TFT: Mir Nasar Ahmad has finally submitted to the idea that a return to Pakistan is a foolish dream
There are no underground nuclear bunkers in Rabwah – contrary to what you may have heard
When I saw pictures of the scene on Whatsapp, my first reaction was fear, and my mind went into overdrive. I thought of my father who lives in Rabwah and who I know won’t be able to run very far for his life if he had to. He is old and weak, and suffers from many ailments that restrict his mobility. My sister lives there too, but she would first try to save her 18 month-old daughter. My mother, I hope, will somehow manage to help herself in the aftermath of an attack. Unfortunately, there are no underground nuclear bunkers in Rabwah – contrary to what you may have heard from some people. It is just a small town, where unarmed ordinary men, women and children live. They go about their daily lives, which includes going to pray at a ‘worship place’ five times a day. My father is a school teacher in Rabwah and makes himself vulnerable each time he goes to pray. I would probably get smacked if I told him to pray at home out of concern for his safety. The slightest news of any unusual incident in Rabwah, therefore, reminds me of how vulnerable my family, particularly my father, is in Pakistan. He would never agree to leave the country for good. I wish there was something I could do to ensure his safety. Sending remittances does not do anything to lessen the helplessness.
I was not very surprised when some students in college refused to shake hands with me
When in Pakistan I was always conscious of the hostility against me because I knew as an Ahmadi I would have to deal with prejudice. So I was not very surprised, when, for instance, some students in college refused to shake hands with me, or that one time when my political science professor told me that I could not be the president of the political science society even though he admitted that I was the most qualified student for the job, because I was not a constitutional Muslim. I had thought of these and other incidents, as acts of prejudice and hate on part of certain misguided individuals, and because I also knew many decent people, who accepted me despite my constitutional status, I had a lot of hope in Pakistan. Life was good, even though I could hardly change anything, and prolonged time away from Pakistan was still a dull prospect.