After 60 Years, Will Pakistan Be Reborn?

Mohsin Hamid in the New York Times:

Screenhunter_01_aug_19_1849Handed down to me through the generations is the story of my namesake, my Kashmir-born great-grandfather. He was stabbed by a Muslim as he went for his daily stroll in Lahore’s Lawrence Gardens. Independence was only a few months away, and the communal violence that would accompany the partition was beginning to simmer.

My great-grandfather was attacked because he was mistaken for a Hindu. This was not surprising; as a lawyer, most of his colleagues were Hindus, as were many of his friends. He would shelter some of their families in his home during the murderous riots that were to come.

But my great-grandfather was a Muslim. More than that, he was a member of the Muslim League, which had campaigned for the creation of Pakistan. From the start, Pakistan has been prone to turning its knife upon itself.

Yet 1947 is also remembered in my family as a time of enormous hope. My great-grandfather survived. And the birth that year of his grandson, my father, marked the arrival of a first generation of something new: Pakistanis.

More here.