Value of a Pakistani life

Policemen stand next to the body of a man who was killed by unidentified gunmen, at a morgue in Karachi’s Abbasi hospital October 17, 2010
Policemen stand next to the body of a man who was killed by unidentified gunmen, at a morgue in Karachi’s Abbasi hospital October 17, 2010

The NATO attack that killed 28 soldiers over the weekend has ignited national outrage. Gen Abbas told the Americans that an apology is not enough, and rightly so. Others have demanded “blood for blood”, but additional deaths will not return our sons to us. To tell the truth, I don’t know how a tragedy like this can be made right, if it can at all. But while I was thinking about this, the question occurred to me, what is the value of a Pakistani life?

When militants killed 26 in a cross border attack in Chitral in August, the response was muted. When militants killed 29 Shias in September, the response was silence.

Drone strikes that have killed between 300 and 500 innocent people sparked sit-ins and blockades.

Suicide attacks have killed over 4,800 people and injured over 10,000 spark no protests.

Imran Khan condemns Musharraf for hundreds of Pakistani citizens gone missing in the war on terror.

Pakistani citizens from Balochistan are even missing from the headlines.

A sad and disturbing pattern begins to emerge. If your death can be blamed on America, you are a son of the soil. If your death can’t be blamed on someone else…you’re just soil. What is the value of a Pakistani life? Sadly it seems the answer is a few votes.

If we don’t value our own lives, why would we expect anyone else to?

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