As a Pakistani I find myself standing on a platform made of twigs and hoping that this make-shift ferry will survive a tsunami. Why I say this concerns less with my personal opinions and more with the daily death toll that makes headline.
While all other countries are busy making lives of their people heaven, we are confused at what life actually is. Until few years ago Mr. Anwar in my old neighborhood was extremely against his sons going abroad. He was and still is patriotic from head to toe and it took a lot to make him permit his eldest son to take up the excellent job offer from a Dubai based company. Later on Mr. Anwar got transferred to Saudi Arabia and after living there for three months he called me and told me to leave Pakistan soon.
When I asked why he said he didn’t know what life and peace really is until he went out of Pakistan. Soon his other two sons left the country to settle in Middle East, leaving me baffled since I personally didn’t know anyone more patriotic than Mr. Anwar.
Was his patriotism a farce? Was all his talk, suggestions, believes and solutions for the problems of Pakistan a joke? How many more Anwars are moving out just for the sake of peace? How many patriots are we losing each day?
But before even thinking about answers to these questions, we have to establish who is a Pakistani. Is a person Pakistani when he:
1) Believes USA and Zionists are behind all problems and listens to Zaid Hamid
2) Consider Army root-cause of all trouble and follow Ayesha Siddiqa’s articles
3) Believes all problems are a curse from Allah and visits Sufi shrines to pray
4) Faces every death news as daily routine and gets back to work with indifference
5) Believes elitist to be country’s downfall and shouts “Pakistan ka matlab kiya? La ilaha illallah” (What is the meaning of Pakistan? There is no god but Allah)
6) Cry that Islamists and Mullahs are throttling the country with Shariah and Blasphemy laws
7) Thinks Pakistan is Islam’s fort and listens to Naats by Junaid Jamshed and Maulana Qadri
Jinnah was secular; no Jinnah was Kafir-e-Azam (greatest unbeliever); Jinnah was secular Muslim; Jinnah didn’t know Urdu but he made Urdu national language; Maudodi was against Pakistan; Maudodi shouted for Pakistan; history books are fabricated; Ahmadis are Muslims; Ahmadis are non-Muslims; Ahmadis are worse than non-Muslims and Wajib-ul-Katal (deemed to be murdered); Muhajirs are true patriots; Muhajirs are root cause of most problems; Muhajirs are RAW agents; minorities are protected; minorities are harassed; no army action in Balochistan; Balochistan is the next Bangladesh; homosexuality is haraam; being gay is natural and should be accepted; government never gave us anything; our leaders are corrupt; we are corrupt that’s why our leaders are corrupt; our leaders are American puppets; media promotes American propaganda; IMF is responsible for our Economic problems; the whole world is against Muslims and Pakistan; Pakistan is the fort of Islam; Pakistan is the worst example for Islam; you are kafir; he is murtad; this is haram; that is blasphemy; there is biddat …
Which of them is the real Pakistani? What does a real Pakistani belief?
Is any person lesser Pakistani than the other? Will education ever bring harmony and peace? If so, which education?
Within Pakistan there are so many viewpoints that we ourselves don’t know what is real and what is not. We are so oblivious to each other’s problems that it has triggered a self-destruction mode and we continue to decline in every aspect of life, blaming everyone else except our own selves. Every individual of this country now has identity crisis where most believe they are Muslims first and Pakistani later, can read Quran but can’t understand it, have regional language as mother tongue but are forced to learn Urdu and English for better future prospects, can count best places in Pakistan on finger tips and think that Pakistanis residing outside Pakistan don’t have the right to criticize since they ran with tail between their legs.
No amount of money, brainstorming, critical thinking or idea generation will solve Pakistan’s issue until we realign our roots and finally decide who and what we are. This can only be done when all stakeholder entities (real stakeholders and not professional politicians) from all over Pakistan have a say and their opinions are heard and accepted as reality.
Then and only then a solution for all the violence and problems in Pakistan could be found and it can only be done through collective effort.