"I was standing outside the district court in Islamabad, to welcome the Chief of Justice, when I heard a big sound as if something fell down and hit my head. I was so close to the explosion, people were running in all directions. I started shouting 'Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar'. Allah gave me a second chance to be alive and to be there for my family, and today I have a normal life as a politician." Dr. Israr Shah, 56, political leader, injured outside the district court in Islamabad, Pakistan on 17 July 2007.
In recent years, Pakistan has been rocked by hundreds of attacks on civilians. From roadside bombs to suicide bombings and target killings, attacks take place on an almost daily basis in cities across the country, as a result of terrorism, sectarian conflict, and a mix of political, religious, and criminal violence. In the last ten years, over 5,000 people have lost their lives and some 10,000 have been injured in attacks perpetrated by militants in Pakistan. Of those lucky enough to survive, many carry physical disabilities or mental scars for the rest of their lives.
Suffering is far from unknow in a part of the world with a high rate of poverty, and also often hit by natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. However, many devout Muslims embrace those tragedies as their particular fate. Pakistan is a majority Muslim country, where faith is the most sacred and precious thing in many people's lives, and where the devout believe in al-Qadr (Destiny) - that all that exists or happens is an expression of Allah's will. Believer's accept their fate because they trust in His will.