As soon as news of a British national arrested in the United Kingdom, hit the local television stations, Karachi experienced the not so uncommon turbulence it has unfortunately gotten used to.
I had an exam that very day, which got postponed for the third time. Flipping channels at home, undecided if I should be preparing for the upcoming exams or will they be prone to further delays, I caught sight of Shimon Peres along with Pope Francis and Mahmoud Abbas. "Shalom -- Hebrew for peace was being repeated by Peres in his speech.
Pope Francis had made a historical gathering by calling in Israel's 90-year-old President, Peres, and Abbas, the Palestinian head of state, a step to resolve the age old Palestine-Israel tussle. Continuous recurrence of Shalom and Salam (Arabic for peace) were resonating in the Vatican gardens.
June 8, 2014 was the day when this consequential event happened. Yet, at that moment, little did I know that in my part of the world too, history was being written. Local news channels were blaring with "breaking news" tickers. No, this time around news did not deal with the money laundering case.
Pakistan's financial hub, Karachi had its airport under siege by 10 foreign terrorists who had entered the largest airports of Pakistan through an entry passage which must be heavily guarded -- hang on, do not assume, as the entry point does not even have a proper gate. These attackers were about 20-25 years old and were heavily armed. Being thorough with their homework, they secured some crucial spots and continued firing at the Airport Security Forces (ASF).
Soon after, when the situation fell out of the ASF control, the army was sent in. This part of the airport which was under attack is where airplanes are brought for maintenance. Four of the airplanes were parked which were under direct threat of being damaged. Meanwhile, the terrorists were setting up arson for which the city government did not have a single fire brigade which could assist in taking control of the grave situation.
This bad is the condition of a place where plans of laying down the metro bus track are being finalized. Not a single fire brigade could be seen in close proximity for at least the next hour or so.
Media and those sitting behind the camera have no idea whatsoever about the magnitude of the situation the country was facing. All the channel owners care about is how prompt they are in breaking the news along with painting the event as sensationally as they can for the sake of ratings. These media personnel seriously need to go take a sophomore level class on media ethics.
During the five hours long siege, reporters were trying hard to get the best camera angle on how the operation was being carried out by the army. Were they informing the public or the terrorists on what should be their next move? By these careless maneuvers, not only were the actions being disrupted but the army's progress was also hampered.
Despite the repeated threats that the government receives, no effective measures seem to be implemented. The higher echelons are filled up by a class of individuals who continue making foreign trips and are absolutely nonchalant about the everyday sufferings of the common man. The public is kept under the false pretense that the country is moving towards stability. On what grounds are these statements made? In the failed peace talks? Or the staggering economy? Or has the power crisis being handled well? Fake assumptions and false statements coming from a bunch of ruthless leaders.