Often for many of us, suicide bombs are an atrocity that affect us in indirect ways. ‘x people dead in a blast in Peshawar’ – it’s harrowing, frightening, disgusting and a whole lot of other adjectives, but it’s rarely personal. This is particularly evident in the ‘blogosphere’ which is largely populated by upper class citizens and overseas Pakistanis. Though I need to clarify that I’m not having a go at anyone at all.
For me too, most of the time these were just figures. Occasionally I’d come to know that someone who was an uncle of a close friend of mine passed away (Asfandyar Amir Zeb) but it’d still seem distant. But today things are different. Sifwat Ghayur was a college roommate of my dad’s, and was a close friend of both my parents when they were in the Civil Services Academy. He was a man who helped pay for the education of his sister’s children (whether it was school or university), and he was steadfast in his opposition to the taliban, an opposition that manifested itself ideologically as much as in bureaucratic/physical terms. It was for his very real opposition that he lost his life today.
As easy as it seems to be to ask for the death of every talib or to ask for the US to pull out of Afghanistan and for Pakistan to detach itself from the US effort in Afghanistan, all of that quite simply ignores the taliban ideology, the very basis of these sub-human scum. That ideology will not be defeated solely by gunships and drones, or by acquiesing to what the taliban want by letting them be. Both strategem will only create further Sifwat’s – great men brought down by cockroaches simply because of their opposition to them.
And it is this ideology, in it’s nucleus, that must be obliterated. Because when you tear apart the socio-political layers of Islamic fundamentalism, it comes down simply to Wahhabism. And that is what we must struggle against every single day to reclaim the lives of people like Sifwat Ghayur, Pir Hafiz Rafeeullah and the countless other victims of taliban terrorism whose names I unashamedly don’t know.
Rest in peace Sifwat Ghayur, the world is a lesser place today.