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Attack on Sanaullah Haq

May 09, 2013

THE battle frontiers of our primeval war against India seem to have shifted to jails. The attack on Sarabjit Singh generated a similar incident in an Indian jail where a Pakistan jail inmate, Sanaullah Haq, was attacked and is now brain dead.

Both, Pakistan and India, seem to have lost ethics which are supposed to be displayed by ‘enemies’ towards each other.

Exposing a convicted terrorist to misplaced wrath of our ‘patriotic criminals’ is either disturbing incompetence or a ridiculous way to carry out the sentence.

The thought that the Indians will be consistent in settling the score crossed one’s mind when the unfortunate attack upon Sarabjit Singh was reported by the media, as well as the idea that some Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails would pay the price for the way Sarabjit was handled.

Considering Sarabjit’s case, the thing which perturbs one’s mind is that proper security measures were not taken for such a high - profile captive, since all of us must be aware of the media and political campaign for the release of Sarabjit on humanitarian grounds. What is more painful is that no disciplinary action seems to have been taken against the people responsible for Sarabjit’s death. It is perhaps a tragic irony that both Sarabjit and Sanaullah’s names start with the letter ‘s’. The similarity between the two ends here. Whereas Sarabjit was convicted of terrorist attacks on Pakistani soil, Sanaullah crossed the border in pursuit of his cattle. This is not the way for the civilised nations to continue their conflicts.

Both Sarabjit and Sanaullah are the victims of an epic failure of the very idea of nationalism. We seem to have taken our disagreements to such depths of moral and political depravity from which we will do well to recover.

Let us pray for the families of both Sarabjit and Sanaullah with the hope that in the future we would choose better battlegrounds and be gracious enemies, that is, if we cannot help being enemies.

M. UMAR TAHIR Okara