& Media Coverage
By Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd.)
Sad as the killings
are, still sadder is the reaction of most of us
to the heinous suicidal attack on the eve of Eid-i-Milad-un-Nabi
at the Nishtar Park, Karachi. Surprisingly, the
news agencies, especially the electronic media,
seemed to be airing sectarian feelings - whether
inadvertently or by design – by repeatedly
using words like ‘Sunni Tehreek Ulema, Namaz-e-Janaza
of Ahle Sunnat wal Jama't etc. They gave the impression
that the perpetrators of the crime were Shias.
Not to be outdone, the MMA did not let go of the
opportunity and promptly announced a ‘Protest
Day’ on the coming Friday! For God’s
sake what protest and against whom? How will protests
help the prevention of such horrific incidents in
the future? Or, are such acts and pronouncements
yet another vehicle to gain t political mileage?
If at all the politicians must do something, they
should prepare and educate the masses in combating
such unfortunate incidents effectively.
In order to forestall such incidents may I suggest
a few measures:
1. Masses must not depend entirely upon the law-enforcing
agencies for their protection. They MUST themselves
ensure their safety too. Controlled access, body
search, all round and all time vigilance, watch
and ward etc. are some of the steps to be taken.
2. We should train people in administering First
Aid. The sight of the injured being carried with
arms and legs dangling was simply pathetic. Many
a slightly fractured limb could have broken completely
by this mode of rescue of the injured. Such First
Aid training could be imparted after prayers in
3.People should be instructed on methods and drills
for combating such tragedies with resilience and
not to panic or create confusion as is the norm.
We have to have experts delivering such lectures
and what other place could be better suited for
it than a mosque with a good attendance?
Lastly, let’s all at our own level try to
inculcate ‘discipline’ amongst ourselves.
Discipline will help us face such catastrophes with
resilience. We will behave like a disciplined nation
rather than a mob running helter-skelter all over,
not knowing what to do. We will automatically make
way for the ambulances to speed away. We will not
uncontrollably crowd over a stretcher in the narrow
corridors of a hospital. Imbued with discipline,
we will act calmly in a dignified manner. We will
be a nation to be proud of.
As far as the Ulema are concerned, my sincere request
to them is not to spread hatred but to preach harmony
among various sects.