Another devastating attack on a girl’s school in Diamer brings to the fore the imperative issue of extremism and its intended coercion and violence in oppressing the rights and agency of girls in our society. The oppression of women through denying them the right to education is a critical issue outlined in the grotesque dogma of religious extremism that must be pointed out, roundly condemned and judicially and legislatively contraindicated by our establishment if there is any hope for it to renounce radicalism. Which is why when the upper echelons of the government and the judiciary not only refuse to highlight the issue for what it is –an onslaught on the rights and freedom of girls in our society- and invariably reduces the issue to conspiracy theories, it only adds to the oppression and devoicing of the girls subjected to such coercion.

Where the Chief Justice of Pakistan was quick to take notice of the horrifying attacks, the Honourable CJP later linked the torching of schools as calculated show of opposition to his call for building the Diamer-Bhasha dam. While the CJP’s initiative of constructing dams in the region is admirable and does face opposition, the incidence of such alarming violence against young girls under the rubric of terrorism has to be identified as such to communicate the inherent fallacy of such misogynist and oppressive ideologies. To ascribe such a heinous act of violence to political machinations robs the narrative of its more critical underpinnings; that extremism and its dimension of tyrannising women has to be refuted. If this issue is not underlined as such, its subverted message runs the risk of being tacitly condoned. The government and judiciary should resoundingly condemn the devastating attack as an act of terrorism especially against girls in our society, an act that has no place or validity in our culture and one which will not be countenanced any longer.