Children died in Karachi today

Published: September 19, 2011

A man mourns the death of a relative after a car bomb blast in Karachi on September 19, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS

Today’s bomb blast at SSP CID Chaudary Aslam’s house was a rude awakening. Suicide bomb blasts are common place in Karachi now and have made us all dangerously thick-skinned. 

In the aftermath of such news, I for one am usually thankful that I don’t live near the area under attack and am glad to see my family safe, but beyond the immediate effect it has on my life, I am completely undeterred from and do not let it affect my day’s activities.

This is to some extent a necessary approach to take, for if we were to let such attacks on our city hinder us from our day to day activities, then the city would suffer great economic loss. However, this approach has made us cold and unfeeling to the loss of life suffered in these attacks.

Today, for the first time, I felt truly afraid. For a hardened Karachite like me, to feel something is quite an accomplishment.

I was sleeping at the time of the blast and due to my house’s proximity to the affected area, the windows right above my bed rattled uncontrollably. I ran outside my room and saw my mother who was under the impression that it was an earthquake. I immediately quelled her fear of an earthquake and informed her that this was certainly a bomb blast.

We turned on the TV and waited with baited breath, as Pakistani media had not yet caught on to what is undoubtedly going to be their cover story for the rest of the day. Finally, when the network informed us that the blast was at the SSP’s house, I realized that it was right next to my youngest brother’s school. Thankfully my family’s lateness had finally proven useful. He had not yet left for school. I was obviously deeply grateful that we were all safe but still the proximity of the blast left me unnerved.

I was glued to the TV, and the news, in their attempt to sensationalize everything, no matter how coarse and unsettling for the viewers the images may be, took their camera to Jinnah Hospital’s morgue. There they showed a shot of child who had been murdered in the blast. I will never forget that image; it was truly horrific. They spared us by not revealing the child’s face but showed his body. He was a thin little child not more than 6 or 7-years-old with these adorable blue sneakers. He was still wearing one of his sneakers but the other was missing and I could see his grey socks. All I could think at my moment was of my own young brother and how he too wore grey socks to school. As irresponsible as news reporting is, I am grateful for that image because it has finally made me feel something.

The Taliban are aggrieved by the government, I don’t want to sit here and discuss their agenda or perverse reasoning. I write this as an open letter to them to plead that they develop some humanity and to stop these attacks on innocent children. They were clearly aware that a blast outside the SSP’s house would affect the school going children of the area and conducted the attack to maximize casualties, as 7:30 am is usually the time that most children are on their way to school. Last week there was an attack on a school bus full of children in Peshawar.

Before I was leaving for work my brother turned to me and asked me ever so innocently:

“Why didn’t the Taliban just shoot the guy instead of bombing his house, so close to the school where all my friends and teachers go everyday?”

I wish to ask the Taliban the same question; why are you killing the innocent?


Zara Tariq

A lawyer based in Karachi who graduated from SOAS.

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

  • Shehryar Khan

    A message to the writer, do you even god damn know who the Talibans are? These killers you see are CIA RAW MOSSAD funded bombers, not your every day Dumb Blonde Perspective “Terrorists”. Come live amongst the Pushtoons and discover who Talibans really up. Articles like this make me sick of people who live in Karachi and talk of Talibans. What a joke.Recommend

  • Fatima

    Very touching analysis Zara. Its true that when it happens this close to home and our loved ones, even the most thick skinned of us start taking effect. Its inhumane of the perpetrators to carry out attacks where they know innocent women and children might be harmed. No where is safe anymore. We cant do everyday things like send our children to school or go to work without fearing for our lives.

    God help our country.Recommend

  • Kinzah

    Ive had a similar terrible experience….my youngest brother studied in a school where a bus exploded right outside a few months back…It was the single horrifying moment…Today our brothers live but somebody’s child is no more and dear life cut short because some sinner thinks its his divine right to rid us of evil…where are we safe?Recommend

  • 007

    Talibans are nothing but hired assassins by international groups that want to disintegrate PakistanRecommend

  • Faraz U.I

    I have come to a point in my life where I dont even want to call myself a Muslim – for those who claim that USA/India needs to be blamed for all of this, please wake up and accept the truth….Recommend

  • sars

    Taliban or no taliban ANYBODY trying to bomb public and private places, ending up killing innocent civillians deserves the worst sort of punishment, in this life and definitely the hereafterRecommend

  • fus

    @Shehryar Khan, keep your head in the ground like Ostrich. Keep on blaming others, they may be hired by anyone, but the person actually doing it is most likely a Muslim and Pakistani. Recommend

  • Irfan Memon

    I will ask only two questions from author
    1. Is this or any one bomb blast in karachi is proved yet that it was by the taliban ?
    2. what do u think that what really the talibans are?Recommend

  • Taha Kehar

    An interesting perspective on the collateral damage generated by today’s events. Perhaps you could have addressed the fact that a mother and child also lost their lives because they coincidentally happened to be in the line of fire.Recommend

  • MK

    the TTP have claimed responsibilty for the attack. hence we can blame the Taliban.Recommend

  • yousufn

    @Shehryar Khan: “CIA RAW MOSSAD funded bombers” The Illuminati called and they want their tinfoil hat back.

    I’d encourage you to read “Foucalt’s Pendulum” by Umberto Eco Recommend

  • Waqqas iftikhar

    @yousufn you forgot talibanos dont read books by kafirs lolRecommend

  • Adnan

    @ Shehryar Khan: Well the TTP have claimed responsibility for the attacks, so please come out of your ignorant state and start realizing what the reality really is! Recommend

  • st

    @Zara With reference to your last line: What makes you think the target and his family weren’t innocent? He was just being targeted for doing his job. Recommend

  • Syed Akif Shoaib


    Good to read and brilliant to find out – one more person trying to make good and meaningful use of writing skills and express tribune not letting an effort down.
    One suggestion to the writer if I may; focus on the style of your writing. Its the way of writing simple words in deep ways that will pull readers to you.

    Continue to write meaningful stuff. Good luck!Recommend

  • Ma Awan

    Principally one has to and one should condemn the innocent killings, whosoever is behind them. It is unislamic and inhuman. The responsibles should be caught, proved through legal prosecution and hanged openly.

    The second question arises: who are these people, an unknown call after every such event comes that I am the representative of Talibans, and we take the responsibility of this event, and the media prints and broadcasts it immediately. But one fails to understand that what Taliban want to get from such activities. rather they are losing their popularity and image. there is no financial, military and political gain that they achieve behind such activities. I wonder why don’t they attack NATO supply line?

    Now suppose that they are really Talban, the bruits, behind them. Can anybody would tell me why the former allies of us, our former friendly govt. so religious people, are doing so? Did anybody try to analyze the situation in depth, and diagnosed the root cause? Do u think it is the Islamic spirit working behind them or something else like tribal honor, wish to take revenge of their own kids from the NATO, from their ally the Pak army, from the govt (to destabilize it) who orders so, from the public who elect the govt and who take no notice of the kids of these tribal people? Do u think our policy to become ally of US in a war which initially was not ours is really based upon wisdom and national interest or merely upon personal interests and fears. think over these questions and then write. For ultimate solution we have to prob the matter comprehensively. Recommend

  •!/fahadk85 Fah

    animals!! buncha of emRecommend

  • Kauser

    That’s right…lets keep fighting amongst ourselves..because obviously that is the best tribute we can pay to all those that lost their lives in this senseless attack.
    Whoever was responsible for this attack…do not belong to any religion, any country …they do not even deserve to be called human.Recommend

  • nouman

    Don’t do this man PLZ PLZ PLZRecommend

  • A

    “Why didn’t the Taliban just shoot the guy instead of bombing his house, so close to the school where all my friends and teachers go everyday?”

    I wish to ask the Taliban the same question; why are you killing the innocent?


    So you mean to say that had they just killed the SSP with a bullet it would have been okay? Don’t get me wrong, I understand you’re shaken, and this shouldn’t have happened to anyone. But there are innocents dying everyday all across the country.

    When will we go out to the streets I wonder?Recommend

  • fatima

    i would just say its time to Wake up!!! all that we r going through these days are signs…. and if we don’t recognize them now then we will suffer later more then we are suffering now.. we need to use the thing called brain!! taliban ???? seriously!!! think !!!Recommend

  • http://UK Shamy

    I wish to ask the Taliban the same question; why are you killing the innocent?

    Coz these barbarians think every innocent killed is a Shaheed….thats why..Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    My home is very close to the bomb blast, and our place shook like anything at 7:30 in the morning.

    That poor little kid. :( Recommend

  • Mahum

    You’ve raised a very good point that most of us defence residing citizens are cut off from feeling the full force of what’s happening in the country and todays blast will (finally) awaken most of our senses… Innocent people keep suffering and it doesn’t matter if its the Taliban or not – anyone behind such attacks cannot be a MuslimRecommend

  • shiny

    oh God kindly give us peace enivorment.i dont have any word to say i am speechless.Recommend

  • Babar

    Live and Let Live irrespective of religion, creed, and et al.Recommend

  • ZS

    This is an opinion piece. And while I may not agree with the ‘opinion’ of the author; I feel it is a good piece since it is emotive and shows her instinctive reaction. THIS IS NOT INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM so she can’t be write or wrong. Recommend

  • Parvez

    Its the primary duty of the state to provide safety and security for the people.
    The state has failed in this and miserably so, as it has in other fields.
    As you have nicely laid out, the people are helpless and afraid. What does not seem clear is the question that is this situation by default / incompetence or by design ? Recommend

  • AL

    its just sad what happened… we dont know whose behind such attacks, but any one who does such an act cannot claim himself/Herself as a MUSLIM, so people please stop saying stuff like ‘hes a muslim’ our religion does not permit such acts or crimes! and there are bad people everywhere, and a true die hard Pakistani or a Muslim would never commit such a Heinous Crime. Stay safe people…
    and true we have become hardened… but this is just the height! i hope our governement wakes up soon and provides some sort of Security, because if we cannot go to school,colleges or to our workplace well then..i dont know whats going to become of us as a nation.

    Waking up to a blast aint cool!Recommend

  • Z. Akbar

    @Shehryar Khan:
    Wow mate you do live in a fools paradise don’t you. The pashtoon’s are the greatest victims of Taliban atrocities and yet you say we don’t know who they are. I don’t know what cup you are drinking from, but whatever helps you sleep is night is clearly one powerful pill. Continue believing the ones carrying out these attacks are ‘Raw’ or ‘Mossad’ Agents, I mean its all just another conspiracy theory anyways. Recommend

  • LA

    @AL: Oye wake up, the Taliban have already claimed responsibility, so WE KNOW who is behind these attacks.

    What security do you expect the government to provide when you’ve put your own head in the sand? Dont you realise..they’re attacking the people who provide you with the security, yet you close your senses and wonder who attacked them.

    As long as there are sympathisers amongst us, Govt alone control it.Recommend

  • SA

    I’ve just come back to London from Karachi and from all that I saw – I must say – this aside – is that our country is going down the pan.
    Some idiot picking up the Quran to proove his point and then another idiot singing on live TV in his opposition.

    How can you expect to grow as a country when you allow these comedians to govern you.

    Its not only shameful that our country is run by a notorious gangster but on top of it all – he actually has support of the “so called” majority.

    “Educate the masses”…. but then again I guess thats something easy for me to say sitting abroad.

    Until we don’t realise that “we” have a problem and stop blaming others for every bloody thing that goes wrong – we aint going nowhere.

    Waiting for the revolution in Pakistan ….. Inshallah soon.Recommend

  • AL

    @LA.. I Havent ‘put my head in the sand’ as you say …i just made a generalised comment about not knowing whose behind just heinious acts! The Point is whats happening here is PLAIN Inhumane and WRONG. Period!
    and yes if our Police forces arent safe, then we sure aint, thats where are Government comes into play.

    Being a die Hard Pakistani, my eyes arent closed ..lets just hope things get better and soon!
    Pakistan all the way!Recommend

  • KhalidW

    To all of you who suggest that in fact the Taliban are not behind this merely because they are (ostensibly) so religious: It is precisely this quality that leads to their aggression and militancy – their self-righteousness and the belief that only they know what the correct thing to do is. They are nothing but zealots and would gladly kill you and me if we espouse a view point different to theirs.

    For those who say that RAW/MOSSAD/CIA are behind such acts. Do you have even a shred of evidence to support your theories? Their is simply no support for this. Though it is true that foreign intelligence and military activities take place within Pakistan but they are far less aggressive than similar actions by our own military and intelligence within foreign borders. Does anyone remember Operation Gibraltar or Kargil?

    It is no wonder Afghanistan hates us today after their major political actors (Northern Alliance) were sidelined by us through the use of radicalized thugs (Taliban) who were trained by us in the hundreds of thousands to develop strategic depth against the threat of Indian incursion. Now that the world and Pakistan have moved on, the ghosts of our bloody and evil past continue to haunt us.Recommend

  • Sid

    how many of my enlightened brothers here know the difference between TTP and the taliban?
    the tehreek e taliban pakistan (TTP) has nothing to do the with the Taliban of Afghanistan. They are merely pawns of the CIA, used to spread chaos and unrest in Pakistan. the similarity in the names is just to create an illusion so that our average uninformed Pakistani confuses the two and holds the taliban responsible for terrorism in Pakistan. Please do not even for a second think that the TTP is a muslim organization fighting for the cause of Islam. go through your history books and you will realize this is a strategy used by the U.S time and again. if they want to sell arms and ammunitions to a country then they will fund a rebel group to engage the government in war.. just like if they want to convince the world their are terrorist in Pakistan and thus drone attacks are essential, they will create these terrorists!Recommend

  • UTD forever

    Do you know the meaning of Taliban ?
    it means Students i don’t know who is behind that blast but i want to ask one question

    Is it the first child who is killed in blast?

    i am sorry to say no it is not. Do you remember what happened in Northern area when US army use their Drones to kill people. sorry to say that almost 168 childern died their at the spot.

    that matter wasn’t higlighted because those children don’t belong to rich families. i am pissed off by watching the picutres of that childern who died in karachi ( MY SYMPATHIES are with his family and may his soul rest in peace) i just want to say when US stop killing innocent people in northern areas these attack will be stop.

    i also want another question to ask
    what will we do when we see our whole family dead because of drone attacks????

    i am not supporting Tailbans who are killing people i am seriously against their polices but let me tell you one other thing these attacks on civilian are done by people who are extremist and they don’t belong to Pakistan. whenever some blast took place in India after some days they respond and they respond badly (GHQ and Naval Attack) there are certain people who don’t want Pakistan and India to survive as a great neighbors. Recommend


    After recovering from the horror of another Taliban attack on morally pure children, I ask why Taliban are day after day killing innocents, and our future generations. Is it not true that this is the Taliban trademark? Do they not attempt to intimidate us all by killing innocents? Taliban deliberately chose to attack early in the morning, exploding a bomb powerful enough to damage their target and, without concern or mercy, to devastate a nearby elementary school just as students were arriving to start their day in the classroom. Have we not seen the Taliban attack a school bus full of children and kill five kids in cold blood? Taliban are given a free pass on too many of our forums. Is it not time to recognize the Taliban as the main enemy of peace and humanity in Pakistan? The sensitivity of the situation in Pakistan requires us to be vigilant against the obvious terrorist threat posed by these criminals and to seek swift justice for the loved ones who fell prey to Taliban ruthlessness. Recommend

  • Awais Khan

    The objectives of the terrorists are clear and they have no value for life.Recommend