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.