Excerpt from Mohsin Hamid’s op-ed Pakistan’s first three generations:
On one side are the forces of exclusion, who wish Pakistan to stand only for their kind of Pakistani. These include the political descendants of the man who stabbed my great-grandfather, the people who seek to oppress those who are clean shaven or those who toil for meager wages or those from provinces other than their own. But arrayed against them is something wholly new.
Pakistan now has private television stations that refuse to let the government set the news agenda. It has a Supreme Court that has asserted its independence for the first time, restoring a chief justice suspended by the president. And it has an army under physical attack from within and in desperate need of compromise with civil society.
A 60th birthday brings with it the obligation to shed some illusions. Pakistanis must realize that we have been our own worst enemies. My wish for our national anniversary is this: that we finally take the knife we have turned too often upon ourselves and place it firmly in its sheath.