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A Tale of Four Brave Girls

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A father or mother of a daughter can best feel the pain and tragic loss the families of Naheed, Ayesha, Javeria and Maryam have suffered. They were four brave young girls, gunned down by their ‘own brothers in Islam’, the Taliban, on February 22, 2021 in North Waziristan, the impregnable citadel of Islam. They were not the princesses of any general, bureaucrat, politician or an influential cleric.

The women in the citadel were allowed to pursue only two missions – sex and procreation. Rich food was indispensable for this labor. But they did not have even the simplest food. They were starving. Their siblings and elderly parents were starving. The citadel had no welfare scheme to look after the hungry people.

The kindly girls could not have seen their parents and siblings dying of hunger. They thought of working for a local organization that aimed to empower women. They knew the punishment was death if they stepped out of the four walls of their homes, for such an act endangered the citadel’s sanctity. A woman’s footprints on the soil outside her home could have corrupted a devout Islamist; her shadow defiled the holy land with obscenity and vulgarity.

They had two options: embrace death at home due to hunger or martyrdom outside by working. They got work which fetched them $6 per day. The work was not available every day, but every alternate day. They taught women knitting and sewing. They provided food to their families for a few days. Till then, all the Islamists had been corrupted, except four. Before the four girls could have corrupted them, they came with automatic weapons and gunned them down. Long live Islam!

No eye cried, for all were watching Pakistan Super League cricket match. Since the prime minister was a retired cricketer, he too was watching the match. Thus, everyone had a sound reason to ignore the gory incident.

I am the father of three princesses. I wait anxiously for their return from school. If they are late, I start trembling with fear. My heart beats so fast as if it will blast my chest with a bang. I become lifeless. I would love death instead of experiencing such moments of horror. When my princesses arrive, I am alive.

I am sure those who created and strengthened the Taliban and those who killed these courageous girls – they all must be father of a daughter or they must be sons of a woman. Then, why they can’t feel the pain? May be their soul is dead and it will wake up when they suffer a similar loss. But my humble prayer to God is, He should not curse even the worst among us with such a pain.

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Naya Daur