The death toll from last Friday’s terror attacks in Parachinar has now crossed seventy. The twin blasts were third major bomb attacks to hit Parachinar during this year. Twenty-five people were killed and 87 others injured when an IED targeted busy vegetable market of the city earlier in January this year, while 23 others were killed and 73 wounded when an explosive-laden vehicle tore through a busy market on March 31.
The trauma the people of the city are going through is hard to describe in words. The city has been repeatedly targeted by terrorists. Riaz Ali Toori, an activist from the terror hit story in a recent article penned what the city and the residents have been going through over the last few days, Toori wrote in his article for Dawn ‘There was no Eid or chaand raat for us in Parachinar this year. Across the country, as people were getting ready for a happy Eid, so many of us here were buying shrouds to bury our loved ones, candles and incense to place on their graves. As I was penning my sentiments, I could see on TV the scenes of jubilation as the Shawwal moon was sighted. My cellphone was ringing with messages of Eid Mubarak. I felt disappointed, frustrated and hurt. My heart burnt in anguish thinking of the lives lost, children made orphans and wives made widows after the merciless attack in my hometown that killed more than 70 and injured hundreds more. I feel like a stranger in my own country. The apathy of my fellow Pakistanis and the media hurts me more than the actual bombings. It is incomprehensible as to why a day of mourning was not declared in the country and why the national flag was not flown at half-mast. I want to know as to why I am being treated as practically a non-citizen of this country. Where is the hue and cry in the media over the mass killing of people of my area? I want to know why has there been no high-level meeting to urgently discuss what happened in Parachinar. Why didn’t any politician, high official or anyone of note attend the funerals?’
The questions put forth by Toori are on the mind of most, the Prime Minister cut short his London trip and visited the families of victims of the Bahawalpur oil-tanker tragedy, but the Prime Minister couldn’t spare time to visit the city of Parachinar. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief Imran Khan and Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto were also a no show (they don’t hold office but as leaders of two major opposition parties they had the moral obligation to stand with the people of Parachinar). Government Minister’s who conduct multiple press conferences almost every day to defend the ruling family in the wake of the Panama Papers case also failed to spare time to visit the city.
The Prime Minister should have visited Parachinar to listen the grievances of the residents.
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