These are two amazing pictures.
Both were taken today (June 30, 2009) but they tell two very different stories. Each story is equally true and each story is equally important. The stories are about the little girls in the pictures. But they are also stories about each one of us.
The first is a picture of hope. It depicts a child clinging to her mother and a bus window while on a bus that is returning to Buner, in district Mardan, as some IDPs start returning to their homes.
The second is a picture of displacement. The picture of another child – only a little older than the first one – at a UNHCR camp (Yar Hussain) in Swabi who is pushing a canister of water for her displaced family.
Our prayers are with both these little girls. May we all see more pictures like the first and less like the second. But it is more than just the return of IDPs to their homes that we must strive for. Not until the future of every child in Pakistan has been made safe and peaceful and secure can the future of any of us be safe and peaceful and secure.