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A Victim Speaks

December 16, 2009

Dear All,

During the choas of the massacre at the mosque of parade lane. I was amongst those at the right of the frontmost saf of the mosque’s sehan. This was the first place attacked. I was with my grandfather as usual. He was on his wheel chair, and despite being in poor health insisted on offering juma in the mosque. As the firing, grenading and whatnot started, everyone laid down helplessly on the floor. Those at the back started fleeing. Me being with my grandfather had to stay and protect him. I covered him in a crouching position so that my body was over his. In the firing that ensued. I got hit twice and fell down. On the floor I glanced back, my grandfather was motionless. He had taken a bullet and died on the spot. I am proud of him. There was no other death befitting him than shahadat. As for me, I layed down amid the grenading and firing, I was immobile and could only wait for help to come.

I have no remorse over what happened to me. This will not stop me from going about my usual routine. I am not afraid of these people, and if need be I would face them again.

I am thankful to PYA members for all thier support. It was indeed heart lifting to see all the support I received. I owe part of my recovery to the support from u guys and thankyou all for your prayers, God knows I needed them all.


The critical stages of recovery have passed, I am looking forward to joining your ranks soon.

Regards,
Muhammad Zain Mustafa
Pakistan Youth Alliance


——-
In the attack on the Parade Lines Mosque in Rawalpindi on Friday, December 4, at least 40 people (including over a dozen children, the youngest of whom was a nine-year old boy) were slaughtered by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militants based in South Waziristan. Zain Mustafa, who was shot in two places and underwent an emergency operation to save his life, was one of them.

I don’t know much about him, apart from the fact that he’s a member of a Pakistani youth organization: Pakistan Youth Alliance. I found out about him through their updates on his health. It’s good to see that people are still trying to bring about change in the country – that people haven’t given up – that intelligent, measured resistance to extremism is alive and well in Pakistan, contrary to what the international media might portray.

It’s also good to connect to people who have suffered because of this extremism, however vicariously, because doing it through mass media desensitizes us. Many of us believe what the TV journalists tell us, and unfortunately, they choose to focus on conspiracy theories against Muslims instead of how ordinary Pakistanis need to change.

But conspiracies have existed for centuries and will remain after our lifetimes. Those cannot be removed.

What can change, though, is the Pakistani tradition of zero accountability and power to the individual instead of the institution, the reputation Pakistanis have acquired for being cheats in the international business world, the corruption that pervades daily life and is perpetrated by not Blackwater, but Bubloo and a hundred thousand others in every kind of office imaginable.

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