Welcome to the paradise on earth…

Published: February 16, 2014
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Welcome to the valley where grief and sorrow invades every house. PHOTO: AFP

Welcome to the paradise on earth… 

Welcome to the valley where rivers run red with the blood of innocent young men,

Where a mother waits endlessly for her missing son to come back,

Where a father shoulders the coffin of his teenage son.

Photo: Haris Khan

 Welcome to the paradise on earth…

Welcome to the valley where the majestic mountains bow in sorrow,

Where entire villages are gang raped by tyrants who crush the dreams of the nation under their boots,

Where thousands of children are buried in unmarked graves,

 

Welcome to the paradise on earth…

Welcome to the valley where freedom of speech is for the dumb and justice for all is a myth,

Where an old man recounts his horrors of the time when he was picked up at midnight and tortured mercilessly,

Where shrines are burnt to ashes and holy scriptures are torn to pieces.

 

Welcome to the paradise on earth…

Welcome to the valley where young children with their chests bared and their faces covered face bullets and fight with stones in their hands,

Photo: File

Where a mother worries all day long about her son who left for school for she knows not if he will return,

Where a woman walks on the street trembling with fear as a cruel oppressor watches her with malice in his eyes.

Photo: AFP

Welcome to the paradise on earth…

Welcome to the valley where children are taught distorted history,

Where the pious suffer and the unholy prosper,

Where a torture centre is considered a sanctum.

 

Welcome to the paradise on earth…

Welcome to the valley where an eight-year-old was beaten to death and his dead body haunts the streets with a candy in his mouth,

Photo: Haris Khan

Where the sky weeps,

Where a thousand unfulfilled promises were made.

 

Welcome to the paradise on earth…

Welcome to the valley where grief and sorrow invades every house,

Where a mother tells her tale in a park every month,

Where the snow buries hopes and aspirations.

 

Welcome to the paradise on earth…

Welcome to the valley where a woman who was raped, carries an illegitimate child and screams for justice,

Where words escape people’s lips,

Where innocent people are sent to the gallows.

 

Welcome to the paradise on earth…

Welcome to the valley where writers are tortured,

Photo: AFP/File

Where the Pharaoh rules,

Where Moses is confined to a cold cell.

 

Welcome to the paradise on earth…

Welcome to the valley where a 10-year-old shaves in fear that he might be killed for having a beard,

Where the faith of the people is unshakable,

Where the saints once lived in peace.

 

Welcome to the paradise on earth…

Welcome to the valley where a new day will dawn,

Where people will breathe in freedom,

Where the blood of martyrs will wash away the tears.

Photo: Haris Khan

Welcome to the paradise on earth…

Welcome to the valley where the green flag will fly high,

Where people will once again smile in joy with the winds of change.

 

I weep as I write this…

O Lord, bless us!

 

 

Haris Khan

Haris Khan

An avid reader and a proud son of Kashmir, he tweets as @Hallowedharis (twitter.com/Hallowedharis)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • R.Butt

    I’ve always been fascinated with Kashmir, and I’m a strong proponent of the Kashmir cause for freedom, and that’s because that’s where my Great-Grandparents are from :)Recommend

  • Vikram

    Author should go and live in land of pure, especially if you are Shia, Sufi or Ahmadi muslim to experience the real joy of living in a Muslim country.Recommend

  • Paki

    This bring tears in my eyes. Free Kashmir!!!Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    Peoples still dont know causes of Terrorism i wonders why???????Recommend

  • R.Butt

    @Vikram:
    Most Pakistanis are Sufis and as for Shias, we have the second most Shias in the world, our founding father was a Shiite, so was our last President and we’ve had Shiite army chiefs(Mohammad Musa and Yahya Khan), and overall there is next to no discrimination towards Shiites in Pakistan(at least in Urbane parts), but there is a terrorism problem and only the terrorists targets Sunni,Shiites,Ahmadiyas and minorities, these terrorists don’t represent the people of Pakistan nor the state, and hopefully we’ll eliminate them.Recommend

  • An Indian

    @R.Butt: There are many Indians whose grand grand parents lived in areas under Pakistan. Just because your great grand parents are from there, doesn’t mean it belongs to you, for your terror factories to do as you please in Kashmir and with minorities all over Pakistan. We will never allow Pakistanis to play with the lives of non-Muslims in an inch of land that lies outside the boundaries of Pakistan.Recommend

  • An Indian

    @R.Butt: you fool yourself by thinking that only terrorists hurt non-sufis. Most of Pakistan has turned terrorist just taking into account the mindset otherwise tens of thousands of lawyers won’t come out in the streets to express support for Punjab Gov killer and for protecting Muslims who mistreat Christians/Hindu servants, kidnapped/raped/forcibly married/forcibly converted Hindu girls to not get the ruling in their favor by judges.Recommend

  • argus

    Don’t want to rain on your parade, but is some figures. The number of people killed in Indian Kashmir in 2013 is 139. Yes 139 people in one whole year and that includes militants, civilians and Indian security forces. The number of people killed in any particular week in 2013 in Pakistan due to terrorism in FATA, KP, Baluchistan and Karachi pretty much matches those figures and yet you do not see the elephant in the room. Go figure! Best of luck buddy after all it is your country!!Recommend

  • Lalit

    you have fully used the poetic license in this piece with a slight misplacement of location….Recommend

  • gp65

    Most Pakistanis may have been BArelvis and practising Sufism in the past. That is no longer the case. Even a chief minister of a state like Pervez Khattak thinks ony sunnis are Muslims not Shias. (hear his speech given when the Rawalpindi mosque incident happened in retaliation by Shias). A survey revealed that 40% Pakistanis do not believe that Shias are Muslims. Your consttution itself deems Ahmadis as non Muslims and your police go and destroy their worship places – not just terrorist. As far as other minorities like Hindus – do you know that in 1941 census, Karachi’s population was 51% Hindus? Where are they now Imran Khan and Parvez Khattak make a big deal when an Afghan was droned in KPK but are silent when threats to Ismaili Muslims and Kalash tribes are openly meted out by TTP. So you are quite wrong if you say that it is only terrorists who are anti-Shia, Ahmadis and other minorities. These terrorists have widesperead support in Pakistan and very few people speak up against atrocities against minorities in Pakistan.Recommend