Two explosions at the Zaventem airport and another only an hour later at the Maelbeek Metro Station rocked Brussels and the rest of the world on Tuesday. The death toll currently stands at 26, with over 80 injured. The people of Pakistan are well aware of the pain of losing loved ones and should stand by in solidarity with the victims and their families in this grievous time.

It is important for Europe to not blame this attack on the influx of migrants on this occasion, else it will lead to xenophobic tendencies among the public, unfairly blaming migrations for a situation that is altogether unavoidable. Airports across the world, including places in the US such as New York have beefed up their security and are on red alert. The increase in frequency of attacks always leads to greater racial profiling and discrimination. This must not be allowed to happen. The only way to counter the effects of migration is through integration, instead of segregation. In cases of refugee influx (including our own influx of Afghan refugees), the knee jerk reaction is to treat them with distrust and hostility, which further alienates the domestic public and those who come from other countries. The objective is to allow people to see the similarities and be able to relate to one another. Terrorists are created through brainwashing and making impressionable minds believe that the ones they are murdering cannot be reached out to.

While abominable, the reason behind attacking areas frequented by civilians is simple; the terrorists want the public to balk at the inhumanity behind the bombings. Not only that, but protecting civilians in city centres is next to impossible for governments, including those hailing from developed countries. The terrorists are aware of the vulnerability of civilians, and use this knowledge to devastating effect. There are just too many variables in terms of potential attacks. The only way to potentially save lives and ensure that civilians are not targeted is by restricting their movement and increasing security checks, which undermines the very freedoms the international community is fighting for. This paradoxical situation cannot change unless peace is established in areas of conflict such as Syria and Iraq. While the theatre of this war is the Middle East, the conflict will continue to spill over to Europe, the IS will keep attempting to find new space in countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan and civilians will continue to die by the day, if not in Brussels then elsewhere.