Ten reasons why Pakistanis do what they do

Published: October 29, 2014
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The precipitous progress that the country is displaying and the threat that this presents to the developed world has them grinding their teeth. PHOTO: REUTERS

Pakistan, ever since its inception, but even more so after the rule of Hazrat General Ziaul Haq, has been under the axe of western propagandists and bigots.

The precipitous progress that the country is displaying and the threat that this presents to the developed world has them grinding their teeth. Thus they target us rather unfairly and portray to their public an image of ours which cannot be far from truth. It is to undo their nefarious designs that I, perhaps for the very first time in history, yearn to exhibit a picture of Pakistan like it really is.

To this effect, a list of ‘ten reasons why Pakistanis should feel proud’ was compiled by yours truly, to best demonstrate to the world what we are capable of.

Philanthropy

Pakistan has to be the most charitable nation in the world. We generously donate, towards the maintenance of public servants and public representatives alike. Our tendency towards giving alms to the poor, such as the impoverished policeman standing on the corner of the street, or the destitute Patwari sitting in the ramshackle of a room where he conducts his business before retiring to a very small thirty kanal farmhouse, is unmatched.

Next we hope to build a larger prime minister house to accommodate the growing ruling families, all of which seems to have devoted themselves to the service of the country.

Photo: File

Equity

We have a burning desire to treat all in an equal manner. The world at large compares our airports to central prisons (by the way, congratulations on attaining the first spot in the list of worst airports), only and only because they fail to see the rationale behind keeping it this way.

We staunchly stand for impartial and fair treatment to all, and it is for this reason alone that our train stations compare with slums, and our public hospitals with makeshift camps. We’re standing together with the IDPs you see.

Pakistani passengers board a train at a railway station in Lahore. Photo: AFP

Empathy

Although a secondary reason to it is our environment-friendly policies and the wish to celebrate earth hour every day, but the major reason we have load shedding is to remind ourselves of the plight of the poor, who live without electricity.

Every time the chubby substation officer comes across a news story of a connection of a poor family being disconnected for failure to pay the bills, he sheds a tear in empathy and turns the switch. This ensures that the virtue gets inculcated publically.

Photo: File

Technological advancement

The world lags in comparison to the technological advancements in Pakistan. Virtually all the rich and middle class houses of the country now own at least one very human-like robot that we call ‘domestic servants’. They neither eat nor sleep, and willingly act to the whims of the owner at every beckoning.

They take less than 5000 rupees a month to maintain, and are bred in the poorest of families, from wherein they are plucked. Some say they are moved by desperation, but this is an invalid argument, given robots don’t have emotions.

Photo: File

Awareness

Only if Solon were alive today, he would have been pleasantly surprised at how closely we follow his ideals. From seven-year-olds to seventy-three-year-olds, all are equally well versed in the lessons of politics.

One sadly mentions the death of his dog and the other starts off with the rant,

“In Umar’s (RA) times he had stated if any dog dies at the banks of Euphrates..” to be cut short by the reminder that the dog had died a natural death.

Then the second interjects,

“Then woe by upon the government for failing to find an elixir of life,” takes off his shirt and waving it over his head, runs away.

Photo: Sunara Nizami/ File

An appreciation for music

Nero, unlike Nawaz, would have been a proud emperor to govern a nation so inclined towards music.

Switch to 8pm talk shows and you will find our politicians and self-righteous anchors forever busy in riazat (practicing of vocals). Go out on the streets and you will discover that from women buying clothes in inner city markets to the men buying fruit from the fruit vendors, all dwell in that practice. Sadly, it is always the higher notes that are favoured, but then again, these are the only notes we ever listen to.

A thriving job industry

There are a fewer instances that can be quoted of an occasion where the ruling classes so willingly took a bullet for the masses. In order to increase employment, they forsook their privacy and allowed a cohort of guards to throng them, under the shroud of VIP protocol.

This could have been done in private capacity as well, but that does not ensure job security. Therefore, a little of the public expenditure had to be utilised for the cause, all in good faith.

Photo: File

The predilection for sports

Imran is not the only indicator of how much we like the sports and sporting personalities. We have made games a part of our life to continuously remind ourselves of how much we love playing.

Be it ‘hide the sandals’ (strangely none have been able to find the same back) in mosques or the drag races to catch the signal on our streets, there are sportsmen are everywhere.

My personal favourite is the hardcore wrestling matches that are held between the police and the public at every sit-in and strike, with an entire story line building up the momentum and rating.

Photo: File

The Robin Hoods

Britain had just one Robin Hood, and they have already made countless movies and TV series on him. We, comparatively, have innumerable Robin Hoods wandering around the streets of the bigger cities waiting for a chance to pounce upon an opportunity to serve natural justice.

They reconnoitre the roads, aware of exactly when the signal would turn red, and thus, just when you thought you could get away with the illegally and easily earned money and mobile phones, they would hold up a gun to your head and ask you to cough up.

These are the unsung heroes of the country, ensuring diffusion of wealth to the most wanting households, all without credit.

Photo: File

A proclivity towards homogeneity

And lastly, no list of achievements can be complete without the sacrificial lambs who willingly offer themselves up in quest for the ideals Quaid wanted. The champions of this cause stem from all sectarian, ethnic and religious minorities.

Knowing too well their own incorrigibility in not wanting to attain unity, they allow themselves to be slaughtered where they don’t fit in with the general public of the region.

You may hear stories of Hazaras or Baloch being murdered, of Shias being killed, or a general persecution of a Hindu, Christian or an Ahmadi– what you may never get to hear is the resolve of each of these souls allowing themselves to be killed to serve a grander purpose; the purpose of unity, that which could not be attained without first attaining homogeneity.

Photo: File

Disclaimer: The above piece is a work of satire and was not written with the intention to offend anyone.

Awais Asif

Awais Asif

He is a telecom engineer by profession. He annihilates kings (in chess!) for hobby and obsessively chases a small ball with a racket (in squash!) to stay fit. He tweets as @awaisasif8 (twitter.com/awaisasif8)

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

  • guest

    Every country has problems and people like you are part of the problem. Pak being the sixth largest population considerably has more than others. But we are the nation of survivors and there are actually people who are doing great work in the midst of it all.
    This article serves no purpose. Why did it even get approved! We have enough people pointing fingures at us, we do not need our people doing the same.Recommend

  • Empty vessel

    I am an Indian and it depresses me to read this. Please don’t put yourselves down. Remember that is always darkest before dawn. Every hard working Pakistan is a beacon of hope for your country.
    We in India too face several similar problems, and so does the rest of the world, both East and West. Just pick yourselves up, do the right thing and you will prevail and prosper.

    Have a nice day. Recommend

  • Alann

    You forgot the biggest point: “Equal Peaceful Treatment of All Neighbouring Countries” wherein Pakistan sends its peace-loving assets with goodies to every neighbouring country, be it India, or China, Afghanistan or Iran. And these neighbours acknowledge Pakistan’s peaceful approach with a mortar shell in return so as to let Pakistan know their goods have been delivered.Recommend

  • Alexander

    Hahahaha hilarious piece. For the first time indeed. Keep them coming, Awais.Recommend

  • Jor El

    It might be satire but asking a question without providing a solution is something everyone can do. As Bhishma told Yudhisthir,”A king who blames his present ills on his past is not auspicious for the nation. If the past has given you a weak structure, then change it, improve it. Learn from the mistakes of the past and repair them”Recommend

  • Gobby

    For goodness sake people. He was taking the mickey out of it all. Learn to laugh at yourselves for a change. Acknowledge your problems and you may just get the solutions as well. Recommend

  • Maya

    Every country has problems and people like you are NOT part of the problem. Why do Pakistanis have a problem discussing their own problems? If we do not address our issues seriously or in a satirical fashion how are going to improve. We are a country that had Osama Bin Laden in our backyard and feel Malala has been photoshopped as a tool of the West we are Pakistanis we do what others refuse to !Recommend

  • Rahul

    The real tragedy is that Pakistan seems to be moving in the wrong direction. The Politicians are worse than the Generals. The Judges more cowardly than ever. The TV talk shows are giving more space to terrorists, rabble-rousers and anti-state actors than any legitimate discussion or debate. Hatred is being preached from the pulpit as well as text books while nobody cares for the common citizen. This is not going to end well!Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    very good. I have seen that whenever somebody else like a foreigner points out these things to us , many among us either snub him or, if they are inspired by the mullahs, they are openly antagonistic towards him. Therefore, it is high time that we, ourselves, realize these faults in our country for then and only then will we be able to remedy them. A person who does not realize that he is sick, or openly denies that he is sick will never accept and take medications to cure that sickness.
    Again, I say Bravo! you have written a very good blog right when it was needed.Recommend

  • jee non

    Where is Zionist CIA conspiracy of Polio and Malala?Recommend

  • Sami

    The article starts with the bashing of Zia Ul Haq. But for me it is more like a fashion to bash one general to relieve everyone else from blame. Why we forget that in 1949 the Objective resolution was the first step towards the state where Pakistan was dragged afterwards?. In 1949 A clear distinction was made between a Muslim and a Non Muslim in Pakistan.
    Also how come everyone forgets the attitude of Bhutto as he was the first one who included those clauses in the constitution that gave the dominion rights to the government to determine the religion of someone. It was bhutto and his Ordinance that gave the government the right to declare someone Muslim or not.
    Zia ul Haq was just the continuum of that process and nothing else.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Raising an awareness and getting a laugh at the same time is good……..dragging your behind off the chair and doing something about the problem is even better.Recommend

  • Sid

    To survive means putting some effort to continue with life. If the continuity life is being nurtured by foreign funds then it is not called surviving but simply getting nurtured. Wonder how it would be when that life support is removed, will Pakistan survive then ? In current situation it will implode. Hence calling Pakistan as nation of survivors is just a make feel good statement in otherwise bleak future.Recommend

  • Humza

    I don’t know what goes for a laugh in your home but this article is not only demeaning and self hating but it’s inaccurate and childish. We can all acknowledge challenges and problems but fortunately most citizens wish to see and work for a better society rather be lead to despair by such writers. This is not satire at all and I am surprised that ET editors let this piece pass.Recommend

  • http://www.sepia-paper.deviantart.com Muhammed Waqar Younis

    Funding?…you give all the money to our government…not us…come inside our country and hand the “Funds” in our own hands and then you will see “How” we survive…Recommend

  • L.

    Did u not have breakfast? Eat something, cheer up. Recommend

  • L.

    How much of that foreign aid goes to the people and how much goes to the rulers? The people make the nation, not the rulers. And when they are not getting “nurtured”, yet they still stand, that’s called surviving. Recommend

  • نائلہ

    I personally would have commended him if he had written it in a serious tone, not depicting the situation as a joke. Recommend

  • Gobby

    I agree. ET editors surprise me too when they allow comments like yours to be published. To rant on, and be ‘led to despair’ just because someone is audacious enough to put it in your face what all needs to be fixed. The writer has my respect for just that. He did what he did, in a country where he would be stoned for reminding the people of their shortcomings.Recommend

  • Xplod

    What are you even saying?

    P.s. Google USaid.Recommend

  • Alann who

    Actually no. That isn’t true.Recommend

  • Zia Ul Haq

    You are right. But then again the biggest villain gets the most screen time. And I was the worst your country could have got. BuAhahahahaha…Recommend

  • Someone

    All the patriots are swelling up like gobblers now..
    Lighten up. It’s very well written.The Best blog I’ve read in a while.
    Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    I’ve shared the PEW survey where it was revealed 1 out 4 Pakistanis support a Terror group.

    Stop giving the lame old reasons of “its just the minority who are violent and regressive!”.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-number/pakistanis-see-u-s-as-an-enemy/

    http://www.pewglobal.org/2010/07/29/chapter-1-the-battle-against-extremism/

    1 in 4 people support LeT. 1 in 5 Taliban in Afghanistan, etc.
    Will you stop this line of reasoning please?Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    If you pour a bucket of water in a Tank of directly into a bucket, it won’t matter as long as the bucket and the water belong to the same person.

    The Billions given by the West was fed into a Tank, which was then used by your counry to buy weapons to match India(hows that going?), at the cost of building roads, fight polio, fight poverty, etc.

    If the fund is not reaching you, then go ask your Military, who are taking up the largest chunk of the budget. Why blame the poor American taxpayers?Recommend

  • Thanks, but I think the author is just being humorously self-deprecating.Recommend

  • TheStoryGoes

    Don’t get involved in defending Pakistan that you forget to acknowledge the fact that we, very well do NOT live in heaven and do NOT have it all under control.Recommend

  • Anoop’s Bane

    1 out of 4 is 25 percent. 1 out of 5 is 20 percent. That still is a minority. A majority is 50.0001 percent. Check your mathematics bro.

    Plus PEW has a restricted outlook. If it were always right we would have got Imran as PM.Recommend

  • slamNdunk

    Ofcourse thats what you want Waqar. ‘Survive’ is just what you’d do if given the money. *wink wink*Recommend

  • Enrique

    You too pointed out a problem in essence. Without giving a solution. Hypocritical much?Recommend

  • Bonaparte

    One of the few sensible comments here. Please stop blaming the author. He pointed out the obvious, Recommend

  • Captain Planet

    I agree Maximus. All hail Maximus.Recommend

  • Gobby

    It’s as serious as it gets. People are despairing. See the comments above.Recommend

  • Abid Ismael

    Its fresh, light and funny. Something every author should strive to achieve in his writings. Kudos young man. Job well done.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    Whatta head? How exactly does anything you said go against what I stated? Recommend

  • Jor El

    Perhaps … But giving a solution is not my job when not asked. I am on this page as a commentator n for that purpose alone. If i were to give solutions, then i wud be the author of the article, not a ‘mere’ commentator …Recommend

  • نائلہ

    If he was serious, he would have provided ways to counteract these issues. Recommend

  • Enrique

    I like how sensibly you replied to my jibe. The solutions are self-evident. Theft is an issue. Stop robbing. People rob because they are poor. Start making money. How so? Stop corruption. Where to start? From the top down, cos the head of a rotting fish smells the most. They won’t allow. Start moralistic schooling and accountability.

    There you have all the solutions. :) Pity no one would work on them.Recommend

  • http://www.sepia-paper.deviantart.com Muhammed Waqar Younis

    We aren’t blaming you but we are telling you that we “Don’t” survive BECAUSE of your so called funds that you give “US”…Recommend

  • Gobby

    Don’t think that is possible in such short space when you have issues aplenty. Atleast the debate has begun.Recommend

  • Khurram sepoy

    Lol. Back from the dead, General?Recommend

  • General Zia Ul Haq

    Shaheeds don’t die. You are hereby dismissed from service. Recommend

  • Mazrat ke Saath

    Self-introspection is the need of the hour for Pakistan, please do not stop it.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Its like going and telling the guy who loaned me money, I don’t live on your loans. He can easily tell me, then give me back my money with interest, please.Recommend

  • Indian

    Long term,positive change is slow. Recommend

  • http://www.sepia-paper.deviantart.com Muhammed Waqar Younis

    you people are disgusting…is this what you call “Charity” ?…no matter since you should ask our government for that…not us..we are already fighting our government for our right cause those guys don’t just live on your “Loans” they live on our rights as well…Recommend

  • Ahmed Islam Ansary

    Its good to portray the flaws of our society in a hilarious manner, sometimes we need a break !!Recommend

  • Ahmed Islam Ansary

    Hey Buddy don’t be so sentimental about this article, have some stomach to disgust all kinds of arguments, most of us don’t read an article if it doesn’t interest us in first 30 sec or either it has a depressing start or a tag line! so just listen to what he is pointing out that’s it!Recommend

  • Ahmed Islam Ansary

    Dude this article has nothing to do with pointing fingers, its just a way of expressing a harsh reality in a hilarious manner, but the irony is our own people are not ready for listening !Recommend

  • Ahmed Islam Ansary

    You know what our NATIONAL problem is we are too lost in our past glories and titles that has made us “OVER confident ” i guess its time to get out of that indulgence in past and live in present and look in to future!Recommend

  • Jor El

    See, again, stop corruption, stop theft, start moralistic schooling and accountability r very very generic stmnts … take for eg, ur suggestion “stop theft” … how do u propose to do it ???

    P.S. ur stmnt “People rob because they are poor.” is not factually correct … u do not see beggars rob even though they r poor. 99% of robbers steal becoz its a way to get rich easily without working hard … otherwise, petty thieves like chain snatchers wud not have bikes to commit the crime …Recommend

  • Faizan

    lol my personal favorite is also free style wrestling in sit ins and jalsas.Recommend

  • Gul Zaman Gorghast

    You are so right. They forgot how to laugh. In their patriotic
    fervor. Exactly the kind of people who give the country a
    bad name. They are a dime a dozen killjoys. Roaming and at the ready with their terminals.Recommend

  • Gulwant Singh Bedi.

    Most of us are surprised you cannot understand satire. But
    that is to be expected from people of your ilk. And are super,
    extra super alleged straight from the Line of Control patriots.Recommend