A common punch line used nowadays “ALL TALIBAN ARE PATHANS BUT ALL PATHANS ARE NOT TALIBAN”. People come on TV and easily put blame on the Pathans or the Taliban without even realizing the agony, people in Peshawar and NWFP are facing.
Life is not as it was few years back in Peshawar. The hustle and bustle, the happiness, the fun and the joy everything has vanished in thin air. Peshawar now gives an image of a graveyard with countless “living dead”. I, being a student, a business manager and most importantly a citizen of Peshawar, live life on three fronts i-e in the market, in my institution and in my city. In recent years terrorism has changed the shape of our city. There is an air of fear and terror everywhere. Even fitting in a single role and combating the terror in minds seems to be an impossible task. Waking up for the college with the fear either I’ll be able to come back safe or not, or what if my college comes under attack? What if the vehicle in which I am going to my college comes under attack. What if I come back safe to my shop and market where my shop is situated comes under attack? These are the questions that haunt the minds of residents of Peshawar and everyone is in quest of searching for their answers. Life is like a constant battle with mind and thoughts. Every day one has to fight the thoughts of either going out and risking the life in this delicate situation or confine one’s self to homes.
Businesses are on a stand still. The majority of most famous Bara market of Peshawar has closed down. Most of its customers were the tourists from Punjab and other provinces who came here for cheap items but due to the fear of terrorism and the tag of Terrorist Base on NWFP no one dares to come anymore. Even the market where I manage my business was once considered the best market of the area but now it’s just like any other business place of Peshawar. People are selling out their shops and migrating to other cities. Investors have divested their investments in order to invest them in other provinces. There are no jobs for fresh graduates. All of these factors are contributing in creating a psychological stress on the minds of the people of Peshawar. Even if I take my example the major thoughts that haunt my mind are the questions of completing my degree or not, getting a job or not or even spending one full day in relaxation. One cannot even think of hanging out in Peshawar with friends anymore. Be it an attack on the famous pearl continental hotel or the latest bomb blast near KFC , no place is regarded safe anymore. Another aspect of life Peshawar is the Living Dead life of Peshawar, people have become insensitive to both joy and sadness. No one seems to be happy on any occasion of happiness. Same is the case with sad events, whenever a blast takes place in Peshawar a common reaction from people is “Oh! How many died?” and the next moment life is back to normal. Either one is living or dying no one has a concern. This is because majority of the people have developed the thought that this is going to be our fate as well. This is what we have to face in the near future.
That’s how the life of Peshawar has recently shaped up and this is how it’s going to remain in the near future until and unless we fight against our own internal terror as well as the people who are the root cause of all this. And if our leaders are not willing to look upon it as a problem for the future, I am afraid, the consequences could be worse than one can imagine.