Yes, the boys are back in the town. They are once again here to remind us of their old narratives with the same strategies: bullets and bombs. Whether they stay longer this time or not but they have done their job quite well. Blood. Pain. Fear. And hopelessness.

This time being Punjabi, Pashtun or Baloch doesn’t really matter. Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, and now Sehwan Sharif are bleeding. In fact the whole of Pakistan is weeping and mourning, except those who either did it or wished it to happen.

After every attack, everyone from military to the government talks much about curbing violence and targeting the cruel folks who did it. They speak and we listen. They appear on TV screens and we watch them. This happens every time and we see it over and over again. This is either a political norm, or humanitarian compulsion on the part of heroes or politicians, we really don’t know. We know only one thing: they come and kill our fellows, and we bury them under tons of sand and bricks. 

General public express their grief, anger and disapproval to such obnoxious incidents on social media and sometimes they come out for a while to send out their sympathies to the victims’ families. This does not always lessen the intensity of pain of those who lose their loved ones in horrible tragedies. Whether this is good or bad, we really don’t know, but this is exactly what we do after every bomb blast in Pakistan.

The questions are: is giving false assurance to masses after every bomb blast what actually is needed to end violence and terrorism from our society and the state? And is expressing grief and sympathies to the families of victims sufficient?

We all know words matter. They really do. But we also know a bit more. Actions matter more.

We have been listening to beautiful words of commitments and assurance since a long time. We are tired now. As a matter of fact we really don’t believe in whatsoever you say or promise. This is one side of the picture.

The other side of the picture is, objectively speaking, even worse and more abhorrent. These beautiful words and expressions of political will are initially thought to be the first step towards the elimination of any evil, but after so many lies and ill-speech they demonstrate exactly the opposite. The opposite is not that complex so as to fool public and to guard the ‘good terrorists’ or probably half-enemies. This is what the whole world, except our heroes and true-Pakistanis, believe in. Why does the world believe in it, by the way? Probably, the world is not blind my friend!

Similarly, cold comforts do not last long. People no longer believe in the state. Dishonest and lethargic behavior of the state has sullied its repute as the guardian of citizens’ lives, liberties and properties. For example Police are considered to be crueler than thieves. Politicians are believed to be the most corrupt obstructionists in the country. Judges are said to be the friends of criminals. Doctors are considered to be best buddies of those who are involved in human trafficking. And heroes are somewhat at the safe edge yet.

Resultantly, people’s disbelief in the state’s authority despite all promises remains unshaken. The state is for a common Pakistani what Karl Marx said it to be for the proletariats a long time ago. Because of these lies and confusions we see different religious organizations exploiting the situation by providing people cheap justice and an assurance of their life and honor. These organizations are more popular almost masses as compared to our political parties particularly in remote areas.

Moreover, in many instances the results are more terrible. People ignored by the state manage to join gangs and turn out to be targeted killers. This increases, without any doubt, lawlessness in the country to a great extent.

The bottom line is that the state has greatly failed, not only in protecting its people, but also in sustaining the confidence of the people in its authority. This is largely due to the country’s self-centered political elite, insecure moralists, and stubborn heroes and their flippant policies to cope with the existing challenges.

This is high time for the elite of Pakistan, which claims monopoly over state authority, to rethink. The rules of the game need to be changed. Enough is enough. Let’s stop externalizing blame and acknowledge what went wrong at our home. Those who are half-friends and half-enemies are in fact brutal enemies. Whether you call them good friends or angry brothers, they are the worst enemies of my children. They believe in bullets. Don’t waste your flowers. It’s high time we thought about it.

If the state does not bother to focus upon what people are saying right now it may be never able to regain the lost confidence and Pakistan as a whole will not be much different from present day FATA and Baluchistan.

Take your positions my brave heroes, as the boys are back in the town this time with more passion and courage!