La terrible prueba de Balakot

Junto con un grupo de la facultad, personal y estudiantes de mi universidad en Islamabad, viajé a Balakot, cerca del epicentro del terremoto de Cachemira. Esa ciudad montañesa, situada en las orillas del río Kunhar, ha quedado destruida. Hay escombros y el olor –que revuelve las tripas– a cadáveres en descomposición. Las ratas lo tienen fácil; la que yo pisé accidentalmente ya estaba gorda. Si hay un plan para retirar los escombros de hormigón en la ciudad y sus alrededores, nadie parece saber cuál es, pero los balakotíes parecen tomárselo con calma: se ven mascarillas por doquier.

Ahora bien, hay una buena noticia. El nuestro era uno de los innumerables grupos de ciudadanos comunes y corrientes que se pusieron manos a la obra después de que resultara patente la atrocidad del terremoto. La carretera de Mansehra a Balakot, que por fin despejaron las enormes excavadoras del ejército, está ahora ocupada por una línea de camiones de socorro que rebosan de suministros donados por personas de todo el país. Ésta es una de las escasas veces en que he visto al pueblo del Pakistán sentirse aunado como una nación. Ni siquiera los bandidos armados que atacan para robar los suministros de socorro –por lo que resulta necesario que cada varios centenares de metros haya una guardia de soldados con armas automáticas– no pueden anular este momento.

También han llegado los grupos islámicos de todo el país. Algunos traen suministros de socorro; otros se limitan a arengar a los que han perdido a seres queridos y sus medios de vida con el sermón de que sus malas acciones han provocado esta catástrofe. Ninguno de ellos parece tener una explicación sobre el motivo por el cual la ira de Dios fue dirigida en particular contra las mezquitas, las madrasas y las escuelas... todas las cuales se desplomaron en gran número. Ninguno de ellos dice por qué han quedado miles de fieles enterrados en vida durante este sagrado mes de ayuno.

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