Welcome to Zombieland: 170m walking dead

Published: October 1, 2010

We won’t react to attacks on our nation, just as a body without a soul can never react.

I ask you to define sovereignty. Can you? Can anyone on earth define it? Slaves never learn the meaning of sovereignty. They don’t react to anything as it is their nature to serve their masters. Sovereignty it seems only rests with Europeans or Americans. Pakistanis don’t even deserve to speak this word. The only time they can is to say things like “parliament is a sovereign institution.”

The story starts from a time when a dictator was in Government.  He was a good Muslim but took upon himself to attack mosques. He was indeed a good economist but he believed more in setting up an artificial heaven for his state. He traveled here and there in search of fame just as a crow searches for water. Just as the crow does indeed finally quench his thirst, the dictator fulfilled his desire of achieving new heights of fame.

I appreciate how hard the crow worked to quench his thirst but this dictator played a game of blood to earn distinction among the international community. He shredded the meaning of the word “sovereignty” by allowing Americans to violate Pakistani air space and launch attacks. One after another! Killing hundreds, thousands, the massacre is still underway.

I remember General Kayani’s statement when he became chief of army staff:

“We warn them not to enter Pakistani airspace; else they will be shot down.”

What a wonderful statement it was. For the first time in years, I felt like a Pakistani. I wanted to shout and tell everyone that I am a Pakistani, and I will lash out at the Americans if they make the mistake of attacking Pakistan again.

Soon my spirit broke after I heard reports of the death of innocents in another drone attack. Once again the cycle started. One after another – killing people by the dozen. Even American newspapers have highlighted the news that innocents are dying more than the terrorists are. I was again on land; again faint and pale.

Then came a twist in the story. They started ground attacks to see if our forces would respond, and there was a slight reaction. Since then, it seems they are continuously trying to see how far they can push us by sending their troops or helicopters over the border.

But how can a nation who doesn’t even know the meaning of the word sovereignty react? Have you ever seen a corpse respond? Yes, we won’t react. Even if you kill our troops just like you killed them today.

We won’t react, as a body without a soul can never react.

Our souls are taken; we are nothing more than bodies.

Ah yes! 170 million dead bodies.


Rana Usman

A free-lance writer who also enjoys taking photographs. He is an under-graduate student of electronic engineering. He tweets @rana_usman

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

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/1534/welcoming-home-mr-musharraf/ Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    It never seizes to amaze me that everyone is criticizing politicians for being subjugated to the west and not taking any action against US infringement of Pakistani sovereignty. The calls for a coup become vociferous as if the politicians are restraining the military from protecting Pakistani citizens being killed by a foreign entity. All the while, we know the military has complete sway vis-a-vis our policy towards Afghanistan and India. the cycle will continue, for we cant even be openly critical of the institution which is guiding our defence and security policy and failing to protect Pakistani citizens. Recommend

  • bold

    Stop blaming Musharaff for the LaL Masjid Nonsense.. there were legitimate terrorists involved in lal masjid and people like you are still delusional and living in under the rock and not recognizing the real threat that these terrorists pose. Just the other day in Karachi tons of weapons and arms were discovered in yet another Madrassa, is that a conspiracy as well?

    I hate the drones as well..but the drones killed Behtullah and Hakimullah Masud as well.. so they seem to be somewhat working. Imagine the lives our soldiers would have lost if they physically had to kill these two barbarians..

    Sure Musharaff did MANY things wrong but LAL Masjid is NOT one of them.Recommend

  • Ghausia

    Gosh, cheerful.Recommend

  • Malik

    Very nice dude, keep it up!Recommend

  • http://isntthisthewebalready! The Unknown

    But how can a nation who doesn’t even know the meaning of the word sovereignty react?

    A nation full of muslims dosent know that? Then i am afraid we are not muslims at all! ALLAH Teaches us the word "Sovereign" and that it sould only be used for HIM as HE is the only sovereign power.

    The moment we started fighting for a mere piece of land or so that we could live with dignity in this world and stoped fighting for the cause of ALLAH was the quantum leap of our nations destruction.

    We lost our dignity, long ago! When the Kashmir issue became an issue for land and not the muslims living there, when the Palestinians were killed and murdered brutely and we just simply ignored them as if they were another species. Where was Pakistan when all these Muslims lost their Brothers & Sisters, Fathers & Mothers, Sons & Daughters... NOT A SINGLE WORD, NOT EVEN A SIGN OF DISTRESS. We were not there for them and so is ALLAH not here for us now.

    Thats when we lost our Sovereignity! Its may be the dictator or the leaders before him, but have they dropped from another plannet? Arnt they from between us? Dosent this democracy represent the people of pakistan and its thoughts? The ideology of the people of pakistan?

    The answer is it does! A man once asked a learned person what democracy is, and his reply was

    Democracy is like butter, if you make butter from good milk, it will be good, but if you make butter from poisonous milk, it definitly will be poisonous,

    Today we fear that a drone attack will injure our sovereignty more than we mourn the brutal death of our brothers and sisters!

    And who would know how to shut the begger up when you ruin his family? hit his child infront of him? Everybody knows that. We are not 170 million dead bodies, we are 170 million beggers!Recommend

  • ADE

    Brilliantly said….Recommend

  • http://asaddurrani.blogspot.com Asad Durrani

    @bold yes Baithullah Mehsud is killed by drone and Pakistani soldiers would have given their lives to kill him as Pakistan hasnt got any air force neither any intelligence agency. We should ask US to protect Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi as well otherwise our soldiers will have to give their lives. What a logic by Mr. Bold :@Recommend

  • ali

    We gave away our sovereignty when we signed CEATO SENTO. In the 80s we got dollors to have our people killed in Afghanistan. Musharraf simply continued with the policy. Werent weapons recovered from Lal Masjid, didnt they kidnap foreigners and burnt the environment ministry? We have no control of our areas, how can we expect others to respect our sovereignty? Terrorists killed thousands of innocent people but we are hopless against them. What chances do we have against US? Should we buy more US made F-16 to shoot down US air incursions? Soverignty doesnt come through rhetoric; we have a failed economy and our India centric army depends on US for weapons and training. We need decades of nation building before talking of sovereignty. And we should first take control of areas inside the country.Recommend

  • Saad

    The current Agreement with the US which allows then to butcher our civilians and armed forces in guise of chasing Taliban or self defence is a mockery of our soverignty…
    But we should remember that a dictotor started this war and the democratic goverment continued it. And even proved worse than the dictaotrship. The recent revelation of the Comments of Zardari in Bobwoodwards new Book OBAMA’s War, is that I (zardari) don’t bother if any civilians are killed in drone attacks what i am interested in is that how many terrorists you kill… And one more point democracy is democracy, there is no bad or good democracy…
    So we should now work for Khilafah which will cut the NATO supply line and Expel US from this region and you can see people working for the real change arround you. So the muslims of this country are not dead they are responding rather these are the rulers who are dead…. and they along with this system should be burried and replaced by Khilafah and a true leadership of this country’s Muslims.Recommend

  • ali


    Civil wars took place in the early days of caliphate like Saffin, Jamal, Karbala etc. Khalifas of abbasids toppled the Ummayyads; they dug up their bodies from the graves and last ummayyad caliph’s body was dragged in cities. Fatmids were labelled anti-caliphate and regular wars took place between different muslim empires. Saladin toppled Fatmids and Mamluks toppled Ayyubids. Buyids took over Abbasids and turk military generals took over both of them. Safavid and Ottoman fought for hundreds of years. Civil wars of succession, palace intrigues and murders of siblings was the hallmark of caliphate. Ottoman caliphs used to kill dozens of their sibblings whom they considered a threat. Khalifas of Ottoman empire used to have a harem of over 1500 women and eunuchs. Women were mainly eastern europeans who had been gifted to the sultan by the local governors. Ottoman empires most humilating moment was when Muhammad Ali of Egypt captured Syria and invaded Anatolia; only with Russian and British support the caliphate survived the egyptian onslought. Please, study some history, you will be shocked by the kind of caliphs we have had in our history.Recommend

  • Pakistani

    I have read just few lines, just read your title and wanting to write some thing, see your have a nice day your one finger is towards the Pakistani Nation and towards the other four are? Now a days, who ever knew a little bit english started writing columns on such blog space, tell me one thing if its dead state ten from which nation you are? What ever is going on, every body know, we are fighting 3 or more then 3 big enemies of muslims and our nation, alone, and whom, who are fighting yes off course you are none of them,Recommend

  • Javed

    after 30th sep attack on Security forces check post, our govt has stopped the nato supply line of NATO, as in this attack americans killed security persons of our strongest institute (PAK ARMY), because they are not bloody civilians. Innocent people should die because there is no any relation in pak army and innocent Pakistan. because we are still bloody civilians.Recommend

  • http://www.dudekichussian.blogspot.com Hamza

    Frankly speaking, we are in no position whatsoever to object to USA or NATO’s continued infiltration. I mean we are strongly indebted to them. USA is the largest aid donor to Pakistan. When we have sold our soul to them, how can we expect them to respect our sovereignty ?Recommend

  • Javed

    Dear Usman i proud of your thoughts being a pakistani keep it up. “Shaid k tere dil main uter jaye meri baat”.Recommend

  • http://asaddurrani.blogspot.com Asad Durrani

    @Javed well Javed you must know that NATO’s route is not blocked because of retaliation but because of security reasons and believe me if you are connected to somewhat aware people than you would have known that its was decided three days ago that NATO route is gonna be blocked for three days from 30th. If this is not the case than why is the Shikarpur, Khuzdar, Quetta, Chaman route open??Recommend

  • Javed

    @Asad but you did see the reaction on this attack by our parliamentarians. They were barking like hungry dogs although they are representatives people who elect them by their votes to solve their problems? but these dirty politicians don’t have the time and sympathy for people of Pakistan. Recommend

  • http://ranausman.wordpress.com/ Rana Usman

    @The Unknown:
    Thought Provoking.Recommend

  • Kashif Hanif

    Great Job By RanaRecommend

  • http://Zarakkhan Zarak khan

    Lannat Hay In Logon per jinhon nay Pakistani Aawaam ke Aazadi per Hamla kia . or Hamary Hukmarano ko Sochna chahiy keh kia wo Theek ker Rahay Hain??? Kaheen Tareekh phir tou khud ko nahi Dohra Rahi ?? kaheen hum phir wohi Shaakh tou nai kaat Rahay jiss per hum khud bethay Hain……..

    Musalmanoo Zara Socho or phir action Loo….aager Lambi Sochon Main per gaye tou phir pachtavay kay Siva kuch Baki hath Main Nai aaye ga!!!

    Zarak Khan (I Believe;Do Before You Die

    jo chalay tou jaan say Guzar Gaye….Recommend

  • Rana Azman

    “If the NATO forces keep on entering into Pakistan and carrying out attacks, then (the) only option we have — we should stop the movement of the containers,” Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar said.

    still no response which proves our ministers are puppets of america.
    and as a Pakistani i am ashamed of my goverment.Recommend

  • Farhaad Khan

    We really don’t know the meaning of word sovereignty… hey where are our newly commissioned jf17 thunders and f-16s block 52? they are recruited only to be kept in the hangers??? Where are our high combat Al-Khalid And Al-Zarrar Tanks?? Why are we not responding to them?? Its really hurting me…!Recommend


    nice work rana..

    100% Agreed

    we are living in a place where we can see many Dead men Walking !

    Sovereignty is a word for ALIVE nations not for DEAD NATIONS! Recommend

  • parvez

    Read your article late at night and then slept on it. I think you have made a very valid point.
    Your argument towards making this point seems a little single dimensional.
    A good read anyway.Recommend

  • http://deleted The Only Sane Man Here !

    Pretty Bold piece Rana Usman – job well done ..

    @bold: It amazes me how people like you and many more come up with a constant rhetoric of “more action” in the Waziristan area and its environs. Can’t we even see how many of our soldiers have lost their lives in the area, while you sit here twiddling your fingers and remain adamant on whining and throwing tantrums against those khakis ??
    Someone mentioned above that we are in no position to retaliate now. Yes sir, you are right in a way. Our army shouldn’t have much say in our politics; but nevertheless, should we back on our present government to come forward with an iron fist while they’re roaming around the world with the “friends of Pakistan” notion ?? Two of my own friends, (yes young officers) and very close ones too – they’re killed fighting in uniform there. I dont think you can possibly comprehend any of it…
    @Nadir Al-Firdos – yes, the cycle is complicated. But as a matter of fact, every military soldier, from the lowest grade to the top brass wants to retaliate on breaches of sovereignty. I ask you whats stopping them ?? You must realize that life is not all fine n dandy with the men in uniform. Army on its own cant take a step forward if the men controlling our government are continually bogged down by pressures from the West.Recommend

  • http://deleted Sajjad Ahmed

    AQ has rightly put it this way : “The day the Pakistani military turns against this government would be the day Pakistan would opt out of America’s failed war effort in the region.” !!
    good effort Rana Usman !Recommend

  • Hassan

    Its a nice start Usman. To me, the article is a memoir of a goldfish. It gets a memory format every 5 seconds. It would have been good to hear your views with a context going as far back as the time when the US was performing ‘Jihad-bil-maal’ to protect our sovereignty in the 80’s. History isn’t limited to our age of consciousness. The article lacks depth. I hope in due time you’ll come up with an equally articulate and indignant analysis, albeit with perspective.Recommend

  • Peesa Gul

    Over the years what has crudely been exposed are the fake claims of our sovereignty that our leaders harangue about at every forum at any given time. such gaping limits show our vulnerability to external dictates and inability to adopt and independent position on even internal issues..Recommend

  • xain

    Rana points towards an important view of our nation in this article .. No one frm outside wud come to change us.. we ourselves hav to get alive, to think over. . Gud Rana Usman .. Recommend

  • Hafsa

    “We won’t react to attacks on our nation, just as a body without a soul can never react”

    I truly appreciate your writing skills Rana Usman Recommend

  • Saadat

    Usman! I appriciate your view point. I am happy that some people are there to criticize the wrongs with out any fear. The bold people, are the ones who keep us alive otherwise we are realy walking dead community.

    hats off the you man اللہ کرے زور قلم اور زیادہ : Recommend