Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bhutto Assassinated

Have been glued to the TV for the past half an hour as the news from Rawalpindi comes in. Some horrific scenes of carnage at the site where a suicide-bomber and a gunman assassinated former Pakistani PM (and opposition leader) Benazir Bhutto.

This is absolutely horrible, and the effects on the already fragile stability in the region can only be imagined.

Please pray for her, and for all those killed, and for the people of Pakistan, as well as peace in the region.


St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

It's just hard to know how to balance horror, anger, and disgust (as in: What is WRONG with you people!?) with sympathy. Westerners will have to realize that MOST of the people at that rally were there because they wanted to improve things in Pakistan.

Wonder what will become of hopes for a more stable (forget "democratic", people who blow things up don't want democracy) Pakistan or region?

Mac said...

Baffled and horrified comment from my Pakistani friends; inter alia, (I am somewhat presuming that you are interested), "I am well though shaken as we all are. Benazir Bhutto was far from perfect but her absence really shows up the pathetic array of possible replacements. It is all really awful. Living here is proving to be incredibly taxing. Can the Australians integrate an elderly-ish lawyer?"

It really is such a pity that you were unminded to come with me to the "Indian" restaurant in Brisbane (actually there are of course several "Indian" restaurants in Brisbane, and, curiously, none of them actually, strictly speaking, Indian: Pakistani; Bangladeshi and Fiji Indian, every last one of them.) I dropped in on Haresh and Sunil on Friday night; they of course wanted to burden me with free takeaways and were, I must say, heartbreakingly touched when I said I wasn't there to freeload but to check up on their well-being. (Having been in Pakistan many times I am reasonably accomplished in -- and was able to apply -- the art of thrusting out my arm for a handshake and thereby forestalling a Pakistani hug: I thought that possibly Haresh's customers might find it odd otherwise!) Alas, I couldn't stay as I had a Papua New Guinean friend staying en route from Port Moresby to Auckland and he of course refuses to meet "Indians."

The lads are in fact from Larkana, which is of course BB's home town, but is also where a great many of the Sindhi Hindus who didn't leave Pakistan in 1947 live; Haresh had just returned on Friday from a visit home and Sunil had just departed, neither of them of course having had any idea that this was not a good time for it. Severely traumatised, needless to say, but, being typically and charmingly garrulous South Asians, talk is therapeutic and all are coming around shortly to talk. I shall report, though I doubt that they can have anything to tell us that the news organs haven't already amply reported. But it is gratifying to be able to offer a willing ear.

(Speaking of charmingly garrulous South Asians, though, a possibly interesting-to-you insight. We are shortly to lose our wonderful Gujarati friend Shabbir. He has acquired a mail-order bride from Karachi of all places: Gujarati Muslims, you see, are everywhere, even in "goddam Pakiland" as Shabbir's father Hassan-Ali puts it. However, despite there being EIGHTEEN (!) mosques in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, there isn't a single Bohri mosque, and evidently it is like being, oh, say, a Lutheran in a Presbyterian town. So Sydney it evidently must be. We are all of course heartbroken -- I of course point out that Haresh and Sunil seem perfectly happy in Brisbane being Sindhi Hindus from Pakistan, but no, evidently not good enough -- and so it is.