Love in the Time of Military Courts

Fawzia Naqvi in Kafila:

Fawzia-1Pakistan has become a euphemism for insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different outcome. There are though some incredibly brave, thoughtful, humane and patriotic Pakistani men and women who have decided enough is enough and they are determined to chart a different future for the country. After speaking with one of these activist leaders I was reminded of the Russian author Ivan Turganev’s heroes Bazarov, the young Nihilist from Fathers and Sons or Insarov, the Bulgarian revolutionary from On the Eve. Youthful, galvanized, resolute, compelled by the rightness of the cause and their destiny, dreaming of a new country and their place within it, they were the first glimpse of “the new men,” lonely and ultimately tragic. In 1860 Turganev’s heroes were ahead of their time, pulling along a people unwilling to change tradition and unwilling to cede privilege. In 2015 Pakistan, there is a huge obstacle in the way of these courageous souls. They are outnumbered by the rest of us.

The time has come for each of us to recall what it was we were doing when our children were being executed in Peshawar. Is there even a word which encompasses the horror when 135 children are executed? Make no mistake it was our collective shrug which has tipped Pakistan over the edge and into this very dark abyss. It was our collective indifference which let these children be stalked by death at the hands of cold blooded murderers who went from child to child executing them that December 16 morning in Peshawar. We let our children die alone and scared, with no one to comfort them except other wounded and dying children.

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