Americans are notoriously amero-centric, myself included, so imagine my delight when I got a letter from a gentleman in Pakistan who had read last week’s Seed, called “Coexist.” His name is Muhammad Tahir Tabassum; he is an Ambassador for Peace and the Founder/Executive Director of INSPAD, the Institute of Peace and Development. It has offices in Belgium and Pakistan.
On Saturday, the worst terrorist attack ever committed in Pakistan happened in Islamabad near the Marriott Hotel. A truck bomb detonated killing forty and injuring many hundreds more. It was a few hundred yards from the Prime Minister’s home where all the leaders of the country were dining just after their new President’s first address to Parliament.
Normally, I would have read this headline with a sigh, said a prayer and let it go, except that my new correspondent is based in Islamabad. My first answer to Muhammad’s email was about his safety! One man, one spirit, one soul dedicated to peace (as am I) in the midst of a terrorist attack put a human face on what had happened halfway around the world from me! One!
And that’s the point. Those numbers in the story: the forty killed and the many hundreds wounded are human beings, individuals, spirits, souls, bodies who will be touched beyond imagination by this terrorist action. Ambassador Tabassum is safe—thank God—he wrote me a quickie response to my original email assuring me he was.
Of note: the Ambassador had spent the day at a meeting for the International Day of Peace—today, Sunday, September 21, 2008. He sent me an article about the ceremony during which they signed an agreement with the Coordinator of IBHI (Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Issues) to establish an International Commission on Kashmir Issue.
Perhaps my peace ambassador, because he spent his day working toward peace, was spared this time. His email to me closed, “Thanks again I am safe, but the country is in danger really.”
No one deserves to live under this sort of threat! No one. We’re all individuals, doing the best we can with what we have at any given moment. Please, please, won’t you pray for peace with me? For Ambassador Tabassum, his country and yourself and me and our world?