Saturday, January 3, 2009
I bought 3 eggs from a man north of my house and he smiled, but I knew that behind that toothy grin a spirit harboring unimaginable terror was biding its time to unleash itself upon me. Everyone seems friendly enough, but the poor quality speakers blasting holy songs from temples or calls to prayer from mosques occasionally screech, revealing the accumulated hatred concentrating in the atmosphere, readying the storm to rain down red. All of South Asia is on edge today as reports indicate a Pakistani division is being redeployed from the tribal areas and the Northwest Frontier Province to the border region near Lahore. The division was previously assigned to fighting against the Taliban in the Bajaur region, where a halting offensive has been underway since the summer. This is a classic move in India and Pakistan's great great game of moving troops here and there to consolidate power and send messages of strength to the other party. Small border fights have even broken out several times in the past: an Indian killing a Pakistani, a squad here kills a squad there; stray bullets and no definitive answers or action. This time, it is different. The unit that is being moved is assigned to blunt an Indian armored strike into Pakistan. The division was previously assigned to fighting against the Taliban in the Bajaur region, where a halting offensive has been underway since the summer. There is now an imminent possibility of enraged India charging into Pakistan with all its might to kill the very troops reassigned from trying to kill the very terrorist that killed so many sons and daughters of liberal democracy on that in Mumbai on that fateful November night.