Pakistan’s Travails

Not a good situation over there. Most of our school work lies to the NE of Pakistan, in Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK), so the fighting is at least one hundred miles away. My friends in Muzaffarabad report that AJK remains “peaceful,” but peaceful is a subjective thing. The “peace” of that region is not at all what we consider to be the peace of the typical (non-inner city) western neighborhood. Much to Linda’s chagrin, I am toying with the idea of getting over there again soon. I have been tied up with my book so haven’t done much except periodically wire money to support one of our schools and a family that Linda and I have become fond of and really do need some help.

This morning I found a particulary good overview of the politics of terror financing. This is a NY Times article and it fits what I believe is the reality of the situation. Many westerners assume there are just some isolated radical fundamentalists creating havoc (is “havoc” the right word? We are at the brink of seeing an entire government/country fail due to these insurgents). Truth is, the financing for the radicals comes from all over the place. Yes, the opium in Afghanistan, but also from some other folks in that part of the world that we have assumed are either our friends, or neutral parties.

It’s a bad situation, worse than the average westerner imagines. Most people don’t realize this: Iraq’s population is 31 million. Pakistan’s is 180. Division-size American boots-on-the-ground is inconceivable.

And what about the kids? They continue to go to school, remain intensely loyal to their families, and hope this all goes away. Remember, the great majority of Pakistanis and Kashmirs don’t support the insurgency.  Here’s a good AP article re the rising activism of the Pakistani population against the Pakistani Taliban.

Go to for much more information re our work (check out the slide shows). I’m on Facebook now (look for “Sam Carpenter”.) also, for my book, under “Work the System.”

You’re a good man, Karl M., for your continued support and faith. THANKS.


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