By Pamela Constable December 11 at 11:50 AM
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — If any further proof were needed that geopolitical intrigue can stalk the humblest of Pakistan’s inhabitants, consider the recent cases of two Pakistani birds.
The first is a pigeon, a species that people all over the country raise on their rooftops as a simple, inexpensive pleasure and a brief escape from their daily struggles with poverty, corruption and clogged streets below.
Some weeks ago, tensions were running especially high between Pakistan and its perennial rival India. The source was Kashmir, the disputed border region where Muslim protesters were blinded by pellet guns and Indian soldiers were burned to death in a late-night attack by insurgents.
Into the fog of belligerent rhetoric between the nuclear powers wandered a white pigeon, which was caught and caged by Indian security forces in a border district adjoining Kashmir.
According to Indian news agencies, the bird was suspected of having “Pakistani links” and was carrying a warning message for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The arresting officer posed with his feathered prisoner, and the image soon circulated on social media.