Archive for the ‘emergency’ Category
As the much hyped government Taliban negotiations, make headline news, allegations, counter allegations, conditions and counter conditions, go on, the people are left in a state of disbelief, for talks and bombing, killing, goes on in parallel.
Do the dead and wounded and those who survive care for the outcome, or want as decisive an action as the extremists undertake?
take a breath
deep if you can
or even shallow
as you always do,
feel the pain
the scathing burning
acrid taste of burning
tearing down your throat
smell of flesh, clothes and wood
tinged with explosives
even as you look away
and cover your nose
the throat tells you, you have
just been exposed to
a bomb blast.
and as you run
you stumble and fall
shocked to see
beneath your feet
bleeding, torn, incinerated
and you stand in shock
and one thought
why us? rises
above all in your mind
and you wonder if the
negotiations touted as the
mother of all talks
will have any effect?
and even if they do
will the result of these
bring back the humanity
you just stepped on
back to life
being able to love
and you can see the
writing on the wall
seen by all
but those who matter
confused and unsure between
oblivious to the pain,
loss, suffering and feelings
for they have not suffered
hiding behind their high walls
long convoys in duplicates
moving along different routes
jammers, rerouting traffic
and all spent on the
alter of expediency, the
dead, maimed and wounded
unseen, unsung, unheard.
change, for the sake of your people
your mindset, and realize
and eye for an eye
was written for such as these!
February 13, 2014
I met Ms. Uzma Yasmeen a student of the National Defense University, Islamabad at the public talk on the subject of “Security architecture for South Asia” by Mr. Farooq Sobhan, Former Foreign Secretary, People’s Republic of Bangladesh organized at the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISSI) distinguished lecture series on November 1, 2012.
In the last one month Ms. Yasmeen has become active in promoting PakTSN and she arranged my meeting with other students on December 06, 2012.
It was a wonderful interactive session, which lasted for longer than I had anticipated, but it was worth each minute of it. At the peak there were 6 students (some students were detained by the faculty for other work) round the table while few sitting close by had their ears on our discussion. We talked of terrorism, reason for my becoming an anti-terrorism activist; why I speak for survivors; about PTSD; steps that can be taken to create awareness about the ‘human cost of terrorism; rational for reaching out to youth; role of youth; how we can pool our resources to reach out to other educational institutions in Islamabad / Rawalpindi, and surrounding areas; and generally about issues facing Pakistan.
I cannot appreciate enough the interest and desire of Ms. Uzma Yasmeen to work with us on this important aspect of human interactions post passing away of a loved one in an act of terrorism. May Allah help and guide us in this endeavor. Aamin
I look forward to the participants’ inputs on broadening this undertaking of creating awareness of the human cost of terrorism particularly among the youth of Pakistan, and to our meeting with more people in the future.
i was on the panel in azm e alishan behtar Pakistan episode 6 telecast on november 17, and 18, the link to the episode:
comments welcome. please circulate widely to give voice to our anti-terror crusade.
Talk at School of International Law
Thursday 04 October 2010. Tahir Wadood Malik, Founding Director Pakistan Terrorism Survivors Network
MY TALK “Pakistan, Terrorism/Violent Extremism and Us,” at the School of International Law, thanks to an earlier informal interaction with students arranged by Ms. Nida Tareen, the Director / Principal, attracted a good number of students despite the Semi-finals of the T20 Cricket World Cup between Pakistan and Sri Lanka later that evening.
I STARTED the talk with a reference to how we have become so immune to extremism that we ‘change the TV channel’ when this news comes on. I followed this with how Islam prohibits extremism, and suicide. Then highlighted that this narrative was obviously not working because a number of youth still get radicalized, and vulnerable youth were joining the ranks of the extremists. Which gives rise to the question whether this extremist movement is about religion, or some other cause like political, economic, personal etc., is the motivation? For this I reminded them of the recent ‘lone work terrorist’ and how they had operated in random incidents across the globe.
I GAVE the students the following possibilities/actions to ‘Say No to Terrorism”:
- Be watchfully alert for radicalized / at-risk / vulnerable youth.
- Be aware of radicalization trends in youth.
- Based on what they learn, craft a counter narrative which should include religion, politics, economic, or ideological parameters.
- As they surf the net, use online social media, or other media channels, be watchful for the media used by these groups and suggest counter media hints.
- If they learn of any survivor in their environs, connect them to us.
- Read up on PTSD and understand why some people in their surroundings behave as they and not because of any other (insane) factor!
- Be politically aware, find out about their legislative representatives and try to reach them through letters and other means to make them aware of the feelings and thoughts of the youth in their constituency.
- Make efforts to improve their physical strength and stamina so in case they are needed to assist in any area of terrorist action they can do so.
- Impressed upon them that leaving Pakistan is NOT the solution – even if they can and do, what about the kith and kin that will still remain in Pakistan?
- They should not fear death – because everybody is going to die one day, remove the fear of death from your heart.
WHAT CAN institutions do?
- Protect the students and the facility physically.
- Arrange trainings like first-aid (PRCS) and rescue operations (1122).
– Training for all – the old, the young, the youth, the ladies the disabled, even the peon, cook, driver and more!
- Inculcate responsibility about life in students so they:
– Are alert 24 hours a day.
– More alert when travelling through crowded places.
– Inform their family about their whereabouts. Also ask the family to inform you about theirs.
– Look out for & report suspicious objects, persons & bad elements in the surroundings.
FROM HERE we moved on to watch the Global Survivors Network video “Hear our Voices” which created an impact and many students were moved to tears.
A QUESTION/ANSWER/SHARING session followed, with students coming up with probing question, sharing experiences, and generally accepting that they did not care about this issue because it seemed so remote.
One of the students then narrated her story of losing her brother in a horrific incident over five years ago, and the trauma that they family had to undergo and still does, every day due to this. Her emotionally charged tearful narrative was straight from the heart, and even I had trouble remaining composed. She had a valid point to make about how some organizations play on the emotions of the survivors by raising funds through musical concerts and such activities which can hurt the emotions of survivors.
Another student remarked that while she felt emotionally involved but this feeling did not last long, and she had ups and down’s and she felt sullied for not doing anything about this due to her short feeling span.
Another student whose family is running a seminary, narrated the experience of how her husband went missing for a few months and returned to tell how he had been kidnapped by some extremist elements who wanted him to be a part of their network.
Other students talked about the role of the seminary system (madrassas), my response to this is that many actual perpetrators were educated city folks, like those in the audience, so putting the blame on seminaries was ‘scapegoating’ these. And this was supported by the lady mentioned in the previous paragraph.
The students were moved by these narratives and some came up to me and thanked me for giving them the chance to speak, and how it had shown the effects of extremism in their midst. Something they would not have known ever.
A SUGGESTED counter narrative was written by a student and given to me (attached).
FINALLY I told them the reason I addressed youth was:
- Because youth have unadulterated passion & belief in them, which is a weapon that no act of terror can stand up to
- This same unadulterated passion & belief is used by the extremists to recruit youth!
- We can no longer afford biased, orthodox ‘adults’ with no regard for new & unconventional ideas to lead the way, we can combat terrorism only if we welcome new ideas and allow the youth to voice their opinions
The students and management decided that we will have another interaction with the students in a months’ time to talk about taking the “Say No to Terrorism” further, and see what the students had done about what we discussed that day.
ENDING ON the Quranic verse, Surely, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change that which is in their hearts (Ch.13 – V 11),I am confident that at SIL we have laid the foundation of a group of young Pakistanis who will be in the forefront to “Say No to Terrorism.”
Pakistan Terrorism Survivors Network: http://www.paktsn.webs.com
My blog: http://www.gsntahir.wordpress.com
Global Survivors Network: http://www.globslsn.net
Against Violent Extremism: http://www.againstviolentextremism.org
Peace Direct: http://www.peacedirect.org/
Counter Narrative Comment Written by a Student
The person who is committing suicide – if he knows what is he doing, I think then he is to suffer in his afterlife. But, if the suicide bomber doesn’t know what will be the after effects of his action, in my point of view he is innocent. And only because of one reason that is – he is doing what someone else (that of sound mind and age) wanted him to do. That particular person brainwashing other innocent people to kill themselves and others, do it by getting hold of the emotions and sentimental values of those bombers and terrorists. Only if we get hold of a person’s emotional and sentimental side, we can direct the mind of any person at any point.
All we need to do is to build a bridge, have a heart and show others we have it. I think that is all that matters. This is the counter narrative I have.
Everyone needs help. Even the terrorists. Because the cycle has been going on – like you said, it has to be stopped. Terrorism comes in many forms … Silence is one of them.
taken in karachi company, markaz G 9
as the people mull over the terrorist connection in the two fire incidents in lahore and karachi on the same day, the moral brigade makes its slow but sure inroads in islamabad.
my article on the lifeafterhate site.
No child is immune to the traumatic effects of terrorism, whether they are in New York, Bosnia, Israel, Palestine, Iraq, London, Lebanon, Rwanda, Kashmir, Darfur, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or elsewhere. And while many children are resilient after traumatic experiences, many develop a variety of emotional and behavioral symptoms that can be severe and long-lasting.
some attention being paid to the subject at last.