Soon after, I scanned the area from the rooftop. I noticed that only we had the national flag high in the sky in the whole neighborhood. This made me think about the depressingly dark current situation of our country as everywhere is fire, flood and blood!
“We’re a nation swinging between extremism and liberalism for the last 63 years,” I said in a monolog and went back to my room, where I’m living like a prisoner since the attempts on my life four months ago.
However, there is a national flag on the grave of my younger brother Ajaz Rehman (1978-1999). He was martyred as a member of the Pakistan Army during the Kargil War. Keeping the national flag at full mast on the graveyard, throughout the year, has been a routine of my elderly parents. This makes them happy and reminds them that their beloved son is still alive!
"A martyr never dies and gets eternal life," this is what my illiterate mother and half-literate father had been told in a letter along the dead body of my brother! My parents as well as we, the siblings, have never forgotten that cool, calm, soft-spoken and a very loving young man that Ajaz was.
As I had written in a letter to the government of Pakistan (see "Journalist seeks protection" blog archive April 2010) if we had a general in our family, things would have been different today—I would never have been tortured along with my family members in this cruel way just for writing a novel against the Talibanization of Pakistan—the Islamic country founded by the liberal M. A. Jinnah!
Photos by The Terrorland Team
LINK: A war victim’s cry for peace: http://archives.dawn.com/dawnftp/188.8.131.52/dawnftp/weekly/dmag/archive/040111/dmag5.htm