Monday, February 16, 2009

Fear of living here, fear of going back home

I just read this piece in the International Herald Tribune, and the violence back home in Pakistan has never hit home this close.

Thankfully, we dont live in Swat. Lahore is not in the northern areas of Pakistan and is not (as) violent, but I have often thought about hypothetical scenarios where I go back, and God forbid, am whisked away in the dark of night, never to be hard of again - only if my family paid a ransom large enough.

These are nightmare situations expats must think of. If this article is to be trusted, my vacations back home will be far from peaceful.

I still recall my last visit, in January 2008. Lahore was the last bastion of calm and serenity. This all changed when the Lahore High Court bombing took place, killing many police officers. My cousins were in the vicinity. Their law offices' glass windows were shattered. My "vacations" would never be the same.

I half-jokingly mentioned to someone recently how I would have to be careful speaking english in future visits to Pakistan. My American accent would invite unwanted listeners. But what to say of the fear in my heart? Would that invite unwanted paranoia? I leave that to you to decide.