Children of a lesser God

drone attacks

It was barely a few weeks ago that there was outrage comparing the killings of the primary school children in Connecticut, USA to the children killed by drone attacks in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. A Guardian article succinctly described what was being felt in a large majority of Pakistan, although perhaps again on deaf ears of US diplomats who are rumoured to have also ignored the similar sentiments expressed by the NYU-Stanford report on drones.

Assuming what we were actually enraged about was the unfair amount of attention and outrage that is felt for the loss of some lives over other, let’s reflect on another major news story: the killing of an innocent young man on the Call-of-Duty streets of Karachi.

Having worked long enough on Peshawar’s Page 18, the crime news page of The Express Tribune, it is safe to say at least three to four stories are filed daily about people being murdered because of – and to quote our correspondents – petty arguments. These are just the three or four out of the four districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa that are covered on our page, and only the ones where families of the victims were brave enough to lodge FIRs with police.

We are all human beings and we feel grief and anger for any loss that comes from heinous moral acts where the strength of life is measured by the bullet that kills it.

Just as that boy in Karachi was killed under horrible circumstances, there are more, dozens more, lives lost in the exact same ways all over the country. Most, however, receive a 30-word brief alongside news about a motorcycle theft. It’s not that we should not care about a high-profile death, but just that we should care about other injustices as much, as we as a nation so demanded this ‘fairness’ few weeks ago.

As easily as we criticised Obama’s speech after the Connecticut murders, just as easily we were able to perpetuate the unfairness we claim loathe. If we fail to realise something as simple as that, then we do deserve to be called a failing nation.


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