By Talal Raza:
Death to America for all the mess that is all around us! Right?
How about death to all the Pakistanis who haven’t been able to decide who are they? Are we an Islamic country or a secular one? Or probably my childhood memory is right when it says:‘Sshhssshh, Text book says we got Pakistan in the name of Islam’.
After ruling 1000 years over India and living with all the Hindus and Non-Muslims for centuries, our ancestors decided to get a separate homeland for Muslims so that they could live life according to Islam while following Western democracy, Lord Macaulay’s education system, formulating the constitution under British India Act 1935 and spending lavishly on our Muslim kids’ MayonMehendi and Baraat. Right? Aren’t we all a bunch of hypocrites?
The same hypocrisy is being followed when it comes to America. We all know how America wants to break Pakistan, people it had killed in drone strikes and so forth but we don’t stop refusing the Kerry lugar bill aid as a nation and as Pakistani youth. Yes! Every year 200 students from all across Pakistan go to study a semester in USA on SCHOLARSHIPS funded by US department of State (See this: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/01/180144.htm ) and believe me, this year, 4000 application forms were received for these scholarships. Fine with ‘Death to America’ but don’t we all dream to wander in the streets of Washington and New York. Hypocritically we do!
When I came across this banner above on Facebook that said, “Death to American flag”, I realized how much we all are responsible in reinforcing the misconceptionsabroad that Yes!We all are terrorists! That Islam justifies killing non-Muslims, thatwe hate our women and that Islam is the oppressor’s religion (Na Auzubilllah). Probably many of our ‘patriotic parrots’ don’t realize that more than our hate speech for India and America, the world wants to understand how we think Islam is a religion of peace and Muslims and that Pakistanis are peaceful beings on Earth and ACTUALLY hate American government’s policies not people.
In fact, we all responsible for the negative image of Muslims and Pakistanis and thanks to our establishment for having tolerated extremist elements inside our country, we have left no stone unturned to defame ourselves. Even if the proposed theory is to be believed that Al Qaeda or Taliban are actually American proxies to destabilize Pakistan, I ask you what have we done to condemn them? Did we come out and protest against Taliban, we all use face book but did we actually care to write blogs, articles and clarify the misconceptions? No we didn’t.
To add fuel to fire, our obsession with whining and complicated romance with conspiracy theories never ends. Just a recent example of our Pop star Interior Minister Rehman Malik who branded the 60 Hindu families’ ‘alleged’ migration to India as a conspiracy hatched by Indian authorities, thereby RELIEVING government of problems of forced conversions of Hindus into Muslims, the kidnapping of their girls and so forth.
The same thing we had been doing for years and even now with Balochs who, whenever took up arms for their rights, we hushed away the objections being raised on our establishment by declaring militancy as a conspiracy to break Pakistan. No matter how many conspiracy theories we create, I am afraid that the fault lies somewhere within us. We failed to recognize our mistakes and that is why we lost Bangladesh, our leaders failed to recognize their corruption and our institutions like Railways and Energy are at the verge of collapse. We Blame Taliban in KPK but fail to recognize that, militancy has fair chance to breed if we don’t provide economic opportunities to our youth. (See Chitrali youths go to Afghanistan :http://dawn.com/2012/08/12/most-chitrali-youths-back-from-afghanistan/). But who cares! Death to foreign agents for conspiring against our land of pure!
In my opinion, it’s time for us to come out of the blame game as a nation and focus on constructive things. The world is moving at a rapid space. A lot of money is being spent on education and research around the world. Experiencing on a personal note, I felt that a small college (Southeast Community college) located in a small town of 12000 people in Nebraska, USA is far better in quality of its education than our huge Punjab University where 33000 students study. Certainly, It’s time to think where we all are heading as we celebrate its 65 years of independence.
We need to fight an intellectual war if we want to protect our country and progress as a nation. And for that, we all need to study our religion and culture with objectivity. Without knowing ourselves first, we won’t be able to defend neither ourselves, nor our identity.
Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong. — James Bryce