Rawalpindi Bombing–Close to Home

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Image borrowed from The Nation, Pakistan

Yesterday’s bombing of the National Bank was so close to my home that had I been there I would have felt the tremor and heard the blast from my room. What the newspapers have failed to mention is that this particular bank branch primarily dealt with the pension accounts of army retirees. So, most of the people killed were probably those who had served their country honorably and were there to collect their monthly pension: my own pension account is (was) also in this  branch. So, in a way the bombs hit home in more than one way for me.

We should also know that quite a few people go to this bank branch to collect the pensions for widows and spouses of retired/fallen army soldiers. Thus, the bomb killed those whose personal lives, in one way or the other, were linked to serving their country. This is the true face of Taliban: the killers of women, children, and defenseless retirees. If this is how they deal with their so-called enemies, what can we construe from this? What kind of an ‘Islamic’ system will they implement if they were given this chance? Would their justice system be based on the same principle of dearth, torture, and total disregard of human life?

A bigger question that we must now ask of these bearded cowards is simply this: What kind of a Jihad is this? And which book are they reading to understand it? For as for as I am concerned there is nothing Islamic about this kind of cowardly war. And if all these idiots are so interested in fighting, why aren’t they in in the mountains? it should not be hard to find thirty thousand Pakistan soldiers to match their own jihadist  vigor with. Or maybe, for these cowards, unsuspecting, defenseless civilians are a better target.

While this is a tragedy for us and for the city of Rawalpindi, this incident should also be added to the Taliban and Alqaeda “Roll of Shame.”

Masood Raja

Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Masood Ashraf Raja is an Associate Professor of Postcolonial Literature and Theory at the University of North Texas and the author of "The Religious Right and the Talibanization of America" (Palgrave, 2016). 

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