Last night as I was falling asleep, my friend Anita sent me an SMS warning me not to go out to the markets for the next few days as there had been a bombing in Liberty Market. Liberty is in the Gulberg area of Lahore, a short drive from where I live. Anita and I had been there a few weeks ago buying cloth for my wedding dress, and I had even gone there last week for an afternoon of shopping. It's the closest market to me so it's one I always end up going to. Sometimes I even do my grocery shopping in that area.
So turns out that there was a small homemade device that went off in a shoe store. Nobody was killed, only four people were injured and a lot of property damage incurred. Even cars parked outside the store were wrecked. It's a miracle nobody was killed!I had planned on doing some shopping today but maybe it's time to think of another plan....
See more here:
Nobody is sure the motives of the bombing. A prominent leader of the Baloch resistance movement was recently killed, and some think that it may be connected to that incident. Others see it as a cry from the youth against the current military government and General Musharraf. More and more of the radicals and the MMA (religious alliance) are speaking out against the current government and asking the General to step down.
I don't know what I'd do if there was any change in government. I've seen other countries where the army is so corrupt that it oppresses and takes advantage of the people, but here I've grown to trust the army. The officers I've met are very respectable and have the best interest of the people in mind. Even one of my close friends, a Major from Sialkot, was wounded while trying to keep down Balochi separatists outside Quetta. In my opinion, the only thing keeping any order in this country is the military and it's good to have someone in charge who's not an extremist.
When Musharraf came to power he restored all the schools which were formerly Christian schools back to the missionaries. Under Zia they had all been Islamized. Even the buildings' names were changed from the name of the missionaries to "Allama-Iqbal Hall" and "Quaid-al-Azam Auditorium." A friend of mine told me that when Musharraf spoke at the Foreman Christian College commencement ceremony for the first time after coming to power, he urged them to change the names back to their original names. "Did Allama Iqbal do anything to create this university? Was it his work that founded this place? No, it was the missionaries. You are all praising the fanatics and the relgious leaders, what do they teach the children? How to roll up their shalwar (pants) and use a lotta (for cleansing before prayer)? On the other hand, the missionaries are the same ones who took a boy from the street and could make him president?"
(paraphrase of Gen Musharaf through several people...not original quote)