How many children has our greed killed? How many children grow up without proper education? How many children are subjected to the slow deaths of racism, homophobia and sexism? How many children are dead because of our thirst for guns and violence? The questions can go on and on.
A corrective political course in Pakistan is the need of the hour. Corruption needs to be eradicated and good governance is essential.
Pakistan should ensure these extremists never claim they are not guilty of these heinous charges. Killing children is never justified. "Only obeying orders" - divine or otherwise is simply not an excuse.
Once the dust settles on the military response, we need to collectively learn as citizens of this 21st century that people different from us are not a binary 0 to our 1 or an off to our on switch
The barbarous targeted attack on helpless children has done what a decade of terrorism couldn't -- Pakistan reacted venomously. The outpouring of grief for the victims and their families from across the country, the region and world has changed the very paradigm of how terrorism has been tackled by the government.
While we can't grasp the motivations of all these murderous mad men, we can deduce from their actions. These heinous criminals fear the pen more than the sword. Education, from basic literacy to professional training, gives young people a real chance to live a better life than their parents.
Today we all should mourn with the Pakistani people, but tomorrow we, too, must rise up to support them and people of good will everywhere and try to put an end to using children as sacrifices to the bloodlust of terror.
Moral and intellectual clarity about the world we live in are not compatible with self-exculpating glibness. Our adversaries' wrongness does not mean we are in the right. The substance of the terrorists' victory lies exactly in their success in having persuaded Western societies to empower our own authoritarian regimes.
Today, millions of children in Pakistan and around the world will return to their schools and will continue this fight. I know that I will have a very specific message for my own child as she grows... that no one belief system is higher or more worthy than another.
Islam, my Islam, the Islam of 1.6 billion followers condemns the killing of children. It is a religion of peace, tolerance and mercy. So when extremists kill in the name of Islam, they distort our sacred religion and they hijack the identity of the moderate majority. Islam did not kill children yesterday. Evil, depraved monsters of men did.
The policy of allowing militant groups to operate on Pakistani soil has proved disastrous. The jihadi militants do not accept the neat divisions between global, regional and local conflicts. Once they are convinced of the righteousness of their cause, they are willing to fight and blow themselves up anywhere. Rising militancy coupled with a significant decline in the capacity of the state has enabled Pakistan-based jihadi groups to wreak havoc not only in India and Afghanistan but also in Pakistan and its friendly neighbors, Iran and China.
We've been told that terrorism is hard to fight because while you can kill a person, it is hard to kill an idea. By the same token, terrorists can kill people, but also fail to destroy ideas.
NATO's Afghanistan withdrawal renders a generation of Af-Pak jihadists jobless. Many will turn their attention to India.
December 16 arouses radically different sentiments in two different and yet related countries of the world. In one, it is cherished and celebrated and in the other it is just and of course deliberately.
Why is this still such a problem? While there are regions of the world in which poverty may prevent people from going to school, why is the deficiency felt so much more powerfully in one gender -- why would it not be equal?
As a campaigner for peace and pluralism, Ahmed is dismayed by the toxic lure of an Islamist doctrine that is supremacist, separatist, and hostile to secular Western values, and she calls for an urgent review of this ideology.