Gandhi and Nehru with Refugees, 1947
“It was through the making of refugees as a governmental category, through refugee rehabilitation as a tool of planning, that new nations and the borders between them were made, and people, including families, were divided.” - Vazira Zamindar, The Long Paritition and the Making of Modern South Asia (2007)
There behind barbed wire, on one side, lay India and behind more barbed wire, on the other side, lay Pakistan. In between, on a bit of earth which had no name, lay Toba Tek Singh. - Sadat Hasan Manto, “Toba Tek Singh” (1955)
via Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar, The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories (2007)
This is the last line of Urdu novelist Sadat Hasan Manto’s short story “Toba Tek Singh.” A satirical account of Partition, the story depicts the trading of psychiatric hospital patients between the newly created nations of India and Pakistan. Bishan Singh, one of the many patients in a Lahore facility, is told he will be sent to India (where he truly belongs as a non-Muslim). When he realizes that his hometown Toba Tek Singh lies on the Pakistani side of the border, however, he refuses to leave. The story ends when Bishan Singh lying down between barbed wire which flanks the border.
The story illustrates Vazira Zamindar’s astute analysis of Partition in her book The Long Partition and Making of Modern South Asian which, “asks us to stretch our very understanding of ‘Partition violence’ to include the bureaucratic violence of drawing political boundaries and nationalizing identities that became, in some lives, interminable.”
Less well known is the statistic that since the subsequent US invasion of Afghanistan, terrorists have killed nearly five times that number of people in Pakistan. The annual number of Pakistani fatalities from terrorism has surged from fewer than than 200 in 2003 to almost 1,000 in 2006, to more than 3,000 in 2009. In all, since 2001 more than 30,000 have died here in terror and counterterror violence; slain by bombs, bullets, cannons and drones. America’s 9/11 has given way to Pakistan’s 24-7-365. The battlefield has been displaced. And in Pakistan it is much more bloody.
Mohsin Hamid writing for the Guardian
One aspect of OBL’s death that has stood out for me, is the statement that hunting him was to achieve justice and through his death, “justice has been done.” This assumption that USAmericans are the only ones to have ever suffered from terrorism, that they are the only ones who deserve to seek justice and that the USAmerican government is capable of achieving this aim, disturbs and frustrates me.
When do the other victims of terrorism - who don’t live in the USA - get justice? When do we get justice and when will the terrorism end?
Brown folks, please be safe.