Pakistanis Teary Eyed… but Will We Stand Up?

No words can express the grief felt by the people sitting in Quetta with the dead bodies of their loved ones. My mind is feeling numb by Dr Tahir ul Qadri’s long march, the capital being sealed off by containers, the tragedy inflicted on the people of Quetta – what all could possibly happen? I am dumbstruck by the clash of values in Pakistan – the debate of living by principles versus filling everyone’s wallets along the way. So this businessman gives a guest speaker session saying “When I decided to come back to Pakistan from the US, I decided that I would put Pakistan over my principles”. Why so? Perhaps because if he lived by his principles, the imported stuff would never be allowed in Pakistan by the Customs Dept and the others who all want their share of the pie. Another successful businessman agreed that you can’t be in Pakistan and talk about the right way of doing business because that simply wouldn’t cut the deal. If you stand up and say “I disagree”, you are referred to as someone with very foreign thoughts, and will immediately be declared either an idiot or someone with very immature ideas. Lament.

We often wonder why we are in such a state. We sold our values, our heart, our soul to the devil in exchange for some loose change. This country might have some beautiful people, hopelessly talented minds, but our priorities are entirely misplaced. We spend like maniacs on weddings, watch pathetic drama serials, talk behind each other’s backs, make a joke of our jobs, and fully support corruption while running our so-called medium to large businesses. No wonder all the barkat is gone from each and every facet of everyday life. We have too many rotten fish in the pond called Pakistan. And the few souls who still have their integrity intact are the small fish who look around surprised, bemused, horrified. I want to be on the road shouting slogans for Hazara, Malala, the never ending number of media-men, rescue workers, and policemen who die in the name of hatred, sectarianism, violence – alas the youth must rise for us to lead them, guide them, hold them. I think of my daughter and who would take care of her when I am gone. These mercenaries wouldn’t take a moment in killing me – I would be just another number in the pile of dead bodies that keeps accumulating in a country that is so loved by the elders I am surrounded by.