The arrival of any national holiday or festive occasion always heralds a large number of deaths in Pakistan, due to the general lack of public safety in the country. This eid was no different, with over twenty bodies recovered and three still missing on the shores of Karachi. All were victims of drowning, despite the provincial government’s ban on swimming in the sea, due to the rough seas that always accompany the monsoon season. Reports reveal that over a 100,000 people turned up to the beaches to celebrate eid. The city’s 130 km long coastline is not ideally stocked in the lifeguard department, which made this incident all but inevitable.

The state has a responsibility to protect its citizens, but that can only be possible if people do not needlessly hurl themselves in the path of danger. The people that showed up in throngs on the beaches refused to heed the warnings of lifeguards to not swim in the turbulent sea. Some were fighting or arguing with the people that were responsible for their own safety. The country’s security situation is already tenuous, and the high incidence of deaths as a result of drowning, road mishaps and other accidents is doing nothing to help public safety. Citizens must be made aware about their individual responsibility to themselves and those around them, and must follow rules and regulations that are made for their own safety, such as the ban on swimming and Karachi, and the general rules for road safety.

The government on its part, must ensure that those who do not abide by these laws are punished to deter future violators. Safety rules are rarely taken seriously by the mass majority of the people who feel that they are each above laws that others should abide by. The death of 23 people will have been in vain if society does not learn anything from the incident, and realise that we are each of us contributing to the level of public safety in the country.