My reasons to believe in Pakistan

Published: April 23, 2012

When I read about the sacrifices that were made to create Pakistan, my belief in my country strengthens. PHOTO: AFP

Main to kehta hun bas karo aur Malaysia challo.”

(I think we should drop everything and move to Malaysia.)

For what seemed like an eternity, I just stood there with my eyes wide open. Shocked to the very core of my heart, I stared at him. My mind could not decipher where in God’s world my patriotic father had gone.

He is the same guy who took bullets in his arm during student movements in his youth, and the man who helped me write my first speech in Montessori that ended with ‘East or West; Pakistan is the best.’

What happened to Pakistan Zindabad? What happened to the largest flag in our entire colony that always had to be on our roof top? Whatever happened to the man who did not even consider lucrative job offers from abroad, and instead chose to join the government service? The one who worked in the harshest of conditions in Balochistan for 25 years just to try and make a difference? What happened to the guy who wore shalwar qameez while he was studying abroad simply out of love for his country?

I just stood there and stared at him. He had lost faith in our country. I wonder what had happened.

I didn’t have to think much; corruption, loadshedding, bomb blasts, Pakistanis killing each other – that’s what happened.

Moreover, the ‘sabzi waala’ (vegetable seller) threw in rotten vegetables when Baba (father) wasn’t paying attention and the ‘gosht waala’ (meat seller) cheated on his weighing scale.

Baba did not receive a  sales tax certificate because he refused to pay Rs15,000 as a bribe to one of the clerks and further refused to use his contacts to put the clerk in his place. Meanwhile, the students of a nearby, renowned school smoked heroine in our house which was under-construction. And the list goes on.

Perhaps  he ran out of reasons to believe in our country and its people, but I hadn’t.

I refuse to give up on my nation, and I refuse to leave this country for any other place on earth or beyond.

I remember the semi-final between India and Pakistan that we lost; the next day, my entire university was pumped up to do the best that they could to make a difference and to help Pakistan improve.

I look back at that day and I refuse to believe anybody who tries to suggest that this country will fall. I see my best friend representing Pakistan in an international competition and winning it, and I refuse to believe that my country, my people are any less than the others out there.

I look at myself and see how my father has raised me to be ready to give the last drop of blood for this country, and I refute each and every word he had recently said about Pakistan.

Even when our nation is going though the hardest of times, I see people smiling, laughing and enjoying their lives. I see myself submitting assignments on time with 16 hours of loadshedding, and I see amma (mother) shed tears at every casualty and mishap that gets reported on news channels daily.

I reject every theory and notion that says things cannot improve. I read Stanely A. Wolpert’s book on Jinnah, and Naseem Hijazi’s novels on partition, books that my father gave me, and think:

Sorry Baba, I am not leaving the pure land Jinnah has given me.

I read about the sacrifices that were made to create Pakistan, and my belief in my country strengthens.

There are many reasons to believe in Pakistan, and my father’s entire life is one of them.

Just as he always said: ‘East or West, Pakistan is the best.’

Follow Maeedah on Twitter @MaeedahChishti

Maeedah Chishti

Maeedah Babar Chishti

The author is a student of Business Administration at the National University of Sciences and Technology.She tweets @MaeedahChishti.

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

  • Faraz

    You naive little girl…..this nation has been a mess ever since it came alive. 65 years since birth and more backward and self-destructive than it ever was, what can you possibly hope to achieve in your lifetime that whole generations before you failed to accomplish. You only get one life to live, child. Make the most of it before it’s too late.

    I was like you once. Young, full of hope; organizing fundraisers and marches for every disaster, posting on international forums trying to convince the world that give Pakistan time and we will bounce back, but I guess I was trying to convince myself more than anyone else. The fire has extinguished now, now I just wish that the younger generations like you try to make the most of your own lives rather than worry about Pakistan. Pakistan may or may not bounce back, but you’re not going to be getting your lives back. It seems your father realized it a bit too late. Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    Faraz bhai in spite of being an Indian as an average human being I find your comment emotionally disturbing. To those like you and me born in an earlier era steeped in dreamy eyed idealism the frustrations may be too many and too painful. I do agree that Pakistan is in such a desperate state that the toll taken in terms of the emotional and mental state of its citizens is very heavy. India is marginally better and more hopeful but the problems are as many. and the challenges equally daunting.
    In today’s world being an idealist will destroy you. We have to recognize that we failed to adapt to the new world of consumerism and worship of money..Hanging onto our value systems and suffering personally due to it is great but to expect others to follow the same path is impractical. Yes I do agree that change cannot come without the people wanting and yearning for it, it will be a long hard struggle with an uncertain outcome. The human race is suffering because it has lost all its values. Today humans are divided by artificial constructs like Nation, Race, Religion, Colour, Ethnicity etc. We not only kill our fellow human beings for scant reasons but are out to plunder the World, destroy the Environment and are putting other species who share our planet to the sword. It seems we are being sent to this world by our Creator as a punishment posting for misdeeds committed in past lives – a charitable explanation at best. We need to keep striving and hoping tomorrow will be better, else we will end up as mental wrecks.Recommend

  • AAQ

    if you still have hope for pakistan, then they are lessons to be learnt. just like ur father did.Recommend

  • Proud to be Pakistani

    Love you PakistanRecommend

  • Proud to be Pakistani

    Only one reason to believe in Pakistan that is Pakistani.Recommend

  • Ali S

    @Ejaz Butt:

    Easy to say when you ARE already comfortably abroad.Recommend

  • Ali J

    So true; i am pakistani living abroad and i want to come back to pakistanRecommend

  • shoaib akaram

    great work sister, such an intresting blog . Carry onRecommend

  • sharjeel

    Gr8 effort maeedah___I know u since i was in 8th and these qualities of u kill me totally^^ WELL-DONE…..!!!Recommend