It is time to forget what happened in the past . . . who killed Liaquat, Benazir, or how did Jinnah die, or even the circumstances that led to the death of prominent personalities. Conspiracy theories, accusations, and suspicions are floated off and on but only those who committed or authorized the act know the truth. Today, one suicide jacket or one drone or one missile attack kills thousands. The grief is there, but soon the names of victims become numbers and the world moves on. The past is past. It is time to focus on solutions to eliminate or reduce modern day killing with sincerity of purpose and full accountability.
Maintenance and monitoring of law and order situation should not become a shuttlecock between law enforcers and political hierarchy. The privileged few who exert influence are the root cause for the deterioration of a peaceful environment. This is nothing but a tragedy perpetrated on the citizens of Pakistan. This has also sullied the positive image of the nation all around the globe. This pathetic scenario, as well as the general apathy and attitude of authorities, remind one of a Nursery Rhyme learnt in Kindergarten school. "Who killed Cock Robin?"
"Who killed Cock Robin?" "I," said the Sparrow,
"With my bow and arrow, I killed Cock Robin."
"Who saw him die?" "I," said the Fly,
"With my little eye, I saw him die."
"Who caught his blood?" "I," said the Fish,
"With my little dish, I caught his blood."
"Who'll make the shroud?" "I," said the Beetle,
"With my thread and needle, I'll make the shroud."
"Who'll dig his grave?" "I," said the Owl,
"With my pick and shovel, I'll dig his grave."
"Who'll be the parson?" "I," said the Rook,
"With my little book, I'll be the parson."
"Who'll be the clerk?" "I," said the Lark,
"If it's not in the dark, I'll be the clerk."
"Who'll carry the link?" "I," said the Linnet,
"I'll fetch it in a minute, I'll carry the link."
"Who'll be chief mourner?" "I," said the Dove,
"I mourn for my love, I'll be chief mourner."
"Who'll carry the coffin?" "I," said the Kite,
"If it's not through the night, I'll carry the coffin."
"Who'll bear the pall?" We," said the Wren,
"Both the cock and the hen, we'll bear the pall."
"Who'll sing a psalm?" "I," said the Thrush,
"As she sat on a bush, I'll sing a psalm."
"Who'll toll the bell?" "I," said the bull,
"Because I can pull, I'll toll the bell."
All the birds of the air fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
When they heard the bell toll for poor Cock Robin.
The message in this poem is loud and clear. The whole forest got into the act to honor Cock Robin, to do whatever needed to be done, offering their expertise and resources, but no one accused, arraigned, or arrested the sparrow. Maybe the sparrow was forced to admit that he did the killing whereas it is not known who ordered the killing. Notwithstanding the fact that the sparrow is a small bird, the other bird species, as well as concerned fish and animals, were ready to do everything for the dead Cock Robin. A few offered to sing eulogies or toll the bell, but they did not light candles, they did not go on a protest march, nor did they demand exemplary punishment for the sparrow. Amazingly, the poem does not mention even one line about the role of the lion, the King of Jungle, nor did any monkey, giraffe, or elephant come forward to do a good deed. Not even one condolence message.
In Pakistan, we have developed a new tradition by lighting candles to mourn or protest a killing. Usually less than 50 social activists gather at a place, light candles, post strong messages on Facebook, Twitter or Whatsapp, put the pix of the deceased as DP, and one week later, they all forget and bide their time waiting for another such cause. Like Sabri or Sabeen who are no more prominent in the news. Even Edhi, who did die of old age complications, is no more on their radar. Of course, death anniversaries are observed religiously and politically, and the speakers pledge to carry on the cause of the deceased. Gradually the tide ebbs, and the intensity and commitment to the cause lessen. The police as per SOP round up a large number of suspects and after interrogation or after offerings of sweeteners, or after both options, release them. The political leaders have already given a 72-hour deadline for apprehending those who committed the dastardly act.
The killers of the high profile personalities are still on the Most Wanted list, and like the sparrow, totally confident that they will live out their lives in total freedom, unless their string pullers have not already bumped them off. They smugly enjoy the contents of the heavy purse given to them on completion of their mission. The truth stays hidden and safe. "They used not to prevent one another from wrongdoing that they did. How wretched was that which they were doing" (Al-Quran 5:79)