We are in the state of war for more than one and half decade. The tragic demise of terrorist attack on Bacha Khan University, Charsada claimed the lives of 21 students including teachers is a big national loss. ISPR has also given statement that they were aware about security threats for universities then, it is beyond comprehension why they remained so negligent about security concerns for Bahca Khan University (BKU). Security measures should have been taken to ensure the safety of BKU to save the lives of students, teachers and staff before time. What about to take the responsibility of negligence in security measures which resulted in 21 casualties including Dr. Hamid a foreign graduate and a scientist? Would it be better for Dr. Hamid to stay there abroad instead of coming home land among non-responsible care takers? Being brave and patriot he had to pay the price of patriotism. His sacrifice is worth admirable but will it suffice? 

What is our job? Is it to count name upon names as numbers are increasing with every passing day. We do not do anything to eradicate this brutality, we just always end up making them heroes. Nation does not need dead heroes; nation wants them alive. For how many times these pseudo protectors of our country will hide their failure at the cost of intellectuals’ lives? Moreover, can singing a song, visiting and condoling of army chief and politicians bring back those precious lives which we have lost in Bacha Khan University incidence? KPK government is also talking about change with big mouth but is it a change that we were unable to save real change agents of higher education. 

Unfortunately, it seems that sufficient security measures have not been taken into account for universities because these are not as valuable as those of uneducated ministers and so called VIPS. We can observe security protocols of rangers, army and police for bureaucrats, politicians, generals, even retired generals and so called VVIPs but poor academicians and universities are not on their priority. 

We have learned nothing from our past experiences and BKU incidence as the proverb goes, “History proves that we learn nothing from history.” Universities have been opened on the next day of BKU incidence without providing any security by the government. It proves that academicians are brave enough to serve the nation without being terrified from terrorists and other enemies. But it is again a question that have we opened the universities without providing them proper security as an invitation to terrorists. It is claimed that government has insufficient resources available to provide security for each and every university. It is just a lame excuse to avoid responsibility and setting priorities. In the presence of 550,000 active and 500,000 reserve troops, rangers, and provincial police, how many of security personnel will be utilised just for 177 actively available higher education institutions in Pakistan? Deployment of a few hundred soldiers, rangers or police around 177 universities can save many precious lives. It will be like securing the intellect that is the real future of Pakistan. Universities are not provided sufficient budget to cope up with their security issues. For universities, it is not possible to manage self security within a meager amount of budget available. Academicians have spirit and courage to fight for their students but neither are they professional fighters nor is it their duty. 

MUHAMMAD YASIR KAYANI,  

Lahore, May 2.