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A Sunni sister’s message to the Shia Muslims of Pakistan

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Assalam-o-alaikum

I don’t know who you are, or which corner of Pakistan you are currently residing in. I don’t know your name, your gender, your face or your condition. I don’t know if you are safe or if your hands still smell of the dirt you just poured into the graves of your beloved ones.

I know you are angry. I know you feel betrayed; you feel uprooted. The very land you always connected with, the very streets you called home seem to have turned against you. Every gaze seems like a vicious glare and you feel yourself wishing you could leave. Leave Pakistan, leave this carnage and leave this heartlessness.

I know.

The same anger courses through my veins. I write this from a safe, comfortable place halfway across the planet. The last time I was in Pakistan was over a month ago, when the ground was still dry enough for me to walk upon. Now, I fear that upon my return this summer, I may have to wade through your blood. Yet I know, very vividly, that anger that consumes every thought and makes you question everything you ever considered to be the truth.

I know.

Words do not count for much. You have been hearing them being uttered by filthy, lying mouths all over the news, telling you that you are safe and that you are being cared for. I know that you feel hollow when you are reassured these days.

Loss. You have faced so much of it that it has begun to define who you are. Loss of identity, loss of national and social connotations, loss of weightage, loss of leverage, loss of peace of mind, loss of safety of your self and all you hold dear – loss of belief.

My heart sinks as I get a notification telling me there has been another blast.

Another five, another ten, another twenty dead. I can almost see you, crouching in front of your television, watching in an agonized kind of fascination as you see the death toll rise like a prehistoric sea monster and stifle out the individual sounds of your kinsfolk that are being smothered by their own compatriots. I can almost see you. I can almost see all the tears you haven’t shed.

What would I say if I could speak to you at this very instant in time?

I don’t know if I would say anything at all. I envision your eyes, questioning, boring into mine and asking me why…why? How am I to answer that gaze? I don’t know how to tell you that ours is a barely-bordered beast of a country. That we have been going round in circles like a demented, bleeding, dying hamster that is too dumb to understand what is happening to it and too exhausted to try to escape.

My weeping with you is not enough. My mourning is of no use to you. My solidarity is worth little. As I sit here, trying to imagine you and your plight, I don’t matter much. But I want you to know that I do think of you. Every day, without failing, you creep into my heart and mind. Not just the days when you make the headlines, no.  It’s a throbbing pain in my chest and it can be subdued but it never dies.

A part of my light goes out with yours.

I just want you to know that I am by your side. Here, I will do what I can to show support for your cause, whether it’s through a measly Facebook status or a public protest. When I come back, and I will come back, I will be there to live with you. I will show them that we can and will live together again.

But what if it’s too late, you ask?

If everything fails, despite our best intentions, I will die with you. I will not be ambiguous. I will not hide in my happy, safe, Sunni majority lie. I will pledge myself over to your side, if there even is a side.

I am your human sister. I am your Pakistani sister. I am your Sunni sister. I stand by you. My family stands by you. Your death, your pain – they are not just news stories to us. Every morning is a funeral inside my head and every night I bury the thought of you into a freshly made grave inside my heart.

You really and truly are not alone in this. I love you as I love all that is mine.

Be strong.

Source; From her blog

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SK

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