“What’s the weather like in Lahore today?”
Thus began a conversation with the guy who sold me my cell phone. I had heard him mention something about Pakistan when helping another customer, and with my seemingly innocuous question, he assumed I was Pakistani and gave me an unbelievable amount of information about himself.
I learned that he’s:
2. Not in high school or college
3. Has no family in this country
4. Was sponsored by someone not related to himself
5. Came from Peshawar aka Taliban & Al-Qaeda central
6. Has been in the country for 1 year
7. Has been back to Pakistan once in the last year
8. Lives with an Afghan friend also from Peshawar
9. His Afghan friend has no relatives in this country
10. His Afghan friend was sponsored by the same unrelated guy who sponsored him.
Hmmm. By the end of the conversation, all sorts of terrorist warning flags were going off in my head.
Sadly, while John & Mark are on a mission of peace to Pakistan, I’m pondering the merits of reporting a Pakistani to the Feds for further investigation. While Manmohan Singh delivers messages of reconciliation behind bullet-proof glass and under heavy sniper cover, I balance turning a guy’s life upside-down against the lives of innocent potential victims.
Pakistanis and Indians are the same people. Yet Pakistani Independence day on August 14th, was celebrated without incident. Indian Independence day on August 15th saw two bomb blasts in Kashmir, and a third in Madhya Pradesh which killed 9 people and a Member of Parliament. Pakistan denies that a terrorist infrastructure exists in Pakistan, yet for years they were on the State Department’s list of terrorist sponsoring countries and not only supported the Taliban, but trained and armed insurgents in Kashmir. Whereas the majority of Indians still look to America with admiration, Pakistanis increasingly detest America and their own General Musharraf for his occasional raids on terrorists (whenever they do something mean). The West and India are clearly targets for terrorists and Pakistanis are often the culprits in those attacks.
So the question is, what do I do?
Do I report a potentially innocent man, leaving him to Bush’s merciless war dogs of Homeland Security, or do I let it slide at the risk that he’s a kafir-hater who will one day pop off some innocent people?