Thursday was a busy day for Pakistani media. The army chief was passing threats to Indian intelligence agencies while speaking in Gilgit, the head of the ISPR conducted an hour long press conference claiming the elimination of Daesh, and the prime minister declared that terrorism had almost been extinguished from Pakistan. While all of this was happening, TV screens flashed breaking-news tickers from Gilgit, Pindi, and Gwadar, in regards to how a group of dejected people was trying to enter the Islamabad red zone. These unfortunate souls were parents of some of the APS-Peshawar students who were gunned down on 16 December, 2014. Authorities in Islamabad and Pindi always wonder what’s wrong with these people, why do they come out on the streets every now and then? What are their demands that are not fulfilled. Several enquiries have been conducted and several terrorists have been hunted down, in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. But why are these poor souls still unsatisfied?

Who in Pakistan can tell these authorities that such in-house enquiries, which are generally conducted to ensure an official coverup, are of no value? Thousands of name-less terrorists have been killed during the Operation Zarb-e-Azb; why don’t they believe that those terrorists might also include the APS murderers? Why do they keep insisting on conducting a judicial enquiry and fixing the responsibility of security failures? Don’t they know what happens with judicial enquiries and commission reports in Pakistan; they are either hidden from the public or are left on shelves to eat dust. Some of the parents believe that by punishing those responsible for security failures and lapses, such incidents would not take place in future. How come do they think there is room for introspection and accountability?

Not more than 100 protesters, men and women, spent the whole Thursday under the ‘protection’ cover of hundreds of LEA men, and were not permitted to reach the Parliament House. The day went along, parents returned to Peshawar further distressed and frustrated, vowing to come back again.


Saudi Arabia, September 2.