To the 144, we have failed you again!
What should’ve been a somber remembrance of the most violent and horrific act in Pakistan’s history and memory was brazenly converted into a national spectacle on the 16th amid no sense of shame or respect. Knowing the nature of the course things in Pakistan tend to take on occasions and days of some significance, the sensible thing to do for anyone on 16th December should be to maintain a distance from all the noise and fuss which reigns here. But it's always foolish to expect that the usual would be avoided on a day of such grave and grim character.
From “virtual documentaries” on the APS attack, GEO’s anchors distastefully donning APS uniforms as some sort of costumes, to playing instrumental variations of
Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful Life’ as the background to coverage of the bereaved families’ grief; the media coverage, exceptions apart, was crass and infuriating. Similarly, posters and advertisements of ChenOne brazenly “saluting” the APS children while promoting its “Mid-Season 50% Sale” appeared in large numbers all over DHA Lahore. As if advertising a mid-season sale during the month with reference to a ghastly tragedy of the same month at the same place was some an entirely sensible and sensitive move, which could only be read as: “Hey, we honor the memory and now that you have noticed this advertisement, hey, we also have a sale this month!”
It is an absolute shame how 16th December is observed every year; through conversion of commemoration to a spectacle that was made about everything but the lives lost, the inconsolable loss inflicted on Pakistan and the families, and the solemn, sober and honest reflection, mourning and remembrance the day demands.