Isn’t it an irony?
I started several blog posts over the past few days but have somehow not been able to finish them. The weekend had just left me feeling so numb. I kept asking myself WHY? Why do people do what they do? Why do human beings cause so much death and destruction? Why has pride, anger, revenge, greed and corruption overtaken love, compassion and understanding?
No answers were forthcoming. I felt extremely helpless. All I could do was check if friends and colleagues were safe. The phone was used extensively that night and all of the next day. I mourned the loss of all the people at the Marriott. It was a hotel I frequented often – whenever I was in Islamabad. I used the Nadia Coffee Shop as a meeting place. People often asked if I had rented that corner table for the day. I had lunch there with friends. We held events there.
Seeing it engulfed in flames I wondered if the guards I knew, and had seen often, were hurt. There was no way to find out since I didn’t really remember their names. How would their families cope? What would happen to them? The Rs. 300,000 offered by the government was a nominal amount. The sole breadwinners were gone. Who would feed their families, educate their children, make sure there was a roof over their heads? I hoped that Mr. Sadruddin Hashwani would set up a fund to help these families until the children were old enough to take over the financial responsibilities.
Adjacent to the Marriott is the Evacuee Trust Complex which houses 40 IT companies. 6 fatalities have been reported in that building. Many of the offices and furniture in ETC was smashed, people were hurt, business was impacted. I am amazed at the resilience of the companies and the teams. Several of them picked up their equipment, relocated and were back online in hours. Some of them worked remotely to ensure business continuity. In the days ahead we will need to work together to ensure that these companies get the assistance they need. We also need to ensure that the management clears up the debris and starts the renovation work as soon as possible. Bureaucracy must not be allowed to delay the disaster recovery effort.
It is an irony that just as we were pondering on how to celebrate World Peace Day, our peace was totally shattered. How dare these people call themselves Muslims? How dare they even refer to themselves as human beings? How dare they come into this country and terrorize and kill our children, our people? There is no way I cannot take this personally. This is my country. These are my people. They have attacked the very fabric of our society too many times. We cannot and must not allow them to get away with it. We must not let them depress us, instil fear in us or destroy us psychologically. We must forget our differences, join hands and eradicate all evil, greed and violence that exists in our society. We must take our destiny into our own hands. It is time!
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