Dear Family and Friends,
Today, the second day of mourning for Benazir Bhutto, brought some encouraging signs of a return to normalcy. Buses are still not running, but there are more vehicles on the roads. The burned cars and trucks that blocked several roads are in the process of being removed.
Gas stations also opened up today, although only for a short time. I accompanied a neighbor to fill up his car and experienced firsthand the mad rush at the gas station as people scrambled to store up as much fuel as they were allowed. It occurred to me that such a scenario — long lines at gas stations for rationed fuel — strikes great fear in us Americans. We shudder at the thought that it could happen to us. I realize today that as unfortunate as such an incident is and would be, it’s not the end of the world. Life goes on.
Most stores are still closed. However, a few have opened under tight security while others have opened with their shutters half-way down, ready to close at the first sign of trouble.
There are policeman and Rangers posted around the city, and it is rumored that they have been authorized to shoot anyone causing trouble.
The general sentiment seems to be that we need to make the best of the current situation. Although there are signs of recovery, there exists an underlying fear that the situation can still get bad as we near elections, which are currently scheduled for January 8th. There is, however, discussion of postponing the elections, which seems like the right thing to do. Hopefully, the finger-pointing for the death of Benazir Bhutto won’t turn violent in the coming days.
All is well otherwise. Please don’t worry. I have no intention of leaving anytime soon; things really aren’t that bad.
Thank you for your emails and for your prayers.