Friday was a tragic day for Pakistan, as PTI MPA in KPK, Dr Soran Singh was gunned down by assailants in Buner. The attack was later claimed by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). How much protection the country offers to minorities in general is evidenced by the fact that MPA Soran Singh was the Advisor to the Chief Minister on Minority Affairs. At this point it cannot even be termed state failure, because the government, vast though it may be, cannot protect every individual it is charged with protecting. However, sometimes, a single act of murder can have larger than life consequences, and in the case of Dr Soran Singh, this attack will do nothing to ease the fears of the Sikh population about their personal safety in the country.

There is not too much that can be said when a targeted attack like this is made. The usual condemnation is never sufficient. Nor is it practically possible to ensure that this never happens again. The only way to stop this senseless killing is through rejecting extremist ideology in its entirety, and wresting control of terrorist territory completely, throughout the country. Foremost in this fight comes the TTP. By killing another prominent minority member they reveal yet again, that there is no human element left in its fighters, that they are blind to the value of human life.

The murder of a member of a minority does little to achieve the TTP’s ultimate purpose of taking over the country, so what do they hope to gain? TTP wants the public in general and minorities specifically to fear them. But we must not allow this to happen. A more relatable emotion in this case is anger; anger at the fact that Dr Soran was killed, and that the TTP targets minorities for no rhyme or reason. This must no longer be tolerated. Pakistan used the APS tragedy and the more recent one at Gulshan-e-Iqbal as a collective catalyst to unite against terrorism in all its forms. The death of Dr Soran Singh should be used as a resounding reminder, that all of us, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians, and those of all other faiths, are threatened by this menace, and that the TTP should be made an example out of, for choosing to go down this path of heedless violence against specific communities. This will not divide, but instead unite the country against the common enemy. Any terrorists found should be tried through the ATC, and there should be no mercy, not anymore, for those that choose to murder women, children, and members of the minority community. Dr Soran Singh was a patriot, and his country will not forget him.