Barry Bearak har en lang og interessant artikkel om Pakistan i siste Nytimes Magazine. Skremmende land. Usikkerhet om fremtiden. En følelse av at alt kan skje.

Pakistan Is …

To be honest, Pakistan frightens me. Not the being there, despite recent attacks on foreigners, despite what happened to Daniel Pearl. I have visited Pakistan a few dozen times since 1998, most recently for five weeks this fall. Almost always I’ve found the people warm and generous and protective. Rather, what greatly alarms me is Pakistan as a potential meltdown, a nuclear power with too many combustibles in the national mix.

Tenk litt over proposjonene: Det må surely bestemme pakistaneres holdning til lille Norge med usle 5 millioner:

Pakistan has a population (150 million) larger than all but five nations and more nuclear warheads (perhaps 50) than all but six or seven. Since its establishment, it has been in want of a coherent national identity: some there sarcastically call it less a nation than a crowd. Born in 1947, it was awkwardly excised from the British Empire in two separate pieces, an east and a west that happened to be 800 miles apart, with the largely Hindu behemoth of India situated in between. This new nation was meant to be the Muslim homeland of the subcontinent, but the formal role of Islam was left ambiguous and has ever re2_kommentared an issue. Religion alone proved insufficient glue. In 1971, Pakistan’s eastern half went its own way after Bengali Muslims — with India’s assistance — broke loose and created Bangladesh. Four contiguous provinces re2_kommentar: Baluchistan, Punjab, the Northwest Frontier and Sindh. Significant numbers of the present citizenry feel their greater bond is to ethnicity — be it Pashtun or Baluchi or Sindhi — and would rather not be part of Pakistan at all. Also under Islamabad’s control is Azad (»Free») Kashmir, one-third of a lovely Himalayan territory claimed by both the Indians and Pakistanis. The dispute is the 2_kommentar reason these neighbors continue to kill one another.

Crazy world: Den moderne verden presser på og er umulig å holde ute. Man tilpasser seg den på ulikt vis:

Even in largely Pashtun Peshawar, the masses are being tugged in multiple directions, including toward modernity and the West. Internet cafes, which the Taliban would never have tolerated, are opening one after the other. Training in English is a chief selling point of private academies. Music and movies are sold openly. Pinups of Indian actresses are marketed side by side with those glorifying Osama bin Laden. More than 200 cable-TV operators are collecting a $4 monthly fee from tens of thousands of subscribers; even more people are stealing the service.

Anything goes. En verden snudd på hodet.

Much of what I heard, however, seemed to come from an inverted world, the axis spinning backward, all the essential story lines turned inside out. There is no polling data to cite, but it seems that most Pakistanis, including a great many of the college-educated, continue to believe that the World Trade Center was attacked as part of a Jewish conspiracy — and perhaps one that involved high-level cooperation from the United States government.

»Who gained from these happenings?» I was asked by a 35-year-old man named Haroon. »Not Islam, not America, only the Jewish people.» He demanded an investigation: Why had no Jews come to work at the World Trade Center that day? Why had Jewish businessmen withdrawn all their money from banks ?

Dette landet har atomvåpen.