On Tuesday 16th December 2014 an attack was carried out on an army public school in Peshawar. 145+ people died. 132 of them were children. At least 130 more have been injured. More are still dying in hospital, while others fight for their lives. Why? Because the army of Pakistan dared to strike the Taliban, who were already causing so much trouble in people’s lives, in the whole world.
It seems a bit late to write this now. Five whole days have passed but the wound is still fresh. Every day the faces of small children flash onto the screen, and in each smiling little boy I see my eleven-year-old brother and my sixteen-month-old cousin, in the faces of the teachers I see my aunt, a nursery teacher in a school in Lahore. They all deserved better, they deserved to live their lives.
The remarkable thing is that, after all this devastation on Tuesday, those fit to come, returned. On Wednesday the children came back. Returned to their school, wore their blood-soaked uniforms. That says a lot. Those students, those teachers who returned, they are brave. In that one simple act of going back to school they have shown that they can’t bring us down.
When I was six years old, just after the 2007 bombing in Karachi, we were planning to go to visit Pakistan, to visit our family over there. So there I was, six years old, and I walked in on my parents talking. They thought it would be too dangerous to take us over there. They wanted us to be safe, out of harm’s way, as I am sure most parents must. They were actually discussing about cancelling tickets. I knew straight away the reason for that. I told them that we had to still go. I told them that if we stayed at home we were just doing what they wanted. They wanted people to stay away, to keep away from them, and if we cancelled we would be doing just that. So, in 2008, we all made our way to Pakistan, and all came back in one piece.
What I’m trying to get at here is that the people who do these kinds of things are trying to make us do something, or more correctly, stop doing something. If we, in fear of them simply comply, they have achieved their purpose- the real fight is against the fear inside us, the fear of what could happen if we don’t listen to their threats. They will keep using the same methods to get us to do what they want us to, and we can stand up to them by simply not agreeing. Malala Yousafzai came so far by simply fighting against the Taliban, and proved time after time that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword- and there is a change coming.
People who were once against anti-terrorism regimes are now baying for the blood of those who so brutally killed all those children. The whole of Pakistan is coming together as a country and all the countries are gradually coming together as one world. The people of the world are saying that enough is enough, and together we can stop this. Everyone who tries to fight will at some point be asked who they are fighting for. The answer to that is simple. We are fighting for the innocent children who are killed needlessly, not by malnutrition or childhood cancer, but by some men who thinks it is perfectly reasonable to shoot an eight-year-old. We are fighting for the teachers who protected their students until their last breaths, we are fighting for everyone who fell, but lives on in our hearts, our minds, our prayers, our wishes.
If anybody ever asks, we fight for the fallen.