Delhi and Islamabad blasts: Deadly tale of two cities

A reader directed me to this lovely post.

13/09/08: A series of bomb blasts ripped through the crowded market places of Delhi claiming a number of lives and shattering the lives of many survivors.

20/09/08: A powerful bomb blasts takes place outside Marriott Hotel in the Pakistani city of Islamabad. From initial news coming out explosive laden dumper truck has wreaked this havoc. Some 40 people have already been declared dead.

If it were not for the difference in the Hindi and Urdu ticker running at the bottom of the television screen one could have mistaken scenes of one city’s mayhem for the others. Before Delhi it was Ahemdabad in India and Peshawar/Karachi in Pakistan.

India and Pakistan has been locked in a relationship of mutual suspicion and distrust for so long that they seem to have actually convinced their citizens that they are two very seperate nations who can carry on living in mutual animosity for as long as it takes us to solve the issue of some disputed territory without paying a heavy price. Well, the images on the screen tell another story. They tear to shreds the theory that Pakistan’s terrorism and problems are somehow different from ours.

The same fiery and bloody images at the scene of explosions, the same bloodied survivors being rushed to the hospital, the same anxious and tearful relatives trying to obtain information about their loved ones are on the Pakistani television channel as they were on our channels on the 13th of this month. As one watched the live images of people milling outside Islamabad’s hospitals all one could pray and wish for was that no dastardly terrorists had planted bombs outside hospitals as they had done in Ahemdabad.

Their TV reporters scrambled to beam live images from the scene just as ours do and then the rush for eyewitnesses and for comments from the political big wigs of the nation. Just as we always have set terrorists outfits we name after each incident and talk about overseas radical Islamist organizations abetting these acts, the Pakistani side also has it’s pet peeve about America’s ‘war on terror’ adding to the nation’s woes. All commentators are unanimous in condemning America’s recent incursions into the tribal Pakistani areas along the Afghan-Pakistan border and attributing the current wave of attacks to America’s cowboy attitude towards Pakistan’s sovereignty

Both nations are at least partly correct in their assessments and views but what both need to understand is that, running through these series of terrorists acts is the common theme of the radicals winning the war for influence on the thoughts of some sections of ordinary citizens. We might have the Kashmir imbroglio between us but the web of terror is spread far and wide and from one end of the globe to another and is contributing to the worsening scenario. And the longer we keep our discords unsolved the easier it will be for terror masterminds to cultivate young recruits from amongst the vulnerable sections of our populations.

The time to act, the time to resolve the differences, the time to work together as allies and not as adversaries is NOW or else the gory images that we have witnessed today will continue to invade our homes(on both sides of the border) and we will only have ourselves to blame.

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