To start with, I must quote Iqbal’s verses from “Shikwa” to make the basis of my idea.
Kyun ziyan kaar banoo, sood faramosh rahun
Fiqr-e-farda na karun, mehve ghum-e-dosh rahun
Naaley bulbul ke sunoo. Aur hama tan gosh rahun
Hamnawa mein bhi koi gul hun k khamosh rahun
Iqbal said why I should be at a loss and not capitalize on this opportunity. Just keep on observing and not think about future in these circumstances. Listen to this hue and cry and keep on enjoying? O my friend, I am not a flower who listens cry of bulbul and be silent.
Iqbal wrote these verses while he witnessed the worst condition of Muslims under British rule and wanted to motivate his countrymen to wake up and strive for the dream! A dream that eventually led to creation of a nation that was meant to be the focal point of muslim world. Now after about 75 years, with deep regrets I feel like re-using these verses!
The prevailing situation of Pakistan, specially Karachi and quetta is very alarming and heart-touching for every Pakistani who claims to be patriotic. Being patriotic doesn’t mean to have flag in your hands and running down streets shouting “Pakistan Zindabad”, for me it’s more like a faith that needs to be deep rooted in everyone and enables us to take every step towards common good for all, betterment for everyone.
News like “pathans” killed by “mohajirs” or “balochs” killed by “punjabis” etc are very disturbing and alarming for me atleast. For me, it doesn’t matter if you were born in Quetta or Karachi, or Peshawar or Lahore. As long as you share the green passport, I LOVE YOU! And that’s very logical.
Now the question is, if that’s logical then what makes us kill our brothers on basis of ethnic differences? What makes us consider each other as enemies instead of being brothers? I have such stupid questions and I keep on asking myself, because whenever I bring such a topic people laugh at me calling me an idiot with our national excuse “yaar kuch nae hosakta hamara”. so here are few questions I asked myself and their answers which makes sense atleast to me. But before moving on to these questions I want to clarify one thing. As our national time pass, I love to gossip about these events and end up with “Americans are behind this” or “its india for sure” or “Russia is taking revenge” and the list of excuses goes on. These reasons may be true I don’t know about it. What I know is a very simple thing, if there’s a thief in my house stealing something, whose fault is it? Is it enough for me to say “its him” and that’s it? will this claim save me from the loss? Or make me a hero that I identified the culprit? For me, the first question is; how did he enter in the first place? How dare he? And why only in my house? The answer is very simple; ‘because I am the most stupid among all’ or ‘I am the easiest target’ or ‘I don’t trust people from inside and this outsider capitalized on it’. Now moving ahead, for whatever reasons, now that he’s in, how can I get rid of him without suffering the least? And that’s what our problem is. That’s what we Pakistanis need to do. Below are questions that I keep on asking myself and now I think I should ask others as well.
- Did I ever consider people from other provinces as trustworthy as from my own area? (Trustworthy in terms of keeping secrets, joining hands for initiatives or projects etc)
- Did I ever bother to listen what their problems are?
- I always wanted to learn foreign languages, did I ever tried to learn their language?
- Do I know about their culture more than I know about other countries?
- I know much about world history and their heroes, do I know all that about my own country?
- I always want others to contribute and keep on trying for immigration in Canada or USA, is it justified?
- I always want hospitals to be built in villages and same for schools and universities, but did I ever think of going there and serving my countrymen?
- Did I ever express/told them that we belong to same soil, we share beliefs and lent them a hand in need?
- I love to visit foreign countries; did I ever travel to their places?
- I see documentaries on tv and feel pity or sometimes start hating them, did I ever try to interact with them and get to know the truth?
- I call them terrorists/traitors and worse, did I ever try to find out the reason behind this aggression?
- I consider myself to be heir of this country; did I ever acknowledge their sacrifices for this very country?
- In high spirits of patriotism I want foreign NGOs to support them, did I ever myself tried to help them?
- I blame india, America, Russia and Israel for whatever’s happening in the country, did I ever tried to find out why?
- I blame government for being corrupt, have I never committed corruption? No matter of what degree?
- I blame government for electricity, am I not an equal contributor?
- I blame government for inflation, substandard food items etc etc. is it mr. president selling goods or someone like me?
And the list goes on. It’s not that I am with or against government. Just that I want to establish the fact that If I am not ready to do it, how can I expect anyone else to do it for me? I as a Pakistani citizen don’t pay tax and want politicians to pay tax etc. In a training session, our trainer clarified the difference between the words “mine” and “ours”. “ours” seem a very nice words that sounds like a team etc but infect it provides you an excuse to put the blame on others, not taking the lead or responsibility. Its simply like “whose country is this?” ans: “ours” (means we all are responsible so even if I wont contribute, someone else will) but id asked “whose kids are these” ans: “mine” (means I solely have all the responsibility for their upbringing etc) so its “my” country, these are “my” people and its “my” problem and “I” need to be worried and “I” must contribute to get the things right.
We talk about revolutions. Revolutions don’t take place without a reason. And kind of reasons I see around, if there comes a revolution that would be here to destroy us! First and the foremost pre-requisite for a revolution is the ability and willingness for self-accountability, change one’s own-self and leading from the front (leading your own-self first only then people will follow).
To cut the story short, for me, below are some of the steps I think we can take now to stop violence and avoid any such situations in future.
Let’s start a movement, starting with “myself”. As I call it “RED-Relationship enhancement drive”. Because all we need is harmony! We need to get closer, to understand each other to speak out and listen.
Let’s get friends with ourselves, beyond provincial boundaries or castes or sects, lets come closer, lets know about each other, lets lend our hands, lets hug each other, lets spread the smile, lets spread the message of peace.
Let’s get united, lets stand by each other, lets love each other, lets talk! Its very simple, wear Pakistani badges for at least a week to show that we are united, just make one friend, someone we don’t know, or we have never befriended. Someone who belongs to other ethnicity, someone who speaks a different language, let’s talk to him, lets know him, lets know about his culture, lets know about his land, lets know what he believes is, let’s ask him what he thinks, this will help overcoming a lot of misunderstandings, a start a relationship. It feels like knowing your own-self. Just imagine if only 100 people make friends with 100 people within Pakistan and share what they learn out of it, around 10,000 Pakistanis will know about each other, their own motherland. Something they never knew existed!
And remember, once we are friends with ourselves, no America, india, Russia or Israel would dare thinking about exploiting. This is just the step number 1, next we need to have a system in place that ensure no one from inside exploit. That would only be possible if we trust each other. (continued)
May Allah lead us towards betterment? United we stand! Long live Pakistan