Thursday, January 17, 2008

After the Lahore Blast

Nauman Qaiser

And finally they have broken the myth – the myth of Lahore being a relatively peaceful city in a country rocked by a plethora of suicidal attacks on daily basis. After the Thursday’s “suicidal attack” near the Lawyers’ protest rally that killed over 30 -- mostly the policemen deployed to “teach the lawyers a lesson”— and injured over 60, I felt the shock waves for the first time. Its not that I have not been feeling the grief and sorrow that accompanied these blasts in other cities, but the mere fact that this attack took place in my city, at a place from where I had just passed a few minutes ago, was enough to send shivers all through my body. The fear of unknown griped me.

The blast site at which the protest rallies of Lahore Bar Association and Lahore High Court Bar Association were to converge gave a macabre picture when I came back to the blast side after hearing this dreadful news. Had the blast taken place after both the rallies had reached at the GPO chowk –merely after five minutes, the death toll would have been unimaginable. Most of the victims would have been these tenacious lawyers who have been sacrificing their bread and butter and protesting only for the just cause of judiciary since March 9, 2007.

It was like a like a mini “Qiyamat”. There was blood everywhere with the mutilated bodies and severed limbs of the dead and injured lying all across. The policemen were crying for help, but guess what, the only people who came to their rescue at that time of need were lawyers – the lawyers who have mostly being the victims of their highhandedness. These were highly emotional yet gruesome scenes happening right in front of my eyes.

The fingers, as usual, were pointed at extremist groups without any initial investigation. Going by the terrorists’ penchant to attack security personnel, Taliban or Alqaeda could very much be the culprits; but my instincts direct me towards the complicity of the government itself through the ever-present secret agencies.

The first purpose government wanted to achieve by this act was to intimidate the lawyers community into submission, and thus to render the current movement for restoration of judiciary and rule of law ineffective. It did not want to attack at the rally because this blatant act would have made the lawyers’ community go mad. Thus the poor policemen became the scapegoats, who were used to give an aura of terrorists’ involvement in the blast.

Second, by allowing these kinds of blasts, the Musharraf regime wants to indefinitely postpone the elections on the plea of worsening law and order situation – it cannot be worsened more than this!

Please! We do not want more problems. We have had enough! The food crisis, the energy crisis, the political and economic uncertainty and on top of all this mess, the lawlessness and feelings of insecurity!

The only solution to these problems is seeing the back of Mr. Musharraf, who, in his lust for power and pomp has forgotten that one day he has to be held accountable for his deeds in front of Allah Almighty if not in front of the people of Pakistan. All I can say at this critical juncture of our country is “Go Musharraf Go”.

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