A moving letter from a soldier’s wife

A moving letter from a soldier’s wife

A moving letter from a soldier’s wife

The threat of extremism appeared on the horizon about a decade and a half ago, plunging Pakistan into a different kind of war. The armed forces until then, had been concerned with tackling and keeping malicious forces in check at the borders, but now they had a new enemy much closer to home. Each bombing and suicide attack had caused us great pain and we have lost thousands to this senseless chaos since then.

The 16th day of December 2014 seemed like another nightmare, just as many before it, but this incident had the entire nation in unparalleled shock. I remember the disbelief as I heard the reports of terrorist insurgents inside the Army Public School in Peshawar, an institution singled out to target the children of our soldiers, the very men fighting against terrorism. The entire nation sat in shock, glued to their TV screens. Anchors chocked on their words, unable to hold back tears as news of deaths started to emerge. Children as young as six years old were brutally shot. From grade one up to grade ten, 135 children were massacred that day, 144 in all including staff and the principal.

Pakistanis came together to share each other’s grief. In this tragedy our people stood united behind their military whose resolve to fight the menace of terrorism only grew stronger. With the already ongoing operations such as Al-Mizan, Rah-e-Haq, Rah-e-Rast and Zarb-e-Azab, the military tripled its actions even further. More soldiers were deployed, additional posts were set up and the struggle continued with renewed intensity.

My husband is in the Army, so I know. I have endured his absence more times than I can count. His tenure at the borders, in Kashmir and then in Waziristan were especially difficult where lack of communication conjured the worst-case scenario in my mind, enough to keep me up at nights. On occasion that we spoke, the background whizzing of mortar shelling always served as a reminder of how easily things could go wrong. Aware of the secret longing for martyrdom found in every one.

Building hatred to the hearts of the public against those who are entrusted with their safety is a terrible equation, detrimental to any country’s progress and security. Thus, hate is bound to seep through and settle down among the masses when speeches are made containing animosity towards the forces.

Already, we find ourselves at the crossroads of international pressures, internal threats and foreign elements that are causing cracks in the unity of our people, planting seeds of dissention and gradually eating away at the edges of our solidarity. Unity in our ranks – civil, political and military is the only way forward: it’s not rocket science, just simple common sense.

The writer  is a wife of an army officer

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A moving letter from a soldier’s wife