Pakistan just doesn’t feel like home

Published: November 24, 2013
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I was awoken from my dreamy haze by my husband, creating a hue and cry about how he would get to work during the 8th Muharram processions. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

“I have and always will live in Canada.”

Well, that was the plan until two years ago when all my plans, my vision for life – everything changed suddenly and rapidly. Quite unexpectedly, I had to make new plans, which included living in Pakistan.

My eyes still closed I enjoyed the crisp, cool weather and tried to decipher whether the heating was on or not. As I pulled the pillow over my face to block the sunlight, I decided that the heating had to be on. After all, November in Toronto was never cool; it was freezing.

This thought led me to the far less pleasant one of me having to scrape the ice off my car and shovelling the snow off the driveway. Boy was it cold and painfully so.

“Maybe I’ll get a nice hot cup of cappuccino on the way.”

Before I could decide if I felt like full cream or regular coffee, I was awoken from my dreamy haze by my husband, creating a hue and cry about how she would get to work since there were road blocks because of the 8th Muharram processions. Confused and annoyed, I sat up and snapped back to reality.

With a cheeky smile, he pulled me to the window at the end of the hall in our apartment. I was dismayed to see two containers and a truck guarded by police officers blocking the only exit of our building. Then, I noticed two officers with snipers on the roof of the opposite building, which was just too close for comfort. The main road leading to our building was eerily empty, with the exception of police patrolling each side.

With a smug smile on his face, my husband said,

“Welcome to Karachi.”

Suddenly, all the grogginess and confusion vanished, and the only concern on my mind was how I was going to get to work.

Out of nowhere the image of Ismail popped into my head. Ismail is an elderly rickshaw driver, who does not own a cell phone in this day and age.

“Mein darakht ke neechay hota hoon, agar kabhi bhi zaroorat ho.”

(I am usually standing under the tree, if you ever need me.)

Of course as my luck would have it, today of all days, he was nowhere to be seen.

So, I frantically began to make phone calls. The first call was to my office to see if the company could arrange a pick-up, then I called the cab service; but as expected there was no one available. With a heavy sigh, my husband claimed he had an idea.

Although the main road was completely blocked, there was one other way out – the dump.

There is a hill behind our building which has been made larger over time by the mound of trash piled up on it.

We got the bike out of the garage and headed out. After accelerating as much as he could, we only managed to get up to a third of the hill. Then, we got off and my husband pulled the bike up the steeper part of the hill and rode through a football field-sized field of trash!

The stench of trash still in our nostrils, we navigated through numerous narrow gullis (streets) until we emerged onto a wider road to my office. As we got closer to my office, it seemed like any other day. There was nothing out of the ordinary; no road blocks or containers. There just seemed to be little more policemen than usual. I entered my office, realising that I did not need that cappuccino anymore.

I was wide awake.

I have never really felt Pakistani. I am not saying that I am ashamed of my heritage but I always felt that Pakistan had more to do with my ethnicity than my nationality. I was born in Pakistan. I have vague memories of the places I visited when I was 11 and 14 years old.

Pakistan was my grandparents’ home. It was an all-inclusive resort for me with family, good food and all sorts of help available from cooks, maids, drivers and the ironing lady. Pakistan was long road trips from Lahore to Hyderabad; it was visiting the village where my grandfather grew up.

Pakistan was beautiful, enchanting and magical.

Yet, it simply never felt like home.

Hajra Hassnain

Hajra Hassnain

A graduate from the University of Toronto who is currently in the process of immersing herself head first into Pakistani culture. She tweets as @ImHajra (twitter.com/ImHajra)

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

  • Tahir M. Raja

    Being an educated person unfortunate the manner in which you and many like you compare countries. Nothing is perfect any where. Remember that two things can never be denied 1. Parents and 2. The place to which one originally belongs to.Recommend

  • karachiite

    i know how you feel. I dont feel comfortable in my own home anymore, let alone the country now.Recommend

  • Kanwal

    I live in London. Every few weeks, there is one or other football match in the stadium near my home. People come in droves. Imagine the stadium capacity of nearly fifty thousands. Then imagine the load on the tube and the buses and the locality, not to mention the drunken fights, in one of which,I was once caught myself. Yet, our neighbourhood bears the day with smiles, people volunteer to help the authorities and there is a big boost to local businesses. We do it every few weeks or so. Yet, when in Pakistan, the same thing happens, we complain incessantly. We have already confined Ahmadis to separate graveyards and snatched their mosques from them. You want an organised moharram procession? Pls help the community. Banning won’t do it at all. Recommend

  • hi

    Pakistan has become worse due to:

    Intelligence going outside of country (5% return after getting education).
    Thus there is money drain.
    Money drain + Brain drain = loss of sensible people with money and intelligence.
    Thus, 99% people who are left in Pakistan have little money and knowledge, which results in mayhem that we’re seeing today.Recommend

  • Alan

    Somebody please comment something! i am confused as to what this article is all about?!Recommend

  • Shuayb Ganatra

    To Hajra Hassnain: Please accept my apology on behalf of Pakistanis for such unpleasant experience. Because it’s the people who are true identity of any place. Speaking of Karachi which was hub of diversity, encompassing the Hindu, Jewish, Christian and Parsi communities in particular, has now been hijacked by fanatics. In name of God, we defy God!

    My love for country, it’s people and language has brought me back to Pakistan several times. But witnessing the nation’s moral state and ever growing ignorance has left me with utter disappointment. People who dreamt and bled for Pakistan has long gone, now those left are mad and feudal-lords with conscience deprived slave nation.

    I’m compelled to leave this land of cynical and corrupt people, in search of place somewhat like Pakistan was ought to be.

    Peace.Recommend

  • Nabil

    Ms. Hajra, Yes we the Pakistanis are not perfect, WE the Pakistanis have more cons thn Pros in your eyes .. & i won’t blame a lady brought up in Canada or any other country to easily fit in back in Pakistan …

    But as much as you “DO NOT FEEL Pakistani” ,,, it is Pakistan which is providing you with a Roof over your head …

    “””my vision for life – everything changed suddenly and rapidly. Quite unexpectedly, I had to make new plans, which included living in Pakistan.”””

    YOU selected Pakistan, b’coz either u r deported or due to economic complications or per say one of the gazillions possible reasons .. but u CHOSE Pakistan, Pakistan did not called you .. but STILL it took U into her arms without blinking an eye … this is What HOME is …. U may Not feel like Pakistan .. But Pakistan Feels U like its national … It offers U all it has to offer .. which to Your standards is may be not much .. but it is equal to what it is offering to every other Pakistani.

    I won’t say U to leave Pakistan , coz apparently u may have chosen Pakistan as ur last resort … but it is Here Standing AS ur Last Resort is in itself a thing to be thankful for !!!!

    i wish u get accustomed to the life here as it is, … Please appreciate that Pakistan is Here to accommodate you …Recommend

  • Daniyal

    What the shit is this?Recommend

  • Zainish Hussain

    and they are saying that you’re defaming the country. Is there anything left that hasn’t been defamed. Living abroad, every time we turn on the TV and news channels telling stories about bomb blasts killing hundreds weekly. The external words believes we are terrorists and they still expect us not to defame the country.Recommend

  • Pointless

    If you dont feel pakistani, what makes you write a long article on pakistan??Recommend

  • Haris Bin Saqib

    honestly. you live here eat here and then speak against this soil . Wow how cool.
    See you may be someone in your life but when it comes to global community your identity is just a green passport so just burn this passport which you dont like and we will see where you exists. You may got a foreign nationality but the fact is its pakistan who gave you all this. It doesnt feel like home because you never considered it to be. Have you done anything to change the dynamics no ? why not ?

    See i am not against you but the mindset of yours . its very easy to say that it doesnt feel like home but i guess you dont want to feel like that way. see things are not that good but have we done anything on our end. We talk about pollution , corruption but have we seen ourselves in mirror we all are corrupt in one way or the other way . I believe instead of commentary we need to change ourselves.Recommend

  • -SHAGY-

    and your point is………?Recommend

  • Saad

    I can take criticism against my country. Its just that I dont see why would this newspaper waste its space for a pointless sort of story. I bet a lot of Pakistanis have issues far more worse than your situation they don’t seem to cry about it, they aren’t ungrateful for what they have, they get on with it!
    If Pakistan was all about road trips for you why did you settled in first place? I mean if I used to live in Canada and then for whatever reason chose to settle in Pakistan, I would prepare myself for that at first that Ok “heading back to my homeland, life ain’t easy there provided the political unrest, energy shortage, frequent jalsas and all..in short would know before hand the pros and cons of moving ! Its THAT SIMPLE and a rational approach, I would say.
    So quit whining about it. A poor article and a waste of newspaper’s space.Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    Living in Pakistan is for the tough. This country may not be perfect, but simply complaining about it is not going to make it better. If you do not like it her, simply go back to Canada! Did we force you to come to Pakistan? No.Recommend

  • Bushra

    Mornings in Pakistan were not always this stressful and life was not always this chaotic. I remember the days when my family was willing to send me on a school trip to Saif-ul-Malook Lake when I was only 13. Now I am 25 and they think twice before feeling comfortable about letting me travel from Lahore to Islamabad. We, as a country, have seen better days. Even if it is difficult to find peace in this part of the world, Pakistan will always feel like home!

    I would want to come back home and do something about the situation. People like us, who have lived abroad in some capacity have the responsibility to bring the change. To act instead of criticizing. I would like to know what people who only criticize and complain have done for their country? What have you brought to Pakistan? Did you invest time? Did you stay here to bring some change? Did you try to clean up the mess? If no, then you are right, Pakistan should not feel like home to you. Its a two-way street. You give something to receive something. No offense but stop cribbing about it and get to work :)Recommend

  • khii

    i don’t quite understand what people usually mean when they say “what have you done on your end for the country”
    i mean what can a normal person do ? go out sit on the road and tell the government we wont move till they listen ? we all see how those have worked so far. any step further than that end well get blown up or shot down by anonymous people. what do you expect us to do ? i don’t throw litter, i don’t break traffic signals when people around me do, i send my maids girls to school. that’s all i can do. it doesn’t really effect anything else around me.
    one person alone cant do shit. it requires an entire pack and clearly people fear more for their lives at the moment for anything like that to ever happen.Recommend

  • A. Khan

    You are not texting. Please use full words if you want to articulate a point otherwise you lose credibility and sound almost childish.Recommend

  • zullu

    well kind of a pointless article……i am based in UK and whenever i go back home in Pak i love it…….the family/friends/food/everything…. my wife/kids always like it …..there are issue and there will always be issues but ur article doesnt make any sense…..dont know why ET publishes such articles ?Recommend

  • Danish

    I am sorry but if you cant live and work for the betterment of it. you have no right to live in this country stay at canada and work hard for their prosperity! Although being a pakistani and living in karachi i have put as much effort as possible and will be doing so in future to make things better.. no matter how insignificant they are. I hope someone will acknowledge them and will bring some change in this countryRecommend

  • Shahbaz

    Go back to Canada. No one is begging you to be here.Recommend

  • Ovais

    So go and live in canada. why insult those whose home is pakistan .. ET you have just done itRecommend

  • Rishad

    All educated Pakistanis know what a pathetic condition we are in but don’t like hearing from foreigners or overseas Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Vikram

    Bushra: “I would want to come back home and do something about the situation……..
    People like us, who have lived abroad in some capacity have the
    responsibility to bring the change.”

    What is stopping you from going back and doing some thing for Pakistan?Recommend

  • Vikram

    She is in a different situation. Looks like she grew up in Canada and she is stuck in Pakistan. Your love for Pakistan may change if you are forced to go back and live in Pakistan too. You go there for you family/friends. Did you LOVE Pakistan the same way before you moved to a foreign country?Recommend

  • Annie

    Really! It doesn’t matter you feel like home in Pakistan or not. The reality is that you are living here. You have to take the whole deal and act like an adult. So please make the best of it instead of lamenting about the fact that it’s home or not.Recommend

  • Sarosh

    sister, plz define wat u saw in pakistan. just blaming khi is not a solution. come lets work volunteer then cribbing abt it. and plz go ahead to pakistan. beyond khi as well. ppl love other still. care still … its cuz u have a standard of developed world so you are playing with our delicate minds.Recommend

  • Ajay mittal

    The author has clearly expressed her frustration about an important piece of her identity- her country. She has reached Pakistan and taken up work but her country doesn’t impress her anymore. It does not do things that a nation must do, it is all about ethnicity. That’s how people in Pakistan also think a nd behave. If I was her, I would be also frustrated about not feeling close to an important part of my identity- my country where I was born and where so much of my family resides. When so many people don’t have positive feelings about Pakistani people, can you blame her?Recommend

  • Ajay mittal

    She expressed an important feeling and she has a right to express and complain! This is a blog where you can write about things that affect you most.Recommend

  • ObviousTroll

    Lol @ People who like this comment:
    Dev
    Ganatra
    Deep

    At least change your name to make it less obvious. Hate levels are high from across the border. Recommend

  • Ajay mittal

    If there were few problems, it would be one thing but a terribly failing Pakistan is another. How can one keep quiet even if I came to take up an interesting assignment. I came because Pakistan is part of my identity but now I don’t quite really like it and I must express my deep disappointment. Do you understand?Recommend

  • Sensibleguy

    Rather What stops you from going back to “shining india”? Check UK naturalisation figures “shining india” nationals rank no.1 in applying for UK citizenship and renouncing “shining india” citizenship (dual nationality not allowed in india).Recommend

  • Proud Pakistani

    Great thinking !!! We need people who will improve themselves first before pointing fingers and blaming EVERYTHING on politicians. Yes, its tough but tough work gives sweet results.

    We can progress if this current mindset changes. Look at the Japanese, they got destroyed by US bombs then terrible earthquakes but still managed to progress in their OWN COUNTRY and using their OWN LANGUAGE without any help from US or west.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    I am only upvoting this comment because it made me giggle.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    “I was awoken from my dreamy haze by my husband, creating a hue and cry
    about how she would get to work”

    She?Recommend

  • Parvez

    This sounded a lot like you are feeling sorry for yourself.
    Reminded me of the story of the boy who complained about his sneakers not being right, until he saw another boy on crutches without legs.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    It’s splendidly written. Those who are confused as to what the article is about, are encouraged to try harder. The secret rests between the lines.

    Whatever there was that I loved about my ‘bachpan ka Pakistan’, is now hidden away behind a road-block, police barrier, a mile of barbed wire and a shipping container. I don’t recognize my neighborhood in Rawalpindi anymore. I suppose the same devolution is taking place in Karachi.

    It’s the comfort of familiarity that ties us down to Pakistan; not a masochistic desire to face lengthy load shedding spells, unsafe streets, and an uneducated populace that manhandles its women and minorities. If the comfort is no longer there, well…Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    Is there actual audio with this comment, or was that patriotic background music all in my head?Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    Well, comments like these certainly don’t make Pakistan a better place for anyone.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    Banning would do it, to be fair.
    No city should have to be shut down for one group’s religious affairs; whatever group that may be.Recommend

  • Shahzad

    It has nothing to do with the view of the West towards us but has 100% to do with, what piece of crap that country has become over the last 2 decades. What “home”, most of us can try to move back and adjust to living in that lawless dirty country until our neighbors get a wind of us coming from the US and than some group or another will kidnap or extort family and friends. I know so many families that have gone back cause they were not in place in a western country or their daughters are getting of age but surely 80% of them come back within 12 months and 50% are terrorized while they are “HOME”.
    I don’t blame the politician or the country. I blame the citizens. Most pakistani’s in pakistan are so involved in the corruption lifestyle that being patient or waiting in lines or standing up for whats right does not come to them naturally.
    Recommend

  • Maleeha

    U just nailed it. Spot on bro! Exactly what I was thinking -.-Recommend

  • Undhyu Patil

    I was born and brought up in Hyderabad and believe me I miss home so much. Although I am a Hindu, I was seriously following the muharram procession back home. It’s so cold in the UK. Want to go to India please, at least for a break!Recommend

  • Undhyu Patil

    You are worried about your convenience. Think about that rickshaw wala! poor guy! by the way, what’s so great about owning a mobile phone? He might not have come because of the situation. I am so far from India, but I worry about home all the time. To me the Irani chai is more better that that cappu what chino?Recommend

  • Vikram

    Don’t forget Pakistan was able to make nuclear weapons because a brain drain Pakistani scientist stole information about nuclear plants from a foreign country. Overseas Pakistanis send billions of dollars to Pakistan every year.
    How many doctors, engineers and professors have been killed by talibans and their likes this year?Recommend

  • Mohammad Hussain Shah

    i think that the point of this article is about the difficulty adjusting between two very different countries. Recommend

  • hi

    I came at very young age. Never wanted to go back. Would say nehative things about it. But guess what, its my home and i am dying to be there. Once my education finishes and i can get a well paid job, ill be moving back. of course ill make more money in canada and itd be safer but i have responsibility to make pakistan better and not be opportunist by staying in pak as long as i could and then leave saying it doesnt feel like jome.Recommend

  • hi

    atleast she didnt author arricle about pakistan. Recommend

  • hi

    Well, I submitted a more concrete article on how Pakistan can improve. Lets see if ET will publish that.Recommend

  • shah

    Feel sorry for this lady, from Canada to Pakistan is a major, major downgrade.Recommend

  • Vikram

    It is nice to know you want to do some thing for Pakistan. Right now you are student, you should try to do your best and get good grades. Have you told your family about your plans? Does your family support your decision to go back and help making Pakistan a better place?Recommend

  • Necromancer

    Can you elaborate as to what is she trying to convey hereRecommend

  • hi

    yes, im doing economics. Pakistan needs economists to fix the economy. ive told them of my plans and they are skeptical due to fear of my life. but i still have few years of study left so im just crossing finger and hope it gets better.Recommend

  • hi

    and if Pakistan didn’t allow dual nationality, only 10% expatriates would keep Pakistani nationality. also ive seen that Indians are quite patriot, they get residence card but passport. some say its because they then cant buy property in India if not a citizen.

    Pakistani some entertainers live abroad or India. Indian entertainers stay in India.Recommend

  • hi

    thats not brain drain. he came back and brought experience. yes overseas Pakistani send dollars and there is no alternative to it. 99% doctors engineers and so forth killed are usually the ones who never went out. besides, doctor job is to save lives, shouldn’t he be in Pakistan? quite contradictory.Recommend

  • Unknown

    It all depends on the article, an artistic piece with so many complication never become boring to read but an inarticulate one make people so much bore that people just skip.
    Its writer job not the reader to make the article interesting. Unfortunately only few can write beautifully Recommend

  • Indian

    So if its a hindu name then its definitely from India?? Do u think that pakistani hindus are proud of pakistan? I guess pakistani hindus have liked that comment bro.Recommend

  • Proletarian

    I dont think economists cant fix the economy, I’ve seen the MBA books and dont think they are teaching you guys to fix anything. You guys will only increase borrowing and poverty as you are only trained to believe in the sort of policies that resulted in the global economic recession. Only by increasing industrialization, expanding the tax base, taxing the oligarchs, punishing corruption, decreasing debt, crushing terrorism and crime, efficiently developing as many natural resources as possible and increasing education can fix the economy.Recommend

  • syeda kiran

    hajra i think all karachi has faced same kind of issues during muharram and all islamic and political protest including yesterday PTI and JUI rally, As a civilized nation we still far behind to know how to protest, express our feeling, Issues how to highlight them on public.. not only you but thousand of other people including patients, school boys and people who work in office faced same kind of hurdles every day while left home for work.the lesson from this blog is to understand problem faced by those people who are not able to go home and work during these kind of road blocks and protest whenever anything happend to any part of the work and we start blocking our city roads and chocks in the name of protest.. grow up guys and watch the positive aspect of this blog rather to be sentimental in the name of patriotism.Recommend

  • Proletarian

    “in search of a place somewhat like Pakistan was ought to be.”

    ITS CALLED BANGLADESH.Recommend

  • Nawazish

    It is not just the religious affair of a group, it is a religious affair for ALL muslims – it is a commemoration of the Prophet s.a.w’s Family. And Pakistan is supposed to be an Islamic Republic so there is nothing wrong with the nation respecting the 10th of Muharram in honour of this.Recommend

  • Nawazish

    But I wonder how quickly you would jump on a plane if a visa, job, house and security was offered to you somewhere in the West hmm? People have a right to live wherever they feel comfortable. Don’t blame the inhabitants of a nation, blame the government of a nation. And be sure to remember that people from outside Pakistan can also support Pakistan through business and finance. Pakistan can also be promoted by people outside and insh’Allah improve the tourism levels.Recommend

  • Nawazish

    She said she has never felt like a Pakistani but she did not say she DOES NOT want to be Pakistani. She is talking about changes and her desire for Pakistan to be the Pakistan she remembers as a child. What you need to understand from the article is that issues in Pakistan can create difficulties in identity across Pakistan in the younger people.Recommend

  • Omair Shahid

    one person alone doing any good it really matter please take out this thinking from your head when we say what can i do what you are doing is good for the country and i hope you continue like this and after every bad time there are good timesRecommend

  • Moiz Omar

    Ok. Yeah I guess so.Recommend

  • Iftikhar Ali

    MashallahRecommend

  • Raheel

    That ppl take everyday and not allowed to speak against it!Recommend

  • footyfan

    Sharing ones experience and warning others is not a bad thing if I would say so. Specially for those overseas Pakistanis who haven’t visited the country recently. So, definitely not a bad article and waste of space and time. On the other hand, I like your spirit and wish that normal ppl in Pakistan thinks like you and cherish being a Pakistani but also have the courage to identify and accept the fundamental flaws/issues of the system to rectify them eventually.Recommend

  • footyfan

    Can somebody explains what being Pakistani actually means? because I only hear this term these days during a cricket match (off course when Pakistan is involved) or in the news on international channels. In other words are we nationalist enough (instead of Mohajr, Sindhi, Punjabi, Pathan, Balochi and then Sunni Shia etc.)? because if we were then I think we would be a excelling at all fronts.Recommend

  • gp65

    Is it shut down because of the procession or because law enforcement cannot control those that would kill the people in the procession? Think about it.

    By the way, here is a video of Moharram procession in Mumbai just last year http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG9PCKaFRIY And no the city did not have to shut down.Recommend

  • gp65

    Good for you. Good luck. People like you are what Pakistan needs.Recommend

  • gp65

    Yes and our politicians also live and die in India. They do not leave the country and move to UK/Dubai/Saudi Arabia once their term is over.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    The plot thickens..Recommend

  • gp65

    Did you consider that they could be Pakistani Hindus? ANother thought they could be Hindus to whom the idea of being alien in the place where they were born might resonate?

    There are so many people living in Mumbai who would never be able to settle back in their villages from where they came.

    You are assuming that the ‘Like’ represents hatred by Hindu Indians and it maybe no such thing.Recommend

  • gp65

    Faraz, it is not the procession that brings the city to a halt but the failed law and order which cannot assure safety for the procession without bringing the city to a halt.

    HEre is a Muharram procession in Mumbai http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_udL19AIWE . It did not bring the city to a halt.Recommend

  • Zara

    Lol….oh please come on now. Texting adds passion and depth to Nabil’s reply. .live and let live…Recommend

  • Zara

    Hajra, let me share my thoughts. I was born in Pakistan but like yourself grew up in the West .I also remember many fun-packed road trips in Pakistan .Now I try to visit with my own children as often as I can.

    When I go back I despair that the infra-structure is crumbling away. I see a country and the people struggling BUT my response unlike yours is not ‘I could never live in this country’. My thoughts are ‘I love this country and what can I do to help it?’
    I have just wired some funds for the village tailor I use as his son is ill. I donate regularly to the poor in the village that my parents grew up in. I have provided funds for my poorer cousins whom I only probably have met a handful of times to obtain visas/living costs for overseas work. They in turn have then become self sufficient and sent their earnings home to their families.Little gestures like this will not change a country but helps families out of a poverty trap.

    I am grateful to the West for the education and values it has instilled in me just as it has for you. I realise that I would be in my cousins shoes right now had my father not been one of the lucky few from his village that emigrated for a brighter future. It’s a ‘no brainer’ that moving to a developing country will test your patience and loyalties . A more interesting read would have been about whether this experience had changed you as a person?or are you actively now trying to help the country you profess to be so fond of? Please remember your religion teaches humble virtues…..and this is from a very liberal Muslim!Recommend

  • Zara

    Well said. I emigrated to the UK aged 6months and cannot share any sentiment with the author here. Please read my post above.
    Recommend

  • Zara

    Well written..reply Nabil.
    Please read my post as above to get a balanced view from an overseas Pakistani who found nothing in common with the author.Recommend

  • Zara

    Yes Vikram I take your point but what is this article trying to say?
    The obvious that if you have to go back and live in a developing country that is in crisis, that it’s not going to be hard or test your loyalties?
    Recommend

  • Zara

    Well said and please read my post…you will understand. It’s EXACTLY the point you are making here…’just don’t complain but tell me what you are doing to help the country you still claim to love’.Recommend

  • Zara

    Some of us are..in our little way..please read my post. I am sure I am not the only overseas person doing this.I was born in Pakistan but only lived there for 6 months. Yes I help and one day Insha-Allah I would try to move their and help with my skills…thats my goal.Recommend

  • Zara

    No, what you do DOES affect things. It helps in small ways , as you are doing by educating your maid’s daughters. We just need the MAJORITY to think and act like that whether they are in Pakistan or overseas. It adds up and may not change the country but it can help that poor family out of the poveryt trap.Recommend

  • http://thepakistantv.blogspot.com/ naheem sultan
  • Aamir Siddiqui

    Misled Nation By Its Own Leaders

    Much has been written and more
    will be engraved under present circumstances, looking by now into the most
    prominent and uncertain situation of our country, I am very much
    convinced that we are beleaguered due to unfurled situations most painted by
    mislead politicians. If we simply read their priorities and study their humbug
    motives, it’s true that this country is becoming an abject to severe insanity.
    Now, the peace in Pakistan can only be assured if we the people start bringing
    them around to certain basic issues of environments based on national,
    provincial, sectarian, ethnic and communal contradictions and evoke greater
    seriousness in seeking better future. “We are misled nation by our
    leaders and their course of thinking or ways and means are unique in resolving
    any of our core issues.”

    Sent By:

    Aamir Siddiqui

    Lahore – PakistanRecommend

  • Guest

    Misled
    Nation By Its Own Leaders

    Much has been written and more
    will be engraved under present circumstances, looking by now into the most
    prominent and uncertain situation of our country, I am very much
    convinced that we are beleaguered due to unfurled situations most painted by
    mislead politicians. If we simply read their priorities and study their humbug
    motives, it’s true that this country is becoming an abject to severe insanity.
    Now, the peace in Pakistan can only be assured if we the people start bringing
    them around to certain basic issues of environments based on national,
    provincial, sectarian, ethnic and communal contradictions and evoke greater seriousness
    in seeking better future. “We are misled nation by our leaders and
    their course of thinking or ways and means are unique in resolving any of
    our core issues.”Recommend

  • Bushra

    Lol. You have responded like a naive little boy who wants to jump in and get some attention, even if he doesn’t have a counterargument. If you are so much interested in knowing why I am not in Pakistan, that is because I am studying abroad on a scholarship. But I guess the topic of discussion here is not my future plans but what the author is talking about. Learn to argue with some valid points and not just cuz you want to quench the thirst of arguing.Recommend

  • Amir

    Hajra Hassnain : We don’t need a certificate from anybody that we are any lesser Pakistanis than those living in Pakistan. We know what we are talking about (perhaps they don’t). Its our Home, we grew up here, our parents and families still live here and We have all the rights to express our feelings and do a reality check. I wish these people would grow up and realize what a “HOME” means.Recommend

  • Aamir Siddiqui

    Misled
    Nation By Its Own Leaders

    Much has been written and more will be engraved under present circumstances, looking by now into the most prominent and uncertain situation of our country, I am very much convinced that we are beleaguered due to unfurled situations most painted by mislead politicians. If we simply read their priorities and study their humbug
    motives, it’s true that this country is becoming an abject to severe insanity.
    Now, the peace in Pakistan can only be assured if we the people start bringing
    them around to certain basic issues of environments based on national,
    provincial, sectarian, ethnic and communal contradictions and evoke greater seriousness in seeking better future. “We are misled nation by our leaders and these leaders have their own course of thinking or ways through certain means which are unique in nature to resolve any of our core issues.”Recommend

  • Shahid Shah

    Blogs, like biographies, are a certain perspective; seen from a unique personal vantage point, which is of a different taste and sense than the normal every day view of a person. It is about relaying that unique perspective that may bring a different reality to life. It is about providing a new sense away from the usual and mundane. It is about taking the reader into other worlds. That is what makes it an interesting read. There may be a little story, a missing context that explains the blog. What if she came to Canada at an early age? What if like all other Pakistani Muslim girls living in Canada; the general idea in her mind was always that she will marry in Canada to another migrant Muslim young man so that she remains close to her parents? Won’t that be a general wish of any girl? What if on her visit to Pakistan, she found someone worthy to marry? What if what she sees on the roads in Karachi and what she wrote about in her blog are things that are very different experiences from her living in Canada and she is just observing them and slowly getting used to living in Karachi and she just wants to write about her experiences? Maybe it is not about negativity and about looking down on Pakistan; maybe it is only about a very different experience to what she was used to and about her wish to tell that story? Now try to view that Karachi she woke up to, went to work that morning and wrote about, through this perspective.
    Recommend

  • Satesh Kumar

    I wonder whether she wanted to write on Pakistan/Karachi or how she had spent one day in Karachi..!! The way she had presented it sounds like a James Bond story where they are blocked from everywhere and then “007” comes up with an idea, pick his bike and move through the streets, up the hill down the road, and there they reach, BINGO..!!!Recommend

  • Saira Saeed

    I think if you just try to think out of box(of Canada) may be you will find your life way better than someone else.Recommend

  • hi

    you have anything to contribute apart from criticizing others on what they want to do for betterment of pakistan? financial minister is backbone of the country and they usually carry economics degree. economist tell govt about taxes. its upto govt to impose.

    is there a degree in combatting terrorism?Recommend

  • hi

    and face jail terms or the cases. no NROs.Recommend

  • gp65

    This is not a political speech that is trying to make some point. This is just an expression of feelings of a person who having been exposed to a different world now feels alien in the world where she was born. This might be true about a young girl born in a remote village in Pakistan or India but who grew up in Lahore or Bangalore and how she might feel if she had to resettle in that village.

    There have been many blogs that express nostalgia of Pakistani students currently in UK or USA. That does not mean that by expressing nostalgia for Pakistan they hate UK or USA. Similarly here she is expressing nostalgia for Canada and that does not mean she hates Pakistan.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    Unless the procession is taking place off-road, it does disrupt the lives of locals.

    A political protest (and not an city-wide uprising) is usually restricted to just one street. In contrast, Shia processions originate all around the city on the same day, often blocking major arteries, and causing significant problems for the locals. Also, note that Pakistan has a larger proportion of Shias, resulting in larger processions.

    Once again, my stance is for all religious groups, not Shias in particular. One should not have to take an hour-long detour trying to get to work, because of somebody else’s religious beliefs blocking the a road.Recommend

  • Saad

    See thats the mentality we need. I very much appreciate your spirit. We can’t allow ourselves to surrender in such hard times. We need to keep working like you said no matter how insignificant the task, work or ones input is towards the betterment of this country or its people. We cant spread the negativity especially when theres too much of it around us.
    I am proud of you that you dont think less of yourself or anything you do for yourself as a Pakistani for our mother homeland.

    I wish everyone of us has this spirit that we dont feel we arent doing much and this country isnt giving enough. Recommend

  • Saad

    Zara i’ve read your post and firstly i just wish we can all give something back to our dear homeland and think the same way inside like you do, that we have got to do sthg about it rather than ignoring it or even mentioning it. Dont we have enough negativity that surrounds us? As an individual each one of us can take these small steps and like pitch in or sthg as a responsible citizen and that might improve our society or help a few individuals their families like you regularly do. I wish i could tell you how much i appreciate your efforts. I respect you and will respect people like you for everything you guys do for Pakistani citizens. Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    ALL Muslims don’t participate in muharram processions.
    Also, Pakistan is home to more than just Muslims. And they get to have a say in the matter, if your religious beliefs are disrupting their businesses.Recommend

  • Oats

    Tell me why all the Bangladeshis run away to Pakistan and India then?Recommend

  • gp65

    You say all religious processions because your faith does not require any processions. Are you willing to say that your faith should not inconvenience others and would you be okay if India stopped Azaad on microphones?

    If you said the processions should be regulated to control the impact, I agree but if you say they should be banned, I simply cannot agree.
    Recommend