The papers have informed me that I'm suffering from post-traumatic stress. Well, I have all the symptoms they've helpfully listed. Beloved Husband said that it's my fault for watching the attack coverage like a junkie. He's a fine one to say that, considering that he's been religiously watching Nat Geo's special on terrorism this week. Brutal people committing brutal acts with brutal uncensored visuals to boot! Almost sicked up when I entered the TV room last evening. Hastily darted out, gagging. Have firmly decided that I’d sooner be locked in a room with a man-eating tiger than with an official from Pakistan's ISI. At least I’d have the forlorn satisfaction of knowing that the tiger would eat me out of hunger, not out of innate nastiness.
Also discovered in the papers today that the captured terrorist's real surname is not Kasav- the Mumbai cops gave him that surname: Kasav means butcher! Ooh I love the cops!
Which brings me to Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Read it a couple of years ago, and had serious problems with it. The book really should have been called The Ingrate or The Ungrateful Fundamentalist. Cut through the symbolism and literary devices and this is the story in short: Wealthy, educated, upper-class (and not overtly-religious) Pakistani works in a mega finance joint in the US. His White bosses love him, his friends love him, no reason to crib and carp. He falls in love with an American girl who is mourning the death of her long-time boyfriend. She likes the Pakistani hero but can’t love him- or anyone else for that matter. This gives him heartburn that no amount of antacids can neutralise. Then Kargil happens (for which he squarely blames India- tsk, was Hamid's hero really intelligent after all?) and he gives it all up to return to Pakistan. Thereafter, he becomes a terrorist, singling out Whites. A classic case of biting the hand that fed him. Even a dog wouldn’t do that. But, in all fairness, this book was a piece of fiction.
I didn't believe that Hamid really got into the psyche of a terrorist-can people be that ungrateful? Now, however, I see what he means: the fact that Pakistan is, by nature, an ungrateful nation*. The West will continue to flaunt Pakistan as an ally, foolishly wishing and hoping that they will actually help them. Proving, yet, yet, yet again that Westerners are ridiculously gullible. Practically every Islamic terrorist in the world today wears a Made in Pakistan lable. This is the only product that the country successfully manufactures. And look at how beautifully they are using this product to extract more and more money from the West. They’re chortling all the way to the bank. Asking them to help stop terrorism is like asking them to shut down their most profitable business. Dream on!
*Please do note, however, that I am not damning all the citizens of Pakistan in that statement. There are good people out there- but too few and far between. And if there are more than I can count on the fingers of one hand, they should speak out.