Falling off the world stage

When you left even the stones were buried: The defenceless would have no weapons. When the ibex rubs itself against the rocks, who collects its fallen fleece from the slopes? O Weaver whose seams perfectly vanished, who weighs the hairs on the jeweller's balance? They make a desolation and call it peace.

– Agha Shahid Ali, Farewell

The world began to change on '9/20', the day George Bush declared, "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists". Not wanting to be known as a friend of Osama and his in-laws in Kabul, even General Musharraf fell in line. The self-appointed president of Pakistan declared his country the frontline state of America's "War on Terror".

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Himal Southasian