2004: 'Pakistan ka mutlab kya, Jaa baita nai hindi movie lay kay aa'
So last week one person asked me why do I believe that Pakistan is on its path to self-destruction. I told him that either I have gone crazy or every person I talk to on this issue is blind. Blind by the so-called prospering economy, technological advancements, better relations with our neighbors (specially India and Afghanistan) and our developing friendship with the U.S. We will call this person Mr. P. So Mr. P told me that Pakistan's economy is going up and doing better than it was in the past. My answer: "Are we still mass-producing our own cars, I mean our own pure Pakistani car? NO. Are we mass-producing our own jet-fighters? NO. Are we even making a pure Pakistani TV? NO. Lets forget TVs, is the poor is doing better that he was doing in the past? May be he used to sleep on the foot-path in the past, but now he sleeps on a bench in a park. A park that was recently made so that rich people can go for jogging in them. And sometimes they even have gaurds watching out the park. So having a park is a sign of us prospering!"
Mr. P: "Okay, aren't we making our own tanks and long- and short-range missiles? Atleast we are technologically advance today than yesterday."
Me: "Yes. We are making these tanks because China helped us. We now produce our own missiles, but I should thank Korea for their help. We believe we made these because we want to believe. Was U.S. building jets and air-craft carriers with the help of France, England or any other nation in World War I or II? Have we ever come up with any of our own theorems. I don't see any theorems named after any Pakistani. We have not been be able to design any sort of new technology that will revolutionize the world, although Indian scientists are discovering new stuff almost everyday. No doubt, we did that in the past. There were great mathematicians, chemists (Dr. Salimumzaman), physicts (Dr. Abdul-Qadeer), biologists, etc. who did revolutionize the world in some way. But we are so proud of them that now we don't even bother to try to come up with something new."
Mr. P: "Why do you hate Pakistan?"
Me: "I hate Pakistan! No, I don't hate Pakistan, I actually love Pakistan. Yes I do hate majority of people who live in Pakistan. I don't hate the pakistani people. There is a difference. Pakistani people are proud of Pakistan but majority of people who live in Pakistan are Muhajjir, Sindhi, Punjabi, Pushtoon, Siraiki, Pathan, Balooch, Kashmiri, etc. I don't understand why they still have such affiliations. In 1947, we were suppose to forget all these affliations and become one nation. But in the past 55 years, instead of uniting, we have become more divided. Now we are divided because you are a shi'ia and I am a sunni. We need to wake up from our sweet dreams of our glorious past and face the present world. We are so divided amongst ourselves that when the government tried to shutdown Indian channels on cable networks in Pakistan, almost every cable network went on strike. Why? Because, we have become a dead nation now."
Mr. P: "Ohhh come one. Stop it already. You are telling me I am not a proud pakistani because I am Sindhi, and we are a dead nation. I don't believe you."
Me: "Aren't we a dead nation? We are not asked but ordered by the U.S. Why is that? Because we have stopped respecting ourselves. We went and begged president Clinton to stop in Pakistan for 3 hours because he spent a week in India. We wanted to him to balance his view of both India-Pakistan conflict, but by begging him to come to Pakistan we lost the self-respect ourselves. What was the point of having him in Pakistan for 3 hours or so when he wasn't even prepared for the trip. We are dead nation, because we prosecute our own scientists because the world power told us to do so. We do as we are told do so, without thinking of it ourselves. arent we dead?"
"Recently, president Musharaf said that we must fight religious extremism and fundamentalism in Pakistan because that is the goal of the International Coalition," I continued, " My question for president Musharaf is, has he ever stopped for 30 secs and think who defined the term Islamic extremism and fundamentalism. Do we have an active debate or research going on which actually draws a line between this so-called Islamic Fundamentalism/Extremism and just being religious.Again we are doing what we are told to do, because we are a dead nation."
Mr. P: "Well, then its the governments fault, not the nations. Why are you blaming the whole nation?"
Me: "Because has anyone tried to make the government do the research? Has the public or the private sector has started its own research on similar grounds. No. Even people in pakistan are afraid to call religious scholar to tutor their kids, because the same religous scholar might be a member of Taliban or worse Al-Qaida. We gained independence from the British empire and India in 1947, but now we still proudly wear jeans, speak in our amreekan accent, goto pizza hut, drink a coke and watch an Indian movie every night and listen to Indian songs in our cars and buses. God, we even speak hindi words, without even realizing what we are speaking, and you don't want me to call us a dead nation. Go for a drive through Karachi, or any major city in Pakistan, and look at the advertisments, shop signs, road signs, etc. Ninty-nine percent of shop signs contain atleast one word of english, e.g. 'AbdulHameed clath shap', 'Qadri Juice services', 'Muneer Kitab-ghar aand stationary shap', 'Junaid's Fride Chiken and snakes', ' Al-Ashrafiya Madrassah and Trust'. Please tell me I not telling the truth. I would like to know that I am dreaming and wrong. After your trip, go watch the Indian Channel 'Aaj Taak' on your cable network and tell me if you see anything in english? Its a pure Hindi channel and very popular amongst Indians, because they are proud of what they are, unlike us, who are ashmed to be pakistani and sometimes even more ashmed of being a muslim. Aren't we a dead nation, Mr. P?"
Mr. P: "What is your political affiliation?"
Me: "I do not affiliate myself with any political party. I hate Nawaz Sharif as much as I hate Benazir Bhutto. I hate Altaf Hussain as mush as I hate Musharaf. I hate all of them because they all believed in divide-and-rule policy. Mr. Musharaf has new plan though. I really liked him and his enthusiasm in the beginnning. But now I have learnt that instead of dividing us, he has a new policy. He believes that if we paint this false image of prosperity and make people feel happy by involving them into music and other worldly matters, then we can rule easily. But this comes at the expense of self-respect and loss of cultural, traditional and religious values."
... to be continued!