At age 20, I was finally going to visit the subcontinent of my ethnic origin. As the plane inched closer to Karachi's airport, I predicted the plane would backtrack, escape its intended route, and never land on Pakistani soil.
The basic purpose of the government and its bureaucracy is to fulfill the needs of the people they govern. The champions of democracy who are carrying out sit-ins in Islamabad, are they really giving the people their right?
Religious intolerance has become de facto a central component of Pakistani identity. This intolerance is legislated within Pakistan's constitution, rooted in a Presidential decree, no less, when Pakistan introduced new legal definitions defining Muslim identity.
I first travelled to Pakistan twenty years ago and many of the changes I see today are impressive. Many serious barriers to success remain as well, but Pakistanis aren't taking these challenges sitting down.
A major public hospital in a big city hands out recognized and branded drugs to chronic heart patients. 48 hours later several dozen of these patients are dead. No, this is not from Crichton's unfinished manuscript. There is no fiction here, this is reality.
A decade of talking about who has won and who has lost is both immaterial and intellectually childish. It was never about winning or losing. It is about carrying on with life. Getting on with the business of this awkwardly, unevenly integrating world.