Col Sohail Abid embraced martyrdom during an operation against terrorists in Balochistan’s Killi Almas area on May 16. Col Sohail intercepted and killed a ‘high-value target’ of the banned militant outfit, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi during a gunfire exchange between the security forces and the terrorists. A total of three terrorists were killed in the operation, who were reportedly involved in the target killings of over a 100 members of the Hazara community, a Shia minority in Pakistan.

The country stands today to mourn an individual who considered a vulnerable minority group as his own brethren.

Police-constable, Sana Ullah was injured in the operation and also embraced martyrdom late yesterday.

It is an instance that has made apparent the collateral damage of war that affects all.

Not the war of terrorism in isolation that is. But the war that has been long coming due to various forces in the geopolitical atmosphere of the 21st Century. The very creation of militant outfits has been subject to much research and debate. Militants are considered to be the by-product of western hegemonic practices and our own inability to see the greater picture, an argument which isn’t new to public discussions. Subsequent activities of the militant outfits have impacted both sides, the soldiers in the direct line of fire as well as common people who become the collateral damage in cleanup operations. It is painful to see the cost of such wars. The Pakistan Army’s soldiers are out in troubled zones, fighting to protect locals from these man-made monsters in the shape of extremists. Entire families are facing the brunt of choices made by our leaders and those worldwide as well.

It is time the citizens generally take on this role of ensuring the damage to human lives is kept to a minimum. Instead of blindly supporting any man who claims to have knowledge of the religion, think critically about whether their words spread fear and hate. Only then will we be able to nip militancy in its bud. Only then will we be able to ensure that invaluable people like shaheed Col. Sohail are lost by this nation. While the army men are out there protecting our people, we must ask ourselves:      

What are we, as citizens, doing to curb extremism in Pakistan? 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *