The conflict still rages in Egypt between supporters of deposed President Muhammad Morsi, and those who overthrew him on July 3, the Egyptian Army. On Wednesday and Thursday, indiscriminate firing on sit-ins in Cairo left a very large number dead. The Muslim Brotherhood, whose member President Morsi had been, claimed that 2200 had been killed. The government admitted to 535 killed, including 137 killed near the El-Adawiyya Mosque, 57 in Nahda Square and 29 in Helwan, all in Cairo, 198 in other provinces, 43 armed forces personnel, etc. Even the lower figure would make it the bloodiest incident in Egypt since the movement against Hosni Mubarak started two years ago.

It is also noteworthy that the world community has been surprisingly mild in their condemnation. US Secretary of State John Kerry has called the deaths ‘deplorable’ and a barrier to reconciliation efforts. Similarly, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon have limited themselves to criticism, not the condemnation such an indiscriminate slaughter deserves. Similarly, in the Arab world, the event has evoked a relatively mild response. This means that there are no forces in the Arab world, or the Islamic, which are ready even to speak out against something unprecedented. This is also a clear indication that life in Egypt, as in other Muslim countries undergoing turmoil at the moment, is of little value in the eyes of those who could turn a screw on the perpetrators and compel them to stop the wanton massacre.

While Arab regimes are not just dictatorial, but are also used to defer to the Egyptian government, more support for a democratically elected leader from the upholders of democracy and human rights, might have been expected. This also places a peculiar burden on Pakistan, as a country which resembles Egypt in many ways, but which has embarked on the process of democratisation earlier, and has not undergone such violent upheavals. It must remain within the bounds of diplomatic convention, but it must provide whatever support possible to the democratic forces in Egypt.

The events in Egypt cannot be ascribed merely to the growing pains of democracy. Too much blood is flowing for that. The use of state force against that state’s people can never yield positive results, especially when there does not seem to be any purpose to this violence. The Egyptian government does not seem to have any plan leading to a better future for the Egyptian people.