Pakistan made headlines all over the world and all for the wrong reasons. We seldom see the country on the front covers of the newspapers at home or abroad being glorified. But what we often witness is a bizarre tale of us struggle economically, politically and socially from all fronts. Just last week, Marc-André Franche, the outgoing country director for UNDP Pakistan said that Pakistan’s elite needs to decide whether or not they want a country. His statement came after being four years in the country and witnessing every success and struggle during the period.
According to him Pakistanis are very much capable but are still unfortunately struggling. An insight to this would reveal, we often let things go very quickly. Whether it be last weeks MQM’s anti-Pakistan chants by its leader Altaf Hussein or a long battle of this country with corruption, especially the Panama Papers. Our Prime Minister is still off the hook despite the fact that Imran Khan’s protest and statements over the months have done little to nothing to move people to demand justice. Since we are a country that is still sleeping, it is very hard to bring about any change. A state can never change until its public decides to change their fortune.
I was not at all surprised by last week’s Karachi dominated MQM leader’s anti-Pakistan remarks. He had for years made it clear whether it be a speech in India or contacting his various offices worldwide. It has forever been confirmed that Altaf Hussein from day one is against the creation of Pakistan. Personally what happened in 1947 was sad. Scores of people from all sides got killed but today at least our ancestors have given us a land that we can proudly call ours without any biases towards the Muslims. Yes, of course, we have a lot of problems of our own, but we are trying to resolve them. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has done some fantastic things. The most socially progressive one is that he has given the right to the minorities to celebrate their holy festivities wholeheartedly. Something which was missing in the previous years.
We all our Pakistan, whether it be Sikh, Hindus, Christians, Muslims and its sects. We are one, and the nation has proved it again and again. As far as I can remember with all the wars against India we all have stood united, in 2005 the deadly earthquake that rocked Muzzafrabad we all stood together, in floods in Punjab and Sindh we all stood together. As recent as 2015 October Earthquake we all stood together in providing relief to the devasted areas up north.
We are a resilient nation; we might call ourselves Punjabi, Pakhtun, Mohajir, Balochi, Sindh and other ethnicities – nothing wrong. That’s what we are in Pakistan, but when March 23 or August 14 comes around, we don’t fly the flag of our backgrounds because it all comes down to one Pakistan.
The power game continuously being played by the political and religious parties has divided the nation. The continuous gaming of the MQM and PPP after the Rangers crackdown has severely dented the progress of the Karachi. Even though the residents did enjoy a period of calmness but in reality, the overwhelming and strict measures first cornered the MQM and then slowly caught up to its rival the PPP, the party that holds power in the Sindh Province. Once that happened direct calls from Zardari (the absconder) from Dubai, London and sometimes New York made sure that Rangers didn’t get an extension in Karachi. However, if they do, they weren’t allowed to act in interior Sindh, where all the PPP lawmakers are in hiding. Especially the ones who have not traveled abroad or are on the exit control list.
Dr. Asim Hussain is still in Ranger’s custody more than a year later and PPP still pushing through in the country’s complex political war game. Whoever will rule Karachi will own Pakistan, a phenomenon known to every religious and political group. Hence the city remains the most violent in the country.
Apart from the disturbing political developments more bad news hit Pakistan last week, when reports of Afghan refugees being tortured became common. According to reports 500 of them are leaving each day. If we cry out for the West to protect the Iraqi and Syrian refugees, we should fist look at ourselves not safeguarding the rights of the Muslim Afghanis. They have everything in Pakistan and have played a huge role in driving the economy by being self-sufficient because the government hardly did anything for them apart from providing temporary tents to stay with poor sanitation.
On a much lighter note Pakistan cricket team despite being at number 9 in ICC ODI rankings, have again lost back to back matches to England. Also, Coke Studio has largely been disappointing with bad mixes of the old classic songs. The only positive from last week was Brahamdagh Bugti finally wanting the talks with the government to focus on Baloch demands. He has realized that India is using Balochistan to divert attention from Kashmir issue. Well, Brahamdagh well done, that was a no-brainer. Let’s see where this heads to, the leaders of the tribes in Balochistan will need to disassociate themselves from RAW not like how MQM did with Altaf Hussein but on a much believable note, only then we can resolve the Balochistan issue. Our military and the government made some mistakes in the region, and some were made by the local tribes. Today we should start fresh because a stable Balochistan will mean a prosperous Pakistan.