7 Jun 2010
Thanks to Five Rupees for giving us this:
Every article on Pakistan and the Taliban war should have the sentence “In the last five years, 10,000 civilians and nearly 3,000 troops have died.” Every last one. The decontexualization that takes place when these figures are not mentioned is incredibly damaging to all concerned, and the war itself. It elides the very real and indisputable fact that ordinary Pakistanis are victims in all of this.
We keep reminding ourselves of this. Then we need to spend as much time trying to forget it.
I sat with my grandmother a couple of nights ago, and she was sort of speechless at the way things are. She felt sorry, like all of us, for getting used to the deaths in the war, for hearing about so many bomb blasts we had to internalize it, for getting so ready for bad news that we can live. I tried convincing her it was resilience, not numbness (in words I steal from Osman Samiuddin); I don’t think she was totally convinced. No one is.
It is not normal living like this. As many elders would choose to end any such conversation, I too say dua kijiey (Please pray).
In the last five years, 10,000 civilians and nearly 3,000 troops have died.