As a child, my favorite stories in my Urdu text books were of martyrs of wars. I would sit in my room visualizing the scenes when martyrdom was embraced peacefully by the bravest soldiers of Pakistan.
I fail to remember my sadness at the passing away of soldiers for martyrdom for a soldier had to be the ultimate destination.
I feared war yet knew the dare devil soldiers of my country would keep my country and its people safe.
In my middle ages all around me are stories of martyrs.
Now we do not need to be soldiers to be martyred. We need not fight. We need not have guns. We will still be martyred.
Do we want to be martyred?
Did the students of Army Public School wanted to be martyred? Did the students of Charssada University aspire for martyrdom? Did the thousands who were martyred in bomb blasts wished to be martyred?
Did I want to be martyred when I was caught in the firing on Sri Lankan team in Lahore?
No I did not want to become a martyr. I wanted to live on, to make my dreams possible.
I can be called a coward but I saw no value in dying at the hands of terrorists. I could not fight them, so why should I die.
A soldier willingly participates in war. Bravery is expected. I saw no bravery in dying. I saw bravery in living on, in having a normal life. To me that was my war against terrorists.
Every time I think of the children of Army Public School, or of the thousands who have died unwillingly and unknowingly in the War on Terror, I feel guilty. I feel they should have been protected by the custodians of our security.
I try to feel proud at their sacrifice and I cannot. They were the hope of their mothers. They were the pride of their fathers. They were bread winners. They were the love of lives of many. They went away leaving their dear ones living dead for ever.
We must salute them for they are martyrs of a country whose people unwillingly have been thrown in a war. We are expected to be brave and to become martyrs fighting an enemy that is powerful even for our custodians of security.
I try to salute my martyrs, but may hand only rises in prayer for the safety and security of my country men and for lessening the pain of the dear ones of the civilian martyrs.