While the whole nation is engrossed in the drama being performed in Blue Area and how all and sundry are reacting to the show, something more serious and disgraceful is going on in our beloved country. As I have repeatedly said, I do not watch much TV. So I don’t know what the channels are saying about what happened this morning in North Waziristan or if it even qualifies as something worthy of being reported in the media. I know this because it involves the family of a close friend.
At around 8.30 a.m. this morning a Pakistan Army gunship helicopter appeared in the skies above Hassukhel, a small village in Tehsil Mir Ali, North Waziristan. The helicopter descended above a house and started firing indiscriminately. According to reports by the locals there at least twenty five people were killed comprising predominantly women and children. My friend’s aunt lived in the said village. As she saw the helicopter open fire, she instantly worried about her buffalo, her main source of income. So she ran towards the animal and tried to lead it inside. Unfortunately she could not get inside in time. The fire from the helicopter shot her and the buffalo. When her kids, both under ten years of age, saw their beloved mother writhe in pain beside the dead animal, they ran towards her in panic. The gunship helicopter continued to fire killing the two kids on the spot.
I don’t know what the media will say about this. Probably something like 25 militants killed by Pakistan army in a battle where our soldiers fought gallantly. I just want to set the record straight for all those who are willing to listen, who are willing to see and accept the truth. The simple village-dwelling woman was not a militant. The little kids were not terrorists. The buffalo was not armed. Similar catastrophes occurred in the neighboring houses. Why?
One local explained that they are not worried about drone attacks as much as they are about their own uniformed defenders. ‘Drones strike with a lot of precision,’ he explained, ‘they mostly kill the terrorists, and we are happy with that. It’s our army that fires indiscriminately. What was the crime of these children and their mother? Who are they defending? What are they doing?’ he asked before cursing the people responsible.
I don’t know what to say about this. I just don’t know.