Returning to Pakistan

Published: July 11, 2010

I know things are bad, but this utter hopelessness is not going to do us any good.

If you’re a Pakistani student studying abroad (US, UK, Europe, Canada, Australia wherever) pursuing whatever degree, people will automatically assume you’re staying there for good.

And by people here I’m referring to our fellow countrymen.

When you meet them at a gathering or a get-together, such topics are often the subject of discussion. Telling them that you have plans of returning home will earn you looks of utter bewilderment, as if you’ve said something embarrassing. You go back to Pakistan to visit family and friends, and everyone invariably asks you how you are doing abroad, so you tell them you’re getting by OK – which is almost always followed by something along the lines of “Good! Get a job/green card, and do not come back!”

I know things are bad, but this utter hopelessness is not going to do us any good.

If we abandon our own country, when it needs us the most, what right do we have to call ourselves proud Pakistanis when we couldn’t even bother to spend the prime of our lives living in it and working for its betterment? My mind tells me it’s a foolish obsession that makes no sense, given the instability prevalent over there, but then my heart says: No matter what the outcome, at least I would have done the right thing.

The battle between my heart and my mind rages on.


Raza Abbas

A full-time PhD Student in the computer sciences at a school in the US. He blogs at Waking Life.

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