An Open Letter to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan

You have made every single person who died on December 16 a martyr of Pakistan.


Credit: Adrian Macnair / Now Staff

I take the liberty to write this letter on behalf of the entire Pakistani community in the USA.

We join the entire world, especially Pakistan, as it stands horrified, appalled and sickened by your act of terrorism at the army school in Peshawar that has left 132 children and 9 teachers dead. The people of Pakistan, both within its borders and beyond, condemn you and this cowardly act in the harshest possible terms.

You say this is retaliation against the major army offensive launched by our army in the region against the TTP? Then fight the army that has vowed not to rest until they have weeded you out from our country for good. Our children are our future; they are not your enemy. You shot them in the head at point-blank range, you burnt a school teacher alive as they watched, you dragged out the terrified young souls from their hiding spots to kill them. The list goes on and one. The atrocities you committed cannot be visualized not expressed in words. They will never be forgotten nor forgiven.

The innocent lives you took on December 16 were not fighting you, they were armed only with their books and their lunch boxes; they were simply at school. Young lives, young hopes and innocent smiles extinguished like candles in the wind. You felt no mercy? You felt no pain?

You think you have destroyed these young souls and taught Pakistan a lesson? To the contrary, you have immortalized their names forever in our minds. Their faces are etched on the collective conscious of our nation as we see them on the screens of our televisions. We read their names and the names of their parents and we cry with them for their immeasurable loss.

You have made every single person who died on December 16 a martyr of Pakistan. Pakistanis salute these martyrs. When we resume our fight with you, to banish you from our land forever, we will recall the names and faces of these young martyrs and they will help every single citizen of Pakistan move towards this goal.

You call yourself Muslim? No religion in the world, including Islam, condones such mindless brutality and acts of savagery against the innocent as you have exhibited. We do not recognize you as being within the circle of Islam. You are tainting the name of Islam and for this, every single Muslim in the world disowns you and the likes of you henceforth wherever you may be in the world and whatever name you give your group and whatever “justification” you bring forth for your savagery.

You think you are going to destabilize Pakistan at a time when the country is torn with internal strife? You think this is “perfect timing” because you see its leaders holding the four corners of the land, pulling it towards them, threatening to rip it into four? To the contrary, you have only succeeded in bringing everyone together on the same page. In all probability, you have created that desperately needed “tipping point” that will finally set the course straight for affairs that were in a nosedive.

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Imran Khan has ended his three month old sit in; Nawaz Sharif has lifted the temporary ban on the death penalty; and we saw the leaders of all our political parties in the same room, coming to a conclusive decision to bring you to your end. The enormity of your monstrosity has erased the “benefit of doubt” given to the Taliban on account of being the good Taliban or the bad Taliban. We see only on Taliban and we are not going to forgive them.

You thought you could get rid of Malala by shooting her in the head? You created a world hero, the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in history. You think you wiped out these young lives forever from earth by bombing their school on December 16? Your rage has only aroused a Malala Yousafzai in the heart of every young child who goes to school in Pakistan. You have given our children the reason to recognize and condemn violence at an age when children do not even know the literal meaning of the word. You are making warriors out of our children and you have taught them with your heinous acts that the first enemy they have to fight is the likes of you.

You think you are making a “horrific example” of your terror in Pakistan? You think you are breaking our back? You have only strengthened the resolve of every man, woman and child in the country to fight your diabolical terrorism even if we have to sacrifice our children for it. You have buttressed the will of our soldiers on the mission to wipe you out forever from our land. You have united the shattered political agendas of our leaders. You have congregated them on a single point; to clean up our country and get back our peace, our stability and our security.

You think Pakistan is cringing with fear with where your “reign of terror” will strike next? We do not cringe anymore. With this dastardly act, you have made us fearless. You have struck at our most raw nerve, you have put your hands on our most prized possession, you have dared to challenge our honor; you have targeted our children. When a man’s honor is challenged, there is always hell to pay.

The nation shall now pay back you similarly; with hell.

Irum Sarfaraz is a freelance writer/editor originally from Pakistan. Her opinion pieces and feature articles on contemporary political and social issues have appeared in both American and Pakistani publications. Her key areas of interest are topics related to Pakistan’s strategic stand in the world at present and its turbulent relationship with the West in particular. Read other articles by Irum.