Tuesday 16 December has been a sad day.

Early morning the Sydney siege ended tragically with the death of two innocent hostages as well as the death of the deranged gunman.

In Peshawar, Pakistan, almost 150 innocent people most of them students were massacred mercilessly by killers who lost their life as well.

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The Sydney siege was by a lone criminal who somehow dramatised the use of an Islamic symbol, the Shahadah flag to draw attention to himself. He failed to get any sympathy from any one.

Here in Australia we are fortunate to be living in a society where rule of law prevails and human life is considered precious irrespective of race, ethnicity and religion. Hence the display of grief by all Australians at the lost of life of two innocent victims to violence. This episode has moved us all and has galvanised us as Australians.

In Pakistan, it seems that the value of life has become cheap. Pakistanis are killing others, are being killed by others and are killing each other. A great majority of the victims happen to be innocent people who are not involved in any violent acts.

There seems to be a vicious circle of violence feeding on itself in Pakistan. The US is directly involved in the killing of Pakistanis via its drone attacks in North Waziristan and also bankrolls Pakistani army’s attacks on the tribal areas to flush out militants.

The Pakistani Taliban who have a long history of blood feud with the Pakistani army are increasingly looking for soft targets, hence the school massacre.

Then there are politically motivated criminals in the country who employ violence in order to eliminate the opposition resulting in target killing, extortion, intimidation and vote rigging.

The rule of law does not exist in Pakistan any more and corruption is widespread.

The Peshawar school massacre should open every Pakistani’s eyes. Killing of children means killing the future of the nation. Today it is children in Peshawar, next time it may be a school in Karachi.

Let the Pakistani nation resolve, enough is enough. Zero tolerance for violence against any body. Let life of every Pakistani and for that matter every non-Pakistani be considered valuable. Let differences be resolved by dialogue in order to find solutions to the problems in Pakistan and with its neighbours.

An atmosphere of peace and harmony in a nation can only lead to progress and prosperity where citizens feel safe and secure. A healthy civil society is one that lives by the rule of law, justice and fair go for all its members living in harmony with its neighbours.

Living in this global environment, the international community has a stake in Pakistan’s progress towards peace and harmony.