Optimism: The silent killer of Pakistan

Published: May 8, 2011
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This ship has sunk so deep, it’s beyond our control to bring it back up.

Pakistanis – we are chronic trusters – a nation of the blindest believers!

There is something ingrained in our blood, sweat and tears that pushes us to splurge, smoke and swallow more than we should – to trust blindly in the same governments which have failed us not once but twice, and ally with countries that have continued to denounce, betray and beguile us. We wait patiently for saviours from amongst us hoping that they will do the cleaning up for us – each time, our self-proclaimed saviours kick us to the curb – incredibly disengaged from reality, hoping desperately that the tides would change and we would emerge shiny and golden from the ashes.

In a world filled to the brim with all kinds of psychopaths, the globe warming a little too quickly, the economy falling in debris over and over again, our beloveds breaking our very hearts everyday and our own government failing us every time, how do we still stay so darn optimistic? Why do we fall down, only to brush our broken, battered and bloody knees? Why do we keep trying to stand once again – and even attempt to run, jump and gallop – fully knowing that we will fall down again?

Why doesn’t our optimism fade? Shouldn’t it die a horrible death? When countless times, we’ve seen innocence get faded, hope get raped and death get derided, shouldn’t we send an invitation card to “pessimism” and let it slap some sense into us – to stop us from making stupid decisions?

Is this all an act to hide our pain, or do we even realise we have pain?

Isn’t it time to trash the idea of things ever going back to normal? Everything we believed in is now utterly shattered and broken. So where’s our Plan B? Did we ever bother making one? We didn’t, because we blindly believed we’d survive it all – like we survived the nuclear testing, the earthquakes, the floods, the terrorism, and so much more.

We’ve fallen from grace in more ways than one. This ship has sunk so deep, it’s beyond our control to bring it back up. There are no saviours amongst us, no good leaders to ever pull us out of this mess, no messiahs to change our tainted hearts.

We are moments away from becoming the next Somalia, Afghanistan or Iraq. If you thought the ride couldn’t get scarier, it just did!

You could scurry away abroad and seek refuge like most do when faced with threat and danger.

Or, you could stay here. And do what we haven’t done in a long while.

Forget the others. Forget the traitorous tyrants. Forget the countries that brand us as ‘terrorists,’ keep us grounded forever as a developing country and keep leaving us high and dry. Kick the habit of taking financial aid even if it brings us down to our knees. This time, it wouldn’t hurt so bad because we’ve been there time and again.

For the very first time, rely only on yourself. Because, right now, only you can save you!

Pakistan was made without any support from the US and it can survive without it too.

Saba Khalid

Saba Khalid

A blogger for Rolling Stone magazine, a contributor to Kulturaustauch and Musikexpres, Saba is an Institute for Foreign Affairs (IFA) Cross Culture scholar for the year 2012 who also teaches creative writing to young aspiring writers. She blogs at www.thecityalive.com and can be found on instagram as @thecityalive

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