The classic middle-class overachiever

Published: July 3, 2012

I want to repay my debt but will this country provide me with a platform to do so? DESIGN: JAHANZAIB HAQUE

At the age of 23, my indebtedness to Pakistan was inversely proportional to my progress in life. My mind was uncluttered and my ambitions were sky high. 

The nation’s politics didn’t interest me; its understanding of religion was at loggers-head with my comprehension, its roads didn’t let me walk my walk; its dress code did more to accentuate a woman’s curves than it did to hide them, and its history didn’t have any role to play in my future.

Moreover, despite my life-saving attempts, I could not bring myself to fall in love with a special someone either (something that kept my friends going).

I wanted to secure a job that would help me save the world– in other words, my only intention was to get the hell out of Pakistan.

So, I tortured myself blatantly and paved my way out of this Murdistan (land of dead). I started studying 17 hours a day, and in order to do so, spent more money on buying candles than I did on food – need I say why?

I got first-class honours in my undergraduate degree, wrote a novel to let out my frustration, somehow managed to develop acute arthritis coupled with a locked jaw. Finally, I secured a full scholarship to The London School of Economics (LSE). Voila, all it took was a lack of life and a few broken bones to be able to board Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and bid my fellow-men farewell.

I was in tears when I stepped onto British land as the imaginary background music “Here I am” played in my head. Here I am, two years down the line, and there is nothing more left on my “to-do list”. Frankly, I have it all. I graduated last autumn, and was immediately offered a job at one of Europe’s largest investment banks. I was recently informed that my permanency at the company has been confirmed. My salary will be twice as much, and behold my fellow readers, I will also be travelling all around the world. Before I could walk out of the office, my interviewer stood up, and uttered the following words to me:

You are the first Pakistani to have been offered this role. Well done.

His words still echo in my mind, loud and clear. Pakistani. Pakistani. Pakistani.

Could it be that he would not have congratulated me had I not been a Pakistani? Could it be, that he would not have been proud of me had I not been a Pakistani? Could it be that in this part of the world, it is not about who I am, but where I come from? The answer is in the affirmative folks. I then received a phone call from the Human Resource Department (HR), which eased my dilemma and the storm of questions in my head. This is some of the feedback I got:

He thought you were very different. He thought that you would not be the person you are today had you been British, your experiences wouldn’t have been diverse and your struggles not commendable. You would be too mainstream had it not been for your origin.

The curtains fell on my convictions that moment. From this point on, my indebtedness to Pakistan was going to be directly proportional to my progress in life.

But the predicament remains that I am of no use to Pakistan with my current inexperienced set of skills and  by the time I have acquired the experience, I would have formed strong ties with the West. My question to Pakistan is: seven years from now, when I have invested sufficiently in my progress, will you still be there to welcome me?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to repay my debt but will this country provide me with a platform to do so?

Why do I have the feeling that an avid reader of The Express Tribune who frequently comments on blogs under the alias “Uncle” is going to drop a line saying, “Beta, peechay mat dekhna” (child, do not look back).

Khadija Ali Zai Khan

Khadija Ali Zai Khan

Is the author of "The Mind of Q". A young Pakistani currently based in London working for Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Bank, after having graduated from The London School of Economics in Finance.

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

  • Confused

    You’ll pretty much have to make a platform yourself. Pakistan does welcome you, it’s just AFK until the torture hopefully stops.Recommend

  • Awans

    Well first of all my experience in Europe states that Your origin will always play a role even tough you can pretend sometimes to have some European Connection and your ancestors accidentally lost and end up in a place which is known as Pakistan now a days. As far as the provision of Platform is concerned i want to quote One German Person who is also my mentor in some aspects and he told me that after the WWII Germany was in ruins and was divided and there was nothing to celebrate and there was no industry left and then the group of like minded Germans got together, brain stormed and rebuilt the whole land again and now Germany is in front of you and he also told me that Cowards use to Jump from the Drowning ship first while the ship will be sailing silently then Glory Hunters will always be there.. So Miss Khadija as simple as that seven years down the line dont wait that you will be provided with some platform in Pakistan but I am Hopeful that until that time you will Garner so much Entrepreneurial Skills that you could start from scratch in a country which unfortunately is in ruins and need the people like you to get this country out of this mess. The people like you or perhaps like me have to take our part on an individual basis to make this land a land of Opportunities. I may be Over Optimistic but it is better than being cynical all the time. Last but not least there are many Goras boys out there and you can give them a try and may be you could find your special someone there rather than from Pakistani origin.Recommend

  • KKB

    looks like you just read my mind, and probably of hundreds moreRecommend

  • http://NewYork Falcon

    Khadija – First of all congrats for getting the job. You have certainly an inspirational story to tell. However, to your question, there is a beautiful couplet in Urdu…”Rukna Ho agr to So(100) bahane, Jana Ho to Raste Bade Hain”…once we are committed enough to serve Pakistan, we will be able to find a platform ourselves rather than waiting for it to be handed down in a platter. Cheers and Good luck!Recommend

  • Uncle

    Beta, peechay mat dekhna!Recommend

  • faraz

    If it was an HEC scholarship, you could repay that. And send remittances through proper channelsRecommend

  • yasir akram

    7 years is a pretty long time…hopefully things will change in Pakistan by then for they have already hit rock bottom and it can only start getting better within the next..lets say 2 years. By better I don’t mean that the mindset of the people or the interpretation of religion will change. We might have a better economy, almost enough bijli and a lot more foreign brands on MM Alam and Zamzama. The dress code would still accentuate a woman’s body more and the roads won’t let you walk your walk the way you will get used to by then; and you will get used to your new lifestyle and cushy job – 7 years is a long time. Not long enough to deradicalize the masses and change the culture of Pakistan though. So enjoy your new have earned it. Get married, get a dog…whatever….just dont come back expecting Pakistan to throw a party when you return. PS More than half the country would give an arm and a leg to be in your position right now and no I don’t think they would want to ever come back. Recommend

  • drenched in deep thots
  • Zeeshan

    Reading this during lunch break ,I came back to write something ,not giving my opinion on this won’t do .Judging from your article,it seems that yours is not really a middle class story ,getting a scholarship at LSE is not really a achivement considering that you graduated from a UK university.Please ask yourself this question ,would you be still be where you are if you really were from the middle class ,would you be still be writing a novel during your studies when you compare yourself to your fellow Pakistan ,having the peice of mind with all that is going on and the everyday problems where the basic questions like buying a soft drink at college become big .

    I think you are pampered little girl and as for your questions about this “murdastan”,well exactly in this place ,a candle is lit everyday instead of all of cursing the system ,Please go and live your life with your banking job salary in UK ,complain and try to tell your foriegn friends how close minded we are and all .Pakistan will be here waiting for you if you decide to return ,because that what is it ,it is mother that embraces you even though you shout ,insult or think of it has backward ,We have many to take care of her .Recommend

  • OS

    Very well written. I am exactly in the same position. In fact uncannily so. I grew up thinking my progress must be de-linked from Pakistan as it appeared more and more regressive. Now, after almost a decade in the west, I feel that without Pakistan I would simply have been ‘mainstream’ and unchallenged. Recommend

  • Anon..

    Impressive achievement. How are you surviving the City culture which is one of the most brutal, back breaking and competitive in the world?Recommend

  • KC

    This article makes ZERO sense whatsoever. I went to LSE back in ’99, and I’ve been working in PE for the past 6 years or so, preceeded by the EDT desk at GS in London. Why would you write this? To announce to the world that you got a job and that you’re useless if you were to go back to Pakistan? Guilt? go out, enjoy your life. No need to write pointless articles. Either its articles about how rubbish the country’s socio political situation is, or its these “blogs” – that somehow get published on a mainstream Pakistani news portal. Recommend

  • Omer

    Been there, seen it all. One day you’ll realise the fallacy of the dream but it’d be too late. You can create opp in Pak too, saying from own experience, won’t be a cakewalk though but won’t need to break bones either.

    You are & 3 generations down will be a Pakistani so better be proud of it & realize today.Recommend

  • elahi

    I totally agree with KC. Pointless article with NO worth. There are many, many pakistanis working in top positions in the Banking sector of UK. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Barclays, etc. You name it.

    Regarding Pakistan welcoming you, well :

    “Ask not what your country can do for you…ask what you can do for your country.”
    — John F. Kennedy.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Good stuff and congratulations – glad to see Pakistanis/ women/ hardworkers (you fit the bill in all these ways) get ahead and make their families and country proud. The only point that I would make is that your first line is a bit confusing – At the age of 23, my indebtedness to Pakistan was inversely proportional to my progress in life.. Considering that your progress in life was not much at that stage, directly proportional may have conveyed your message (as I understand it) more accurately.Recommend

  • Tan

    Well written article. Though there is still a lot that can be done for Pakistan; we as the people need to create that platform on which others can build, and that can also be done individually if the social fabric does not take a part. Let us not be ‘couch-activists’ and get to actually doing things for the country. No action is too small. On another note, (and no offense) I cannot understand how one can feel as a ‘martyr’ (sp?) coming from that background, look at the masses, they may not even have a fraction of the condtions/opportunities you have mentioned. Recommend

  • Parvez

    What’s bugging you has to worked out by yourself. When you do, you will be a better person for it.Recommend

  • Jahaz

    Are you that UNCLE?? Recommend

  • Hashmi

    We have very very high and very very under achievers who can become the PM of this country, they can be called Rental and they are Rajas.. So I annul the theory of proportionality…Recommend

  • saqib

    Very truthful article speaks hearts and minds common people who work hard and self made. unfortunately there is no Micheal Page, seek or Bayt . com in pakistan, Looking for skilled People like you when situation arises it usually goes to the Referred one and anyhow over all there is nothing happening around, I wish you best of luck and hope one day you can comeback to Pakistan and contribute with your talent. Recommend

  • Samra Alauddin

    Too good for Pakistan now, eh?! Recommend

  • Cynical

    What is your point exactly? Maybe you want to tell us that you have a degree from LSE and a job in London. Well,congrats but honestly, there is nothing special about a degree from LSE and a job in London. Pakistan has produced many talented people getting degrees from best universities of the world and working in the best companies. As far as coming back to Pakistan is concerned, do not come back. Stay where you are and enjoy life. Talking about platform, Pakistan would never give you a platform. If you so desperately want to repay, then you would have to create a platform yourself. Recommend

  • Rabia

    My question is, if you are as determined as you portray in your article, why can’t you come back to Pakistan and create opportunities for others who are intelligent but dont have the resources or luck? Start something of your own, create jobs. Its just an excuse asking if Pakistan will accept you. Pakistan is waiting for all like you, with arms wide open, if only you didn’t chose to close your eyes on this, you’ll see.Recommend

  • Mudassar

    I’m a middle class overachiever and I got a platform right on this land which nurtured me since my birth and even centuries ago too!

    What I did to achieve what I have now is to create opportunities for myself and not wait for the others to feed me. I believed in myself and Pakistan coz I had read that poem by Iqbal:

    “Pewasta reh shajar se”

    I don’t condemn you writing this article but all I can say is that you need more maturity before blaming the SYSTEM.Recommend

  • Ha!

    The age-old dilemma of the guilt-ridden over-seas Pakistani :) You have the good life by leaving your country; but you owe some of that good life to your country. Ahhh, what to do; what to do. Recommend

  • Sane

    You always found and still you find this country a heap of garbage. In utter desperation you ran away from this stinky land. You got what you wanted…. excellent job ….good money. Be in your cool world. We are here to make our world changed one day. We will succeed one day.

    But, even then you are not welcomed.Recommend

  • obaid

    I want to repay my debt but will this country provide me with a platform to do so?

    There is Pakistani who built a hospital for free treatment of cancer patients, another one who set up the world largest ambulance service, few others who help provide free education to thousands of students. What platform did you think have ??

    His words still echo in my mind, loud and clear. Pakistani. Pakistani. Pakistani

    A nine year old was told that she was youngest Pakistani (and youngest in the world) to complete a Microsoft Professional certification. She in return wanted to bring IT to the masses. You could have taken a page out of her book

    Here I am, two years down the line, and there is nothing more left on my “to-do list” and then I am of no use to Pakistan with my current inexperienced set of skills ?????Recommend

  • Rehan

    So, is this supposed to be an advertisement or what? Rather middle-class of you, if so, for sure. I must point out though that your “progress” in life, while impressive in comparison to the average Pakistani, is not much to be boasting about, as you have rather tastelessly done here. It makes you come off as naive. My sons graduated from Princeton and Penn, two schools far more competitive than a graduate program at the LSE, let’s not kid ourselves, and have had more success than you in a related field, yet I feel little point in writing an entire blog post extolling their “success”. To be rather honest, I fail to see the point of this piece.
    PS: A reason why you might not have seen many Pakistanis at SG is because most Pakistani over-achievers gravitate towards the more well-known and prestigious firms.
    Best wishes and congratulations,

  • Pakistani

    Although I do not know Ms. Khan, I know of her.

    @Faraz: the scholarship was given to her by LSE, not HEC – and she has been known to be sending remittances to Pakistan since the beginning of her journey.
    @Yasir (and the rest): don’t you get the point? Ever heard of “added value”? That’s what one adds to a business/system/country after one has acquired skills. And that’s exactly what the author wants to have achieved in 7 years (3 yrs, 5 rs, 7 yrs, it is all the same!).

    Trust me, I know of many Pakistanis sitting in Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan as well, and these are precisely the kind of people at whom this article is aimed – it’s a wake up call for them. Let alone return to Pakistan, they do not even have the gutts to show the greeen colour of their passport at the airport!

    And I can bet my life that all those claiming “to be there for Pakistan” are those who would not give a hoot for Pakistan if they were ever given the opportunity the author has on her hands.

    This is exactly why this country is in its current condition! We will stifle the growth of Pakistan, but not accept the fact that there’s somebody else out there who’s willing/claiming to do what we ourselves would never have done!Recommend

  • Hanif Shah

    Motherland owes you, I just hope that by the time you come back we have an appropriate place to accommodate you (off course the environment also)Recommend

  • Muggle

    I am really glad to see such a lot of hope among the contributor of comments to this blog. A nation is not lost unless the hope within is lost and MashAllah our nation is not lost and as someone rightly said Pakistan will be a very different place in just a few years to come. Based in London myself and about to graduate from LSE, I am in a quandary myself in trying to weigh my options in Pakistan and I personally have come to the conclusion that for a certain class there is a lot of hidden opportunity and it is merely a propaganda by anti-Pakistan forces to create a sense of hopelessness. I respect the opinion of the writer as well as your comments. This just shows our population, one of the youngest in the region, bustling with the treasure of youth dividend is well groomed, talented and willing to work to make Pakistan a better place.

    Having roots in Islamabad, where almost everyone knows everyone, I do know a bit about the writer of this blog who was also originally brought up in Islamabad. having crossed paths at LSE as well, I am proud to now see her doing so well in this part of the world where people like us really have to struggle to integrate into the system but we make it, because Pakistanis according to a proper research as well, are the world’s 4th most intelligent nation. I just know that Khadija Khan has burning desire to return to Pakistan and all the times I have met her I have sensed an urge to do something for the country.
    If she is sensing an end to her passage to Pakistan , then I trust people like you, our hopeful talented Youth to help her see things in a different light which many of you did. I think we have all the ingredients to make the perfect cake. There is talent and there is will, we just need to brush aside the dirt from tunnel’s entrance and make our journey to the wonderland that we all want Pakistan to beRecommend

  • AhmedMaqsood

    SG? Home of Kerviel? Come back when you end up at a bulge bracket.Recommend

  • Desi

    @Ahmed Maqsood: Barclays: Home of Bob Diamond; Barings PLC: Home of Nick Leeson; UBS: Home of Kweku Adoboli; And JP Morgan’s recent trading loss has now hiked upto USD 9bn. Point being, trading losses are a key characteristic of all the prominant institutions in Europe( SG being one of them). So try to make more sense, if not in your concepts, then at least in your “googled” definitions. Recommend

  • Another Victim

    Bravo! As I started reading, I was expecting the writer to be a strong young guy. Double salute for you girl.

    Being a German resident Pakistani, I also, sometimes, feel the same pain for the streets of my mohallah but I feel afraid of a German proverb “Luck sometimes visits a fool but it never its down with him” Recommend

  • Mohammad Haider

    You will have to find yourself what you can do for Pakistan. If you can go outside and succeed you can succeed in Pakistan as well. And the last time i looked here its every man/woman for himself here…….
    Btw, kudos for reaching where you are today. As a Pakistani in the same field( Very junior level) I’m impressed by your achievement and aims..Recommend

  • Kashif Yousaf Badar

    Nice effort indeed, Pakistan is a country who needs talent and acknowledge talent. Pakistan will welcome u. and if u want platform from banking point of view for ur contribution then u should look towards Micro financing and Pakistan is the country where the world’s largest interest free micro finance organization is progessing day by day. so u can use ur expertise through the model of “AKHUWAT” organization for the betterment of the poorest of the poor in the country.
    web address is here.

    aur waise bi Allama Iqbal kehte hain ” Zara namm ho to yeh matti bohat zarheez hai Saqi”Recommend

  • ConfusedCitizen

    Many people have said this, but I’ll put in my two cents as well. Considering that you have had that much success in relatively little time, your best way forward is to materialize that platform yourself.

    Start from your grassroots, set up a string of clean drinking water stations. Simple, effective, useful.

    Perhaps engage local doctors and help set up bi monthly or bi annual treatment camps in rural areas, and same goes for teachers and educational camps.

    The kind of money you’re probably making means that it won’t take a lot out of your kitty to accomplish all of that.

    If a few years ago you saw an in-navigable mountain of despair in Pakistan, you now have the tools to blast a path through it.Recommend

  • Another classic middle-class over achiever

    i dont understand the point of this article. Is it for everyone to read and applaud your achievements?

    To me it seems like the only reason you are suddenly proud of your roots is that people at work look at you in awe and wonder how such a troubled nation could produce someone remotely intelligent. Its on the agenda of most European banks to showcase diversity/gender equality and make a case against racism in their organisation. So I would be a bit more modest if I were you.Recommend

  • Shafiq

    Nothing good can happen to this Nation! Literally Nothing!
    We do not understand the difference between Self Actualization and Pessimist. I know I will get numerous comments about me being not a good Paki or whatewa! but all those guys will not understand the difference of the two terms i mentioned.

    If this country can not give anything to a true person, do you think it will give anything to any one. And here Country = system of the country!

    In her ownself Pakistan is like a Vehicle, drivers drive it the way they want!

    Where is merit today?

    When Principals of the position holders’ students are called to place bets by higher authorities before announcing the result! In such a country everything is possible that is negative!

    The only thing one can do for this country is to pray! Recommend

  • Kanwal

    I am not sure what your background is but i can relate to the author very easily. Except that, i knew at some point i will have to look back in one way or the other because unfortunately, this bloody country Pakistan and even more bloody city of Karachi runs deep in my blood. So many years abroad, i absolutely love Karachi still as I love London now. Its a dilemma everyone who is capable of writing a novel while studying in this author’s field of work. This does sound sentimental. Even childish. But i think this peice of writing is genuine and I have experienced and observed something very similar along my own path. And we need to find a way around this at some point if we want to go out and enjoy life. Recommend

  • Bilal

    so your basically showing off your achievements, very modest I must say. Honestly this article shows that you still have a pakistani mentality no matter where you got your degree or where you work. And the article had no point to it at all, seriously next time write something that actually has a purpose. And no I am not jealousRecommend

  • Lol

    The author seems very immature and feels that she is walking the edge. I know its natural to have such feelings but taking them as a ‘National’ standard would be wrong. I just read your blog and things suits well there but not here in the mainstream media. You need to realise there have been titans before you and there will be more after you. And seriusly, you never bought candles, you got yourself a UPS. Everyone is diverse!Recommend

  • Dr Farheen Niazi

    Well I assume you are genuinely interested in Pakistan’s development. Its full of smart people at home and around the world, thanks to fulbright, plainloads of Ivey league graduates landing every year. Since you have a background, it would be good idea to write on ‘financial sector development’ in Pakistan and how market may be developed further. Once you are bit known in the market with some professional credentials and contacts, bring business to Pakistan and start your own consulting or a fund. Recommend

  • Achiever, Humble, and I WON’T Belittle My Country

    You represent a small unconfident and upstart society in Pk. LSE by no means makes you any achiever, nor does a place like SG. I’ve never come across an educated person (let alone achiever of any sort) ridicule her country on a social platform like you have. People who want to make a change and contribute in the now don’t talk big and procrastinate. Pakistan is by no means Murdistan, and if there was to be one; you would undoubtedly be the product. Black people glorify Africa, though there’s much more hardship there. Lastly, speak for yourself when you say get rich, go abroad. That by no means speaks for young adults. I am qualified, intelligent, smart, and doing very well. I am trying my best at everything, but as to over qualified, no body in a 20’s bracket with a mature mind would make claim to that. 

    No I didn’t have time to write a more organized para, sorry.Recommend

  • Future_of_Pak

    Oh please, you work for an institution that brought the world’s economy to its knees, and you act as if you’re the only Pakistani (or any non-European in the UK) to have “made” it. If you want to help Pakistan, I suggest practicing being a little humble first. If you bothered to look up the countless initiatives you could contribute to, you wouldn’t write such a condescending blog invalidating the efforts of millions of Pakistanis trying to change their nation for the better. Recommend

  • littlegiant

    @Rehan: it’s kind of amusing to see you, having seen your previous posts, scold her for boasting about her achievements. In terms of Pakistanis selecting more competitive jobs, can you point me to Pakistanis at the top executive level even in a mid-ranked frim like the author has mentioned here? The great ones don’t need a name of a firm or a university next to them – they carv out their own place. The next time when one, among the thousands of Pakistanis studying at world’s elite schools creat something along the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Infosys, Vipro, Dell, RIM, do let everyone know.Recommend

  • Fahad Zahid

    The last I checked, You ARE this country. If everybody started thinking like you – waiting for this country to provide an inch-perfect platform, instead of doing something about it, it’ll be a never ending spiral. People make the country, not the other way around. Recommend

  • Devils Advocate

    BOGUS – there are so many Pakistanis working in the IB industry. Glad you made it, but this isn’t something so unique to be writing about.Recommend

  • Cynical

    Quite inspiring! Keep it up.Recommend

  • Khadija Ali Zai Khan

    Having briefly gone through the comments, I would like to, rather simply, clear a few misunderstandings (although I am well aware of the fact that this is going to be self-defeating):

    I did assume that the readers would be able to read between the lines: I used a rather audacious tone intentionally, using terms such as “didn’t let me walk my walk”, “Murdistan”, “Investment Banker” “I have it all”, “nothing more on my to-do list” etc – why? Because I am trying to represent the typical Pakistani mentality of students and professionals living abroad (even if that meant having to stoop down to that level myself). Most of the readers have failed to focus on the second half of the article, where I try to remind every Pakistani that a man’s journey is worth nothing if he doesn’t remember where it began from (i.e. his origins).

    If my intention was to boast, I would neither have mentioned LSE nor Societe Generale (which, btw, is a part of my profile, and not this article). Why? Because as all of you have clearly pointed out, the other institutions out there are far superior to the ones I am currently associated with – therefore there is nothing to show off, in all honesty.

    The quest to publish this article was followed by a rather heated debate I had with another Pakistani working for a giant interdealer broker abroad, who is of the opinion that Pakistan is not worth a dime and that no Pakistani who has managed to “escape the misery of Pakistan” should ever look back. My stance was obviously the contrary, and I blamed people like him (and myself) who fail to return to their countries upon having gained a sufficient skill-set.

    I do thank all of you for your suggestions, especially those probing me to create opportunities within Pakistan – please note that I have, since the past 1 year, been working with a team of Pakistani colleagues on setting up an educational institute in Pakistan (no, this is not an advertisement, therefore I will not go into the details) along with a financial consultancy arm. Because I have a myriad fears regarding the viability of this plan, I wanted to test the grounds (for example, by seeing the comments of the general public via this article).

    Imran Khan had his career and charity to fund him – I have nothing. And therefore I intend to save the money I earn here and use that as capital in the above mentioned project.

    Lastly, I can promise you that during the three years of my undergraduate degree, I did use candles, and not a UPS.Recommend

  • Hafeez

    Very well written. There isn’t a dearth of examples where individuals have made huge impact in lives of many Pakistanis. For instance, Dr Amjad Saqib with his NGO Akhuwwat, Imran Khan, and many more young people who are either doing business, employing other young educated guys, running NGOs etc. When there is a will there is a way, and you will believe it once you land here.The only condition is that you have to have iron nerves.Recommend

  • Sensible Human


    “Ask not what your country can do for you…ask what you can do for your country.”
    – John F. Kennedy.

    When JFK said this, America was not starving or experiencing 18hrs a day load sheding. Recommend

  • Vikram

    Author “But the predicament remains that I am of no use to Pakistan with my current inexperienced set of skills and by the time I have acquired the experience, I would have formed strong ties with the West. My question to Pakistan is: seven years from now, when I have invested sufficiently in my progress, will you still be there to welcome me?”

    Yes all Pakistanis, including president of Pakistan will be at the airport to welcome you in case you decide to come back to Pakistan in spite of your strong ties to West.Recommend

  • Ali

    Congratulaions Mam! for a successful life so far, You dont have any thing to repay, all you have achieved is just yours, and if you like to serve homeland through any means, make your own platform get ready to mingle with dirty and harshly Pakistani environment, bring us some change anyway you can… Pakistan needs you kind of person, it has always needed!
    Tip: join PTI..:) Recommend

  • sana

    The interviewer can get into a lot of trouble for saying what he said, the rules re very tough for people making comments based on ethnicity, even if he meant it in a GOOD way.Recommend

  • Anon..

    Pakistanis are doing extremely well in the City firms at some very senior levels is a widely known fact in the circles. Infact some of the best corporate lawyers, solicitors and barristers in UK are also Pakistanis.Recommend

  • gp65

    @sana: “The interviewer can get into a lot of trouble for saying what he said, the rules re very tough for people making comments based on ethnicity, even if he meant it in a GOOD way.”

    Yes. This is precisely why I believe that this conversation is manufactured. There is zero tolerance for such conversations and any experienced interviewer would have been aware.Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    Man, ET has started putting up ‘diary’ pages.Recommend

  • Noble Tufail

    It is the covalent relationship Khadija. In Pakistani mainstream we DO NEED YOU as u will bring back the diverse exposure. Recommend

  • Ali

    Even if u don’t come back,keep sending foreign reserves…Pakistan needs $$$$$Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Sensible Human: More the reason why the quote makes sense as regards Pakistan.Recommend

  • Basit Ayyub

    Keep looking back to your Pakistan, a day will come to provide you the stage that you have once craved for INSHALLAH TALA :)
    I have prayed and asked ALLAH for your platform within motherland am sure HE shall grant you that :)Recommend

  • Lol

    grow up there lot more coming up in life.Recommend

  • Zalim Singh

    Good that you have done well in London. Look around yourself and look at Pakistanis who have the oppertunity to come here.

    They are literally spoiling UK. With characters like Anjum Chaudary and the other paksatani rapists- whom there seems to be no end these days.Recommend

  • Syed Azeem

    well, you have achieved much in life but had you been in Pakistan itself you would be working and fretting that you would be better of outside…….in short any appreciation for yourself as Pakistani can come only outside Pakistan and not within our borders. A simple example is our own national heroes like AQ Khan

    So the best you can do for Pakistan is the article you have done and remember only when a better time comes for Pakistan then you can contribute for it by being here . All you can do now is live your life there and pray for the betterment of Murdistan as you so well described it.Recommend

  • husna

    i love ur concept but still what should we do for pakistan.we are so much fur sated wid our government condition. this pakistan on which politics done on people emotion through electricity.its totally disaster so us. Recommend

  • Pakistani

    GIRL POWER!Recommend

  • Uncle

    Beta! Peeche mat daikhna!Recommend

  • Shahrukh kazmi

    You don’t think while repaying your country, you just do it and please do not call my country murdistan or what ever i won’t judge you but i am a patriot and hurts me more when a Pakistani says these things. Recommend

  • amjad

    @Cynical: You forget that the majority of Pakistani immigrants in the UK are either on social assistance which is state khayrat or doing some labour or menial job. While a few may own their own homes, mostly they live in government flats in the poor parts of town. This is true for most Pakistanis in the UK and most muslims in continental europe such as the poor Arabs in France or the Turkish workers in Germany or the Afghani, Iraqi and Somali refugees in Scandanavia.Recommend

  • Naveed Buzdar

    I am really confused what to comment? You need to be thankful to the Taliban and fundamentalist, who created such a bad image of the country. Usually people in other countries minds are occupied with terrorism and corruption, when pakistan name came into their mind. So if they find someone extraordinary, this is something unexpected. They never have have any positive expectation from a Pakistani. Let me clear it to you, that if you return, then you will certainly be cursing yourself after three months. So better stay in London and send remittances to the country. This is the best way you can help if you want to… Any other idea would certainly be a foolish idea. Recommend

  • dude

    you have done the right thing, piche mudke mat dekhana. jinko mile nahi unke liye angur khatte hai. Dont worry about pakistan. With highly partiotic people in pakistan. It will soon sync shrink sink Recommend

  • Heart broken

    I am from Karachi but currently reside in Houston TX. I could see Pakistan going in the tank 20 years ago and right then and there decided to leave. I also had big ambitions. Guess what!? I couldn’t have made a better decision. I used to visit Karachi for a month but now can’t even stand a day in that hell hole. Trust me my heart breaks in billion pieces when I say this.

    I am in the process of getting my last family member out of murdabad. The writer has made a wise decision.Recommend