is a bit controversial but I just want to express my opinion…Recommend

  • MHZ

    Not only we have failed as a state and as a nation but we have also proved in the aftermath of such an incident about our sensitivity towards our future – None.
    Parties such as JI and PTI have always been the supporters of TTP and worse is the fact that our media keeps inviting and listening to the ramblings of a mad religious clergyman Abdul Aziz!Recommend

  • siesmann

    Army action is the need of the hour.But it won’t stem the tide of terrorism alone.There is a fundamental flaw in the society that has been egged on by the clerics.Not only is hatred and intolerance preached from the minbar,mullah has entered every facet of society.Textbooks are preaching their ideology,history is twisted according to their whims,politics is under their control.Draconian laws have been enacted at their suggestion.Burka-mullah Abdul-Aziz even refused to condemn the Peshawar massacre of children. Unless this underlying menace in the society is removed,terrorism won’t go away whatever army might do.Recommend

  • L.

    Blood for blood, limb for limb. Inshallah. May Allah allow the army chief to make wise decisions and keep our soldiers safe in this fight. This attack only depicts the fact that zarb e azab is at work and we should not stop for anything or anyone. Finish them off, I want to visit the mountains and valleys of my beautiful country <3Recommend

  • L.

    @author: excellent writing. Especially the last few paras. Could not have put it any better!! Recommend

  • Xman

    Can we make this day a part of our history books, so that we remember the price our children paid for complacency and inaction against terrorism, discrimination based on religion. and hate speech? We can’t only rely on government to take care of everything. Time has come now for the silent majority of Pakistan to stand up, speak up and crush the menace of extremism and violence and those who spread it. We can’t let these monsters spread intolerance while the rest keep quiet as sitting ducks! Let’s check their spread, without fear, and and say NO to their propaganda and collectively act wherever we find them working on their sinister plans, in our streets, mosques, media, and madrases.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Nicely worded……..Until and unless political parties like the PML-N stop patronizing religious extremist groups and JI and JUI-F stop tacitly supporting extremistss and the government / military / judiciary stop the policy of self serving expediency towards these elements……..NOTHING WILL CHANGE ……IT WILL ONLY GET WORSE.Recommend

  • Gul Bahadur Marri

    There are many many supporters of TTP and other extremist groups.
    They are interwoven in every fabric of Pakistani culture. From the
    highest bureaucrats to even in the Armed Forces. Everyone knows
    who they are. In the past we had “leaders” who wanted to negotiate
    with the killers of 67,000 men women and children. 217,000 maimed
    and injured, some for life. We have leaders who wanted an “office”
    for the TTP in Islamabad. Now they are sanctimoniously hustling back
    and forth crafting policies, assigning committees. Holding.another APC.
    We have leaders who said even a dog is a shaheed than a soldier killed.
    Anybody remember the teenager who prevented a bomber from
    entering his school? Or the 23 year old recently graduated female lawyer
    who was blown away in the Islamabad Court Bombing? Anybody even
    remember her name? The 15 year old’s name was Aitezaz, the lawyer’s name……see you don’t even remember her.Recommend

  • Arif Jamal

    Nice article. We also need to hate the burqa mullah (i.e. Aziz of lal mosque) with equal intensity. People like these are snakes in our backyard. Hats off and salams to the civil society for taking action against this disgraced human being called maulana Aziz.Recommend