Thursday, 9 October 2008.
Another bomb went off in Islamabad today, this time hitting the Anti-Terrorism Wing in the Police Headquarters. Where was everyone? The other end of the city, providing security for a 2-day briefing session on Anti-Terrorism.
It would be a laughing matter if a bomb going off in Pakistan wasn’t such a common affair. Common enough that when the bomb went off this morning one of the primary sticking points wasn’t ‘who did it’ or why did this happen’, it was the size of the crater produced from the blast.
I was in a building roughly 500 meters away from the blast when it happened – but once we knew we were safe (windows shattered but the building was still standing) we peeked outside the window to see the smoke and in less than 2 minutes, we were back to work.
We’re not scared anymore.
Humans are an amazingly adaptable species and we’ve adapted to a world of increased violence and despair (not to mention diminishing resources) with relative ease. Bomb blasts, earthquakes, disease, economic meltdown, threat of invasion, etc etc – it’s part of who we have become.
There’s a problem with being ‘adaptable’ – you tend to adapt to the bad as well as the good, and in doing so we accepted the energy crisis this year (and last year) as a part of life instead of individually and / or collectively doing something to combat it. Similarly we’ve accepted suicide bombings (and more significantly, casualties) as a part of our daily life. Every day there are people dying from a bomb blast or a shooting spree or something else in Pakistan. Faced with a rising death toll, what do we do? We take it as the price one pays for living today.
Are we terrified? Not really. The sad part is we’re not angry at the terrorists either, so this will continue until there’s no one left to kill or there’s no left to blow themselves up.