The reluctant immigrant

Published: June 11, 2013

I childishly hope to return to my land when I am old; to a time of carefree abandon, to a place that will once again embrace me with open arms.

When it comes to matters of loyalty, immigrants are as highly favoured as that unwanted brownish layer stubbornly floating on a hot cup of tea. It seems as if patriots all over the world have established a ‘face-twitching association’ just to combat the sinister claws of immigrants. Rest assured, no in-depth research has gone into this statement. I say this mostly out of a huge sense of self-imposed guilt.

Living in America for a couple of years in the 90’s was a magical time. Disney land, Hollywood, The Rockies, Ice-cream sandwiches, free breakfast at school and double dutch was absolutely blissful for a ten-year-old. Yet when I returned to my home country, I never thought of moving back.

Many years down the lane, my university commenced. Prospects of education abroad hung in the air, leaving me teary-eyed with exasperation. The entire process was a long and dreary one.

Ultimately in the end I decided to take the easy road by making peace with my educational dilemma. I graduated and eagerly jumped the corporate wagon. It was not surprising to see my colleagues weighing their chances of post-grad studies, either for brighter job prospects or for an easy ticket out of the country.

My stressful years arrived.

I had turned twenty-four and talks of marriage were haunting me like a sociopath hunting down his next kill. Now the ‘IN’ thing these days was to marry an expatriate with a steady career, a good English accent, a six pack and limited family members (preferably zero).

Thankfully my parents and I unanimously agreed that moving away from family was too morose a thought. Hence the proposals tilted towards Pakistani settled families and I was rescued.

Now all the while, Pakistan was in dire straits. Ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated (December 2007). Her husband Zardari materialised from ashes and jumped into action like a wolf. Pervez Musharaf fled the scene. And we were left with nothing but appreciation for the little things in life.

For instance, whenever there was electricity, we would rejoice in a manner that would shame a baboon. On the other side, absence of it for long stretches led to an endless fit of cursing and cribbing. Numerous other reasons ransacked our minds. Running away from home did not seem like a bad idea anymore.

Around this time, Pakistanis had mastered the art of migrating; in such haste that it would even leave birds envious. Everyone was busy making plans to immigrate. With reasons a plenty their loyalty was as porous as cheese.

I must admit; it had become the latest menacing trend. Schemes for having babies abroad for instant immigration ensued.

I was the first to laugh it all off, but not long after, I too succumbed to the pressure. My immigration papers had been filed.

Three years since, I sit here comfortably in my new home, penning down thoughts of Pakistan; with a beautiful accompaniment of heavenly weather, peaceful surroundings and intoxicating freedom.

I feel grateful to be here in Canada, when I see the endless stretch of opportunities awaiting us. Back home I hear unrelenting news of political and economic decadence and I shamefully seek refuge in these hard facts, knowing that my family will be safe from these apparent hardships. Yet in a deep corner of my heart, guilt for abandoning my country still vexes me, like chafing from an ill-shaped shoe.

I find wavering solace in knowing that I have a colossal task ahead of me; moulding the crucial relationship between my children and Pakistan – a country they were never given the chance to grow up in. Presumably, all the precious memories their parents and grandparents hold on to firmly, will be as difficult for them to comprehend as perhaps rap music to a Mozart enthusiast.

I should not expect the impossible from my children yet my heart will be glad if they grow up to selflessly love their country; if their eyes swell up with tears every time they see their country folk in distress; if they cling on to determination like a worker bee set on a mission; then perhaps this layer of shame will begin to wither away.

I find tranquillity in knowing that every morsel of my children’s achievements will be accredited to their native land. This will be my way of giving back to a country that has given me so much more than I can ever repay.

In the meantime, I childishly hope to return to my land when I am old, to a time of carefree abandon, to a place that will once again embrace me with open arms.

This post originally appeared here


Nida Shahzeb

A Canada-based writer who strives to give meaning to life and its quirks. Also suffering from delusions involving a mutant alphabet bite. She blogs at:

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

  • Ali

    I like the article but I would like to provide some inputs, If people like you and me we stay abroad? how this country will get into track?. If we look to a history of Europe, it was in worst situation than today Pakistan is. However, the people made it to the level, and now we are the one happily living in Europe.Recommend

  • DrivenCrazy

    Simple thoughts and emotions, penned so remarkably.

    Myself thought of migrating so many times, but always found surrounded by similar emotions. Whenever bad things happen around me, I start evaluating my options but the thoughts similar to the ones shared by the writer in the last few paras put up a strong enough resistance.

    While migration may be an all good affair to many, it is definitely ‘not’ for some.Recommend

  • Tanzeel

    These words look good on paper, and sound good to the ears, but in reality no one goes back. It is human nature, no one wants to leave the comfort and peace they are in, and go to a place where each and every second brings a new story with it. Compare it to India and China, it is a different case, as the expats their get matching opportunities and hence they go back. Pakistan has a long way to go, atleast 30 years before it is in a situation where the brain drain could be stopped.

    I’m IN to get back to Pakistan! Only if there is a revolution! and please by revolution I don’t mean a hypocrite cricketer turned philanthropist turned politician. I mean a revolution, not by ballot atleast.Recommend

  • Parvez

    One of the best write ups on this delicate subject. You have expressed your feelings in simple language but with condor and many may agree with you and some may differ but then all are not equal and everyone has to right to their own value system.

  • SM

    Wow. Maybe this author may have missed this completely but let me remind her as she seems completely ignorant to the fact that, living in Canada is not a “right” that Pakistanis have. Its a great privilege that Canadians have generously given to her to live within their borders and share the development that they have built and that she is there is feed upon. Therefore, the author should be more grateful to Canadians than Pakistan because being a Pakistani was not a privilege, but a outcome of her parents being Pakistanis. Whereas she “Chose” to go to Canada to live there. If you feel so guilty perhaps you can return to Pakistan and then your child will know all the pleasures and horrors of being a Pakistani. It is unbelievable to me how completely devoid of a gratefulness this author is towards Canadians who have what I can only assume welcomed her to their land. This is nothing short of showing contempt towards Canadians! If you want to give your child Pakistani values, live in Pakistan, but if you want to live the hi-life of a Canadian it is only your responsibility to raise your kids as Canadians, that is the only way to thank Canadians of their generosity. Because they could have said NO to you going there to live, as it is theirs to decide! But I suspect that is least of this authors priorities as she has written a blog to just insult Canadians for their generosity almost saying, “I will live here amonst you, you have to tolerate us, but we will not become Canadians, rather we will do exactly what we would in Pakistan all the time benefiting from the social and economic opportunities your country will provide us”. Wow indeed! Recommend

  • Anthony

    “I find tranquillity in knowing that every morsel of my children’s achievements will be accredited to their native land.”

    Uh, what? Their ‘native land’ is Canada. CANADA is giving them opportunities, CANADA is giving them a life and CANADA is making them ‘achieve’ something.

    You are an ungrateful citizen of both Pakistan AND Canada.Recommend

  • Madhia

    Nicely written but i think it doesnt matter who ever leaves Pakistan, i m not going to leave it.. Apna mulk apna hi hota ha, chahe jaisa b ho.. change is coming, i have sensed it, its in the air now. Inshallah we will make this place heaven for our children.. No other place like Pakistan. God bless our country ameen….Recommend

  • Ayesha Sajid

    I feel for you. As I can understand the conflict between progression towards a future and the pull of the past. I think there is method in God’s ways and if some of us leave for a better future, for hope — then we must let live. Living away from home can never be easy or entirely full of happiness. We often forget that as we see immigrants settling comfortably abroad. Both sides of the coin have their own rough edges. Being in Pakistan, we are more free than we realize. Being away we may have comfort, opportunity and a better future for our children but ‘better’ begins to vary as vision begins to blur over time. Best of luck to you. Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @SM and Anthony

    You have penned your opinion so well. Kudos to both of you. I despise immigrants who enjoy the plethora of opportunities provided to them by OECD countries namely US, Canada, UK etc, but their true loyalties lie with their native country they immigrated from, which has given them only despair. Do you know why Japanese and German prospered to become world’s leading economies after world world II, when their countries were flattened by allied forces. Answer is people were hardworking and did their work honestly to rebuild the nation. Significant number of south Asian lack discipline and honesty when it comes to work ethics. I am bewildered about the patriotic romanticism that the author is expressing in the article. I would like to ask what has Pakistan given to her and why she immigrated to Canada, why not just stay in Pakistan and help it to prosper. I am quite sure, she cannot provide a plausible answer.

    Very well said:

    “You are an ungrateful citizen of both Pakistan AND Canada.”Recommend

  • Mehdi


    This is one of the main reason many Muslim families have raised confused children in these highly developed, where they have failed to assimilate. Many well researched publication has been made in regards to this topic. Failing to assimilate has resulted in radicalization, honor killings and bringing in cultural values that are not consistent with the western culture.Recommend

  • Mehdi


    Good for you.Recommend

  • Mehroz Siraj

    Immigrants should be more grateful to their adopted homelands than to Pakistan.

    In Pakistan, incomes are zero, expenses are heavy, recognition is zero and life is cheaper than bottled water.

    If Canada, USA or Australia is giving you an opportunity, then you should take it hands down and you should be living in those societies in a way that a normal person may not be able to distinguish that whether you are an immigrant or a local.

    Immigration is as much about attaining a foreign citizenship as much as it is about integrating into your host communities, in a non-discriminatory way.

    By non-discriminatory ways I mean that immigrants should not be distinguishing themselves as ‘Pakistanis’ and should adopt the good things of western culture, such as their love for sports, their ability to enjoy life and developing a strong English accent, which is essential for career and business success in those countries.

    Insistence on keeping up with one’s pseudo-Islamic practices in the west can invite unwarranted attention under current circumstances as employers in USA and Canada would hesitate to employ anyone with clear religious affiliations.

    Just keep these things in mind, and you shall be fine.

    Mehroz Siraj
    Editor, australianaffairs.wordpress.comRecommend

  • Tariq Ali Sial

    Well written but it seems writer has sacrificed herself for future and has nothing to enjoy for ‘present’. I’m abroad and I always feel my self suffering from ‘Identity crisis’, we have a recognition in Pakistan, as Iqbal said “mauj ha darya men, baroon-a-darya kuch ni”, so the choice is ours. I’m definitely going back.Recommend

  • Historian 1

    I would advise author to be truthful to herself and her kids. Every single Indian/ Pakistani wants to be out of the country given a chance. On a lighter note it is said that when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, a south indian was already selling tea over there.
    Do not destroy the pleasure of living in Canada through negative thoughts. World is a global village today and we are citizens of the world and we have the right to choose the best place to live and work for us and our kids inside our country of birth or any where else.
    Also loyalties should be towards the country which provides decent life, bread and security to you and your children. Recommend

  • I am a Khan


    Depends in which part of the country you live in. Lahore and Islamabad may be better (never been there), but Karachi is not going to improve, as far as I think. Plus living and working abroad means you can afford a better house in a better locality in Pakistan, within a few years time :)Recommend

  • Syme

    We, the expatriates, are torn in two. A part of us want to move back with every hurdle, on a little pinch to self or our country and the same pinch hold us back. We feel helpless in both instances Love may be dictated by heart but reality speaks much louder than words. We may have forsaken our abstract love, Country, and we may have forsaken our tangible love, our parents and relatives. The pain is always there. It hurts whenever we think about it. Perhaps to millions, we are not good sons and daughters of our mothers and bad sons and daughter of soil. Perhaps our mothers thinks the same and our people think the same.
    But, we will surely return, packed in a coffin, clad in white.
    Perhaps we are the one that loved not wisely but too well.Recommend

  • Hassan Nisar

    Hassan Nisar once said about expatriates, ” Muhabbat kisi aur sa ki aur shadi kisi aur sa kar lee”…lolRecommend

  • bangash

    You sound like the self-hating Pakistani who begins to worship Canadians as soon as they land in Canada. Pakistan is the country that provided people with food, nurture and education and enabled them emigrate abroad. There should be a balance between assimilation into the new country and respect for the old country.Recommend

  • hamid siddiqui

    @Historian 1:
    I think you did not get what she is saying.Recommend

  • Raza

    Dear author,
    A word of advice. Don’t feel guilty. Embrace your adopted country as your home now and don’t shove Pakistan into your children’s heads who will be Canadians (make no mistake about it). And as far as guilt goes; if you get the chance to do some serious good for your people, take it and do it for the sake of your own contribution/satisfaction/sawab. We educated middle-class people cannot bring about any change; all that is idealist talk in a country where the political landscape is defined by ethnic hatred and feudalism that cannot be eradicated. This is not to say that life abroad is without its issues; I live abroad too and miss Pakistan a lot at every occasion. But I remind myself every time that there is no hope for a country which elects tried and failed politicians again and again. All those people who’re talking about us educated people bringing about change; get real please. If you stay in Pakistan, good for you; it has its merits. But don’t delude yourself that anything will change; this election just proved that again. Recommend

  • np

    It takes a lot of effort to migrate. Anyone who goes through all the hoops it takes to migrate is definitely and go through all the heartburn that such a transition involves is not reluctant about immigrating. I am not denying that they may still love their country of birth or have nostalgia for it. But to claim reluctance as this author seems to do is just plain hypocritical.

    Also agree with @SM and @Anthony – the author’s complete lack of gratitude to a land which has accepted her and where she will raise her children in safety, comfort and relative prosperity is just the reason why the host country starts to resent you and the immigrant starts to feel alienated.Recommend

  • kanwal

    @sm and anthony
    I get your point but take a chill pill. She has just immigrated and is going through a rough patch of home sickness obviously. She has already mentioned what she likes about canada. Hopefully she ll grow out of it. Recommend

  • kanwal

    @sm and anthony
    And its not like the immigrants are the only ones to be greateful. The adopted country of their choice has adopted them bcoz of their skills and they often pay huge input into the economy. So its a two way game. The immigrants are always the first class citizens if you consider the amount of input they usually give in.
    To the lady, i ll advice to try and mingle in the local pakistani and non pakistani communities both. It is essential for her or else she ll stay tense and depressed. Recommend

  • new delhi

    Pakistanis need to stop saying that india is a paradise. Our growth is slowing down and people especially young students have started immigrating again. Recommend

  • Pmbm

    Millions of immigrant people are useful and productive citizens of USA and Canada. One can be proud of adopted country as well as your old country without stress or conflict.Recommend

  • T Khan

    This to me sounds absolutely corrupt in basic human morals and values.
    This is how we are confusing our children and their loyalties.
    My children are born and raised in Australia and I have no qualms I saying that while my husband and I support Pakistan cricket team( regardless of how pathetic they are) my son is an avid supporter of Australian side.
    We tell them where we came from but never have of will ask them to put the country that has gave them everything after another. Teach patriotism not duplicity and thanklessness.Recommend

  • stevenson

    @Historian 1:It’s funny that the author states Pakistanis have mastered the art of migrating – does she not know that all 3rd World citizens would move to a developed country given the chance. The number source of immigrants to Canada is from India. So maybe shold say that Indians too have mastered the art of migrating to North America. Recommend

  • BlackJack

    So maybe shold say that Indians too have mastered the art of migrating to North America.
    India is one of the largest sources of skilled migrants to North America and this serves both interests – the US/ Canada are able to get the right set of skills and the migrants get a better life. The difference is that there are no assimilation issues with Indians (anywhere) and no hypocrisy. They don’t weep copious crocodile tears in memory of Indian hardships while lapping up benefits paid for by US/ Canadian taxpayers.Recommend

  • Udaya Bose

    The migrants don’t arm-twist the host country in to allowing them in. It is the crying needs of the host countries for labour/talent that they fulfill.
    That said, once you emigrate, be loyal to your new homeland and bring up your children without divided loyalties.Recommend

  • Tariq Ali Sial

    Immigration to a developed country should be termed as a ‘Brain Drain’ for a home country. 3rd world countries lag behind the modern world because of this menace largely caused by a mismanagement of human resources in so called ‘3rd world’ countries. These third world countries or ‘Browns’ have played a vital role in the development of the ‘Modern World’ and unfortunately there are many acts of hatred usually observed in western countries where ‘Browns’ are treated as aliens as if they are not the part of society as they have sacrificed everything for their adopted country.Recommend

  • Mehdi


    I am not a Pakistani. Thank God for that. FYI – I consider myself a south Asian indian Muslim. So assertion is wrong about me.Recommend

  • Mehdi


    I don’t live in Canada. But in USA. I believe author is in denial about how good Pakistan is to its citizen.Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @T Khan:

    You are doing great parenting.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Tariq Ali Sial: These third world countries or ‘Browns’ have played a vital role in the development of the ‘Modern World’

    Billions of dollars are sent home by immigrants from third world countries. Millions of immigrants get education and new skills from developed countries. What vital roles are you talking about? Most people lie to get Visas to developed countries. Millions of immigrants live on welfare, cheat on taxes, file fraudulent bankruptcies, marry White women to get permanent residence.Recommend

  • Tariq Ali Sial

    I’m not talking about first generation, which still have some connection back home, there are now second and third generations of immigrants permanently living there and proved themselves as the finest citizens, you can see many examples. Immigration is a give and take policy. They always give immigration to ‘potential Browns’Recommend

  • writer


    It is not about being an ingrate or being thankless. Living in Canada is a privilege that cannot be denied, however it is not a gracious gift a master to his servant, it has been achieved by hard work and skill. Be it Canada, or any other country in the world, skills of immigrants are being used to enhance the country’s economy. Expressing gratitude to such countries should be done through hard work and honesty and not by exhibiting sycophancy and fake attempts to imitate a culture that is never truly yours. Why is it that Americans, Canadians, British or even Chinese for that matter remain true to their country and values where ever they go in the world? While immigrants especially from South East Asia are expected to relinquish their values and beliefs just so they can superficially impress people by proudly proclaiming how ‘western’ their children are; or how my Children can’t speak a work of Urdu! Its downright hypocrisy. Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Tariq Ali Sial: They always give immigration to ‘potential Browns’

    In US any Tom, Dick and Harry can get “green card” by hook or by crook. There is no shortage of any kind of professionals in USA. Most employment based Visas involve misrepresenting facts to get labor certification. Most companies run by immigrants that process and hire H1 Visa holders break all kind of laws.

    Second, third generations are no longer immigrants. These people grow up here and have access to higher educations and unlimited opportunities to grow. Most second generation kids manage to get FREE education by getting free grants based on low income. Their parents have money to live in nice houses but no money to pay tuition.

    I have a feeling immigrants are for more likely to declare fraudulent bankruptcies so that they don’t have to pay back credit card loans, business loans, home loans.Recommend

  • zulfiqar

    No, never, so stuck, so badly imprisoned, and so lost, let me admit this love Pakistan, and every day, every evening think that I should be there, back home, then think about children, should they get the opportunity, which only elite in our country get!, will I be questioned, at later stages of my life, that would not we be better off living in a country, which is secure, and Pakistan on the 152 secure country in world, what about education, social life index, look at any thing, and compare, we are right at the end, least desirable nation, But then that is who I am, and that is what my children will be, and their children, I have no choice, but to Make Pakistan a place we all can be proud, Please don’t ignore the ethnic based questionnaire always given to you. You can be british, or american, but your will always remain who you are, accept it, and work to make Pakistan, a proud place. Lets go back home Recommend

  • bik1012

    @Mehdi: Far from being hypocritical, in my opinion Nida has actually been brutally honest and given vent to her inner thoughts beautifully. Shoe is actually on the other foot; those who yearn, pretend and claim total assimilation in their adopted lands are not being very truthful and/or are engulfed in an identity crisis. Canada is a beautiful and generous country as are many others that welcome immigrants – for they need them. Immigration will always remain a thorny issue and to reconcile with it is equally difficult. Frankly hats off to the author for sharing her internal conflicts so openly and I am certain that having done so – taken the load off her chest – she’ll assimilate much better in her new home about which she at no time has any qualms. I know of people who having spent a lifetime abroad, come back and others having spent their lives away from their places of origin, are never able to shrug that internal feeling of guilt, of having lost something. I hope Nida and her children find peace with their new circumstances. I am sure she’ll have more to say on this. Best wishes

    P.S. She is neither an ungrateful Canadian or an ungrateful Pakistani. She is rather the opposite. Bravo Recommend

  • Mehdi


    Then her title should have been different. I have been in US for better part of two decades and I don’t suffer from identity crises. As a desi immigrant, I constantly criticize my country of birth because of lack of improvement and cite example of US to be followed when it comes to human value and development. I wouldn’t want my children to associate with my place of birth, all they need to know is where their dad is from and know about certain aspect of good cultural values. that’s all and be a patriotic American. Recommend

  • Insaan

    @bik1012: I know of people who having spent a lifetime abroad, come back and others having spent their lives away from their places of origin, are never able to shrug that internal feeling of guilt, of having lost something.

    Most people go to foreign countries for better and secure life. I don’t know where this guilt comes from. After lifetime abroad with money saved and pensions/social security they get they can have a good life back home. They go home to live with their relatives who will treat them nicely for the money they have.

    Every one in America or their forefathers came from some other country except American Indians. Some people even die trying to get to a foreign country.

    People who lack ability to form social connections in their adopted countries, are more likely to go back. Recommend

  • n.b

    good reply by writerRecommend

  • Insaan

    @zulfiqar: I should be there, back home, then think about children, should they get the opportunity, which only elite in our country get!, will I be questioned, at later stages of my life, that would not we be better off living in a country, which is secure. Lets go back home

    You probably have enough money by now to have a good life in Pakistan 1$=may hundred rupees. You can put your kids in elite school too. I have a feeling you have excuses not to go back, you want other people to go back when you say “Lets go back home”. Most Pakistanis go abroad for money only.

    You have to make sacrifices to make Pakistan a better place, but you expect others to do it for you. Explain to your kids that you have choice to live in a purely Islamic country or a rich country, where do you want to live.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @kanwal: The adopted country of their choice has adopted them bcoz of their skills and they often pay huge input into the economy.
    Parents lied to get a green card. Lived on welfare, probably worked cash, took benefits form government, stole from the stores. Sons probably enrolled in free classes, pretending they don’t have any money.

    Not really majority of immigrants work at low level jobs. What input in economy are you talking about? People come here to make more money and better life. Most people lie to get immigrant Visas. Many marry on paper to get a green card. One person becomes citizen, he sponsors 25 other people based on family relationship. There is no shortage of any professionals here. Most doctors try very hard to come to USA and get license to practice.Recommend

  • bik1012

    @T Khan,Mehdi, Insaan:
    Let the children live their own lives and make their own choices. One thought that living in developed western societies would also have ingrained a bit of tolerance. After all freedom of speech and dissent is a high value virtue – a right. Claiming one’s self to be a full grown American or an Aussie and then proclaiming some honest views as corrupt and hypocritical is by itself exactly that – corrupt and hypocritical. Like I said before, it is obvious that the writer has touched a raw nerve, a feeling that a lot of people were uneasy with yet continued to ignore it. Best thing is to let your thoughts out in the open, take that burden of the chest and don’t feel ashamed of your native lands. Just confront the truth and don’t actually confuse your children by forcing them to be Aussies or Americans or Canadians. As long as you ingrain values of hard and honest work in them. Let them be.

    P.S. You are either an Indian or a Pakistani. No such thing as a South Asian Muslim. I understand this regional thing has a nice fashionable aura to it but it does also indicate a slightly warped manner of thinking. I rest my case.Recommend

  • Mehdi


    yes my dad is from India and mom was from east Pakistan now Bangladesh. I was born there. came to USA as a teenager, so you didn’t touch my raw nerve. There is a saying in US to support freedom of expression : “Agree to disagree with you” . I don’t agree with your logic about how to raise the children belonging to immigrant family. Since you rest your case, I rest mine as you did, and will remember not to mingle with immigrants having thought like yours.Recommend

  • bangash

    If you are not a Pakistani or a Pakistani emigrant then don’t waste our time with you unsolicitied advice.

    Indians aren’t the only ones who make up for the skills shortage in the West, all other nationalities contribute as well. Indians however are the biggest busybodies there are.Recommend

  • Baba Ji

    Enjoy … you have one life and all the reasons to make the best of it … cut the “jazbatiyaat” and look ahead … leave the country to the so called “patriots” who couldn’t get a chance to flee !!!!Recommend

  • S

    very good read. I can just pray for us sister :)Recommend

  • Mehdi


    sir this is a public forum. I am entitled to my opinion. If you don’t like what I write then please don’t read. Your rebuttal is out of place, we are not talking about IT sector and body shop.Recommend

  • Pakistani


    Looks like a lot more than just a raw nerve has been touched. Otherwise you wouldn’t be involved in this discussion or thanking God for not being a Pakistani. I don’t reckon other immigrants would think much of socializing with you eitherRecommend

  • bik1012

    @Mehdi and Bangash

    While I have rested my case and so has Mehdi, I must inevitably quote Voltaire – surprisingly in favour of Mehdi – “I disagree strongly with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. Indian or a Pakistani, it really does not matter as long as one argues logically to support one’s viewpoint. Mehdi has a point but his parting line about not wanting to “mingle with immigrants having thoughts like mine”, I thought was in bad taste. BTW, I am NOT an immigrant although have travelled and also lived in the US for some years!! This is definitely what seems to have provoked Bangash. My experience with the “South Asian” community is that while Pakistanis socialize more with locals, Indians generally tend to remain confined among their own. Nothing bad about either of these choices as I don’t want it to be seen as a disparaging remark. So Mehdi, say what you will and you are always welcome.

    P.S. I guess having stayed abroad for almost two decades, you are not exactly young. I also guess that the writer is young and coming to grips with the sea change transformation in her life. Although all to the better, there are issues that one deals only with the passage of time, so I presumed that sane, logical people would have understood her predicament and lent some support instead of resorting to name calling.Recommend

  • n.b

    well said, i agree with you.Recommend

  • Mehdi


    Sir/Madam – I Just don’t mingle with Pakistani Immigrants who espouse anti western world view here in US or are deeply rooted to their culture. I should have clarified myself better. Because having this perception hinders assimilation. I do have many friends from different ethnicity and religious background and have preached tolerance. For me if you are immigrant belonging to a country “X”, your first and foremost loyalty should lie with that country and its cultural value not to a country that you came from. As this is the most logical path to success and assimilation. I can say many things here in US about Muslim immigrants, but I won’t because they don’t effect my life, as I chose not to mingle with many of them. I am a Muslim too, albeit a non practicing one. If I do partake in ET blog sphere it is because I want to bring rationality and thought provoking perspective to enlighten people in Pakistan. I believe through enlightenment you can fight radicalization and bring moderation to the table. I would like to comment about Indians. They are one of the most successful immigrants in terms of ethnicity in US and Canada. Their success came because of hard work, great education and assimilation. I cannot say that for Pakistani. You may disagree with me but again I am stating my observation.Recommend

  • Mehdi


    I am not doing name calling. I am just calling spade a spade. It does sound harsh. If any viewers found my statement that implicitly reflects name calling, then I apologize. Coming to terms with being an immigrant is a difficult one, because you transition from one cultural paradigm to another. I have met many Muslim immigrants here is US who bad mouth America, that is actually distasteful, when you sit and tolerate their distasteful remarks.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Tariq Ali Sial: go read the story on the Internet

    7-Eleven Shops Raided By Homeland Security In Human Smuggling Probe (VIDEO)

    Nine (Pakistani) store owners and managers have been arrested on charges of harboring and hiring undocumented immigrants, The New York Times reports. The store owners also stand accused of wire fraud and using fake Social Security numbers to pay their workers.

    Federal authorities said that the raids are a part of an investigation into human smuggling, identity theft and money laundering, according to the AP. The respective store owners allegedly helped smuggle the workers into the U.S. from Pakistan.Recommend

  • Citizen


    For the love of all things good, can we drop the India vs. Pakistan competition for once? The repetitious mention of India in all things international/expat related has growing to be increasing redundant, and impedes progress.Recommend

  • Hari Om


    All the way.Recommend