I am one of the ‘entitled millennials’ whose conscience got pricked by Mohammad Jibran Nasir

Published: June 18, 2018

Having recently filed his nomination papers and declaring his assets unflinchingly this early on, is proof that he is all for transparency and committed in every way. PHOTO: Mahwish Rizvi Photography

There was a post making its rounds on Facebook that caught my attention, which said,

“If you were to meet your eight-year-old self today, what advice would you give?”

And then a slightly more chilling question,

“What would your eight-year-old self say about you?”

I remember myself at eight, naïve and highly impressionable, living in a world of make-believe, convinced that life was as simple as being one of the good guys and standing up against all forces of evil.

But with time and growth came the realisation that things aren’t so simple.

This is a blog I may perhaps be better off not writing. I should turn my back on this. I tell myself ‘this’ does not concern me. Politics is not my field. I have very little understanding of it.

But that’s the thing; it absolutely does concern me.

Because, I am tired of my life being crippled by the savage kind of privilege that makes you believe that something doesn’t matter because it does not affect you personally.

I am one of the entitled millennials, living a life of privilege. I have lived quietly in this city, keeping my head down. I am one of those people, who if they were to get an off for ‘some protest or another’, they would simply be happy with the prospect of a holiday and not bother about discovering any more.

But I can trace the beginning of my social awareness to one event. The time in 2013 when Mohammad Jibran Nasir announced he was going to run as an independent candidate for the elections.

I have never met him. But the idea of someone having the audacity to take that step, with no political background or ‘family dynasty’ backing him up, threw me. For the first time, I was forced to wonder, am I living in an all too blissful comfort-zone?

I have followed him throughout the years on social media and heard him speak and act uprightly. I remember his videos from 2013. The guy who reached out to the people then was young, passionate and vibrant.

But the man who recently announced his independent candidacy looked haggard, as if time had weighed heavily on him. And indeed, it has. Since the campaign against Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid, he has faced numerous death threats and eviction, and given the reactive and intolerant natures of us Pakistanis, continues to face abuse daily on social media for his outspoken critique.

However, I began to notice how whenever he would post about a cause, the movement would spread like wildfire on social media. This is the same social media that was available to us long before Nasir was known to so many. However, there were few individuals who were rallying for a cause as fervently and giving others the opportunity to rally behind them.

These would make perhaps the most profound reasons to vote for him: he is someone who makes the best of the resources he has, and proves that you don’t necessarily need ‘power’ to help people. He gives a voice to the voiceless, without any security escort by his side. He doesn’t shy away from talking about issues that are less than popular including enforced disappearances, minority rights, child abuse and so on.

The support he offers his fellow citizens is widespread: from campaigning for justice to setting up heatstroke shelters. Moreover, having recently filed his nomination papers and declaring his assets unflinchingly this early on, is not only proof that he is all for transparency but totally committed in every way.

A friend who lives abroad once told me that when faced with an issue regarding community development, she didn’t hesitate to write to her local MP. I cant imagine doing that here. I simply wouldn’t be comfortable. But that may change if someone like Nasir were to be the MP.

There are many achievements that speak in his favour not least of all, the case of the murder of Shahzeb Khan and attempted murder of Khadija Siddiqi. But for me, it were more subtle things I noticed that convinced me; if there is one man who cares about others more than his own ego, it is him.

It is him not shying from duties that most would consider ‘lowly’ and actively participating in cleaning drives of government hospitals. It is him refusing to attack other people’s personal lives (even though it’s something we and our politicians engage in daily), and even walking out of a live TV show because another interviewee’s personality was being attacked.

Jibran Nasir accompanied us to clean Jinnah Hospital Karachi. Today he is Fighting a war to free Pakistan from religious…

Posted by Go Green PK on Sunday, January 11, 2015

The focus so far has been one man but that is solely because through his initiative, I have gained insight into a lot of the issues the country is facing. However, I must emphasise that this blog is not about glorifying any individual. Glory belongs only to the Creator. All the creation can do is try.

This is a man who is trying.

I would tell my eight-year-old self to side with him and to use my right to vote well and cast it in his favour. I would tell my eight-year-old self that sometimes, it’s about trying to recognise the one who is doing good and is on the side of good.

Afrah D Musa

Afrah Musa

The author is a social science researcher and history enthusiast. She aspires to travel the world and make meaningful documentaries.

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

  • Ali

    I liked him too when he started, talking about real issues. But now he is in cahoots with enemies of Pakistan. I no longer like the route he has chosen for himself, Maybe, he needed money and, therefore, took this anti-Pakistan route.Recommend

  • vinsin

    Why try, when the glory belongs to the Creator? Who is the creator and which one? What about atheists? Do parents have any role in that?Recommend

  • noor

    Oh please! The guy is a social media starlet and a glorified ambulance chaser – he picks cases that make it big in the media so that he can take his photo with the victim’s family or with a broom! He’s in it for himself, to raise his ‘profile’. Nobody else. Open your eyes!Recommend

  • HeyAow

    Good luck to him :)Recommend

  • Siddiqui

    It constant pressurizing by people like Jibran, which make the case big, so that the media and the people of Pakistan can notice it. Not the other way round. How about you do some social work for the betterment of Pakistan, rather than pointing fingers at someone who is!Recommend

  • Siddiqui

    Where are people getting this rubbish from? Can you please provide authentic facts and figures about anti-Pakistan funding? Everything has been verified by the ECP. The route he is taking is for Pakistan, and its people. To uphold the law of the land, and to ensure legal justice. The purpose is to keep everyone in check. No one is over the law, and everyone should be treated equally.Recommend

  • Hashim Hasan

    Let us use NOTA power against LOTAs

    With Election Commission introducing NOTA option in the ballot paper, it is time that the voters who become powerful and lay down conditions to vote. No vote for any Lotas for the simple reason that they are habitual and power hungry politicians who have failed to deliver in the past.
    It is time to think what we need for our respective constituencies for instance for Karachi where I come from, we can lay down the following conditions and vote for only those candidates who agree to fulfill our basic requirements. For instance Karachiites should ask for water even if it is rationed but we must know our individual quota, cleanliness of the city, a local contact office within the constituency where the candidate must visit once in 3 months and it should be open 9 to 5 manned by someone who can take complaints and fix them too.
    We should also get an Affidavit designed which must restrict the candidate from nepotism, taking bribes, raising our issues in the assembly, in case of death or ineligibility the best person to replace and not a relative and must represent our constituency’s issues when the session is in progress.
    Those who sign it and do not deliver, we should have the power to go to a court provide evidence and de-seat the individual. This is the only way where voters can retain their power throughout the tenure of the candidate.
    If Pakistanis can run a social media campaign to stop visiting Murree, I am sure we can do this too.

    Hashim Hasan

  • Ali

    Read his tweets, listen to his speeches. I have not doubt about his anti-Pak agenda. You tell me first, where does CIA and RAW budget of billions of dollars goes? It is for people like Jibran, Manzoor Pashteen, Mubashar Zaidi, Umer Cheema, Achakzai and many more.Recommend

  • Parvez

    You certainly are ill informed.Recommend

  • Parvez

    anti-Pakistani route ?…….. he is anything but that.Recommend

  • Aamir Niazi

    hahahahahahah ! lol !!!!! Everything is conspiracy isn’t it. Everyone has an angle. Everyone wants something. Nothing is for free. Good is bad, bad is good. Up is down, down is up. Everything you think you know is a lie. Man didn’t go to the moon. The earth is flat. ……..Recommend

  • babar

    People like you deserve Nawaz Sharif and Zardari. Live a good life in mediocrity like you always have.Recommend

  • babar

    How do you know he is in cahoots? You worked with him?Recommend

  • babar

    Anti Pakistan lol. People like you would run abroad if you have the chance to migrate. If someone is trying to bring about change, let them. You can sit and cry all day. Don’t bring other people down just because you are at the lowest level.Recommend

  • Ali

    Look at your language Jibran, hiding behind fake name Babar. I knew you are coward who insults his own motherland for few bucks, Not surprised. You have no arguments now. Man is known by friends he keeps, look at list of your friends, Manzoor Pashteen is on the top. Shame on you for ditching your country for few bucks. And you are bringing “change”. Who sponsors your trips abroad. You have no job, right????Recommend

  • Ali

    Listen to his speeches and read his tweets. How else you could know someone who is working against his own motherland for few bucks. Do you think RAW will make an official announcement??Recommend

  • Ali

    Yeah, his tweets and speeches are also conspiracy, right??? His friendship with Manzoor Pashteen is also conspiracy, right? And don’t hide behind these fake names Jibran, post with your own name but you are not a man, you are coward tool who could be used by anyone who dangles carrot to you. Mend your ways and be patriot, that is the only path to greatness but there is no money there and you are jobless, I can understand your dilemma. I will pray for you.Recommend

  • Trey

    Also heard he just loves to receive the death threats aimed at him from your fellow fundo-religious nationalist countrymen too. Such a selfish guy seeking to be such a target of hate, right?!

    Apparently there is no good Pakistani to be found, everyone is in it for themselves. What next? Edhi wasn’t a philanthropist, he was just a glorified ambulance driver…Mother Teresa was better cause she didn’t have no family drama! Thanks for opening our eyes on how it’s such a losing cause to raise any positive awareness for anything in Pak.Recommend

  • Trey

    Anti-Pak agenda? What is sad is that you don’t even bother to ask about your own budgets for anything. Education, security, financial aid…where do billions of dollars go indeed…

    What’s sad is that Pakistani citizens with different opinions, or have grievances against the pathetic systems today or been traumatized as victims, are labeled as ‘foreign enemies’, simply because they have a different sincere agenda or want to raise awareness on an issue, but have to deal with the stupidity and intolerance of conservative ultra-nationalist Pakistanis who can’t seem to take any sort of criticisms of their own misguided agenda and backward views which keeps the country ranked at the bottom.

    They conflate everything with the nation or their own worthless made up honour when actual wrongful problems are called out and pointed out in all or any institutions, and continue to be in denial with their status quo propaganda and inherited myths. They can’t seem to accept views on greater freedom, human and religious rights for all, free from societal bigotry, and absurdly resort to dishonest defamation of people who want to bring about positive change, just to protect a twisted ideological fantasy narrative through deluded prejudiced conspiracy theories of greater powers that they have no logical proof of that is rooted in sound reality.

    This at the end just projects their insecurity, ignorance, lack of integrity, helplessness and uselessness in being unable to honestly self-reflect, identify the problem of fundamentalisms plaguing the country, admit a fault with their own distorted views and practices, make a sincere resolve and contribute towards any progress to a solution for their own and others’ communities.

    It’s not a surprise to see all types of rights and freedoms, besides economic well-being and citizens’ security, deteriorating overall in the country.Recommend