Pakistan is home to over 200 million people, having countless stories and tales of its citizens, diverse communities, and land that for generations have mesmerized the people world over. Unfortunately, our media is in the rate race to score better ratings than its competition. Therefore, it has always presented a poor, violent, economically challenged and politically unstable picture. However, that is not what Pakistan is, I was always given a stick about not exploring much of my country and always favouring to travel places abroad. In the era of General Parvez Musharraf, when suddenly dozens of channels popped up on the scene, we as the young of the nation were given the chances to be free and explore the best in the country. But our mistake was that we relied on media, which usually created havoc and fear in people. Most of my teens and early 20s passed away with me being completely ignorant of the fact that the country boasts an incredible cultural diversity, heritage and that terrorism activities, murder, and rape were only the evil of few, which if we all will can defeat instantly.
My time abroad made me realise that Pakistan is beautiful, hospitable and more importantly an identity that has made me into a fine gentleman. At my Univeristy in England, I met people from the tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to children of sitting MNAs. All having something wonderful about them, even if it was their attitude.
Till recently I used to think a lot about the conversation I had with one of my friends from Lahore. We regularly met up and would discuss the situation then in Pakistan to the great culture and people that exist in the country. He introduced me to a beautiful land of Rasoolpur. What is most striking about the town is that it is proudly known as the only village to have 100% literacy rate and 0% crime rate in Pakistan. On the contrary, literacy rate as per the United Nations’ (UN) guidelines in the country is 58% and if only females are analyzed the percentage drops to approximately 35%. However, in Rasoolpur citizens have rejected the UN standard for literacy which declares those literate that can just merely read and signature documents. According to the locals, at least a school graduate is considered literate in the village that consists of 2,000 Balochi Ahmadi people whose ancestors migrated five times due to floods before finally settling in Rasoolpur in the 1930s.
This year, I had the opportunity to travel all the way to the pleasant village that is located in South Punjab’s Saraiki belt, some 56 kilometres north from Rajanpur on the Indus Highway. As soon as I reached, I could see both boys and girls walking home in their school uniforms, indicating that the town places equal importance on both genders’ education. To my surprise, the town was nothing like what I witness in several other villages of Sindh as I traveled all the way from Karachi by road. Each and every road in Rooslpur was straight with no waste or litter to be found, not even in the cattle barns. The town serves as a role model for not only rural areas but urban areas like Karachi, Rawalpindi, Peshawar where daily life of an ordinary man is really painful.
The town populated by ethnic Baloch Ahmadis used to be farmers and no one in their community was literate, but things started changing when one of their elders in 1821 traveled to get an Islamic education. This made other members of the society follow Islamic way of living, and soon others followed and went to various places not only to acquire religious knowledge but also to get worldly education. In Rasoolpur, it is not allowed to smoke anywhere nor are they welcoming to the outsiders. I was lucky enough to know one of the locals that turned my stay a pleasant one. Many males and females in Rasoolpur are working across Pakistan in the field of engineering, medicine, and business. Once you’re there, it is evident that the village has a different feel than even the surrounding towns as education, cleanliness, honesty and equality remain paramount in the area and among the locals.
Till date, no resident of Rasoolpur has ever been found of committing crime nor ever they have had any local’s name appearing in First Information Report (FIR) at the Police Station. This statistic is boasted by all residents of the village who are very proud of their culture, tradition and ethics that make Rasoolpur an ideal community in Pakistan.