Fatalities in Terrorist Violence in Pakistan – 2003- 2011. Source – South Asia Terrorism Portal; Copyright © 2001 SATP. All rights reserved. Click for a larger image.
Why Pakistan gets bad press
After 60 years of Pakistan, India needs to take a fresh look at Pakistan. Maybe, even the world should look again at Pakistan.
To start with, Pakistan has become ‘famous’ for terrorist killings.
Going by numbers
Technically, more Americans are killed by guns in USA than in Pakistan. For instance, USA law-enforcement authorities found that ‘14,000 murders involving firearms were committed in 2005′. Surely, it is no comfort to American gunfire victims that they were not killed by jehadis.
What is it with America and guns? Why does the most advanced democracy, which prides itself on being a bastion of reason and civilisation in a brutal and ugly world, put up with this carnage in its own back yard? Why does it tolerate the sea of blood that flows from gun incidents, with about 100,000 people killed or injured every year? Why does it accept an annual murder rate by guns that is 13 times that of Germany and 44 times that of England and Wales? People tend to remember the low points, such as the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy in 1968. But do they know that since those two men hit the floor, more than a million people have been killed in the US from the barrel of a gun? (via US gun crime: death for sale | World news | The Guardian.
The case of Pakistan is becoming more complex. Uncharted waters, anyone? (Cartoonist – Adam Zyglis; courtesy – http://www.adamzyglis.com). Click for larger image.
Uncharted waters, anyone?
There will be protests that the SATP figure of 33,213 of Pakistani casualties, is a case of serious under-estimation and under-reporting.
Assuming that there is data-error, by how much can these numbers be multiplied. By 1000%? Maybe 2000%! Or will 3000% be more satisfactory?
At 3000%, more people are killed in US, with guns, than in Pakistan, as per SATP figures.
Coming to political assassinations, Pakistan is no worse. Gunmen in USA have attempted and killed more US Presidents than gunmen in Pakistan. Look deeply enough, you cannot hold the State of Pakistan (such as it is) responsible for free availability of guns.
One may argue that the Pakistani State anyway cannot be held responsible for most other things that a ‘modern’ State is responsible for. American Government has made guns cheap and accessible in – both in USA and Pakistan.
Not just Pakistan, but the whole world is misreading Pakistan. The problem is deeper and different. (Cartoon by DAVE GRANLUND, POLITICALCARTOONS.COM – 5/4/2011 12.00.00 AM). Courtesy – caglecartoons.com. Click for larger image.
So, why does Pakistan alone get such bad press – and so much name calling.