Because we are mentally sick

The episodes of barbaric incidents, injustice and inequality are nothing new and are prevalent in all societies however civilized they label themselves. Murders, rape, blackmailing, torture etc. are phenomenon as old fashioned as the human civilization itself. What really matters is the fact how individuals and societies respond to such incidents. Time passes but memories leave a long-lasting impression for generations to come. The Hazara massacre incident is one such litmus test which will prove decisive in all times to come and pave the way either towards transformation or destruction.
It was hard to pick up the pen and paint the true picture of the situation because the words fail to find expression for the pain every sensitive person might have suffered. It is always difficult or may be almost impossible to choose the right words which may reflect the true picture of the misery and at the same time be equally digested by all in such a sensitively confusing situation where 11 dead bodies waited for a week to be finally buried. The grieving families insisted on meeting the Prime Minister for seeking assurance of safety before burying their dead. The government kept on sending ministers one after the other but the Prime Minister did not intend to visit before the burial was carried out.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan termed it blackmailing the previous day and insisted that the dead be buried before his visit. Whatever the rationale he had for uttering such words but despite all the sympathy one may find for him, yet someone having an iota of wisdom would restrain from finding logic for such an irresponsible statement.
It is completely unbecoming of a politician save the Prime Minister of the country to behave like a stubborn child insisting on making everyone accept whatever he utters from his mouth. It needs someone to be more than just stupid to consider this protest a blackmailing. The stubbornness of the Prime Minister lasted till the end when the Chief Minister of Balochistan had to visit the grieved families at 12 a.m. of 9 January which signaled the success of dialogues.
I understand that not burying the dead as a protest might have seemed somewhat wild and savage but one needs to just have empathy to understand that this might be an expression of something beyond tolerance. It was indeed by all means an expression of a suffocating cry which reflects the dirty picture of a society where law and justice have long died and their decaying bodies stink beyond the limits of patience.
The cruel and targeted murder of eleven innocent hardworking Hazaras is not something new which might explain the fact why the grieving families have resorted to such an extreme and denied the burial of funerals before assurances from the highest authority in the state. Hazaras have consistently been targeted since more than last twenty years or so. I personally witnessed the pain in the eyes of the parents who lost their beloved son Syed Mustafa Haider Zaidi in a bomb blast in 2003 along with many others offering their prayers. As a child during my stay in Cadet College Mastung, this shock remained fresh for a long time so I can understand how it might feel to a community which has consistently suffered the pain personally; therefore, their demand for a week for the Prime Minster to visit them before burial seems absolutely reasonable.
Some people suggested that some of the demands of the Hazara community were too hard to accept but even if we agree to this, yet there was nothing wrong if the Prime Minister took the trouble to visit the grieved families and gave them the confidence that usually the democratically chosen governments give to their masses. The New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had met with the grieved families of the Muslim community who suffered terrorist attack on March 2019 in a mosque, because she knew that as Prime Minister, she was duty bound to feel and share the grief and ensure the safety of her citizens. It is indeed a big question mark on the ability and will of our state if it fails to provide safety to her citizens after more than two decades of consistent target killing of a particular community.
Another heart wrenching incident surfaced on social media a few days back when a young student was shot dead by the police in the capital city of Islamabad with 22 bullet shots from the front. The cancer of incompetence has infiltrated so deep in our institutions and in our whole system that even deaths at the hands of our security personal go either unnoticed or unpunished. Although, the policemen involved were arrested, and an enquiry commission was set but everyone knows the result of such enquiry commissions. We remember the Sahiwal incident when several members of the same family were brutally murdered on suspicion of terrorism in January 2019.
The murder of Naqeebullah in Karachi was another such case which is still a scar on the face of our justice system. I admit that the situation in our country is very fragile and it’s also true that the security personal working under such circumstances must be under the burden of such huge pressure, therefore, they might fall prey to a blunder, but despite all that, killing the citizens blindly with impunity is not at all a sensible choice either.
As a Pakistani society, we have grown up fighting the war of our survival for more than seven decades since 1947, therefore, it understandably seems reasonable that the concept of a security state is not all together flawed, but adopting an extreme course of action where education, healthcare, economy, politics etc. are compromised at the cost of a narrative for too long, then the society as a whole becomes a confused crowd. A nation which has been kept illiterate and hungry for decades becomes easily vulnerable to politics of slogans; in other words, the politics of populism. Common masses have been deceived and cheated so much so many times that the decades of exploitation at the hands of a few opportunists has made them very aggressive, therefore, they find the solution of every problem they face with extreme means; therefore, rationality and reasoning find no place in our day-to-day business.
Unfortunately, we are fast becoming a mentally sick nation where seeking justice is termed blackmailing and every tragic incident is buried under the excuse of a so-called enquiry commission. The murders of innocent youth, mob lynching, the crowd burning down the worship houses of ethnic communities or temples and all that going unpunished reflects that the society is becoming mentally sick and if we do not rescue our people right now, then it might be too late to act.
The governments so far have only learnt the art of labeling every criticism as a foreign conspiracy and they find an easy refuge in blame game because of their incapability to deal with the true challenges faced by this unfortunate country. There is no doubt, that the foreign enemy is busy hitting soft targets but it won’t do any good at all if we just rely on the stereotypical conspiracy theories and do nothing. I fear another enquiry commission would be set for the Machh incident of Hazara massacre with no solution and I am afraid one more incident may lead to a situation which might prove impossible to do any damage control. The already fragile situation of this sectarian divide in our society might prove fatal to the unity of our nation if this issue is left unaddressed once again.

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