By Ethan Casey
Casey updates his realizing of the Pakistan event and units it inside a context of contemporary and modern heritage. He humanises family politics, attitudes in the direction of the West and India in addition to the Kashmir and Afghanistan matters. His literary reportage demystifies the uneasy position Pakistan occupies in an doubtful global.
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India, he alleged, wanted only ‘the forests of Kashmir, the natural beauty of Kashmir,’ not its people. ‘And in so many states of India, there are freedom fighters against India,’ interjected Sharif ud-Din, the battalion commander. ‘India thinks if we give independence to Kashmir … Pakistan wants people of Kashmir, not land of Kashmir. ’ Was it true, as I had heard, that support for militancy had declined? ‘It is not fact,’ said Amir Khan. ’ But did not some militants extort money from civilians?
Civilians. In a village. ’ It was the time of year when the shepherds lead their flocks uphill, to the high meadows. After we began to climb, we had to crawl along for minutes at a time behind a flock, until our driver could force a way through. ’ I asked Haji’s son. ‘They are going to Pahalgam for the trekking,’ he said, deadpan. We stayed the night at Aroo, a meadow that climbs the right side of the valley just off the road, where a week later two Brits would be kidnapped. ) I awoke early next morning and stepped out of the tent several times to watch the sun’s progress down the western slope as it rose in the east.
Abraham,’ he confirmed. ‘And so we have to wash the goat. ’ We went again to see Mr Bhat and Aziz. Aziz greeted me in the corridor with a warm smile and a handshake, then he parted the curtain and we went in to the same green-painted room, with the same near-antique radio in the corner. Mr Bhat was sitting up, drawing on his hookah. He wore the same knit hat, but he obviously was doing much better. 26 Pakistan Book 21/7/04 5:52 pm Page 27 A DEPICTION OF SOMETHING TRUE He reached for my hand. ‘Hello, sir,’ he said.
Alive and Well in Pakistan by Ethan Casey