Reign of Terror: Fear in Islamabad

It has been exactly a week since the national capital of India was terrorized out of its complacency by a series of blasts at the most eminent of places. Now we are exposed to almost a reflection of terror and frenzy in Pakistan’s national capital. Islamabad witnessed one of its worst ever explosion in the form of a suicide attack in the heart of the city in the vicinity of Hotel Marriot. The Hotel was up in flames as an explosive laden vehicle blew up with an enormous amount of combustible material and a vile intensity causing a near 25 feet deep crater where the vehicle had been.

Around 40 people have been reported dead and 100 others injured in this blasphemous act of contempt. It is absolutely resentful how time and again the matter of death, which is of primal importance and significance, is brought down to a trifle in the form of mere numbers. One can only wait and watch as to how many more are added to the above figures as bodies continue to be excavated from beneath the debris and collapse. Initial reports supported by visual evidence suggest that 11 floors of the hotel were alight in an uncontrollable fire. The cars in the driveway and parking lot have been reduced to charred metals.

Being centrally located, the blast has affected the houses of government officials behind the hotel and Balochistan House has been partially destroyed too. The PM’s house and the Parliament too are situated very close to the blast site. The choicest of venues, the 5-star hotel was hosting the celebration of Iftar as a part of the ongoing Ramzaan- described as ‘God’s own month’. The turnout of persons was therefore expected to be at an all time high. Not only was the hotel catering to the families gathered, but also eminent delegations from across the globe including a Danish diplomat and 3 US citizens reportedly injured. The execution of disaster thus has multiple connotations linked with it.

What provides us a shock value is the claim taken by the Taliban as being exclusively responsible for this attack. One may question Providence as to why the already terror stricken country is repeatedly butchered by its links with the terrorist outfits. Mr. Zardari had mentioned in his speech today that the Pakistani soil is nurturing and playing host to cross border terrorism. If some experts are to be believed, this attack could be a retaliation to the strong remarks made by this newly sworn in president against the very existence of terrorism and Pakistan’s oath to wipe out the same. His speech at the parliament also called for the straightening of bonds among neighboring countries especially Afghanistan and India. Whatever the reason for such a reaction may be, no act is justified if it is meant to instill fear in the minds of innocent.

What we are headed to, as far as I can deduce, is a global catastrophe in our desperate attempts to curb Terrorism. Where we express our condemnation towards these uncalled for destructions, we are not doing enough to eradicate the very origin of the problem. So what is it that one does in times like these? It is ironical, that even though we try our best to maintain the peace and tranquility around, a subsequent report of fearsome attacks is vulgarly thrown at our face.

And this is what the test is. How far are we to take this exploitation of our state of mind? We once again cocoon ourselves and pray for a halt in the rising number of the blameless being executed. Amen.

Ankita Kanwar

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