Time to move the family to Pakistan

Mohsin Hamid in The Guardian:

ScreenHunter_01 Nov. 25 09.21 Yes, these are troubled times for the country. Friends of mine in Lahore tell me their children have not gone to school in three weeks because of fears of a Beslan-style terrorist atrocity. The university where my sister teaches has been installing shatterproof window film. Hundreds of people have been killed in attacks on Pakistan's cities since the army launched its operation in Waziristan last month.

But there is reason to be hopeful. After a long history of backing religious militants, the state and army may finally be getting serious about taking them on. Swat was successfully wrested from Taliban control this summer. The Waziristan offensive is said to be proceeding well. Pakistani public opinion has hardened against the extremists, and at the same time an increasingly independent media and judiciary are amplifying popular demands for a redistribution of resources to the poor. It is possible that out of the current uncertainty and bloodshed a more equitable and tolerant Pakistan will be born.

So when, a month after Dina's arrival, Zahra and I again discussed Pakistan, we decided to go. Given the peripatetic nature of my life so far, I don't know how long we'll stay there. Maybe a year, maybe 10, maybe for ever.

But I do know this. When it comes to where we think Pakistan is heading, we are voting with our feet.

More here.