“No Name, No Shame”

by Aanya F Niaz

We are trying exhaustingly hard to not appeal to the “emotions” of our audience. The sensitivities and feelings of man have been deemed too “feminine”, and therefore rendered inappropriate for the harsh, crude and “male” world of politicians, journalists and anchors, that are in control of media today.  Do not mention the losses of the mother, the death of the brother, or the hunger of the father, claims the spastic female-phobic world of today. Instead, the emphasis is on the provision of statistics; give us the numbers of drone attacks in Pakistan, count the casualties and the number of families who have suffered loss. Furthermore, calculate their incomes so that we may provide them with ransom money, but all along, give them no names. The faces remain empty, distant and invisible – Their losses simply stacked away in the dark abysmal history of Pakistan.

If there is no name, there is no shame, seems to be the motto of today’s world. No longer does the quality of life matter; but the quantity of lives that are lost.

I suppose it is, indeed, easier to sleep at night when the dead have no identity. Perhaps it is convenient to move forward without accepting the loss of humanity. Mostly, gathering courage to continue on the same path is only possible because those who are dying are not our own. But the truth is, they are. These are our very own Pakistani brothers and sisters, who, sitting atop mountains in unknown valleys see bloodshed on a daily basis. They are compelled to evacuate their homes and isolate their assets and run barefoot along barren streets leading to nowhere. Pakistan has become a hub of nothingness; where the most familiar terms have become ‘terrorism’ and ‘immunity’. Our mouths no longer remain open in horrific awe when we hear of an explosion; we simply carry on with our mundane lives, talking, pointing fingers and blaming the rest for the profound darkness we reside in. Never pointing our fingers at ourselves, never.

But, the bare and rotten truth is, if we do not give our brothers and sisters a name, then tomorrow we may be the ones at loss – If we do not take a stand for them today, then how can we hold them accountable for not doing the same for us tomorrow. If we are so shameless, defining terrorism as a distant act, then when the bomb hits us hard, we will bleed alone and Pakistan will not save us. We have to save Pakistan first. That’s just the way it goes.