It seems to me that we have been collectively successful in murdering Pakistani patriotism. We have spilled green blood as if it were poison. And now that not so much as a drop of purity flows within our veins, we still feel we have not been cleansed. Perhaps, it wasn’t the green that we were meant to drain.
Let’s see what this snow-washed, igloo-dwelling expat is rambling on about. If you allow me to indulge the expanse of your foresight, I promise this will be enlightening as it will be entertaining.
Several days ago, I was listening to Vital Signs’ song, that sang of our passion for our homeland. Immediately, my soul soared to the skies propelled by patriotism. And then, almost immediately it was reigned in by the ropes of despair, pulled down to the ground and sunk into quick sand. I thought about why this was so.
If you allow me to assume that a majority of Pakistanis have never lived abroad, it would be fair to also deduce that our nationalism forms a significant part of our identity. In fact, of all those things that define our identity, Pakistani nationalism finds itself in the center. And the whole world knows how patriotic we are, from the bust of Quaid-e-Azam at York University in Toronto, to our world cup rallies in London. I find that our spirit of being Pakistani is our single greatest weapon.
But with all the murders, kidnappings, shootings, bomb blasts, and political hoo-ha, it is difficult not to feel disappointed, disillusioned, and disenchanted. Leading us to renegotiate our patriotism. This spawns many phrases along the lines of “Pakistan ka kuch nahi ho sakta” and the infamous “Pakistan ka Allah hi hafiz hai.”
When such incidents become so prevalent that we even dare to entertain the thought of negotiating our patriotism, that part of our identity which is Pakistani, is slowly pushed from the center out to the margins where it is most susceptible to murder.
We have become a nation of poor people. A nation which suffers poverty of hope, of confidence, and of trust. We don’t even trust anyone in business. We don’t even trust the person that’s helping us change the tire on the wheels of our cars. And these incidents that toy with the lives of people as if they were pawns in a casual game of chess, having become common place, leads me to think the following:
Could it be, that in order to compromise our sense of unity, circumstances have been engineered in order that we may implode, starting wars amongst ourselves? Could this be psychological warfare? We know for a fact that those who are terrorizing our streets are not of Pakistani descent. They are those that have penetrated deep into our borders, causing destruction and chaos. They are the enemies of Pakistan. I recall hearing a conversation between a Pakistani soldier and a militant (unjustly deemed a Pakistani militant, since he was Uzbeki) taking jabs at Quaid-e-Azam. Since when is that the Pakistani thing to do? Since when is that okay? Since when did that cease to become treason of the highest order?
So what’s at stake? Our homes are at stake. Our families are at stake. Our livelihoods are at stake. But about and beyond that, being Pakistani is at stake. Our identity is at stake. Let us refrain from figuring out how much of our Pakistaniness we can do away with, and try to remember constantly in the words, lyrics, and songs of poets, musicians, and our forefathers. Let us speak proudly of our home, and let us demonstrate that our identity is not up for sale.
Unite, Pakistan. Unite.