Bitter expats, you give Pakistan a bad name!

Published: January 3, 2013

Please do not disrespect the land that once fed you and the people who have no hand in the miseries heaped upon you by a corrupt and moth eaten system. PHOTO: REUTERS

It is an interesting fact that most Pakistanis become more patriotic after leaving the country. It’s oxymoronic unto itself that they leave the country hating it in order to love it again having reached foreign shores. I have no contention with them, seeing that I, too, belong to this group. 

I do however have a problem with some expats who badmouth and spread negative views about Pakistan and its inhabitants.

A couple of days ago a friend of mine who’s not a Pakistani but an Australian of Greek descent was describing to me in detail the horrors inflicted on Karachiites every day.

I blamed the Western media for making a mountain out of a molehill (knowing that what he said was somewhat true). But I was incensed when he revealed that the source of his information was a Karachiite himself, or to be more precise an ex-Pakistani.

I told my friend that this ‘ex-Pakistani’ must be sour about something and the situation is not really that bad and my friends back home are living relatively normal lives.

They say that when in Rome, do as the Romans do, but nowhere does it say that you abuse your motherland to ingratiate yourself with the Romans.

In my experience, there has always been a minuscule number of Pakistani expats who have a grudge against the country. They adopt their new country’s lifestyle with an almost indecent enthusiasm, and waste no opportunity to revile Pakistan.

True, they are entitled to their own opinions, but it creates a bad image of Pakistan in the eyes of foreign public. The public – no matter in New Jersey or Multan – is more willing to lend an ear in listening to dark tales of a foreign country rather than its positive side.

Little wonder why Chomsky is revered in Pakistan and Tarek Fatah is adored in Canada.

In their self-righteous tirades against Pakistan, these expats forget that an average Pakistani has as little to do with Taliban atrocities as a Norwegian have to do with Anders Breivik’s actions.

I never hear an Indian immigrant talking about India with the same passionate loathing that our self-righteous wannabes exude in their hatred for the motherland. Like, seriously, give it a break will you?

In your  self-righteous hate rant, you are implicating millions of Pakistanis in subscribing to ideologies of extremism that they themselves loath.

Thankfully, the efforts of many Pakistani associations in foreign countries are fantastic, and they are doing a brilliant job in spreading a truer, nuanced image of Pakistan, but the words of a few of these acerbic and thankless individuals must not taken to be the totality of our nation.

At this critical moment of history when our country stands in a crisis, the last thing we need is a loss of support from people around the globe.

I am not talking about the governments, but the people, who make those governments there, on whose mood their respective government shapes its policies. It is these ordinary people that we the Pakistanis (living abroad) must focus on.

Social media is also an excellent way to reach out to people and tell them about the softer side of Pakistan, about our artists, our free cancer hospitals, our sport, our generous culture, our festivals and our ancient history. Pakistan’s foreign office should also play a more active role in dispelling negative rumours about Pakistan.

If you want to immigrate, please do so. Talk against the government and establishment in a foreign environment – its acceptable. But please do not disrespect the land that once fed you and the people who have no hand in the miseries heaped upon you by a corrupt and moth-eaten system.

Read more by Jamaluddin here or follow him on Twitter @einsjam



A student of Information Systems Management at Latrobe University, Melbourne. He tweets @Einsjam (

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

  • Babbarsher Khan

    I fail to understand what is the issue here; Pakistani diaspora talking about plight (which the writer thinks as correct) of the their old county with citizens of their new country ? People of first generation find it very difficult to detach themselves with the old country more so in these days of instant messaging and Skype. Like it or not they are going to talk about it. I have seen non resident Indians also “bad mouthing” their old country on issues like corruption and law and order. Personally I look this obsession as a hurdle for the people who have decided to immigrate to other lands in adapting to the new life, an obstacle for personal advancement in the new country and a cause of friction among first and second generations of immigrants. As regards to the image of country like Pakistan, Afghanistan or any other country to that matter international news media create more powerful image that what few individuals can achieve. And I can tell you that our Pure-Land does not get any image make-over in the international news media!Recommend

  • Usman

    Pakistan’s softer side? Like the way you are robbed when you have an accident? or when you are lynched by the public just so they can get their kicks? So you think the couple of charity cancer hospitals are enough to make you forget about the muders, corruption, honour killings, sectarian killings and general lack of any basic humanity in the jungle you call Pakistan. How many people can say that they havent had a child work in their homes? Where domestic workers are called servants. They are only allowed to sit on the floor and eat separately in their own utensils. Where women are treated worse than dirt. And to top it all off the delusions of grandeur that most Pakistanis have? Ask a normal Pakistani in the street about their opinion on Ahmadis and you will get your answer.Recommend

  • Jordan

    What ancient history? You were formed in the 20th Century….Recommend

  • salmanzq

    I agree with you and hence here goes my attempt at positive pakistan:

  • BlackJack

    Pathetic. Our friend wants other expat Pakistanis to ignore the state of affairs at home, or worse, lie about it, and he thinks that this will improve the image of Pakistan abroad. First of all, it is because of people with his warped mindset that Pakistan is in this situation; the truth is always too bitter to digest and is hence ignored, and so the last 60+ years are just one lie after another. In between he tries to also pull in India to bolster his case – he has probably not seen coverage of the candle light protests conducted by Indians in several western countries against the heinous rape and murder of a young girl recently. Does negative press make me feel bad (as an Indian abroad) – certainly. But we should not mind being pulled up for our shortcomings, as at least it gives us a chance to try and improve, and hiding the truth will leave us in the same place forever. Second, he also needs to understand that leaving Pakistan (or any relatively poor country) for a career abroad does not mean that you hate your country, just like leaving your village for the nearest big city does not mean that you hate your native place.Recommend

  • Saladin

    ………………………and we are still bad mouthing PakistanRecommend

  • Junaid Jani

    like they say, ghar ki baat ghar main rahey to acha hota hay, ( if the matter is kept inside , its better for the family) we pakistanis are all like a family, we should resolve our issues inside pakistan, why involve a third party, who will then take advantage of our infighting,,,remember how mongols destroyed baghdad?? becuase shias and sunnis were infighting. Time to stop our fights and get united !Recommend

  • Mr. Cool

    @Jordan so i guess ancient Indus river and the ancient indus valley civilization came across the border from india right? the pashtuns, the balochs, the sindhis, the kashmiris are an ancient people!! Recommend

  • Pessimist

    This is the first time Jammaluddin has written a bad article. How unfortunate.

    Believe it or not, most Pakistani expats are more patriotic and passionate about Pakistan than the local residents. Locals in Pakistan have become numb to the corruption & lawlessness around them, that’s my opinion. Recommend

  • Saladin

    i think the writer touched a nerve , hence the bitterness against the article ..well done tribune and mr Jamal !Recommend

  • Saadia

    The writer summed it up nicely in one line, “Little wonder why Chomsky is revered in Pakistan and Tarek Fatah is adored in Canada.” ..brilliant !Recommend

  • One Waris

    honest and hard hitting piece by the writer, yes, thats the problem with our pakistanis,

    arfa karim was the youngest micrsoft professional, how much did we publicise this fact out of pak?

    our edhi ambulance service

    our free SKMH cancer hospital

    the largest contigent of UN peace corps in active duty

    Our Lawyers movement

    our active judiciary

    our music

    our talented artists, writers, painters….is none of that promotable?? cant we ever talk about that to goras? or do we only have to bad mouth Pakistan to get in their good books?…the comments of Black Jack our hypocritical, sad, disgusting and atrocious !

    look at how haqqani and tarek fatah butter their americana and canadian think tanks by bad mouthing pakistan !!

    once again , well done Mr. JamaluddinRecommend

  • Pessimist

    For One Waris:
    the comments of Black Jack our hypocritical, sad, disgusting and atrocious !

    Did you actually read his comments or did you just want to try out some new words that you had learnt?Recommend

  • Pessimist

    Mr. Cool
    @Jordan so i guess ancient Indus river and the ancient indus valley civilization came across the border from india right? the pashtuns, the balochs, the sindhis, the kashmiris are an ancient people!!

    Actually most Pakistani people think that they are from Saudi Arabia, hence we will do anything to act like Arabs. They are cool, we are not. Whatever ‘history’ we had is being eroded by our fascination with the Arabs.
    Plus Indus Valley Civilization was a long time ago. I don’t think you can consider that to be part of Pakistan’s history. The history of the sub-continent? Yes.

    Might I point out something. My father’s family is originally from Indian punjab. I can’t remember the name of the village now, but it was near Amristar. They migrated after partition and my mother’s family had been living in the Pindi region way before partition. I sometimes want to visit my father’s village, but I doubt anyone would remember his family there…Recommend

  • Ali Arif

    Bravo mr. jamal ! Excellent article !..Nothing But The Truth..and the Truth Hurts !Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    Perhaps denial suits you well, but I’d rather have the inconvenient truth barked out at me than to be lulled to sleep by deliberate silence – silence maintained out of some daft notion of patriotism and protecting the country’s “image”.

    The only question you ought to be asking is whether these people are speaking the truth. It’s worth protesting only if the expats are spreading false rumors about what goes on in Pakistan. Otherwise, the outing of truth must take precedence over your need to defend the country’s honor.Recommend

  • Makran

    @Pessimist: indus people are different from the people of jumna and ganga..and no you are wrong !! i ama pakistani and a balochi,..i have nothing to do with saudi arabians, and i pray that bad days will end one day. But i am loyal to Pakistani and never speak ill of it…and only highlight its problem for its betterment and not highlight its problems to gain foriegn visa and residencies…pathetic !Recommend

  • DarKnight

    Please ask the same to a pakistani national that belongs to a minority groupRecommend

  • Pessimist

    For Markran:

    I didn’t even reply to you in the first place! Plus do you have any evidence for your accusations against me? I’m rather curious. Recommend

  • Disgusted in US

    So how about them blasphemy laws, eh?
    What about tainted milk, selling donkey meat because even lentil is too expensive for the masses?
    Ah, lets not forget its open Shia season as Qadiyani season made them extinct.


  • bangash

    Sorry but I don’t agree with the author here. Situation in Pakistan is very very bad and there is no sense in lying about it to expats just to have a “good image” of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Saad

    This new years eve overheard a Paki boy talking to this awesome Lebanese(I think) girl (bro-fist dude, whoever you were) here in Muscat: “Things are very bad in Pakistan, we can’t even sleep properly…” Recommend

  • Miss Syed

    Expats are not bitter, they are confused and scared.. i am a 20 year old student studying abroad with my multinational friends and i can’t explain what i feel when someone asks me a simple question like WHERE ARE YOU FROM? as much as i hate to admit it..i see no future or hope for Pakistan, I’ve just returned from my agonizingly painful trip to karachi last week and boy am i relieved and thankful to God that i don’t live there.. 30 days were enough to make me hate the country i claim myself to be a part of… not even a single night did i sleep well..
    the threat of being robbed, load shedding, the CNG stations remained closed for like the whole month, inflation, everyone just trying to make the most of the other…corruption and what not. After 9 pm just get out on the roads of Karachi and you would realize what is the security situation like..
    despite all of this, in out foreign lands, we keep lying about our country saying IT’S NOT AS BAD AS THE MEDIA PORTRAYS but you know what? it’s actually the truth since in reality it’s far more worse! Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Saadia, exactly! People don’t realize that Pakistan and the US have similar, actually, the very same problems. It is simply one’s way of looking at things that makes the difference. Tarek Fateh and Chomsky have similar standings in Pakistan and the US respectively, and point to similar societies. Recommend

  • piyush

    well, you yourself said that the indians do not loath about their country as much as pakistanis do. so there might be something seriously wrong in pakistan which has prompted those people to say something bad about the country, otherwise who will hate the place that fed him. Recommend

  • mr

    @Mr. Cool:
    but the people you r talking about are muslims and islam is NOT ancientRecommend

  • Parvez

    The fact is that there are many places much better than Pakistan but there are also places much worse off than Pakistan.
    Objectively discussing Pakistan while sitting abroad is healthy and appreciated but ‘ bad mouthing ‘ your country sitting abroad, no matter how bad things may be, only reflects poorly on you as an individual because the person listening to you is really not bothered about Pakistan.
    I agree with your view but if you had opined as to why we are so quick in doing this, it would have made the read really interesting. Recommend

  • Akhter

    @ Author so the situation is not too bad you say? and we should really paint wonderful pictures of how great Pakistan is! . I think your either blind ,Deaf or both!
    Just look at the current state of Karachi or Pakistan as a whole and truly ask yourself what is there to be proud of? We as a nation are bigots Racists and Intolerant ( Ahmedi/Sunni/Shia/ Hindu/Christian/Sikh/Balouchi/Sindhi/Pukhtoon) we hate anything different.
    And please don’t gloss over the truth its NOT EXPATS giving Pakistan a bad name its the Corrupt self centered majority living in Pakistan ( WE are all to blame for the current situation as we voted them in!) Denial is not an option, We should all accept our faults and do something about it.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    The first piece from you I didn’t quite agree with. :) I enjoy your blogs though. :) Recommend

  • Javed Baba

    Well the reason “…never hear an Indian immigrant talking about India with the same passionate loathing that our self-righteous wannabes exude in their hatred for the motherland” is because India, with all its dysfunctions is a functioning state which for the most part protects its citizens and has a functioning democracy. What we have a rule of the mob, rabid Talibans and a farce for democracy. Our economy is in shambles, security in shambles, education system in shambles, law and order in shambles, judiciary in shambles and rule of law in shambles.

    Seriously – what is your argument that we just whitewash the lawlessness surrounding us much like our ambassadors do when they visit US and UK?

    We need to first own up to our shortcomings, which start with acknowledging how grave the situation is. Recommend

  • gujranwala789

    Your message is not going to change the rants of traitors of pakistan. Do your good work and leave these pathetic traitors badmouth.Recommend

  • Pakistani

    Yes its our duty to show good points of the country but that doesn’t mean we hide the awful situation back home ! Karachi is a mess look at whats happening leave the news apart we know that people are being robbed and killed. The city is being ruled by the powerful and the weak have no rights ! Business are suffering foreign investments are being withdrawn. Look at the people back home compare them to the foreigners outside. The people in Karachi are themselves a problem. They steal electricity, they throw thrash on the road, they abuse, they bribe i mean think about it who is fueling the corrupt police ? aren’t the people of Karachi doing it ? Many households now have illegal pistols and handguns, why ? The new years was celebrated with the city echoing with gun shots, what does this tell you ? Why are we being ignorant instead of correcting ourselves. i think its unnecessary we warn the people to not go there. Every one just stands for him/herself no body is willing to sacrifice. We should be honest about everything even our bad qualities that is the only way we will realize that we are doing wrong. I don’t find anything good in the people of Karachi except the fact that they are Muslims and very hospitable. I bought glasses from Karachi they cheated me in that, mobile phones have fake accessories.

    I love Pakistan and i hope Karachi becomes the good city it used to sometime ago and i hope to return home soon InshALLAH, but i wont lie i do promote goods but i don’t lie about the bad points, the media maybe exaggerating but at-least 10% of what they say is true !Recommend

  • The Only Normal Person Here.

    Thumbs up for this one.Recommend

  • Honorus

    The problem with us is that we tell the truth to westerners to get aid and pity while we lie to ouraelves to delude our selves that sab acha hay….i agree with the writer…in order for the respect of the green passport to matter how dissrespected it is…it is essential. I dont think the writer ever mention that wr should lie to ourselves….all he has said that the westerners need to be tild about the other side of Pakistan and stop hating the coubtry in which u were bornRecommend

  • Falcon

    I think the author came across a bit angry. But I agree with the message. Some of the Pakistanis I have come across are one of the most thankless people on earth. I rarely see an Indian / Bengali / Sri Lankan / Nepali bad mouthing his / her country. But many Pakistanis will be the first to yell at the top of their throat everything that is wrong with Pakistan. And this is not about today’s Pakistan, I used to see the same thing growing up abroad in 1980s and 1990s (when the country was considerably much better economically and also in terms of basic security / infrastructure). So essentially, it has less to do with the truth / honesty drama but much more to do with perspective. Same attitude is reflected in their dealing with other Pakistanis as well. It is a sad fact that Pakistani community abroad is usually one of the least helpful communities.Recommend

  • The Hun

    Agree with the writer….once i was im new jersey and in my community college class , one student asked me that how does it feel like to have a alqaeda president. I looked at him dumbfounded, i told him that we have no alqaeda government and our president foesnt have beard even. Thankyou media and bitter expats for ruining pakistan’s image abroadRecommend

  • Pakistani Canadian

    As a pakistani canadian, i tell you that the writer is 100% right. Yes..he situation in pakistan is bad, but that does not mean that the people are bad nor does it mean that the whole country is about to collapse. I am frustrated to explain aboutt the bilge that tarek fatah comes out wih..his poisonous commentary is damaging to the country and doesnt help it one bit !! Hats off to the writer to show us the mirror. Respect ! Recommend

  • Huma

    @author…. well said!Recommend

  • aleem

    Agree with every letter of the writer. Its not lying. ITS MAKING A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLE HILL. we pakistanis are kind of thankless when it comes to appreciating what the country has given us. Imagine how wud u feel if u lived in somalia or sudan. Thankless people. Be thankful for what you have and improve situation rather than complaining about it sitting on your backsides !!Recommend

  • kamran

    Another brilliant write up by Mr Jamal. The Tarek Fatah example is spot on. Misery and pain sell, happy and positive things dont sell as is apparent by reading the highly ignorant comments. If a bad image of pakistan is cobtibually being promoted then how would u attract foreign investments and donations. Even if peace comes the image in the minds of foriegners wud be the same as we have created and it will persist much like the soviet russia image even though it s democratic now, still tje image of rwd star and hammer and sickle comes into people’s minds when the name of russia comes up or when we. The name of hitler comes up people automatically assume to This very day that gernmany is anti semite, which it is not. Truth is, image matters.its how we are remembered that matters !Recommend

  • Salman


    Actually most Pakistani people think that they are from Saudi Arabia, hence we will do anything to act like Arabs.

    Lol – Do ‘MOST’ Pakistanis eat or drink like Arabs? Do they wear the same cultural garb as Arabs? Do they have the same cultural etiquettes as Arabs? Do they have the adopt the same Arab customs? Do they share the same social past-times as Arabs? Do they adopt the same linguistical expressions as Arabs? … I can go on and on.

    The Harappa website might enlighten you.Recommend

  • A Y

    @Usman: Brother, I agree with the things that you have pointed out. I, myself, have not been to PK for over two years now because of many issues. However, I think the writer’s point is not about that. It’s about the fact that as Overseas Pakistanis we should serve as cultural ambassadors who portray a better image of Pakistan than what is seen or heard on the box. Yeah, I agree we do have issues but that doesn’t mean that a thella-wala standing outside your house is responsible for the corruption (although, he could be!). So, take it easy and as a group and as individuals we should try and portray something better. Hope you get understand….Recommend

  • gp65

    ” But please do not disrespect the land that once fed you and the people who have no hand in the miseries heaped upon you by a corrupt and moth-eaten system”.

    First of alll, it appears that the person simply described the challenges they faced in a life back home and were not bitter or hateful or disrespectful. Unsure how you reached that conclusion based on what you described..

    But let us for themoment assume that these people are indeed bitter. Have you considered that the people who are bitter were Ahmadis who are not even allowed to write a kalma on their graves or greet each other with a Salaam Alaikum, or Hindus who saw their friends daughter kidnapped and forcibly converted or Shia who knows someone who was identified off a bus and target killed or a Baloch who has some missing person in his family? In other words these people may have legitimate grounds for being bitter

    “I never hear an Indian immigrant talking about India with the same passionate loathing that our self-righteous wannabes exude in their hatred for the motherland”

    Yes. We don’t loaath our motherland but at the same time we don’t make any attempts to hide the facts. As @BlackJAck has mentioned, there have been candle light vigils by many Indians in many Western countries against the Delhi gangrape. Last year there were India against Corruption Marches in support of Anna Hazare. Did these vigils and marches highlight negative facets about India? YEs. Was I ashamed? No. I actually took part in the india Against Corruption March in Dallas. Protesting ills is the essense of democracy. Trying to brush things under the carpet to project a ‘soft image’ does not help.

    The only way in which we can help project a good image about our country is by behaving professionally and responsibly at work, by volunteering in our communities and making a sincere attempt to assimilate.

    “The public – no matter in New Jersey or Multan – is more willing to lend an ear in listening to dark tales of a foreign country rather than its positive side. Little wonder why Chomsky is revered in Pakistan and Tarek Fatah is adored in Canada”.

    Really? Tarek Fateh is adored in Canada? Also by your logic they must hate Fareed Zakaria because whenever he refers to India, it is usually in a positive light.Recommend

  • chimgaadarr

    … an excellent article … and very true …

    …Many people, in order to settle ia, adopt their new home try to enamour themselves to the locals and gain acceptanc in their new surroundings … Unfortunately, rather than do that on the strength of their ability, they do that trying to appease their chosen masters … an easy way for these weak people is to bad mouthing their original country …

    In any case, these people should not be considered Pakistanis at all… as they have taken an oath of allegiance to another power. A person who has taken up Canadian, Australian or British nationality, has taken oath to the British Crown … the very crown that our forefathers pulled down and threw the yoke of subjugation away …Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Dear friends, while trashing Pakistan is everybody’s favorite pastime, let’ objectively assess the situation – Pakistan is better than the US any day. Hundreds are killed in the US and nobody cares, but even when one minority member is killed in Pakistan, all hell breaks loose. What Pakistan needs is better marketing of its image. Had the Great Quaid not died so soon, he would surely have very skillfully managed that image.Recommend

  • hassam

    A very unique piece by Jamal this time( every one of his blogs are unique , so that doesnt matter ) i would tend to agree with the writer becaause we all knowvthat Pak’s situation is. Bad, but are the people bad? Is there something wrong with the soil? Or the land? No right? Its the problem with politicians that must be fixed..
    To the detractors i ask…let suppose we convince the world that pakistani people are bad and imbecile…then what? How would that solve pakistan’s problems? How would that negative image thus created in the minds of forign public will ever be washed away??Recommend

  • Lulldapull

    I don’t believe anyone from Pakistan has the time to badmouth Pakistan in any of the countries where these accusations are being made out.

    Pakistan is a basket case now. The time to bad mouth is long gone folks. You just avoid discussing Pakistan now because it’s beyond redemption. We are now in the same jahil boat as Afghanistan………yeah that failed state!………remember?

    A lot of Pakistani’s now openly say that they are Indian….. especially when put on the spot by the hillbilly (particularly in the U.S), for fear of being beaten of, or worse yet being denied the job or facing other forms of discrimination.

    The way things are on going the situation one day will be that an iron curtain will exist between the West and the Muslim countries. This is inevitable!Recommend

  • Lulldapull

    I also agree with miss Syed…….right on the money……

    There is no quality of life in Pakistan unfortunately. Load shedding, security, sectarian violence and corruption… top it all of no opportunity to make a better life!

    The ladders of upward mobility have long been dismantled in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Tariq

    A waste of time for an article.

    If someone bad mouths Pakistan it bad mouths to corrupt d’eleite’ of Pakistan. Pakistan as a nation has given us security, freedom of prayer and the sound of azaan everywhere. I would or I am sure anyone else would not say one word about our beloved Pakistan that is trying her best to help us.

    Badmouhng the politics of Pakistan is not the same as bad mouthing our beloved country.


  • saba

    you call fearing for your life everyday a molehill? you call your friends being blown to pieces a molehill. aaap ko tou molehill he lagay ga because you come here for 10 days on your winter vacations and leave. living here a lifetime is differentRecommend

  • Optimist

    Sometimes it becomes very difficult to explain such foolish behaviour. So we make statements that get us out of the painful explanations to foreigners.
    I admit that I myself once told a White guy that India and Pakistan have no problems. They are doing drama to get aid and attention from the west (it was after high alert between India/Pakistan in probably 2002).
    That white guy started telling others in front of me: ‘There is no problem. They’re doing it go rob us of OUR money’.
    I felt bad because my intention was not to insult India/Pakistan but to stop the discussion. Recommend

  • inzamam

    An honest piece by Jamal. As always. Watch out other columnists, this is how you write. No matter how inconvenient the truth is, you have to tell it. And let me tell these haters out there, i knw it hurts when the mirror is pointed to your face. Instead of non stop complaining about Pakistan why dont you try and fix things, but no, what you is that you go abroad hangout in clubs and bars do jobs in the day and in the end scream out that

    Pakistan has given you nothing. Let me ask you:

    What have you given Pakistan

    Thumbs up for the writer. Cheers for E.TRecommend

  • Nasreen

    You don’t have to go far beyond the borders of Pakistan to hear someone portraying Pakistan in a negative light. Instead of the focus being on expats, you should really focus on the individuals that actually live in Pakistan because you’ll find a greater percentage of natives/locals trash talking the country rather than expats. Moreover, its more important to change the image of the country amongst its own people because that fosters hope for the future. Who cares what people around the world think about Pakistan when the people living inside of it are in despair….change their mindset first, and gradually all other things will fall into place; it may take generations, but eventually Pakistan shall get there someday. I’ve never seen a group of people so hell-bent on ruining their own country….it’s heartbreaking to think what we could be………Recommend

  • gp65

    @Parvez: “Objectively discussing Pakistan while sitting abroad is healthy and appreciated but ‘ bad mouthing ‘ your country sitting abroad”

    I marched in India against corruption march here in Dallas last year in solidarity with Anna Hazare movement. Did it highlight corruption exists in India? Yes. Did I do it because I hate India? No. I did it because I love India.Recommend

  • Iyaz Ali

    @aleem: Exactly thankless is spot on. Do you know how much Bhagat Singh has contributed to the sub continent freedom from colonialism and he is nowhere given his due regard even though being a Lahore born. Recommend

  • omar

    Ah yes Jamaluddin, how dare they speak their mind? Yesterday, we had no gas, the cell phone service was shut off and there is still frequent loadshedding. Several of our citizens are being murdered every day, our politicians and government is completely clueless and our economy is becoming more and more worthless each day. Basic human rights are nonexistent and our cities are depressing sinkholes of poverty and corruption. Perhaps instead of being bitter, they’re simply being honest. (There is a reason they left the country after all). Certainly there is a positive to everything but there is a fine line between pessimism and realism.

    By the way, I loved how you mentioned social media. Lets forget about how our government loves to ban facebook and youtube when it suits them. These are the things that lose support from around the world. Brainless government policies. The grumblings of an expat are nothing compared to that. Bhai jan, how can you cure the patient if you refuse to make a diagnosis?

    I live in Pakistan but I do travel abroad for my business. When asked my opinion about my country I will honestly speak about how some of the things this country has done makes me feel. I will happily talk about the many positives of our country. Our rich culture and our noble people but I will not whitewash the truth for anyone. It is an infantile mind that gets angry at criticism. Recommend

  • Tomato Man

    Spot on article !! Recommend

  • Tomato Man

    So i guess it is ok to pretend and lie to ourselves that terrorist activity is due to cia and raw planning while abroad we say that. Yes it is our fault….kia yeh khula tazaad naheen?Recommend

  • ozair mustafa

    There are two sources of spreading the gloom and doom senario, one is our media and other is some of our expatriates.

    There is no point telling someone your plight who cant help you in any way, therefore no point crying infront of others describing the conditions in your country.Although a huge problem exists in our country , but no one can help us, so no need to advertise your suffering.

    Similarly media also should STOP glorifing the breaking news buisness.Have to use discretion in all reporting.Some of the issues highlighted by media are spot on , but a large amount of it is simply JUNK MAIL.Recommend

  • Laila

    Oh? So it’s expats who have given Pakistan a bad name? My friend, you have succeeded in doing that by yourselves. In a country where girls are shot just for going to school, polio workers are shot for just doing their job, journalists getting killed in Baluchistan for just telling the truth, Salman Taseer getting killed just because of defending minority rights, Bhatti got killed because he was a Christian, hazaras are slain just because they are hazaras. Ahmedis can’t even rest in death, atleast 20 people get shot randomly in Karachi every day, young kids die because of measles…I could go on and on. Maybe it’s time you got out of your cave and smelled reality. Surely it doesn’t smell nice. Instead of biting expats maybe you should try to improve stuff around you. Number one place to start? Your own sense of reality.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @gp65: Well done………. you have enforced the point I made.Recommend

  • Darmiaana

    yes the writer is totally right !! some foreign based pakistanis do have a knack of complaining abt Pak and acting all superiorRecommend

  • Nadeem

    Hats off to the writer. Straight from the heart this one. Sir you are a PatriotRecommend

  • James Bond Ka Bhai

    Another remarkable piece by Sir Jamal, why all this hate ?Recommend

  • Nauman

    i dont know why people are mentioning ahmadies here when they dont know the full situation. yes our graves and mosques ( sorry, Temples ) are attacked but let it be known that the Ahmadiyya Community of Pakistan is patriotic and will defend Pakistan till the last drop of their blood. Yes we leave the country for safe havens but we never bad mouth our country, we are one of those communities that the writer has mentioned, that are striving day in and out to improve the image of Pak regardless of how cruelly we are treated in Pak, because Pak is the place where were born and that is OUR country !.excellent and soul searching piece of writing by the writer, his views match my observationsRecommend

  • Mira

    I think the writer should now graduate to writing full fledged columns in papers rather than blogs.Recommend

  • Malik Tahir

    for the bitter expatriates , Ernest Hemingway once said,

    “You’re an expatriate. You’ve lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you…”

    full marks to the author.Recommend

  • http://SA SA

    well said writer. ask me abt expats bad mouthing pakistan after watching news day and night and then always arguing ho unssafe it is to visit pak !!! they themselves are very comfortable here, the only sad part is their kids dont come and see them ! still, every waking hour sitting and standing theyl leave no opportunity to degrade me and my country. i am the only pakistani in the family and the only one who goes to see “them”. the writer almost narrated what i feel every day.Recommend

  • Irfan Khan

    I pray to Almighty Allah that one day all the expats come back to the country and help in rebuilding it ! ameen ya rab ul alameenRecommend

  • Peter Parker

    To the Writer: after seeing the top comments , i was a believer in your blog. Most of these ‘Oh I am so Holy ‘ people are indulging in the same same self righteous rants that you just described !

    In any case, I just want to say that Pakistanis living in uk, australia usa and other countries should unite, becuase i have seen that pakistanis outside of their country do not like to mingle with each other unlike the chinese and indian people.

    God bless Pakistan and every place else !Recommend

  • Jordan

    How in the name of the big bang can you claim that this is ancient Pakistani history? Those people didn’t claim to be Pakistanis did they? No, because Pakistan didn’t exist!

    Please don’t get the wrong idea. I find Pakistan a fascinating place, but it’s a ridiculous claim to make.Recommend

  • gp65

    For all those who think that expat Pakistanis badmouthing Pakistan is why people think poorly of Pakistan, I beg to differ. I think people judge us desis based on their own experience raher than anything positive or negative that we may say. For Indian culture, their data points maybe Indian food that they may have eaten, yoga studio that they go to, Indians that they may have studied or worked with or Indians they interact in the course of their life – Indian doctors/nurses, professors, call center agent or motel owners.. Even with a much larger and more diverse music industry that India has, it is very rare to come across someone in the West that is familiar with our music – so I can see why talking about Pakistani musicians maybe a non-starter for your expats because most likely it will just get blank stares.

    @Parvez: “@gp65: Well done………. you have enforced the point I made.”

    Can you please elaborate? Not sure I follow. I was making the point that one could point to ills in your own country of birth but that maynot come from loathing or bitterness but from love for country of birth. You seemed to think that pointing out ills was undesirable. Surely we were making very different points?Recommend

  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany

    Wake up Zeeshan. Stating facts is not bad-mouthing. And by the way Pakistanis living in Pakistan give us first hand info. Recommend

  • Kaur

    @Jordan : As Punjabi living in India, i think you are bit confused over here. You are saying that it is a ridiculous laim that since ancient Indus civilization existed long before Pakistan hence they were not Pakistanis. Who in the hell is saying here that they were Pakistanis? You just assumed, yes it was mentioned that they lived in Pakistan, which is logical, how this is what they call this place right now, do you know what that place was called before Pakistan and for that matter even before India came into being? India is a conglomeration of different cultures including which Punjab has maintained its own identity and culture, India is just an umbrellla term, and a day wold soon come when Punjab will be united to form a seperate countryRecommend

  • http://- Abid P Khan

    Any one who digresses from coffee table literature, is enemy of the state.Recommend

  • NONexpat

    @Jamal: which world are you living in mate, obviously you have no idea about Karachi or interior Sindh, even witnessed a target killing? Do you have bullet holes in walls of the house you live in? Have you ever been robbed at gun point? Has anyone ever come into your house and taken all the useful stuff as extortion and protection? Have you a best friend killed as collateral damage of a target killing…..Now that was my own experience….others have experience far more then that….

    This continuous need to be apologist is shameful! What image! Everybody talks about image! The nation, and the minds of the people are rotting slowly and gradually, I dont even want to start on the treatment of minorities….

    Where do you live! Is there a bubble around you.. thousands dead in a year only in Karachi… intolerance is rampant…take you head out of the sand mate… THINGS ARE NOT GOOD! Your ignorance or the situation is self evidence…. Recommend

  • usmanyyy

    blackjack, gp65, vasan, darknight = IndiansRecommend

  • Ra

    I have been following the comments and it seems that this article has poked the slumbering . pakistanis a bit and its evident that slumbering peoole want to go back to sleep. Every one is sati g tbis thing is bad and that thing is bad…i ask you..what have you done. To make things right? At least striving to improve Pak’s image is one such step. A practical step ! Recommend

  • http://gujrat Zalim singh

    @ Jamaluddin,

    Pakistanis are Muslims (and Ghazis to boot) first and Pakistanis distant next- though they may not agree. That explains their hate for their own country when they go abroad. Most Pakistanis I see abroad are virulently Islamists. They are at the forefront of Islamising the western world (mostly Europe- not in USA because they get kicked on their backsides there). London has become cesspool because of Pakistanis.

    Because of their confused background, Pakistanis abroad tend to align/identify themselves with radical Muslims from middle east and North African descent – with radical backgrounds. They see Pakistan as less Islamic than these countries (Because there are still non-Muslims here as compared to pure Islamic nations). So their hatred for their mother country. Recommend

  • Pessimist

    For Zalim SIngh:

    I’m sorry but I have to completely disagree with your comment, especially when comes to European Pakistanis. I’m in Europe and let me tell you, most of the Pakistanis here are well educated people, who are respected by the community. You can’t easily migrate and settle into European countries (bar UK), so these Pakistani people are employed and not sitting idle. As far as Islamisation of Europe is concerned, you are correct that the radical Muslims are from ME & North Africa, but Pakistanis do not align themselves with them so I have no idea what kind of Pakistanis you ‘see’.
    Now UK is a different story, and I would agree that there are definite radical Pakistanis there. I wont argue with your assessment there. Plus Pakistani Americans are WAY better than British Pakistanis. You can argue all you want about that!! Recommend

  • honey singh

    I dont know why indians like to troll Pakistani sites. Get a life. Btw.Excellent article once again Jamaluddin.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @gp65: All I can say is, suggest you read my first comment again……..carefully.Recommend

  • Sidra Ahmed

    Whenever I post anything about Pakistan on FB, I make it visible to only my Pakistani friends because it feels like I am dishonoring my own “family” if I make it visible to my non-Pakistani friends. It’s like when we complain about our own brother or sister to another family member. It’s okay when we do it, but if some outsider says anything to our sibling, we feel very offended. Since my friends know we’ve already left our home country, I don’t like to add the details of lack of security, general corruption, pollution, rude people, etc in Pakistan. However, they do learn a lot of the positive aspects of our culture too from our actions, such as care for family, our work ethic, and generosity to friends.

    However, these positive aspects were not enough to make us stay. So how can we get upset if someone brings up some negative thing about Pakistan? We can praise Pakistan all day, but the fact that millions of Pakistanis are choosing to leave shows the reality of our nation much more strongly than anyone’s words.Recommend

  • Super Jaskani

    whenever I feel ET is getting redundant, along comes Jamaluddin with a one-off and inimitable blog post. good job. dont let the negative reaction get you. Write what you feel.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    blackjack, gp65, vasan, darknight = Indians

    Good Morning!Recommend

  • http://rediff Pramod

    Now writer wants denial to make it official. no wrong in calling spade a spadeRecommend

  • Ra

    Ok, so talking about USA, shall i remind you about the al shabab jihadi Umar l american by birth, part of a growing wave of american born jihadis.Recommend

  • Nobody

    @Zalim singh:
    I can’t speak for Pakistanis in Europe as I have only visited there, never actually lived there, but how about doing a little research or better yet, actually mingling with Pakistanis in the US before jumping to cockamamy generalizations. I was born and raised in the US and I’ve grown up around first generations like myself, and have mingled with loads and loads of Pakistanis in my short life so far; I’ve yet to come cross a single one with the religious fervor you insinuate we all have. Pakistanis around the world are not all the same. Generalizations with no factual backing take away from the point you were trying to make. Recommend

  • Nobody

    To my knowledge, he is Somalian (I THINK). I might be wrong about the exact country of origin but he’s not Pakistani. But Pakistani or not, growing wave of US born jihadis is a bit of a stretch. Unfortunately, there have been smatterings of them here and there, but as someone else mentioned, they are usually kicked on their ass soon enough so the problem has remained under control. Personally, I’m thankful for that. Last thing I want is groups of “jihadis” on my turf. Recommend

  • Ra

    @Nobody: sir its apparent that you obviously havnt been keeping up with the news.Recommend

  • stevenson

    @saba: You have no idea how things in Pakistan are 100 x better than most Muslim countries. Yes there are plenty of problems but they are nowhere what one sees in Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Central Asian countries etc. Pakistanis the world knows are used to complaining but not keen to work to improve things except for a small minority of dedicated people. Well written article. I find the people who complain the most are always the ones who do the least are who are just used to complaining no matter what. I think that many people who complain are not native Pakistanis anyway but migrated from some neighbouring country or they are part of a minority with an axe to grind for no reason.Recommend

  • Nobody

    I’m a woman first off. And secondly, I’ve been keeping up with the news just fine. As I said before, the wave of jihadis in the US is not comparable to what’s going on in parts of Europe, particularly the UK. FBI being on everyone’s back has generally exposed potential jihadis here hence it hasn’t grown to become a problem of the same magnitude as it seems to be in the UK. Crazies are everywhere, it’s what the government does with them that seems to stifle it (or not, depends). Recommend

  • Rambino

    Your point is that it is still possible to live, love and have fun in Pakistan, despite all of the hardships. This may be true, but does not negate the terrorism, the corruption, the load shedding, the lawlessness, the drones, the militancy, the poverty, the intolerance, the uncertainty and injustice in this country. The media and the expats don’t even need to exaggerate the facts for people to want to steer clear. It is time to do something about these many negative traits, rather than whine about unfair representation. It just sounds immature and petulant. Recommend

  • Muhammad

    Well, I would say “ghar ki baat bahir nahin batani chahey”. But I must also tell the learned writer that “Pakistan” and “image” of Pakistan is of no significance to any one outside Pakistan, Pakistan is an insignificant entity for general public, I am living in Muscat, next doors of Karachi and even here no one cares what Pakistan is and Whats happening in it. It matters to only Pakistani’s themselves. If they want to improve their lives they must first accept they are not a civilised people. If you keep lieing to yourself, no one outside cares, keep doing so, keep living like that. But please dont blame, Jews, Christians and Amricans& RAW for the social ills like Donkey kebabs, infant milk tempered with hair removing powder, polio teams killed on streets of “roshnion ka shehar”…..EXPATS…hah, give me a break !Recommend

  • PakiKaka

    It’s people like you because of whom Pakistan never progresses. According to you, if there’s something bad happening, you should shut your eyes and hide it from people because it makes you feel good about yourself. Pakistan is a pathetic country, and i live in Pakistan. There is no electricity, no gas people are murdered in broad daylight, corruption reigns supreme. But, mr. feel good here doesnt want anyone to know about and instead spread false news about how awesome Pakistan is. The first step in reforming your country is to admit that Pakistan is a pathetic place. Either accept it or continue living in a fool’s paradise.Recommend

  • PakiKaka

    Correction… pathetic indians… oh sorry, i but repeated myselfRecommend

  • Pragmatist

    An anchor – Aftab Iqbal, who portrays himself as a learned man, claimed loftily during his program that Pakistanis had little in common with the rest of the subcontinent since most Pakistanis were Arabs. I couldn’t help but laugh at what passes for erudition in Pakistan. I think everything stems from the loss of an identity. There is rampant confusion regarding their roots and origins.Recommend

  • http://- Abid P Khan

    “An anchor – Aftab Iqbal, who portrays himself as a learned man,….”

    No dearth of self-acclaimed learned men in the country. They are one of the basic problems.Recommend

  • Jamal Khan

    There are some South Korean students in my class who make makes derogatory comments about the intelligence of South Asians not just Pakistanis. Today I read Samsung made $8.3 billion profit. What can I say to defend our country ? Recommend

  • Imran Khan

    India was unified under foreign rule
    Are you saying the states that made germany had no history befor being unified in 19th century ?
    the english in pakistan and indian trolls try best to give pak a bad name, bad stories in india are not reported and if are rarely
    small event in pak gets huge coverage Recommend