The Answer is 200 Million Kilograms
Since we usually have a bomb blast or two every other week in one of the major cities of Pakistan, and as there is nothing happening right now to hope for things to change in the near future, so I think that it is about time that we started some research on how to cope with the FUD in our “Land of the Pure”.
We can begin by looking back a few decades and learning from how our ex-rulers (that would be the British, for those who have forgotten/never knew) did it, and try to “Keep Calm and Carry On”. Meanwhile, we do need to ask some questions and gather statistics to help us survive the next few days, weeks, months or years, depending on how far ahead you usually plan.
This is probably the real reason why one of the “Breaking News” headlines after today’s Peshawar bomb blast (which claimed 20ish lives) was:
“The explosives weighed 15-20 kilograms.”
I doubt that the people who died in the blast would have given a damn about HOW they died, but the question that popped up in my mind was, how many kilograms of similar explosives will it take to kill us all – and by us, I mean Pakistanis.
As the 20Kg. killed 20 people , so 1Kg. of explosives kill approximately 1 person – by simplifying our model and ignoring most variables like population densities, people’s tendency to run away from hazards etc. etc., and as the population of Pakistan is roughly 200,000,000 (We are the 6th largest nation of the world by population) – so we can safely say that around 200,000,000 kilograms of explosives are needed to blow away the entire Pakistani population.
While I do not have any visualization aids or images handy that would help you imagine what they would look like, trust me when I say that it is a LOT of explosives.
If the current bombing patterns are the best that the terrorists can do, then Pakistan is not going anywhere soon. Sure, a few thousand people will die due to explosives, but when you ‘zoom out’ and adjust your focus (at the risk of being called insensitive/inhuman), it is not much, statistically speaking.
And so, there is one less answer that is blowin’ in the wind…