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An army soldier stands inside the Army Public School, which was attacked by Taliban gunmen, in Peshawar, December 17, 2014. —Reuters
An army soldier stands inside the Army Public School, which was attacked by Taliban gunmen, in Peshawar, December 17, 2014. —Reuters

For the first 48 hours, I just didn't know how to express what I felt. But I've been thinking, thinking nonstop: How do we reconcile what appear to be completely disparate opinions on how to deal with the massacre, the tragedy that took place on Tuesday in Peshawar?

It seems hopeless.

Also read: Militant siege of Peshawar school ends, 141 killed

The religious folk have one opinion. The liberals another. The leftists yet another. The pro-military ones another.

I've been thinking about what common ground I can find with the people that I don't agree with at all, how to engage with people whose opinions I find sickening, and how to do this without compromising on some very basic principles that I strongly believe in.

People around me have two things to say:

  • Bomb these people

  • Hang these people

The only thing I can think of right now is challenging the terms of the conversation, by looking at the one common denominator:

No one wants this to happen ever again.

Also read: After Peshawar: Reassessing the terror threat

With this in mind, I thought I'd pose a few questions which no one seems to be asking, but we all should be asking — over and over again — from ourselves, from the politicians, from the media, and from the military. We don't need answers to them just yet. And, it's not like people would agree with all my answers. It's not like I have all the answers either.

But let us ask the questions:


1) The people who did this. Where do they get their money from? Where do they get their weapons?

2) Who provides them refuge? Why do they provide them refuge?

3) Where do they receive the indoctrination that makes them believe that killing children is justified? Which institutions are involved in this indoctrination? Why are these people chosen in particular?

4) If our intelligence is capable of intercepting calls, receiving messages from the Taliban (claiming responsibility), and receiving photos of the men who did this, why don't we question how these communications are possible without providing a lead to finding these people?

5) Why have we not demanded more transparency from our agencies, given the spectacular intelligence failure that this turned out to be?

6) If bombing the Taliban has not resulted in fewer attacks, why do we keep calling for more bombing?

7) Why have we not asked the military to allow media access to Waziristan? Why do we trust everything we are told about Zarb-e-Azb?

8) Most of the men who are the perpetrators of these massacres believe they are going to heaven when they die. Will the death penalty instill any fear in them at all? If they are willing to kill themselves, does being killed by others seem a credible deterrent?

9) Is there a link between the killings of Ahmedis, Hazaras, Christians, Shias, shrine-attendees and the massacre that took place? Is there a common ideology at hand here?

10) Is there a reason that we condemn some of these attacks and not others? Is that why the blame lies on us?

11) Is there a link between the rise of the TTP and the impunity with which groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi operate?

12) Why is it that so many of those arrested in terrorist attacks are released soon after?

13) Would having stronger witness programmes, more efficient courts and a corruption-free police system help prevent these men from getting out of jail within days?

14) Should we start thinking about how, if we were not taught to hate Hindus, Shias, and anyone who is not our brand of religion, this attack may not have been a chilling, logical conclusion to a string of such attacks. How can we change the way our schools teach?

15) What are we really trying to achieve when we say these attacks were not carried out by Pakistanis?

16) What are we really trying not to think when we say these attacks were not carried out by Muslims?

17) Is there nothing to be considered between bombing and negotiations?

18) Would bringing schools, water, electricity, roads, and basic respect to the tribal areas be an effective weapon against these terrorists?

19) Would the military changing its policy regarding 'strategic assets' make these terrorists lose their awful potency?

20) Is it possible to critique our military and government's policies regarding the Taliban, even while feeling immense pain for their dead children?

These are some of my questions. If for no other reason than that we cannot see any answers in this dark, depressing time, ask these of yourselves, your military, your government and your media.

Write these questions into newspapers. Call in to your favourite TV pundit. Write a blog. Ask your friends. Ask your family. Share this article so people around you start asking these questions too.

What is at stake you ask? What's the point?

The point is 145 dead people. The stakes are possibly infinite more.


Author Image

Heba Islam is a former Features Editor at Dawn.com and currently completing her Master's from Columbia University.

She tweets @hebaislam


The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


Comments (116) Closed



Harish Bansal Dec 20, 2014 04:25pm

Asking so many questions against the military and security agencies is not a good thing.

SpreadSomeLove Dec 20, 2014 04:26pm

AskGHQ

mansoor Dec 20, 2014 04:29pm

Reform Rawalpindi, Islamabad reforms itself. Nothing has changed, nothing. I will start hoping the day civilians are treated equal by the junta which rules the corridors of power. Tell me how am I going to defend when people say " Pakistan has no cancer, Pakistan is the cancer"

Sunil Dec 20, 2014 04:34pm

There is another reason, growth of Islamic radicals and fundamentals, who spill venom against the West, who do not like democracy, want Sharia.

Nadeem Dec 20, 2014 04:36pm

Good questions. Our military made some decisions on our behalf back in the 1980's and 1990's. No one could question the logic of those decisions back then, nor can anyone ask these 20 questions today. I hope the military realizes that the children in Mumbai and Kabul are just as loveable and innocent as the ones in Peshawar.

Rashid Dec 20, 2014 04:44pm

If you live in USA, some things are already clear to you: (a) rule of law; (b) no public display of weapons; (c) no willingness to compromise the national identity by importing foreign ideologies; (d) quick, decisive judgments. If you are a Pakistani, you already know that GHQ and Saudi are the primary actors in all of this nefarious, ruthless activities.

What prevents GHQ from cordoning off neighborhood by neighborhood in the country and sanitizing it of all illegal weapons, while putting a bullet thru the head of its owners? Do such drives repeatedly till the point of diminishing returns.

What prevents the nation from rejecting Saudi influence and money on its identity? A mistaken association of Islam with ethnic Arabs has led to gross corruptions of who we re as Pakistanis, and led to unbelievable excesses in the growth of militant madrassas - factories of hate and violence.

Why does the country create categories of terrorists - "good" and "bad" terrorists, "politically-expedient" and "politically-valuable" terrorist, and play the victim game, keeping alive a fringe terrorism to receive foreign money (both Arab and US)? Why would the country not put itself above all, and walk the right path to eschew all forms of dishonorable activities?

I could go on and on, but everybody already knows the questions and the answers.

Akbaruddin Dec 20, 2014 04:45pm

Question number 21.

Have I ever felt fraction of such anguish when same people kill innocents elsewhere..

Harish Bansal Dec 20, 2014 04:49pm

Dawn please if you have the guts please publish my comments at least this time.

The questions that you have raised the answers to those questions goes against the ideology of Pakistan that Pakistanis have been made to believe in through the murder of the history and subversion of the minds using religion as a tool.

The other day I was listening to a the most sane and intelligent person I have heard so far, and he happens to be a Pakistani. It is almost impossible to argue with that person as he talks with all the statistics and numbers to represent the fact about Pakistan.

He says that I am not a balochi, not a punjabi, not a sindhi, I am a Pakistani. And I am a Pakistani not because I am a Muslim, but because like many others I was born in Pakistan. I do not need to hate Hindus to prove the justification for the very existence of Pakistan. Pakistan does not need 2 nation theory any longer as majority of the people were born after Pakistan's creation.

He says that Pakistan must not behave like a security seeking state. After acquiring nuclear weapons Pakistan must have felt secure, but instead Pakistan behaves like a man who buys a gun to protect himself but then stays up all night fearing that somebody will steal his gun.

He says that communism feed terrorism and communal ism has been institutionalized be various military regimes in Pakistan. It has weaponized its very own citizens.

He says that If Pakistan want to be treated as a sovereign nation it must treat Afghanistan in the same way. Pakistan military must recognize the government in Kabul and must stop pushing afghan Taliban to become a component of afghan government. A peaceful friendly stable Afghanistan is in favor of Pakistan.

The sooner Pakistan will stop thinking that the whole world is against it the better it will be for Pakistan.

Samani Dec 20, 2014 04:51pm

Hiba such an amazing thoughts shared. Each thought is exactly what my mind hovering around since the massacre happened.

Rizwan Dec 20, 2014 05:01pm

agencies are not answerable to any civilian .thats how it works dear.

Suresh-a humanist Dec 20, 2014 05:03pm

Ask militry as they are neither elected and yet enjoy a large no. of cloutbon decision and policy making of the nation.

AHA Dec 20, 2014 05:09pm

Heba, Very clear, precise and probing Questions. I hope more of us Pakistanis are able to think like you.

B Singh Dec 20, 2014 05:11pm

Bigger Question - Why are we not looking in the mirror, while trying to find the basic reasons, as to why this mass tragedy happened?

Pats Dec 20, 2014 05:13pm

You missed the most important question!

Question No. 21) Why we are getting this active only after the Children of Army Personnel are killed? Why we have not bothered when all those poor Hazaaras, Shias, Hindus, Christians are killed day in and day out?

B Singh Dec 20, 2014 05:18pm

@Nadeem - What a great post. I wish every Pakistani thinks like that. That is when Peace comes to this subcontinent. I wish you come to India and see as to how Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and others enjoy the prosperity of India.

Harish Bansal Dec 20, 2014 05:23pm

Thanks Mate

B Singh Dec 20, 2014 05:33pm

@Akbaruddin - very true.

ST Dec 20, 2014 05:45pm

Very good article.

IslamGul Dec 20, 2014 06:00pm

Hi Heba, very good assessment, I would like to add that, why not we could have a proactive system of interception, which is used throughout the world in the time of peace and not used in Pak in the time of war. we need to be proactive in advance to avoid such situations, we need to make a policy to truly handle these sort of situation. In addition we should expel all the Afghan muhajir from our country, our 80% problems will be solved, control the borders and develop the tribal areas.

Alam Dec 20, 2014 06:08pm

Everyone will answer these questions according to his/her mindset. History will give correct answers after few decades. Truth has started coming out. The world, specially US have started realizing who is playing dirty game in the region. These cowards have realized that their game will be over in Afghanistan very soon.They are getting mad and have resorted to coward acts like recent killing of innocents in Peshawar. Their saner acts will made them pay very soon.

Sunshine(USA) Dec 20, 2014 06:25pm

So many questions........... Has anyone ever thought of questioning " Where have we failed as a society to let matters come to this ugly stage of blaming , questioning , repenting rather than learning the basics to differentiate between the right and the wrong? "

Rozina Dec 20, 2014 06:43pm

@Harish Bansal The day we start thinking that we are Pakistani no matter which party we belong, then only there will be peace in Pakistan. The rallies and Dharna are giving impression that we are not united. We need to give respect to all are political parties to show that we are one.

sridhar Dec 20, 2014 06:57pm

@Rashid Excellent post Rashid. Sridhar

Eric Dec 20, 2014 07:06pm

I still feel pity when General people of Pakistan say "India ka hath hain " regarding Peshawar massacre .With this mindset of common people..how can a country progress?

AJ Dec 20, 2014 07:09pm

Start at Kindergarten and in another twenty years things might change

Ram Tirath Dec 20, 2014 07:18pm

I have gone through all the questions raised. Pain, Grief and Frustration on this tragic incident is beyond expression. I have seen extremism and terrorism growing in years and drying in days in Indian Punjab. Till the administrators keep Watering the roots and cutting some branches of the tree of terrorism, they are only making fool of the innocents. It has no religion and no national boundary. This giant has always become master of its creator. The masters should stop thinking that they can use it to harm their opponents without placing their own interests at stake. Innocents have to suffer to satisfy the lust of a few selfish. What to speak of other religions and nations, the perpetrators of violence have not spared even Holy Quran from being misquoted to justify their misdeeds. And this will continue till the Advocates of Justice to Humanity keep bearing and fearing them.

lafanga Dec 20, 2014 07:20pm

Things happen in this world which results in deaths of thousands of poor people. No one cares at all. No one rallies for the poor people. Never. The moment rich people die, we start psycho analysing everything.

The question to ask is ... what makes a young man with entire life to live for pick up a gun and go kill a bunch of innocent children in a school and then blow himself up. It can't be religion. No religion justifies this. It can't be culture. No culture justifies this. It can't be the upbringing. No parents want this for their kids. What then? Answer this and we can take the first important step in eliminating terrorism.

Batool Dec 20, 2014 07:34pm

These questions have already been asked, we know the answers, but we Pakistanis prefer to live in a state of denial. We have no unity and no sense of nationality. A tragedy like this might bring us together for a few days but wait a month and we will be back to identifying ourselves as anything but Pakistani.

khan Dec 20, 2014 07:38pm

Question Number 22, isn't 15 year enough to realize GHQ is not fair enough in eliminating terrorism, and playing sart

ashok kumar lal Dec 20, 2014 07:44pm

At last you have asked questions.Will GHQ answer.Who put up Quadri against Zardari and Imran/Quadri against Nawaz and why.Who was the third umpire Imran kept referring to.How can COAS decide death punishment, which is supreme court,s job.Can you make military be only military.At present answer is NO

Abdul Latif Bhat Dec 20, 2014 07:47pm

All replies in first Question. So reply to all Questions is , "Peshawar attack a follow up action of this warning issued by Indian Defence Minister dated Oct 21, 2014 "Pakistan will "feel the pain" of "adventurism" if it persists with ceasefire violations".

Amjad Wyne Dec 20, 2014 07:47pm

Here is an answer to all 20 questions... elect leaders that can lead, have common-sense, are not corrupt and can provide this nation some direction. The rest will fall in-line.

Aimal Khan Dec 20, 2014 07:54pm

Another Important Question to Ask: Will changing the oppressive and demonic system of government used in the tribal areas, that was designed to control a people and create a "buffer zone" by a colonial power over 100 years ago, change anything?

Amjad Wyne Dec 20, 2014 08:13pm

Please allow me to add one more thought...it is easy to blame religious, madrissah educated, ignorant fanatics, or army this and the intelligence agency that...but recognize that the conditions exist simply because the rest, the educated and the so called "reformed" ones have failed to play their role in reforming the society. Many ask the kind of questions you have posed while sitting in the US but then never bother to even think about them once they return. Take the example of the newly appointed CEC - his first priority after the appointment (in a country facing rigged elections, horrible electoral process, call for prime-minister's resignation etc. etc) was a request for a brand new big car....Such are the priorities of the reformed ones.

Javed iqbal Dec 20, 2014 08:17pm

Fantastic blog with real questions that people in government will already know the answers to but we the joe public will never know. I'm based in the United Kingdom but was born in Pakistan and I regularly cry seeing the destruction that goes in my homeland. But I like many others agree that it's eduction a better understanding of other cultures that will one one day make our great country great again. The people that believe that killing any innocent person in name of religion will make them a martyr is totally wrong, theses people are totally barbaric and I hope that almighty deals with them in his own way.

Rajendra Dasila Dec 20, 2014 08:27pm

Dear Dawn since last two three months I am also going through your e-newspaper to get your way of thinking about the India and the factual position of the news about the India and Pakistan. I was almost crying while reading the news about the school massacre incident in Peshawar like me all Indians back home in India might also have the same feeling. People around the world have their own school of thoughts, which is the root cause of such non violence. So is it not possible to wipe out the word 'Jihad' from the religious books as people are using its meaning according to their convenience resulting different kind of violence allover the world.

Shakeel Ahmad Dec 20, 2014 08:43pm

Of all these questions only one is worth asking. Number 3, but the last followup to it should have been, why are such institutions allowed to spread this message of hate like Lal Masjid. Why is Abdul Aziz alive and out of jail?

Alex Dec 20, 2014 08:45pm

DAWN, please please me a favor by publishing this letter.

Law enforcing agencies cannot fight this battle alone. Let us ALL help them. The terrorists and enemies of state live somewhere in the country. Every Pakistani should feel his/her responsibility to be vigilant and watchful. Know your neighbors, people living north, south, east, and west from your place. If all of us do that we can cover the whole country. Please know your neighbor, specially newcomers. What are their activities, what is their source of livelihood, are they doing nothing but living a lavish life. Do they meet their neighbors or live in isolation like Osama bin Laden was living in Abbottabad.

If you find something suspicious, immediately report to authorities. Please do not use this to settle your personal scores. Your honest and timely action can save many lives and make this country the heaven it used to be before Zia-ul-Haque appeared on the scene.

The government should set up emergency phone numbers to receive such information from public. Every information received must be recorded and disposed off after thorough analysis by a responsible team. This agency should be manned by responsible civil and army intelligence people (Do not trust Police to manage this by themselves, they will only use this as a source of income for them).

Mustafa Dec 20, 2014 08:50pm

"Why have we not asked the military to allow media access to Waziristan? Why do we trust everything we are told about Zarb-e-Azb?"

Because our media reflects the general moral standards of our society and there is no dearth of "journalists" who would sell out for a lifafa or small favors by our enemies.

Mustafa Dec 20, 2014 08:53pm

" I hope the military realizes that the children in Mumbai and Kabul are just as loveable and innocent as the ones in Peshawar."

I hope that you realize that Muslim children in Mumbai are just as beautiful without forced conversion.

allaisa Dec 20, 2014 08:59pm

Indians after 11/26 asked similar questions.

Mustafa Dec 20, 2014 09:04pm

" Ahmedis, Hazaras, Christians, Shias, shrine-attendees and the massacre that took place? Is there a common ideology at hand here?"

Not one but confluence of a multitude of ideologies; Takfiri, Akhand Bharat and colonial world order.

Venkat Dec 20, 2014 09:13pm

Absolutely amazing questions!!! Of all these, most important to address in my mind is quoting Quoran to justfy their actions. Muslims and Clerics around the world to condemn clearly and state kiling innocent is anti Quoran and anti islam and disown these terror groups including ISIS.

SYED ZAFAR KAZMI Dec 20, 2014 09:16pm

Very valid, obvious and thought provoking questions. It seems the process of people participation at grass roots level has started off with a roar after the innocent blood so savagely spilled. My very hopeful prayers that this innocent blood awakens the whole nation all across the country to banish terrorism and all extremism in every form and shape.

sam Dec 20, 2014 09:17pm

Even if Most kashmiris hate India as claimed, do you realy think they want to be part of Pakistan?

abdulaziz Dec 20, 2014 09:21pm

These questions should have been asked many years ago when many children were being murdered elsewhere. Why wait until your own children die in your own house?

abdul sami Dec 20, 2014 09:26pm

when more then 100 Ahmadi worshipers were killed in Lahore no action was taken by Army or Government. Even most of civil society stay quite. Now that the fire have reached their homes, schools and everywhere else they started to feel pain, Selective justice will not solve this issue.

Ya Allah rahem Dec 20, 2014 09:26pm

THE DIFFERENCE:-

COAS shortened his visit to Quetta & reached Peshawar. COAS proceeded to Afghanistan to meet Afghan President. COAS returned to Peshawar and met PM. COAS briefed cabinet on security in GHQ. COAS reached Teerah & met troops operating at front. Army killed over 100 terrorists in last 24 hours and its not just ISPR release I'm talking about, pics are all over social media from tirah and lower kurram raid of talibans 2 x Ts trialled by army court hanged & another 4 to b hanged in next 24 hours.

PM made a committee and committee further made a sub committee.

The only person in action to revenge blood of innocent kids is COAS and Insha Allah he will deliver. This nation does not expect anything from politicians.

And to answer your question no 8 separately

Will death penalty instill any fear in them? I have a video of those two terrorists hanged yesterday by military, they're begging for their lives in the worst possible manner

Ya Allah rahem Dec 20, 2014 09:31pm

And I agree that past of military is as ugly as politician's but at present we need to acknowledge and see that who's on "our" side

Ravi Dallas TX Dec 20, 2014 09:32pm

Or a simple direct question: Why didn't we have some common sense like citizens of other countries have? How can any sane civilian , support any terrorist whether they kill your people or others?

If that common sense prevailed, Pakistan would have been prospering instead of worrying about who gets killed when. You only reacted after they started attacking your airports, policemen and civilians. Until then these guys have been killing innocents in other countries which you ignored or yet nurtured them.

Jitendra Dec 20, 2014 09:42pm

I salute you for asking these questions...

What The Great Islam needs is social/religious reformers (with changing time) as many other major religions of the world have had.

Religion should make value of human life precious in the eyes of its followers...

Because people are needed for the spread of a religion and a human body is needed to follow the path of Allah...

Saad Dec 20, 2014 09:57pm

She seems confused

Kuldip Gupta Dec 20, 2014 10:12pm

Should not the narratives of Banu Qarazesh tribe be put in right perspective. This narrative has been used time and again to justify such dastardly acts.

Parvez Dec 20, 2014 10:26pm

That was very smart of you, well done........you've told the story by asking questions. Every thinking person knows most of the answers. It's just that many don't want to accept the truth and many will deliberately twist the answers because it benefits them.

asif Dec 20, 2014 10:29pm

@Harish Bansal ...the are responsible for our security and your saying its no good thing...

ASHISH KUMAR Dec 20, 2014 10:31pm

A very honest, moving, strong and propelling piece of journalism! Each question hits out loud at the hypocrisy, ambivalence surrounding the so-called 'response' of the country's political and military leadership in the wake of this unspeakable butchery! To our mind, those who tolerate, jihadi schools imparting training in suicide mission, are the ones whose hands are more stained with the blood-bath of Innocent children!

dinesh Dec 20, 2014 11:04pm

Like u for the way you thought this. Anyway u missed The Question. 'Why do they hate education?' Won't that answer all other 20 questions?

Mustafa Alvi Dec 20, 2014 11:20pm

Im sorry but i dont agree with the author. I live in karachi and i personally feel that the operation against the taliban has significantly impacted the law and order situation in Karachi and if anything the peshawar massacre was a desperate attempt by the taliban to once again put fear in the heart of this nation. Why else would anyone attack kids?

Sameer Dec 20, 2014 11:25pm

The first question is the mother of all: Who finances them, and why ?

Irfan Dec 20, 2014 11:26pm

@Pats precisely, we keep claiming that over 70,000 civilians have died sometimes i wonder how many of them were children like the ones that were massacred in APS.

furqan Dec 20, 2014 11:32pm

PAK ARMY ZINDABAD.

furqan Dec 20, 2014 11:34pm

pak army zindabad!!!

Rehan Basar Dec 21, 2014 12:10am

@Rashid Army is the most powerful institution of country. The corrupt and incapable civilian governments cannot take charge of army because of the fact that they are corrupt and incapable!!! Hence army is the decision maker whether you like it or not!

Ajay Dec 21, 2014 01:04am

@Nadeem Many of these questions have to be answered by the common people as well (part of introspection) and raised by the media and numerous TV anchors who host programs day in and day out so that awareness increases. It took one person Jbran Sheikh to raise awareness of the public against the Lal Masjid Maulvi.

ImportantQuestions Dec 21, 2014 01:11am

Question 21) Why did it take the security forces so long to storm the building, 8 hours after the terrorists had taken the student hostages and started the massacre?

kumar swami Dec 21, 2014 01:32am

This reader of Dawn has made several such comments and Dawn never published any.

asim Dec 21, 2014 03:33am

@Pats I think you answered all 20 questions Hiba asked.

khalil Dec 21, 2014 04:14am

I quote from a Friday sermon given by a Muslim leader, which directs what Muslims all over world and in particular in Pakistan need to do: 'Until they accept what God states, until they extend fairness even to the enemy, until they give security to those who greet them with peace, until they establish standards of brotherhood, until governments look after public, until public is complaint to governments and until fear of God is instilled in hearts, such atrocities will continue to take place!'

Kajamohideen Dec 21, 2014 04:25am

@Akbaruddin. Most Muslims feel anguish only when Muslims are killed by non-Muslims.

Sh Dec 21, 2014 04:37am

How can an Army work when they are busy selling bread and eggs

Mahavir Dec 21, 2014 05:15am

Answers to Question 3 and Question 9 is the root cause of terrorism. Does any one in Pakistan has courage to answer them?

Dovid Dec 21, 2014 05:16am

20 questions that MUST be answered.

Ilyas Khan Dec 21, 2014 05:29am

@SpreadSomeLove Maybe it is better to ask our DEAR PROTECTORS (a la Dear Leader of North Korea, the font of All Wisdom) of AAB PARA. Do I need say more?

Aslam Kakar Dec 21, 2014 07:42am

@Nadeem They were questioned back then. In 1980s by the visionary Pashtun political leader Wali Khan of Awami National Party who warned that the fire that the Pakistani state was setting alight in Afghanistan will one day cross the Attock Bridge and burn us.

anonymous Dec 21, 2014 07:42am

@Sunil sunil its better to have islamic rules and laws implementation,its make the society eevn more better,,

stick2truth Dec 21, 2014 07:45am

@Harish Bansal You wrote "communism feeds terrorism" but you probably meant "Communalism feeds terrorism". All past or present communist countries profess/professed (at least) agnostic belief.

Aslam Kakar Dec 21, 2014 07:49am

great questions

Jaydip Dec 21, 2014 07:50am

Is not there a one and only one answer to all these questions ? It all points to state sponsored militia men -- who is now backfiring. As Hilary Clinton aptly put -- if you pet a venomous snake in your house thinking it will come handy in eliminating your neighbour --- it will eventually bite you

Javed Dec 21, 2014 07:54am

Q22. If Ajaml Kasb was indeed a Pakistan then why was our FO, Army, ISI & Govt. busy in denying that he is not a Pakistani citizen after Mumbai attacks?

anonymous Dec 21, 2014 07:54am

@B Singh no there is more discrimination then pakistan but your media have no covereage over that...,,,plzzz do your favour to eradicate racism and discrimination there ,,start a globall compaign of eradicating racism,,we too will do so,,,

Javed Dec 21, 2014 07:55am

@furqan The dead were not your children indeed. Keep waiting your family is the next victim.

Hari Om Dec 21, 2014 08:06am

Pointless to ask questions to which the “answers” have been drummed into Pakistani’s by the Military Dominated Deep State of Pakistan so many times that it has seeped into every fibre of the being of a citizen of Pakistan. The Deep State approved “answers” are as follows: 01.Money and Weapons are provided by Hindu/Jews/Crusaders from India/Israel/US/UK. 02. Refuge is provided by Hindu/Jews/Crusaders from India/Israel/US/UK etc. to malign Pakistan and Islam. 03.Indoctrination from India/Israel/US. Institutions are RAW/Mossad/CIA/Blackwater/MI5. People chosen are Non-Muslim as no Muslim will kill another Muslim as Islam is the Religion of Peace who’s Holy Book the Koran says to kill an innocent is to kill all of humanity.

Etc. ……………… Etc. ………………. Etc.

Anand Dec 21, 2014 08:14am

@allaisa absolutely wrong.... You have such questions because your country is in the brink of disaster. Please wake up fast and think of future peace.

Compete with India in terms of technology, science, economy etc.

Sri Varahadev Dec 21, 2014 08:42am

Question Number 21.

Why was there not even a fraction of the anguish displayed by Pakistani’s on this terrorist strike targeting children of Pakistan Army when Civilian Shia’s were being slaughtered wholesale in early 2013 in Quetta?

I am referring to the January 2013 terrorist attack which killed 93 Shia Civilians and the February 2013 attack which killed 63 Shia Civilians:

http://www.dawn.com/news/777830/at-least-93-lives-lost-in-quetta-explosions

http://www.dawn.com/news/786515/large-blast-hits-quetta-at-least-five-wounded

mahadevan Dec 21, 2014 09:05am

absolutely rational thinking-I wish all people in Pakistan think that way-as long as you feel you are sure to reach heavens killing people, this madness will never stop-Jihad is killing the passions in you-Kama, krodha, madha, matsarya...not killing someone else-You kill the evil in you

ddf Dec 21, 2014 09:10am

One question you forgot...is India really your enemy..

Sopmun MUR Dec 21, 2014 09:22am

@Akbaruddin WELL SAID SIR !!! you earned my respect

Tanveer Sheikh Dec 21, 2014 09:23am

I just have one question what do we do about the expected revenge attacks? Now the hornets nest has been shaken

sid Dec 21, 2014 09:55am

"More transparency from our intelligence agencies?"... that's a ridiculous question to ask. The whole point of the intelligence agencies, is to operate under the shadow. However the intelligence agencies do need to as themselves, what they could have done better to prevent such a tragedy.

Ajaya K Dutt Dec 21, 2014 09:57am

@Nadeem - Thanks for your thoughts. Human empathy, is divine, and it glows in these words.

sid Dec 21, 2014 09:59am

Some of the questions being asked in this article are sensitive from an intelligence perspective and cannot be disclosed to the public because they could end up in the wrong hands... Some things you need to leave to the experts, however we should encourage the experts to reflect on their actions to see if anything was missed or could have been done better.

Ravi Dallas TX Dec 21, 2014 10:27am

@Tanveer Sheikh : yes, that is a concern. They will definitely look to attack soft targets just like they did in Peshawar. If past is any indication, Pak has never been proactive whether it is lack of funds,intelligence, Infrastructure or lack of commitment. This is a two way war , hopefully Pakistan takes care of its citizens this time.

Bhavani Dec 21, 2014 10:44am

Unity in diversity is the key! For that one has to accept and respect diversity. But sadly, such an Utopia does not exist. There are aberrations in every society. There you need the governance system to intervene and manage these aberrations. That is where political system and not military or religious or sectarian groups get to play an effective role. Sad- Pakistan got deprived of such a system. But look at Bangladesh- they have turned around. So- it can be done!

Raja Dec 21, 2014 10:46am

Hi. I am from India working in Qatar. I have worked with few Pakistanis, who are educated, nice people to chat and always ready to help. By reading this article and the comments, I have a feeling that majority of the people in Pakistan didn't align with the terrorists, but vested interests are playing a role in nurturing the terrorists. It is sad that innocent people get killed or wounded on daily basis while people in power get money to control terrorism. it is time for educated and sane people, who are the majority in Pak, to drive the sick minded policy makers to stop supporting the terrorists whoever and wherever they are, arrest or kill them and cut the cash flow to them. I hope the day is not far for Pakistan to be a terrorist free country.

armani bobs Dec 21, 2014 10:53am

Xcellent Analysis -----Really wonder How Dawn Dare to Publish -------------- Lots of Questions are Self Explanatory.

jeet Dec 21, 2014 11:26am

7 makes sense to me,I just can't believe when pak army says that they have killed that many terrorists.dead bodies never showed.no media . To me zerb e azb does not exist

Gaurav Arya Dec 21, 2014 11:35am

Q-21) Is the Lashkar-e-Toiba a terrorist organisation or not? Answer YES or NO.

Valiya Dec 21, 2014 11:53am

@anonymous No, closing all the Madrassas in Pakistan and open general education for all is the only solution for the problems of Pakistan..

Azam Dec 21, 2014 11:55am

Great questions. Another one that I would add is what are we doing as individuals to help prevent these kind of attacks and change the mindset of these exremists.

kulwant waraich Dec 21, 2014 12:12pm

@Sameer.....most important who created them ?

Manoj Kumar Dec 21, 2014 12:22pm

Pakistan must adopt Turkey model , its a great example.

Manoj Kumar Dec 21, 2014 12:28pm

@Manoj Kumar : Model of turkey , they are modern state who practice islam with highest order. Also look at india , which any wont like , there are still some pockets india has problem , but by in large country is in right focus and direction. Please take direction and give hope to common pakistanis

vinsin Dec 21, 2014 12:32pm

@Manoj Kumar Why India cannot adopt turkey model?

Manoj Kumar Dec 21, 2014 01:12pm

@vinsin : there are lots of parallel already drawn between existing president of Turkey and India , India is moving in right direction , with new GST tax bill tabled , i have high hopes on business sentiments and GDP growth. And why not , Indian policy makers always have something new to learn from emerging and developed nation. We all doing something good in some areas.

UJJWAL SINGH Dec 21, 2014 01:51pm

I absolutely agree with the article written above , i hope more people introspect the society and try to change thier perception towards thier fellow pakistanis who follow diffrent faiths.Its hard to believe how someone could target innocent kids,yes they should be punished but in long term people must make sure that no injustice is done to thier fellow countrymen whether they are from tribal regions or punjab.Feeling of mutual respect is of utmost importance...... Thanks from an indian to his fellow pakistani brothers and sisters.....

Ahmed Dec 21, 2014 01:54pm

First step after this kind of tragedy should have been to sack Heads of Intelligence gathering and law enforcement agencies. Interior Minister KPK and Federal Interior Minister should be sacked immediately. Unless competent & qualified people are in place , terrorists will strike again. That would sum up answers to most questions.

Saad Dec 21, 2014 02:15pm

@Nadeem dont talk about the children in other countries, talk about the children that got massacred and beheaded in Raja Bazar(Rawalpindi) . Why dont we demand justice for them , is their blood so cheap then the ones studying in fancy schools ?? Why did our army let the media take snaps of the dead children in APC and not allowed to do so in raja bazaar masjid ?? and let me tell u ,its hypocrisy in our ranks that is eating us ,

Nakul Gote Dec 21, 2014 02:15pm

I thought you ask questions 'to' yourself and others, not 'from' yourself and others.

Grammar apart, loved the questions.

SMQ Zaman Dec 21, 2014 02:28pm

Great soul-searching questions posed by Heba!

Omar Dec 21, 2014 02:48pm

Agree 100%. More killing isnt the answer...intelligence is

justwsf Dec 21, 2014 03:18pm

question 9 and 10....we the Pakistanis should think about it... because injustice any where is injustice every where...if we have consent in killing minorties then we even cant save ourselves as a majority to be killed!

justwsf Dec 21, 2014 03:25pm

question 4 prove that agenies are incompetent or no willing at all

Fareed Dec 21, 2014 06:11pm

No 20 questions. , Just one question - When are they going to shut down these Madrissas where fanaticism is a major course of curriculum.

Mohammed Yang Dec 22, 2014 01:29am

@Harish Bansal oh, of course it isn't. but it is a sign of a working democracy. Think of any country in the world where these sorts of questions are censored. Think of the narrative that the India put forth of the dissidents in the North-East, where the army was for long portrayed as the hero or even the army in Kashmir. This is a sign of a working democracy. I wouldn't dare ask any questions of the army in China or Russia or even North Korea.

The army will work in a positive way, hopefully. The power-hungry might, for the next few months at least, go against the tenets of these extremists. The questions posed by the author here will never be answered, however. This is a sad truth.

Aisha S Dec 22, 2014 09:10pm

Absolutely. We need to ask these questions. We need to ask questions if we claim we have any concerns at all. IF we care.

alizeb khan Dec 23, 2014 01:36am

That is where we all stand. Do have lots of questions unanswered. I mean we all know nothing or except what we should know. As if everthing is scripted. All of us are confused.