Karachi Killings & Media Coverage
By Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd.)
Rawalpindi, Pakistan

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 mosques.
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.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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