My dream for Pakistan

Published: March 29, 2012

A couple of months ago I witnessed an elderly man, approximately 70 years old, being violently shoved off the side of the road by a policeman who was clearing the way for a 10-car protocol of a federal minister.

Incidents like these are not rare and it seems as though we have grown accustomed to them. But that doesn’t mean we don’t think they are wrong.

You often hear people arguing about ‘which hidden arm’ is behind specific problems in our country; whether it’s the politicians, RAW, or the army – it’s an endless debate. But in truth, the average Pakistani just wants to feed his hungry children, survive and live a decent life.

Back in 2006, I made a video about Pakistan. It was an amateur production but it left me wanting to remake it from a better perspective. Recently, a group of Pakistani students studying in England approached me to make a short film that was relevant to March 23 for an event that they were organising.

The country’s descent into darkness and hopelessness were my drive to make this video; I wanted to try and incite a yearning amongst people not to lose hope.  The idea was to make a video that reached out to people who are sick and tired of the constant struggle and help them dream of a better tomorrow.

I explained this concept to my uber-talented friend Ali Mudar and he penned the script. Another friend, Hammad Hanfi, was kind enough to be boom operator for the first two days of shooting; on the third day, my cook, Qadeer, took responsibility for this coveted job.

The video has many different people in it. I tried to portray a cross-section of society. A few people were complete strangers, including a dhaaba owner and a couple of people who visit the dhaaba on a daily basis. Others in the video are people I have worked with in short films and plays before. One lady runs a preschool; another is a classical dancer and political activist.

I tried to keep it as diverse as possible, so it really sucks when people comment saying I’ve just put a bunch of rich kids in front of the camera!

I want this video going viral in the hope that every Pakistani can be inspired to do anything to make the dream of a happy, prosperous Pakistan a reality.

Follow Usman on Twitter @baraboda11.

Usman Mukhtar

Usman Mukhtar

The author has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Punjab University. He started to compile tribute videos and after years of experimenting with the camera, he taught himself how to edit, shoot and direct videos. He tweets @baraboda11.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • geeko

    We need more leaders than dreamers, the state of the society is a collective fault, and it would require a collective reform…

    … Johnny Depp (?)Recommend

  • Ali Nasir

    hahahahah dreamer, Recommend

  • Cancerian Sethi

    A dream of Utopian world…Wished for by each and every nation on this planet…Alas,sadly and unfortunately,one never going to possibly ever materialize for any in Toto!…Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    Time, Inception Soundtrack


  • Sinclair

    A technical point: the font size at the end could be bigger (more than double the current size).

    “Imagine” by John Lennon. Great song, and somewhat similar to your video above.Recommend

  • Pakistani First

    “When 200 million are ready to die to protect one” this line gave me goosebumps..Recommend

  • Outofthewoods.

    Aww. “You” dreamed a dream.
    This all seems more like ‘your dream for yourself’. Recommend

  • AM

    To start off, I had no idea you were such a good director.. it was all so simple yet so elegant.

    Don”t ever take to heart all the negative comments… Dude thats bound to happen… It is in human nature to argue, debate and rebel.. thats how we are programmed… They say you dint make it in urdu.. if you would have, they would have said u dont know how to speak english….If you end up doing both, they would say where is the punjabi, pushto, sindhi and baloch version…. cause like english, urdu is not our language either… it was enforced upon us by the mughals, just like english was done by the british……You can never ever make everyone happy… So always aim for making yourself happy ( only applies towards making movies!)

    For me, every dislike on that video is equal to 100 like buttons… Every bad comment is worth more than a 100 good comments… Cause truth be told, if they really thought it was that bad, they’d have just closed the vid half way through and shoved the thought out of their neurons… Taking the time to comment on it ( no matter how negative) and coming back repeatedly to to challenge other comments proves that you acheived what you strived for; making an impact.

    You will do great things.

    Ali MRecommend

  • mirealistic

    We may not agree with the content of the message however the author should be appreciated for his effort in making this video.Recommend

  • N A Layak

    How About:

    When we treat all minorities as equals.
    When the country is run by rule of law
    When we are known by our actions and not by our words

    The list goes on…Recommend

  • JohnnyEnglish

    When no burger bachha is forced to listen to clowns like Zaid Zaman Hamid.Recommend

  • Naveed727

    I guess, in order to achieve this dream we need to use our votes appropriately! :)Recommend

  • Aruna

    Love it. Sharing with everyone i know!!Recommend

  • SaudiRules

    “on the third day, my cook, Qadeer, took responsibility for this coveted job..”
    Can you tell me who did your nails? You belong to the 0.00001 % of our society, you have no clue how hopeless a common man who has to support on average 6 to 8 (including his old parents) people feels.Only people having fun in pakistan are people like you and the khaki officers and generals.Recommend

  • http://NewYork Falcon

    Great work. As Confucius said: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. And dream is that first step!Recommend

  • Maz

    Come on guys, why we are like this? Every good effort needs to be appreciated and not criticized, Excellent effort Usman and we need more social messages like yours to create unity and harmony. I have seen hundreds of comments on Veena Malik’s shameful shoot and item number and its very sad to see a handful of expressions here. Recommend

  • ali

    @geeko: I think great leaders are the people who dream big dreams. This video is very inspiring and a positive message to the nation. We must appreciate at least, if some has done something good. Thanks Recommend

  • http://[email protected] um

    loved it.. hats off to you.. I wish we all think like and do like that and chain up bringing change to our societyRecommend

  • Sahibzada Shabir

    Great video, loves itRecommend

  • Naveed

    Wakeup man…

    Come out of your dreams and face the realities …its not a dreamworld.


  • ….


    WHAT is up with all this negativity.

    the basic problem is – Pakistanis hate other Pakistanis. SO good luck getting any positive thing done in this lala land! Recommend

  • Umber

    think positive, dream big… if u seek stars, u might jst reach the moon… yes it sounds very cliched but cliches r based in reality…. never mind the pessimists, they will buzz around but will finally join the bigger swarm :)Recommend

  • Yousaf Ali

    My dream for Pakistan is when there will be no injustice and ‘her fard ho ga millet ke muqadar ka sitara’Recommend

  • http://Turkey Zalmai

    Turning dystopia into utopia will be challenging. Good luck!Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Excellent work, Usman.

    Exactly this is the kind of positivity that’s needed. We have all these Christians, Ahmedis, Hindus, and Shias going around claiming to be going to hell in Pakistan, as it were! That’s not helpful. They need to be positive and realize how lucky they are to be Pakistanis and look forward to this realizing this wonderful vision as you kindly shared here.Recommend

  • http://[email protected] John Christie

    emphasized textIt is more than a dozen years since I spent 5 weeks in Northern Pakistan
    but I still dream of it & always will remember the warm hearts of the people. These people will win in the end.Recommend

  • Hafsa A. Sial

    THIS IS AWESOME. :) no joke.Recommend

  • Homa

    Why were all the drama queens in the video making such grim expessions and speaking in such grim tones? If they have positive dreams why dont they smile and reflect joy in their faces? Recommend

  • Eshwar

    -If we had kept our difference aside, we would not be facing the beast today.. we would have become the most successful nation….

    Day dream Nation :SRecommend

  • Homa
  • Ahsan

    Such a wonderful piece this is! Brought tears in my eyes.Recommend

  • Ali

    the font is too small cant read what you said in the end!Recommend

  • @mariumarif


    At least someone like you has the good sense and bravery to be positive in this country that thrives on negativity. Sharing this!

    @ all negative remarks above: Just because things are not working out in PK does not give anyone the right to crush a tiny bud of positivity that tries to rear its head once in a while Recommend

  • summaiya

    when we will start to speak and face truth
    when we will start respecting and stop hating othersRecommend