Paths of violence

The Express Tribune: by Amina Jilani

There have been lame excuses made on behalf of this government for the events of September 21 — the autumn equinox — as many as there have been condemnations. But regarded dispassionately, there can be no excuses for the killing of a country’s citizenry by its own citizens (or for that matter, any killings) or for the destruction wreaked upon private properties in the main cities of the land.

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The head of state, President Asif Ali Zardari, in his address to the UN General Assembly on September 25, bemoaned the lives lost in his country without mentioning the fact that the majority (leaving aside the drones) were lost at the hands of their fellow citizens, including that of his wife. In his long moan, he cited examples of violent deaths suffered in Pakistan, all of which were home-grown. But he forgot thebusloads of Shias who have been massacred in the name of religion, the Ahmadis blown up in their places of worship in the name of religion, the daily targeted killings in Karachi, politically and sectarian-wise motivated, the daily toll of schools blown up in the north in the name of religion, the church set ablaze in Mardan, the sporadic killings of Christians and countless other acts of violence, including September 21.

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