Why I am not leaving Pakistan

Published: March 14, 2011
The writer is an Australian national married to a Pakistani and teaches in a school

The writer is an Australian national married to a Pakistani and teaches in a school

I remember watching “George ka Pakistan” and enjoying it. Obviously, as a foreigner residing in Pakistan, I could empathise with much of his experience and I liked the fact that his Urdu (at that stage) was worse than mine.

So it was with some sadness and, to be honest, a little anger, that I read George’s farewell to a country that had granted him citizenship for no other reason than that he came across as a decent guy (I believe he probably is). Deluded Pakistan might be, but I think George’s delusions are a bigger factor here. Or maybe mine are.

I must be the only person in this country who doesn’t believe Pakistan is on the brink of collapse; civil war; destruction; uncivil war; or total annihilation (pick your preferred noun). I don’t have the requisite ethos to expect people to believe me. I am neither a journalist nor a professional analyst; neither an Ivy League nor an Oxbridge graduate.

However, I have been following international news for a while now and I continue to find it both concerning and reassuring that the news has not changed much in that time. Gradual movements have occurred but the drama and upheaval predicted by headlines each day rarely has.

Take five minutes to go to Google archives, select any year from 1960–2011, and search Pakistan. The pages start looking like carbon copies of each other. “Oh my, Pakistan and India are threatening war again.” “Did you know that women in Pakistan are dreadfully treated — says here, this woman was buried alive.”

I am not intending to undermine the seriousness of Pakistan’s problems. Many suffer unnecessarily; corruption is rife and many of the movers and shakers of the place seem childishly selfish and short-sighted. Welcome to development in the 21st century — it’s a bummer.

However, the overall history of Pakistan suggests an ability to survive the difficulties of nation building and a slow and steady improvement of these problems. Furthermore, this country has 180 million people, most of whom are completely occupied with ensuring they earn enough income to cover their monthly expenses. These people get up every morning and go into fields, factories, houses, offices, hospitals and schools because it is the most certain option they have of getting that income. Each year, a greater percentage of people manage on that income, justifying that loyalty. Is it perfect? — hell no. Is it better than anarchy? — hell yes!

As regards the state of the state and civil institutions, I can understand the dismay and concern. There appear to be few politicians and political parties that do not swing for immediate gain, and ethics seem to exist only as a word. But creating functioning and independent civil institutions, and a populace that knows how to use them, is the longest and hardest part of creating a nation.

I live as part of Pakistan’s least vulnerable social class and am untouched by a majority of Pakistan’s fundamental problems. However, if I listen to my neighbour and read English papers, I am at a high risk of being taken out by a terrorist and/or political violence. (Statistically, and from personal experience, I am far more likely to be taken out by a Pakistani driver.) Without too much discipline required on my behalf, I stay away from military/police institutions and structures; I don’t participate in religious processions; and, aside from the tourist trail, I don’t visit mosques. Maybe I could write the US government a survivor’s guide for Pakistan.

Some days I hate this country. I mutter prejudicial comments and decide that the problems of Pakistan can be summed up in the stupidity of its drivers; I glare at shop assistants and make sarcastic comments I know they can’t understand. Some days I’m not a good person. But I never go so far as to claim I want to leave.

While I realise my situation differs dramatically from most Pakistanis, it does not, so much, from George’s. Even after reading his farewell, parts 1 and 2, I couldn’t understand what it was George expected from a nation — any nation. Complete security? Zero poverty? Political maturity? Constant affirmation of personal importance? Change countries if you need to, I used to regularly, but realise you do it for personal reasons and not because the country has failed you.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2011.

Reader Comments (216)

  • Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,IBA Karachi
    Mar 14, 2011 - 11:30PM

    Well in this country everyone would leave if they had a choice except the Army, Intelligence, the clergy and the politicians. All of these have a vested interest. If someone really wants to change this country then throw all of these out and Pakistan would be a developing nation in no time! And George will come back!Recommend

  • Salman Arshad
    Mar 14, 2011 - 11:56PM

    If you do not do anything FOR the betterment of Pakistan, apart from your personal chores, and accept everything Pakistani, you will likely live a good life in Pakistan.
    The moment you announce to do some good, you will be threatened of the worst consequences.
    And the moment you actually take a step, you will be left alone without help to face the consequences.
    This is Pakistan’s Survival Guide.Recommend

  • Raza
    Mar 14, 2011 - 11:59PM

    I totally agree. I was born in London, and lived there for 30 years. The quality of life in Pakistan, is far higher than in the UK.

    People live in better houses, eat much more, are surrounded by their loved ones (rather than being sent to old peoples homes), and are happier.

    The only people who leave Pakistan are those totally improvished. When they have earnt enough abroad, most come back. Anyone earning a decent living here, wouldn’t even dream of living as a second class citizen anywhere else…..Recommend

  • Athar Quraishi
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:05AM

    @ Ms.Malik: Thank you for your viewpoint. And they are valid, as indeed all individual experiences are. By that same token, Mr.Fulton’s experience are not to be diminished either.


    Mr.Fulton, achieved in Pakistan, what most expatriates / immigrants would find difficult and wrenching anywhere in the world. I am an immigrant and now a Canadian citizen. It wasn’t easy either. The question arises, upon reading your column, ‘why do people severe their familial bonds from the family, community, city and country to live elsewhere’? There are so many compelling reasons; education, a decent paying job, career, providing for one’s spouse and children and hopefully even the sense of loyalty and patriotism, of respect and duty towards the country and society that has made space at the table for you.


    Mr.Fulton, did all that. In his responses, he did not ever denigrated Pakistan. I heard him recently over the National Public Radio / NPR from the USA, and he spoke well for Pakistan. His concern was and remains, that Pakistan’s elite has vacated the perch of leadership that was due to the man on the street. That the radicalization of Pakistan, has continued unabated and intensified. He is not saying that Pakistan is a basket case. What he is saying, is that Pakistanis are not fessing up and not making their errant leaders accountable for the mismanagement and the dangerous political and strategic baggage of the past. That the people who should step up, (that is, as you so beautifully put it, those who are ‘part of Pakistan’s least vulnerable social class … untouched by a majority of Pakistan’s social problems’), have surrendered to Pakistan’s worst establishments, viz. the vested army and landed aristocracy. This they have done in interest of, or in return for a misguided sense of belief, that not much is going to come about from taking up cudgels against the barrack officers and their bouncers.

    That he has addressed our visceral hatred of the Indians, is that a crime? We know this to be a fact. We know that we are being drained of scarce funds (please note, this is not federal tax funds … because the level of tax accountability in Pakistan is a joke) in making the fourth largest nuclear stockpile in the world. All while the basic amenities for health and education go unaddressed.

    Whose is the larger crime? Mr.Fulton’s or the Federal Government of Pakistan’s? Ms.Malik, you would have done the Pakistani people a greater service by telling it like it is. That you have chosen to persevere in rather than severe from Pakistan, speaks volume of your character. It is commendable. But let us also accept, that a patriot who tells the truth is preferable than the patrician who keeps quiet.

    To the best of our knowledge, Mr.Fulton did not live on handouts from the state and its agencies. He did not discriminate on the basis of religion, colour, or creed. Nor did he seek, command or demand any deference based on his being a ‘Gora’ (a grossly anachronistic term, outdated and invalid, if it ever was. In the same category as the word ‘firang’, which is also a pejorative. But I digress. Or maybe it is pertinent, because it speaks volumes of the Pakistani psyche.)

    I am not here to advocate Mr.Fulton’s ‘lack of guilt’. But I believe, that there is an unfortunate pattern in your writing. Perhaps you should have been more circumspect. Because, living in Pakistan who well know, how easily swayed are the masses and how many casual, non-deliberating readers will user your column to go on to award a thousand and one dunce caps on Mr.Fulton’s proverbial head. And their sorry, pathetic alibi, will be, ‘Look, I told you so. That gora Fulton was dead wrong. And here is the certificate, from someone who has walked that bridge from the West to the East.’

    It will turn you into a saint of the week with possibly hundreds of comments and maybe you will be called by some private TV channels for interviews, but Pakistan only likes martyrs from its own populace. All other illusions notwithstanding, anyone else, is just a collateral damage. And so it is with Mr.Fulton. Who despite his honest appraisal, will sadly receive brickbats. Your column, was the first stone. Recommend

  • Tanveer Khadim
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:11AM

    Thanks Caitlin Malik for a superb article. Recommend

  • binwakeel
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:13AM

    Bravo Catlin! Atlast a voice of reason. As a Pakistani I am proud of you.Recommend

  • Raza
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:25AM

    @Salman Arshad:

    Imran Khan has done plenty of good for Pakistan. What has he been threatened with?Recommend

  • Abdul-Mughis Rana
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:31AM

    Pakistan is our homeland may ALLAH SWT takes care of our dearest PAKISTAN and allows us all to take care of this wonderful country, Aameen!Recommend

  • Hamood
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:31AM

    Also Caitlin, this is a stupid question but I am going to ask anyway. Who are you rooting for in the final pool match Australia vs Pakistan at the World Cup on the 19th:)?Recommend

  • MS
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:54AM

    Thank you and love you for writting this article. I was soo angry to read George farewell article..the guy had the audacity to write part 2!!!

    What has George done for Pakistan?!? Did he build schools or hospitals?(Like Greg Morten) Did he run some NGO which provided poor woman a respectable source of income? WHAT WHAT WHAT did George do to expect anything from this country? How dare he writes an article against my country. Yes there are million problems in Pakistan but what are we doing to fix them? What did George do to fix anything in Pakistan? Yes one man can make a lot of difference..look at Edhi, Imran Khan and many more. George could have done a lot for Pakistan because naive people of Pakistan accepted him with open hearts..they gave him love, fame and daughter. And he still turned his back away?

    I have lived abroad for 6 years and yes I miss lot of stuff..simple stuff like walking on the road without being harrassed or enjoying a cup of tea in a cafe without stares but I love my country. I will never ever ditch my country for a safer better life abroad because I am a Muslim…a muslim who beleives that death is written and will come no matter where I run.

    George get lost and we don’t want to hear from your again or from any Pakistan who has left this country. Don’t give me rubbish about corruption or tough times becase I live it everyday..as a female business woman I fight corruption and sick men everyday!

    Jinnah was an unfortunate man because he created this nation for losers. Look at Korea and Singapore, these countries have developed after devastating wars. They have developed bc their nationals never said that the country can not be fixed.

    Long live PakistanRecommend

  • Blithe
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:19AM

    creating functioning and independent civil institutions, and a populace that knows how to use them, is the longest and hardest part of creating a nation.

    Indeed, that is the key. Pakistanis have the intellectual capacity to understand — and we did get plenty of lectures on it during the lawyers’ movement.

    But the PPP still does not seem to get it!
    Supreme Court decisions cannot be left unenforced!

    But as for George, I don’t know what he wanted! He went on and on about India in his “farewell speech” but he did not even have the moral courgae to talk about Kahsmir.
    Good riddance to bad rubbish’ Recommend

  • Mar 15, 2011 - 1:32AM

    Some unpretentious honesty from the English speaking elite at last. hear hear. and have a great life in Pakistan…like any relationship quitting is easy , its staying and making things work which is tough and the measure of ones love and patience!Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:34AM


    In the spirit of what you write — which I enjoyed very much — I hope you will read/purchase the book “Pakistan: Beyond the Crisis State” when it comes out this month in Pakistan (OUP) and then in the US, the UK, Canada and India in subsequent months. I am a humble contributor to only one chapter but it has such luminaries as Ayesha Jalal, Akbar S Ahmed, Munir Akram, Maleeha Lodhi, Ahmed Rashid and many other serious-minded and thoughtful Pakistani’s.

    I trust you will enjoy reading the various contributions. Recommend

  • John
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:34AM

    When one lives a life that does not reflect everyday Pakistan people and money is of no objection, of course, nothing can move the people.

    I wonder if the author has sent a post card or box of chocolate to “Blasphemer” Bibi in prison, or inspired the nation to remember her on International Womens’ Day with her pen rather than thinking about George Fulton.

    We all live or leave for personal reasons. George’s was his corroding personal value and he could not stand anymore to see the apathy of his fellow countrymen who remain indifferent to the poor and voiceless.

    No nation is immune from the social evils. But when people remain in nation and do nothing they are part of the evilness.

    What are the author’s reason to stay? Personal reasons:the world understand; Comfortable life, and Luxury as compared to Down Under or in London: despicable.

    When a 10 year old girl was exhumed from Muslim cemetery in Rawalpindi after more than one year because she was born in different faith, and if people are not moved by this inhuman act, and if such act is protected by the law of the land, then the conscience makes one to question the reason for staying or leaving the land they love.

    George F. articulated it well. I do not know him but thousands of Pakistan people loved him, if the comments and follow up articles on his letter are any indication.

    Can the author give her side of the reasoning besides what she tries here?Recommend

  • Raja
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:48AM

    There are serious fallacies in this author’s logic(??).

    To be fair, at the beginning of the article, she admits she could be wrong.

    From 1960-2011 the news items may sound similar. But definitely the country has gone down, much weakened in terms of (1) economy (2) diplomatic stature (3) internal sectarian, ethnic cohesion and (4) security.

    Besides, another common fallacy is to claim Pakistan has “survived” all this. The truth is it has been kept alive by enormous quantities of money pumped in by the USA. Without it, Pakistan would have collapsed ages ago. And now…the non-sustainable is becoming increasingly even more non-sustainable.

    George does not have delusions.Recommend

  • Hassan
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:53AM

    One big difference between 1960 and today is that back then you did not have hoards of folks trying to get foreign citizenships while still living in Pakistan – think Canada. These people, in my humble opinion, at the first sign of serious trouble may hit the panic button and flee to their newly adopted country. Why else would anyone carry such a citizenship. Boggles my mind that the folks who appear to be vocally the most patriotic Pakistani’s tend to be the ones sitting in Pakistan carrying just such dual citizenships.

    Like a good Egyptian friend of mine recently said Egypt will truely start showing promise the day Egyptians living abroad start returning home and the ones sitting in Egypt stop aspiring to live abroad. Just my two cents.Recommend

  • Ghulam Mustafa Chaniho
    Mar 15, 2011 - 2:36AM

    Ms. Malik, but then george might not’ve been living as privileged a life as you’re living, but nevertheless i agree with ur statement that one leaves a country more because of a personal choice than any other reason.
    @salman arshad, isn’t that true for all societies?Recommend

  • pl/sql
    Mar 15, 2011 - 2:47AM


    George Fulton if I understand him correctly expected people to come out of DENIAL!!!
    Denial that their country is worsening because of their inaction.

    What a let-me-get-some-free-brownie-points article!Recommend

  • Dr. Abdul Waheed Khan
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:28AM

    If I were to describe this article in one word, it would be this: splendid.Recommend

  • An Indian
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:31AM

    @ Raza – that’s where you’re wrong. I have plenty of Pakistani friends in both the US and UK. They are all dear to me as they are Punjabi & Urdu speakers and much closer from a conversational standpoint than other Indians abroad. They envy the fact that I may someday return to India. The educated Pakistanis abroad that are not part of the elite ruling class have 0 desire to go back to Pakistan. The envy that many upper middle class, well-educated Indians go back, start companies, and have a normal life.

    Pakistan and India are both terrible places to be poor and downtrodden. However, Pakistan is not a good place to be an educated, open-minded middle class person. That’s why my Pakistani friends love going back to see family and attending weddings. We all love our culture and want our children to learn it no matter how far we are from home and I admire my Pakistani friends’ desire to do that but I feel for them that their homeland is so violent and so unwelcoming to their entrepreneurship and open mindedness. They don’t want to live in fear every day.

    Just a note of comedy is that the principal of the Scarsdale International School where Caitlin teaches is: Ms Lualdi Blacklaws. If you can’t find comedy in that in this time of trauma, then you can’t laugh. Recommend

  • spb
    Mar 15, 2011 - 6:00AM

    Lady, if you have any sense, you should catch the next flight out of Pakistan. George was acting wise when he decided to leave Pakistan for good. You seem to have absolutely no idea of what is happening in Pakistan with regard to Islamic extremism and discrimination against non-muslims. Run, run.. while you still have a chance.Recommend

  • Arindom
    Mar 15, 2011 - 6:07AM

    what were you doing in UK for 30 years? Or, did it take 30 years for you to realise this?Recommend

  • Uzair Khan
    Mar 15, 2011 - 6:08AM

    I respectfully disagree with you Mr.Salman Arshad.

    Firstly, doing your job and earning your income (as the writer suggested) in itself is a great service to Pakistan. Just the fact that people get up, go to work, and support a family contributed to the GDP and hence the economy of the country.

    Secondly, I do not believe people are targeted exclusively for doing good. I know scores of people who volunteer in hospitals, schools and any other organizations. Others donate regularly to charitable organizations. Some simply help someone whose car has broken down.

    Some good people get into trouble for doing good because there are usually broader political agendas at stake. But this is limited to a few people and a few situations and again this exists the world over.

    @Caitlin Malik : Thank you for helping us look at the bigger picture! Recommend

  • Mar 15, 2011 - 6:10AM

    Your last paragraph is the strongest one, specially the last sentence.Recommend

  • worldsuperpowerPakistan
    Mar 15, 2011 - 7:09AM

    Inshallah one day Pakistan became super power and PAKISTAN is the best country in the world for me.if u go outside from pakistan then you realized what is pakistan……………….I love my country ………………Recommend

  • Mar 15, 2011 - 7:16AM

    Why do I have a slight feeling the purpose of this article is only to retort George’s Khuda hafiz?

    I shouldn’t though, this has enough reasons to stand on it’s own. I agree with your article; it is indeed a personal choice to stay or not to stay here. Anybody living in Pakistan knows how it is to live here sooner or later. I am not in Pakistan and it is not Pakistan that drove me out, it was my own choice to do so. Being lucky enough to born in a richer social class meant I was guaranteed more privacy and freedom that many people couldn’t afford. Even though things have taken a turn for the worse, this shouldn’t be surprising, and personal choices need to be differentiated from facts.Recommend

  • Tippu
    Mar 15, 2011 - 7:40AM

    Good on ya Caitlin!!. Took an aussie to see through the fog of lies and discontent.
    You are a champ and doin all us aussies proud.
    There is truth in what you say. And eventually, everyone will grow up and see the truth. Hang in there and God bless! Recommend

  • Faraz Jehangir
    Mar 15, 2011 - 8:03AM

    Thank you for telling it like it is.

    Like any other country, Pakistan has its positives and negatives. Maybe under the current circumstances the negatives are more visible.

    As a Pakistani, even I, sometimes feel like running away but when I weigh other options Pakistan still seems like a better deal… despite all its problems. The only reason why I always end up favoring Pakistan is because for me Pakistan is home and you don’t abandon your home no matter what.

    For Gorge Pakistan was not home it was an adventure and he enjoyed it while everything was good.Recommend

  • mwk
    Mar 15, 2011 - 8:21AM

    finally. someone who accepts they have it good, and that there is hard, awful work to be done, work that we need to doRecommend

  • Nighat+Khan
    Mar 15, 2011 - 8:22AM

    Could not agree more with you Caitlin! Happiness has nothing to do with a place or a country, its what you feel inside! God bless my home land love it what ever it is!Recommend

  • Mar 15, 2011 - 8:30AM

    This is exactly what I felt when I looked at George Fulton’s farewell article. I thought,

    Dear George,

    Regardless of Pakistan’s numerous problems which are in the press everyday day, you have been treated like a superstar by the citizens, establishment and media of this controvertibly ‘failed’ nation. If you want to leave, that is a very valid choice – perhaps you miss your homeland, friends and family, perhaps you don’t like the place anymore and would like to move to Bhutan, but what’s with this plaintive pose of a bulbul in exile. It’s the poor people who suffer the most and that suffering has a long history. And you never lived in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan anyway – it was just a fantasy, a ‘George ka Pakistan’.


  • Truthseeker
    Mar 15, 2011 - 8:37AM

    It is the joke of the century that life in Pakistan is better than in England.The kind of happiness enjoyed by the Pakistanis, is unique and nobody( including Pakistanis) is seeking this kind of exuberance.
    Impoverished people from Pakistan go to Middle East, and when they are booted out, come back to Pakistan.The percentage of Pakistanis residing in the Western Countries, and coming back to Pakistan is miniscule.
    As proposed,Ms. Malik should write a book titled ‘ US government surviver’s guide for Pakistan’ and get it vetted by Taliban. It will become an instant best seller in USA.
    But before writing this book she should visit the victims of terrorist activities in Pakistan to gain first hand knowledge.
    Pakistan did not fail George,it was Pakistani society which forced George to leave Pakistan, and ironically it was the same society which had previously pulled him in.
    The Pakistanis are leaving Pakistan for better opportunities outside Pakistan.The day Pakistan will be able to provide opportunities to its young, the exodus will slow down, but at present it is not in the cards, so more and more Georges will say good bye to Pakistan.Today Ms.Malik is adamant to stay, but tomorrow is another domain.Recommend

  • ali
    Mar 15, 2011 - 8:38AM

    I’m not saying Pakistan is collapsing/going into civil war/destruction BUT that it will be stuck in this same situation forever which is even worse than the scenarios above. We’re stuck in a rut and there is no tolerance.

    There are many other countries which also have the qualities described above but are still not such terribly depressing and life-sucking places to live.

    That said I wont leave because this is my ancestral land but if I were george I would leaveRecommend

  • Akhtar Rao
    Mar 15, 2011 - 8:42AM

    Pakistan is a blessing state for those really want to enjoy freedom.These are state elites have made it worse for the common people.Now things are not accessible; energy, food, water, transport, there are many examples.Some authors have no experience to live in the Pakistani rural areas where man-donkey drink water from the same stream so they think, Pakistan is not in trouble.
    To be positive is a good thing,but have ignorance is curse.Recommend

  • Samar farooqui
    Mar 15, 2011 - 9:12AM

    It appeared more a critique of george’s decision to leave paksitan than anything else. Like she herself said, she has no credentials for anyone to take her word seriously! Recommend

  • Mar 15, 2011 - 9:28AM

    bravo to d spirit…………….Recommend

  • Salmaan
    Mar 15, 2011 - 9:51AM

    I agree with Raza more than 100%……I think we need to realize that our nation is not more than 70 years old and if we talk about developed countries…..they took more than 200 years to reach at the stage where they are now…………it is a evolutionary process and it will take its time…..People who want to leave my country should leave quietly…..why they are making announcement…..just to get cheap publicity…………..In last ten years, I witnessed that people are more open then ever before in Pakistan and media should show some responsibility not to encourage those people who despite given the Pakistani citizenship behaving like an alien.Recommend

  • Jupiter
    Mar 15, 2011 - 9:53AM

    I m thinking of moving back to Pakistan.Recommend

  • Nazish
    Mar 15, 2011 - 10:06AM

    I commend you for your outstanding point of view and I agree whole heartedly what you said. I spent my entire life living overseas and I though I fit in well everywhere, it wasn’t until I made it to Pakistan, where my parents and my roots originate from, that I felt that sense of belonging that completes me as a human being.

    Every square inch of this planet has ups and downs, and Pakistan is trillions of square inches of the very same. I also agree that we have it much better than the masses, and I am thankful everyday for the fact that I was lucky enough to be born in to a family of education and opportunity.

    If we want to see social reform and improvement in society, I suggest that we all start from those that we interact with everyday. We should all take the initiative to help those that we can, maybe one day it will be all the difference that we need to bring about the change we crave.

    George is leaving, and I can say nothing about that because he is a foreigner and he wants to go. I am from Pakistan and I left. But I would go back in a heartbeat, because thats where I will always belong. Pakistan, with all its fails and setbacks, is a nation in its infancy, and its struggles are part and parcel of growth. No single nation starts off without struggles. The Pros will always out-weigh the Cons.

    But thats just me.Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Mar 15, 2011 - 10:16AM

    Here is a statement from George’ article I -:

    ‘This was not a difficult decision to make. In fact, I didn’t make the decision. It was made for me. You do not chart your own destiny in Pakistan; Pakistan charts it for you’

    Madam, be ready with your packages !Recommend

  • Rana Asghar
    Mar 15, 2011 - 10:23AM

    With all the weaknessess I would prefer to live & die in Pakistan. Yes to keep my sanity, I must go abroad at least once but love Pakistan. Wish we had better leaders & we would be much more progressive than South Korea, Tiawan, Malaysia, etc but ZAB got us involved in fighting with India & instead of economic progress the focus shifted to security. Till 65, we were going places. I call ZAB villian whereas Ayub Khan was my hero.Recommend

  • Sana
    Mar 15, 2011 - 10:26AM

    Ms Malik! Its really wonderful to read your positive article. You are better than most Pakistanis who put the burden of their lack of patriotism on the problems Pakistan is confronting today. In fact Pakistan is a wonderful piece of land but we Pakistanis are thankless people. Alas.Recommend

  • Imam Raza
    Mar 15, 2011 - 10:51AM

    Rats are the first one who leave the sinking ship. So its better for us that rats like George leave this country. This will make our ship light to not sink.Recommend

  • Mansoor Rehman
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:01AM

    A fresh perspective on a dreary scenario definitely helps one pass a pleasant couple of hours but last I checked, reality never takes a break…Recommend

  • Ahmed Ayub
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:08AM

    I disagree with Raza. most people dont come back. In fact they do not want to come back, unless they are really concerned about their growing children’s future on religious grounds. No one comes back for the bigger houses or loved ones.Recommend

  • Mar 15, 2011 - 11:19AM

    I am at a high risk of being taken out
    by a terrorist and/or political

    I don’t agree with you. You are safe here, educated/ Urban women esp foreign national women in Pakistan are less subjected to political/ religious violence compared to a foreign national male journalist. Recommend

  • Shahzeb
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:34AM

    I am sure this is some Indian trying to look down upon for no good reason… I have one thing to say to all such people: Get a life!! Now do not try to come up with another post claiming that you are Pakistani because you are not!!Recommend

  • Azaadi
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:42AM

    Thank you for being bold enough to think for yourself and critique George’s over the top self righteous farewells. When you love a country, you love it for all it’s ups and downs. We are 180 million strong, a few leaving does not make a difference. But please spare us the typical lectures and analysis.

    For the Indians who have commented. Do you want to keep spreading hate or do you want peace?????

    For George: Under Pakistani law the foreign husband of a Pakistani woman CANNOT get Pakistani citizenship/passport. They can only get a Pakistan origin card, because our beardos are afraid that then allforeigners will want to marry Pakistani women and take Pakistani passports………hilarious but true. This was a debate in the Parliament one year under PMship of the PM who gave you the Pakistani passport.

    So the fact that you are the only foreign husband to have gotten a passport is a big deal and a very big safarish. Why give nationality to a man who turns around and slaps us in the face, when hundreds of other Pakistani women are not getting it for their foreign husbands.

    This is another example of how an unfair law can cause problems. One law for all, no exceptions. All of us Pakistani women demand equal treatment. No favours.

    I am open to positive critiques, but if my foreign husband would have written these articles I would have had serious issues and reconsidered the respect we have for each other’s nations.Recommend

  • maera
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:45AM

    i love the spirit in the article.. its great to know that people still have have hope left (especially after reading comments above).. as for George.. well i think he was delusional and left for good.Recommend

  • maynotmatter
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:56AM


    I would be so glad if you reply this. Where in Pakistan do you live? Don’t need your complete address, just the area. For a well to do social elite who has everything is pretty easy to play blind patriotism. And what can be easy to gain popularity by appeasing the low life’s who live like head in the ground ostrich. While I appreciate the positiveness in your attitude and true patriotic spirit, but I do appreciate George’s article more since he dare say more about our weaknesses. Since most people don’t like criticism they will love your article. And for all those delusional lots here, Pakistan can indeed be super power, do we have what it takes to make it super power ? Super power doesn’t only mean elevated level of nuclear stockpile, it also means elevated level of social harmony, economic progress and discipline which will constantly keep us reminded not to go astray and loose it all. I love our culture, our people , our food, no matter where I live, but are we doing good ? a big No. We have to start to accept the mess we create and start cleaning it up , or live in denial until we perish. As for Caitlin here, like George someday she will too write a hearty goodbye.

    God bless my people.Recommend

  • Sachal
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:02PM

    Tragic to see such a farewell to George. What an unnecessary personal attack on a person who genuinely tried to better this nation. If only we had the courage to stomach criticism without throwing up such ad hominem sledges.Recommend

  • Naeem Siddiqui
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:06PM


    Your article is a fresh breeze in the suffocation created by our pessimist intellectuals.

    I am 100% sure George is leaving Pakistan for his personal reasons and not for what he is trying to pretend. I wish best to George for his future but he did disappoint and some how hurt lots of people in Pakistan. You are right he got Pakistani citizenship for no reason and this is how he is paying back for all those respect he got since last 9 years.

    I feel pity for George; essentially he failed himself.Recommend

  • rofl
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:08PM

    You are not leaving Pakistan because you are married to a Pakistani hence you are a Pakistani citizen.The question is , do you have another option?Recommend

  • Mar 15, 2011 - 12:18PM

    I, too, did not leave Pakistan (although most of my class fellows in engineering university left soon after graduation in 1966). I, too, used to think that Pakistan is a heaven on earth until March 10, when the ruling party (PPP) asked its followers to observe a strike the next day. That night, the party’s activists indulged in indiscriminate firing and burning of property. Where in the world does a party ruling the country observe a strike when the judiciary rules against it? That night, I wondered why my parents had come to Pakistan in 1947. I think Uganda would have been a better choice.Recommend

  • Atif
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:20PM

    Hats off 5/5

    This is a media propoganda war as u rightly said there are problems but every country in the world has. Remember how the USA waged propoganda war against USSR in cold war?

    Same is happening here but on a larger scale and with MORE countries involved due to their vested interests. How many people know that more people die in roadside accidents than all the terrorist strikes taken together in Pakistan? Probably not many

    And the media does not show this side of the picture as it does not make great news. Calamity and fear sells so thats what the media sale.

    But u are certainly not the only one to believe in pakistan but perhaps One of the few from this MAJORITY group to have a voice that is heared.

    the overall history of Pakistan suggests an ability to survive the difficulties of nation building and a slow and steady improvement of these problems. THUMPS UP AGAINRecommend

  • ArifQ
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:35PM

    Dear Mrs. Malik, Very well said, we should applaud your positive spirit and try to learn from this “tolerant” attitude. If Iam not wrong, it was the absence of this tolerant spirit which drove George Fulton to write his Shikwa nama. Another issue that I would like to address is your belief that nothing has really changed. For starters, name of the country was changed from Republic of Pakistan to Islamic Republic of Pakistan thereby disenfranchising their minorities who voted in favor of Pakistan. Then we lost half of the country in 1971, Bengal decided they had enough and chose independence, this was not a civil separation, truth betold Bengali writers accuse West Pakistani Army and beuracracy for genocide. Now such charges have never been discussed or reported in our press or judiciary, taboo subject. Bombing of Balochistan has been another favorite past time of our rulers, carrying out extra judicial murders, patronizing murderes/extornionists in the name of religion are just a few of our finer qualities.

    We have a privelaged class in Pakistan who rarely interacts with rest of the 179.9million people, they have no idea of its problems but yet feel qualified enough to have an opinion. I like your spirit, keep it up. Recommend

  • Adeel Ahmed
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:38PM

    What a remarkable woman… a true gem. Shame on all the Pakistanis who doubt this country and want to leave. This woman is an Australian… and is happily (albeit not always… like any of us) living in Pakistan. Please take heed and learn a lesson from this woman.

    And anyone who thinks and says people living in Pakistan do not have another option… you are completely misguided and honestly, a bigot.
    People like me, who have studied in England for 6 years, had a job offer from one of the biggest ship brokers in the world (Clarksons)… say no to all that and come back to our roots, our family, our culture, our country. There are higher motives to come and live in Pakistan. Forget me, I am a Pakistani. This woman is Australian. She obviously has another option… she could very well “force”, in one way or the other, her husband to move… but hats off to her for being so patient.

    You always have another option… Pakistan is the best one though… :)Recommend

  • Adeel Ahmed
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:41PM

    @Shakir Lakhani:
    Your forefathers came to Pakistan because they didnt want to live like peasants and servants of the Hindu majority.
    Whatever you are is because of this country… respect that. Dont cry about it… be the change. Go out and vote for your Imran Khans, and Sheikh Rasheeds, and what not. Bring the change!

    Stop questioning your country, and question yourself.Recommend

  • Asad Shairani
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:49PM

    Very nicely written!Recommend

  • spb
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:59PM

    Interesting! Not a word about Asia Bibi, Taseer or Bhatti. The author’s main purpose of this article seems to be to criticize George Fulton. What right do you have to criticize someone else’s personal decision? This sounds like an ISI propaganda article. Ms. Caitlin, to be safe never go out without a burkha and always keep a ticket ready. I am sure you will not enjoy it when the Taliban take over.Recommend

  • Amin Qureshi
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:00PM

    What nonsense. The writer is here because she loves the luxuries, the roominess of her house, the servants and drivers. But most of all, she is here BECAUSE she can leave; She has an Australian passport! The day things get too hot, she will be on a flight to Sydney.Recommend

  • MS
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:02PM

    @Sachal: ”who genuinely tried to better this nation” May I know what Mr George did for this nation?!?!? Can you please provide me the names of hospitals, schools, few hundered people whom he had tried to better?!?! I am going to check every single name/address and report on this forum.

    Come out of the Gora chamrei complex! He did nothing for us except for writing an insulting article which will soon be published by international newspaper. If he had an inch of shame, he would have left QUIETLY! He had noo right to insult my country! We live in this country and we know whats wrong! We know it more than he does because we go out and live it everyday. But SHAME on people like you Sachal who have praised George for insulting Pakistan. Shame on you guys for supporting someone who did nothing for this country. Its people like you and George who have messed this country more than the corrupt people..because you guys don’t do anything except for complain or RUN. Recommend

  • Asif
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:10PM

    Agreed with u Ms. Malik!Recommend

  • MS
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:12PM

    @sbp: May allah bring upon you all the ill wishes you send to others. I am sure I will witness your end and misery before I witness Taliban in Lahore.

    If you are an Indian..well wait before the Maoist rebel wreck your country. I beleive in Karma and accept that Pakistan was wrong by supporting Talibans in 80s. Pakistan is paying a price and trust me SBP..you will pay a price too in few years. You have Maoist rebel inside and chinese outside. May allah give you a painless death.

    If you are a shameless Pakistan..well double shame on you.Recommend

  • MS
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:17PM

    @sbp; The author did not mention Taseer or others as this article was an answer to George article. If you are soo interested in reading about Taseer..well go watch Taseer’s daughter interview 2 days back. She still loves this country and not running away like George. Taseer’s daughter interview is a slap for people like you!! Go watch and be slapped!!Recommend

  • Malik
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:18PM

    Pakistan is suffering from extreme imbalance of society, which is the result of continuous instability over 60 years ….. and still nothing is happening for good…. world is getting frustrated…. we just dont know how to get along with world caz we are forced to led by those who need phsco tests, either it was Musharraf or its going be Nawaz …. they all belong to one category and tht is power and to be powerful Recommend

  • observer
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:21PM

    @Ms Malik

    You are from the ‘least vulnerable strata of society’,
    You are ‘untouched by Pakistan’s most fundamental problems’
    You do not go anywhere near ‘Police or Military’ structures
    You do not participate in any ‘processions’
    You do not go to ‘mosques’

    In short you live in a coccoon which presently happens to occupy Pakistani space.

    and still have the gumption to declare all is well?

    Write an article like George did on the realities of Pakistan and then come back and sing all is well.

    And what George expected from any nation was that an article will be rebutted with an article and not with threats of death , at least not from the agencies funded by taxpayers for their security.Recommend

  • MS
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:33PM

    @maynotmatter: ”but I do appreciate George’s article more since he dare say more about our weaknesses. Since most people don’t like criticism they will love your article”

    You appreciate George because he pointed out our weakness?! Who doesnt know the weakness and problems with Pakistan? Its easy to point fingers and criticize others..this is what losers do..they just criticize. Whats wrong with you maynotmatter? It not normal to appreciate people who criticize your family/nation. I would have appreciated George more if he had pointed fingers and later provided SOLUTIONS. I would have appreciated him more if he had criticized and provided us with efforts he has done to fix this nation!!

    Imran khan saw a problem in Pakistan..he saw how there are no cancer hospitals for elite or poor. Imran unlike George did not run away to a developed country or write a two part article in tribune against Pakistan. He fixed the problem!!! Imran built a cancer hospital for the poor!! That whats need to be appreciated and not losers/quitters like George! We need to appreciate people who are sticking in this country and trying to FIX IT. I love to read articles about Pakistanis who are making a difference in this country or for that matter non pakistanis also. I loved reading ‘THREE CUPS OF TEA’ because Greg morten did not just criticize the corruption in Pakistan but faced it and built us schools in areas with NO ROADS.

    So for your own sake, please read and appreciate people who are positive for the nation. This small act of learning to appreciate good people will help you and Pakistan. Recommend

  • MS
    Mar 15, 2011 - 2:08PM

    @Sachal:”personal attack on a person who genuinely tried to better this nation. If only we had the courage to stomach criticism without throwing up such ad hominem sledges”

    Tried to better this nation??!?! May I know the social projects he had undertaken to better this nation? Names of hospitals, schools or NGO he was running to better this nation?!? Or any documents to support that he gave millions in charity from the money had earned from TV appearances?

    Sachal, Mr George did nothing for this nation except for writing an insulting article. Its people like you who have messed up this nation by praising useless people like George. George only lived for himself like the corrupt politicians we have elected..he earned millions from his tv program..for no reason he earned the nationality also.

    ”Courage to stomach criticism”!! Sachal its so easy to criticize than do constructive work! just like it was easy for George to write an insulting article about Pakistan problems than FIX them. Its easy to point fingers than make an effort to fix. Let me give you an example: Imran khan saw a problem(well he saw many and started of by fixing one) that there are no cancer hospitals in Pakistan for poor or elite. So rather than writing a article in tribune about reaons he has to runaway with his british wife..Imran khan choose to fight and fix. Imran khan went on to built a world class cancer hospital. He has done ti again by building a university. So Sachal this is what people from good families do, they respect their country/nation and dont run away.

    Please come out of your complexes and atleast learn to appreciate the good ones. Learn to appreciate people who deserve respect. Learn to appreciate people you have done something for your country and no George who did nothing. Please wake upRecommend

  • Ali
    Mar 15, 2011 - 2:13PM

    I think the ‘recommend’ numbers clearly show the overwhelming support for your article. I agree, its always easier to run away from the fight and blame it on the systems and bad things. Its much tougher to stay afoot and try to change things. Bravo Imran Khan!Recommend

  • Qamar Farooqi
    Mar 15, 2011 - 2:13PM

    Please be careful, you may be a missing person after these types of comments.Recommend

  • k
    Mar 15, 2011 - 2:16PM

    Thank you for writing this article – I was so angry after reading George’s article and was really hoping for a rebuttal. Your article comes as a refreshing change following the endless Pakistan bashing. Seriously, thank you :)Recommend

  • amoghavarsha.ii
    Mar 15, 2011 - 2:30PM

    we leave one locality of a city to a differnt locality of a city for the sake of our wellbeing and wellbeing of our loved ones/Recommend

  • amin qureshi
    Mar 15, 2011 - 2:33PM

    I think George has made some really good points, but sadly, as he says, the liberal elite (which is nothing but elitist) is in denial, and would rather not hear.

    As for this writer, I think she is can leave, therefore she does not mind being here. I’d like to see her give up her Australian passport, to confirm her committment to this country.Recommend

    Mar 15, 2011 - 2:35PM

    Well i respect Caitlin thoughts. I hope people like her are the future of Pakistan.

    But, still i will say i dont completely disagree with George Fulton.

    He is a great chap. he has written some beautiful articles in last few years. I love him.

    People like George are cent percent right when they say common Pakistan has to come out of its grave problems like extremism and political instability.

    But, doesnt mean that leaving this country is the only way to end your problems.

    American establishment is madly trying to secure ‘its home land’. Britain is shutting its door for non-europeans. Australia and Canada are stricting their immigration. Now, which country do a Pakistani look for passport?

    Eventually, like India, many Pakistanis return back, which is not bad. These expatriates bring education and experience with them that Pakistan badly needed. You are all welcome back home.

    Go out Pakistanis enjoy your life, stay in whichever country you want, but never lose your sight and hope from this country. Dont be so pessimistic. Recommend

  • parvez
    Mar 15, 2011 - 2:45PM

    Your article seems to say ‘ I’m all right, so things could not that bad. ‘ that’s a state of denial.
    It would have been nice if you had said things are bad and we need to get together and put it right. Its when the middle class and above raise their voices that change will come.Recommend

  • rai hammad
    Mar 15, 2011 - 2:53PM

    i only can say one thing about this article…….. very trueRecommend

  • Rana Asghar
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:02PM

    Don’t be too harsh on poor George! Probably economic reasons, finding a suitable job, etc might be the real problem. Over all I liked George!Recommend

  • Salman
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:03PM

    Problem with Pakistan is that people who are educated and well aware …..they dive into depths of hopelessness and leave…….

    I never saw a so-called non-educated saying that he would leave ………. This disease is common only in cities where people are educated…….it made them selfish …… Recommend

  • Adnan
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:05PM

    Brilliant article… awaiting part 2Recommend

  • Mar 15, 2011 - 3:06PM

    I love the positivity in your article. While opening the page I was wondering it would be a replica of Un-happy Gora Sahab !Recommend

  • Asra
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:08PM

    The reactions to this article are so typical of the Pakistani blinkered mindset. Bury your head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge reality. While George was waxing lyrical about our country and its wonderful people, we loved him to bits, but as soon as he started speaking some home truths about the disastrous course our country is taking, we start telling him to bugger off.

    We have the same attitude towards fellow Pakistanis. If anyone says this place is so vile they can no longer stand to be here, they’re accused of being unpatriotic. The truth is, one can be patriotic (which is a purely emotional state of being) and yet have no desire to remain in Pakistan. The incident that’s been cited above about a 10-year-old’s body being exhumed from a Muslim graveyard after a year because she didn’t belong to the same faith is, in a nutshell, what we as a nation have come to.

    Caitlin Malik is welcome to continue living her comfortable life here. But she’s living in denial if she thinks that Pakistan hasn’t changed over the last two decades or so. The public lynchings, the takeover of public discourse by religious groups, the calls to vigilante justice, the paralysis of the government in the face of the naked terrorism masquerading as religion – this is not the Pakistan I grew up in. It breaks my heart to say this but I don’t believe Pakistan is on the edge of the abyss. It is well and truly engulfed in its embrace. Recommend

  • Asra
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:10PM

    The reactions to this article are so typical of the Pakistani blinkered mindset. Bury your head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge reality. While George was waxing lyrical about our country and its wonderful people, we loved him to bits, but as soon as he started speaking some home truths about the disastrous course our country is taking, we start telling him to bugger off.
    We have the same attitude towards fellow Pakistanis. If anyone says this place is so vile they can no longer stand to be here, they’re accused of being unpatriotic. The truth is, one can be patriotic (which is a purely emotional state of being) and yet have no desire to remain in Pakistan. The incident that’s been cited above about a 10-year-old’s body being exhumed from a Muslim graveyard after a year because she didn’t belong to the same faith is, in a nutshell, what we as a nation have come to.
    Caitlin Malik is welcome to continue living her comfortable life here. But she’s living in denial if she thinks that Pakistan hasn’t changed over the last two decades or so. The public lynchings, the takeover of public discourse by religious groups, the calls to vigilante justice, the paralysis of the government in the face of the naked terrorism masquerading as religion – this is not the Pakistan I grew up in. It breaks my heart to say this but I don’t believe Pakistan is on the edge of the abyss. It is well and truly engulfed in its embrace. Recommend

  • MS
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:15PM

    @amin qureshi: We dont want GOOD POINTS..we want GOOD ACTONS! This country is in a mess because we only criticise or make good points about various issues.

    Lets stand up and do some GOOD ACTIONS or atleast praise people who do GOOD ACTIONS. Lets ignore people like George who just criticise and in your view make good points.

    I have a doctor cousin who is visiting Pakistan from America and she has millions of dollars to donate but cant find a sincere Pakistani to do GOOD ACTIONS. Everyone like you and George make GOOD POINTS but are not willing to sacrifice for this country.

    Well i don’t wish George bad but he should mind his words..he thinks that he will be safer in another country with his son!? Don’t forget that death is in hands of Allah… Yusuf was left for dead in a well, Maryam delivered a child alone, Yunus was swallowed by a whale, Ibrahim was thrown in the fire and they all were saved by Allah because their time was not up!

    I am a middle class business woman in Lahore…I go to Shah alam bazar, anarkali and surrounding areas every second day. I am not denying that I dont worry about the blast but the most worrying thing for me is the negativity of Pakistanis. The fact most people think that things can not improve. Nations have built themself after world war 1 and 2 and so can we.

    Keep faith in Allah but most importantly..work hard for this country. Recommend

  • taz
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:27PM

    mr george was out of a job for quite sometime, and thats the reason he left, ofcourse he wanted to make a big show out of it, for some reason. he should realise the fact , that Pakistani’s have enough goras, both inside and outside, telling them what to do and what not to do. Hence, he should have stuck to topics, such as tourism and food.Recommend

  • Mar 15, 2011 - 3:52PM

    Thankyou and welcome Caitlin — may you stay long and happy in Pakistan :)Recommend

  • Sahar
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:57PM

    You might not be ‘a journalist nor a professional analyst; neither an Ivy League nor an Oxbridge graduate’ but certainly have the knack of getting your message across! Recommend

  • Mariam
    Mar 15, 2011 - 4:01PM

    Ms. Malik love you for this article, inshAllah i pray that may Allah tallah bless this country with great people who will change it’s destiny ameen :)
    Hoping for a better tomorrow :)Recommend

  • AXE
    Mar 15, 2011 - 4:07PM

    Well written; however, points raised by George were all valid and reasonable and his decision to call it a day was wise one. However, you have a right to stay here, but as a Pakistani-who is not one of the elites and also lacks any political clout, I shall prefer to go aboard. Secondly, I do not like to read another piece from you in these pages again saying the romance is over. stay blessed and happyRecommend

  • GH
    Mar 15, 2011 - 4:21PM

    This is what makes us alive, small words of appreciation and motivation.Recommend

    Mar 15, 2011 - 4:24PM

    @ Caitlin

    Yours is a single voice among thousands that makes sense. You also have temporary moments of disappointment. It is nice that you overcome your temporary disappointment and regain a feeling of hope.

    Pakistan is a very strange country. It is a country without a “breathing nation.” It is paralyzed in the sense that its people do not have a common agenda. They have a number of conflicting views on social, economic, political, military and diplomatic issues. Their only problem is that they are not familiar with the words national consensus and their meaning. They do not react to any disappointing development collectively to put an immediate end to it. Things are complicated when we start analyzing situations through our biased perceptions and that is done by majority of print and electronic media journalists. They go to extremes without maintaining a balance. They do not mind supporting a criminal if that criminal is against a criminal who is not liked by them. That has created so much confusion that we get out of one mess just to get into another one. It is obvious when you knowingly replace a criminal with another criminal. I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

    There is not even single party head that has not been tried over and over and again and again by this poor nation. But…our media has kept them alive instead of burying them in an ocean of absolute permanent rejection..! We do not believe in new experiments, giving chance to new people, trying new techniques. Innovation is an alien word in Pakistan. We do not innovate. We do not re-engineer. Ours is a natural and human resource rich country but only for those who know how only they can individually benefit from it. That is the main problem. The day our media decides that enough is enough and stop taking undue, unjust, irrational sides everything will fall in place. You will then be able to say Pakistan is the best country in the world. AND BELIVE ME IT REALLY IS…!Recommend

  • Ruhina Hashmi
    Mar 15, 2011 - 4:29PM

    Well written. I’ve lived out of Pakistan since I was 18. Now, at 39, I am returning. Quitting the work contract, burning the boats.. I want to go back to the place I can always call ‘home’.. no matter what.
    For sure, Pakistan is not at its best right now. Yes, we have massive problems.. political, social, religious.. Yes, we’re bogged down by all sorts of social ills. BUT its still Pakistan.. Its the land my forefathers gave their sacrifices for. And I am certain, one day, InshaAllah, it WILL get better. I, for one, with my family, will wait for that time. For come it will, inshaAllah.Recommend

  • Amer
    Mar 15, 2011 - 4:34PM

    Caitlin, I never commented on any of George’s articles because I always thought that it would be totally useless! But your writing here has refreshed my mind and I am sure it has inspired alot of Pakistanis as well. We all know the problems in our beloved country very well but I have always said to people, if someday your house was on fire, would you not try to save it!! George is leaving by choice, he never came here for the love of the land, he was here for personal & family reasons and he left for the same. I know that 99.999% of Pakistanis have no other choice but to save their motherland. Any suggestion to the contrary would be crazy to say the least! Recommend

  • Mian Aimal Shah
    Mar 15, 2011 - 4:56PM

    We hear and say our world of today has become a village and that we live in a global village today.That means every country is our country and every state and its institutions are meant to be for the good of us humans irrespective of our race, colour , religion or demographic origins and roots. Perhaps the only difference in the quality of our living standards which is defined by certain factors. The developed nations have achieved certain goals and reached certain landmarks ahead of the undeveloped or the developing nations and states.But they also went through similar stages of evolution and development as countries like Pakistan are going through at this stage of their history and socio political evolution.Perhaps real democracy and true democratization of our social system and set up may take a little longer than that of others but its we who have to put our house in order.And I believe we have such sons and daughters who have given costly sacrifices in the past and there are many more ready to give even their lives for the noble cause of freedom, democracy and across the board socio political and economic development.And I am sure this part and portion of the human commity and globe will keep producing many such sons and daughters who will raise their voices for just causes like freedom. democracy, prosperity and better living standards and values for all. So dont leave us. Be a part of us dear lady.Lets put all our houses in order and help make this world a batter living place. Recommend

  • abhinav
    Mar 15, 2011 - 5:01PM

    I appreciate your attitude, work rather than word matters.
    One hypothetical question, what will you do if tomorrow you are not allowed to goto Shah alam bazar, anarkali alone because as per “Islamic” law women cannot move alone without a male relative.
    In this situation will you try to invent some way of conducting your business without going out or will you challenge this law? Will you consider a woman unpatriotic or not doing anything useful if she callenges this law?Recommend

  • ArifQ
    Mar 15, 2011 - 5:04PM

    What ails our society? Many Pakistanis of Desi origin have expressed similar ideas, some had extremely interesting antidotes but response has generally been tepid to put it politely. In walks two naturalized Pakistanis of Gora origin and the hits keep on coming, with due apologies to George and Catlin both fine people, is this due to Gora complex or there is something fundamentally different when presented by people of gora origin? Recommend

  • mawali
    Mar 15, 2011 - 5:33PM

    And then truth be told its tough to find domestic help dirt cheap anywhere else! Ain’t life just peachy?Recommend

  • Asma
    Mar 15, 2011 - 5:55PM

    Great article, good to see this newspaper finally promoting some patriotism! Despite all of Pakistan’s problems, only if we choose not to leave will we be able to improve things. Recommend

  • Saira
    Mar 15, 2011 - 6:24PM

    Dear Caitlin,

    Brilliant! I loved reading your article.

    Lots of Love


  • hasnain
    Mar 15, 2011 - 6:41PM

    Thank you for taking so keen interest in Pakistan’s instant situation. It is clear that nothing is ideal except Allah and his holy Prophet (PBUH).The current situation mostly is produced by our those politicians, who are non educated and are only interested to become “gods”. This mentality was developed since being a part of English Territory. English rulers created and benefited some families to rule the public. Those rulers give control of most resources to those families, and others were allow to live like slaves. This situation exist till the partly independence and remained continue till; i.e, habit of capturing the resources by any means to any limit is target of today’s politicians. All politicians provide safety and shelter to each other; either by supporting or by opposing only to make a satisfy public. 180 millions of people are divided by these politicians in to groups/parties; do not letting public to combine and think their interests. All this is due to existing a bad (chose a proper word) education system; which is based on only to get bundle of degrees with good marks;by any means. From the first day at school student is taught to get a degree for a job. He is not taught, to learn; to do self respect; to know his rights; to know his duties; to respect other’s rights; to live for any ambition; to believe in God; Recommend

  • Nael
    Mar 15, 2011 - 6:52PM

    Bravo Mrs. Malik. Love you for what you said. Not many will have the courage to say what you did, not even the ones who were born and bred here. Thank you.Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 15, 2011 - 7:01PM

    Pakistan actually – have always gone for the under-dog @Hamood: Recommend

  • Kiran
    Mar 15, 2011 - 7:51PM

    @Athar Quraishi:
    Here, here Mr. Quraishi! Sometimes it takes a diaspora view to look at the situation dispassionately and with objectivity – traits that sadly lack today. Its not about “Pakistan bashing” as people are wont to scream out, but as you put it, “fessing up” to our collective psyche that is increasingly tilting towards xenophobic paranoia and indulgence in self pity, instead of addressing, with determination, the myriad issues that ail us as a nation.

    People – a small, tiny minority – that can afford privileged lifestyles, continue to lead insulated lives where problems like poor public services are minor irritants, to be drearily laughed away. Millions of Pakistanis hang precariously from rickety and dangerous buses, wait patiently for trains that never arrive and trudge miles along pot-holed roads, are vexed by electricity that disappears for hours on end and water that slowly poisons them. Unable to afford an education for their children that will give them hope for a better shot at life than them or afford health care that might save a loved one.It is hard to empathize when one is unaffected by these daily grinding challenges.

    Intolerance, rampant corruption and the disconnect of the “elite” will not be wished away by flag hoisting and empty patriotic slogans – they will be cured by strengthening democratic institutions, accountable, transparent and RESPONSIBLE governance. The person on the street and in the fields must be made to feel that they are real stakeholders, not just herds of cattle to herded during rare times of elections.

    So bravo, Mr. Quraishi for putting the stark reality out there, and brace yourself for the brick-bats! Just like the ones that rained down on the hapless Mr. Fulton. The truth hurts and pinches like unbroken shoes, but the truth must be faced and addressed.Recommend

  • iman qadir
    Mar 15, 2011 - 8:19PM

    Whichever country we live in, we will have to leave it sooner or later. After we leave, there are only two countries to settle down. One is called Paradise and the other is called Hell.
    Allah, s.w.t. did not ask us which country we wanted to be born in. He made this decision on His own. However, He has given every single human being the choice which country he or she would like to make his or her permanent home.
    We must not forget we do not have too much time to make this most important decision. If we get too engrossed in trivial things we will have lost the opportunity to make this decision, and may end up in the wrong country. Ask any person who is immigrating to another country what preparations he has to make to get the passport, visa etc. Allah s.w.t. has given us this time only for this purpose. May He give us the full understanding of why we are all here. Aameen.Recommend

  • Madeeha Javed
    Mar 15, 2011 - 8:37PM

    I do not agree with You Madam, You seriously do not know what is happening in Pakistan?? To earn bread and butter is the principle of survival of fittest, This country is only for fake, double standard, and cheated people. If you do wrong, you are admirable, if you do right, No one is going to appreciate you, because you are the only one among all these fakes who are doing this, So think again. . . .Recommend

  • Nayab
    Mar 15, 2011 - 8:41PM

    Please Someone make George read this! A very well written article, At least some people still do care about this Country instead of bashing it.Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 15, 2011 - 8:57PM

    Sir, I fear you have read a lot more into the article than is there. There is no denigration of George Fulton personally; certainly no accusation of a crime being commited and absolutely no incitation of negative behaviour towards him.
    as i stated, and you agreed, the opinions are entirely my own and are not being portrayed as expert.
    I don’t believe I have been reckless in my use of free speech. Someone who’d see this article as a cause for action must have found George’s article much more inflaming – the stone was already cast.
    thank you, however, for taking the time to respond to my offering.
    @Athar Quraishi: Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 15, 2011 - 8:58PM

    will keep an eye out – thank you @Meekal Ahmed: Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 15, 2011 - 9:03PM

    Dear Sir, I have not sent flowers to Asia Bibi as i don’t really see the use – as kind as it is. I do go to school everyday and endeavour to teach young pakistanis to think critically and independently – something i think is more productive. @John: Recommend

  • SS
    Mar 15, 2011 - 9:06PM

    What you have said perfectly validates one of George’s main points: the least vulnerable social class of Pakistan has abdicated its responsibility towards the positive growth of society. Your survival guide for the US govt is already a day-to-day handbook for the so-called elite. We don’t step out of our insulated bubble in case we draw attention to ourselves. We don’t take action against any injustice, we don’t go to mosques, we don’t take part in any protest rallies against the govt/religious militants.
    Why would we leave this country that has given us palatial homes, atleast 5 maids/drivers at our constant beck and call, imported cars, coffee shops, parties, etc etc?! You are a true Pakistani, no doubt about it.Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 15, 2011 - 9:54PM

    statistics would disagree with you – see nationmaster.com @Raja: Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 15, 2011 - 9:57PM

    it largely was, as the title was meant to imply. not in a negative way, just as in this is how i see living in pakistan as a foreigner @Confused: Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 15, 2011 - 10:02PM

    not of his decision but of his reasoning @Samar farooqui: Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 15, 2011 - 10:05PM

    you misunderstood – my point was exactly that i was not at high risk of this type of violence. @Tanzeel: Recommend

  • karachiite
    Mar 15, 2011 - 10:48PM

    Amazing Article … Thankyou for instilling hope, though the prospect looks bleak but nothing is going to happen to this country as long as we all are dedicated to it

    watan ko kuch nahi khatra nizam-e-zar hei khatrey mein
    haqeeqat mein jo rah zan hein wohi rahber hein khatrey mein

    Habeeb Jalib

    The country is not in danger however the economy is
    the ones who in reality are the docoits, those guides are in danger Recommend

  • Salina Faisal
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:37PM

    I completely relate to this article… I felt the same way when I read George’s Article and could not understand why he had to justify his leaving … as if he was feeling guilty …. anyways .. . This article has given words to my feelings and resolved some of them …
    Well done.Recommend

  • Ali
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:50PM

    George is leaving because he can think, feel and see.Recommend

  • Yousaf Hyat
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:59PM

    Mrs Malik for President…Recommend

  • Zunnoon Meer
    Mar 16, 2011 - 12:17AM

    your last paragraph makes sense… after reading “George ka Khuda Hafiz” i was keept thinking how to stop people like George’s for leaving Pakistan…
    personally i think reason behind leaving Pakistan was Killing of Salman Taseer, which disappointed him and he thinks Pakistan nation is divided (which actually was true) and extremist overcoming society but if he really loved Pakistan he should have stayed here and fight with those people and change their mentality for the sake of Pakistan, which if he really think was his country.
    A patriotic person can choose to die for his country rather than leaving itRecommend

  • AN
    Mar 16, 2011 - 1:21AM

    It is funny that those people who are not living in Pakistan are commentating on the ground realities of Pakistan. You need to live inside a country to understand it. So easy to criticize from a far away place that how this country is a hell. Sorry folks. People living in Pakistan will disagree. They have enough reasons to live in this country and they don’t need your advice.

    Thanks Caitlan for your support.Recommend

  • AN
    Mar 16, 2011 - 1:23AM

    @ shebaz
    Many Indians like to comment here. They hate this country but can’t help coming here and commentating on us.Recommend

  • AN
    Mar 16, 2011 - 1:26AM

    It’s not joke of the century. Pakistan certainly can’t provide the luxuries that western countries could provide. For your information, people are not leaving in scores. They certainly go abroad. This is true for every third world country not just Pakistan.

    Mind you! Pakistan is certainly a heaven for us inspite of all the difficulties and problems.Recommend

  • AN
    Mar 16, 2011 - 1:27AM

    @ashok sai:
    Give this measage to your fellow Indians too who also go abroad for better future.Recommend

  • AN
    Mar 16, 2011 - 1:33AM

    My advice to you!
    You seem to be an Indian.
    So a personal request is to not to read Rediff and TOI too much. If you want to be fair, read less propaganda and more truth.

    As for George who cares? The guy left for his own reasons. Taseer or Bhatti death was unfortunate and tragic. Noone wanted it. Before you comment on our country, check your own backyard and keep an eye out for Saffron terrorism.Recommend

  • Mubasher
    Mar 16, 2011 - 1:35AM

    what you think about Muslim women, with no regard to age, are raped in Indian held Kashmir on a daily basis, what you think about innocent people being killed by drone attacks in North-West Pakistan?Recommend

  • Mubasher
    Mar 16, 2011 - 1:48AM

    Totally agreed.

    Someone asked Sir Richard Branson, if you want to buy an airline which one you would prefer and his answer was PIA. The reason he gave was that despite a huge number of difficulties PIA still managed to do the business.Recommend

  • spb
    Mar 16, 2011 - 1:50AM

    @Asra, you are absolutely right. As you noted correctly, Ms. Caitlin seems to be in a state of denial that most of the Pakistani public seem to living in, especially the elite, They want to deny there is anything wrong with the direction Pakistan has been moving toward in the past couple of decades. They live in a cocoon in their safe palaces and want to be totally blind to the horrible intolerance, extremism and terrorism that is taking over the country. Their attitude is, if I am living well, there can’t be anything wrong with the country! Apparently, somebody put Caitlin up to writing this article whose sole purpose seems to be to bash George Fulton who made a personal decision and wrote a brilliant and poignant article as to why he was leaving. Instead of directly refuting George’s arguments, Caitlin just bashes him personally. Even worse, from the response of most posters here, who must all be educated and well-to-do, is one of persistent denial. Unless one sees and accepts that there is a problem, there can never be a cure. Recommend

  • Mubasher
    Mar 16, 2011 - 1:53AM

    @Raja: Indian??Recommend

  • Mishaal
    Mar 16, 2011 - 2:17AM

    thats absolutely awesome!!!thanks a lot for writing this article caitlin.i was so disappointed by George’s idiotic article and the stupid people of Pakistan who were liking his article.
    this is an amazing reply from yourside:)Recommend

  • MS
    Mar 16, 2011 - 2:48AM

    Well abhinav lets start with clearing your misunderstanding. I read quran(with translation) everyday and there is no mention of any law which stops a female member from going out of the house without male family member. Actually our Prophet PBUH first wife was a business woman! Extremist have created laws to control the uneducated poor populaion and misguided by saying they are islamic.

    Anyway during the lawyers movement 2 years back, I contributed by raising my voice on public forums and also used my money to fuel the movement. So I am sure that if required..i will do it again. One thing is for sure..I will never ever give up on Pakistan. I have a dream to turn it into a success story like Korea. Recommend

  • Soon to be a non-Pakistani
    Mar 16, 2011 - 3:21AM

    yeah right

    Gaddafi doesn’t want to leave Libya either … I wonder why Pakistan FO (and families) is so desperate to get pakistanis out of thereRecommend

  • Pearl Molloy
    Mar 16, 2011 - 4:03AM

    Caitlin, surprising no mention of those poor people living with death sentences because of their belief and the ridiculous Blasphemy law!! I was born and educated in Pakistan and studied in a Convent school but then again being a christian in Pakistan is difficult, 2nd class citizens no good jobs because of your faith, The majority of the christians who have managed to leave live a better life of freedom abroad, their kids go to university and end up with good paying jobs something that would not have been afforded to them in Pakistan!! How many security guards do you have protecting you? did you hear about the christian churches that have to have security? probably not!! the rich live in big houses and look down on the poor, they have the money to educate their kids abroad, why not in their own land of hope and glory?? all Bloody hypocrites!! the whole lot. Hope you have kept your aussie passport handy when you have to run then again you may not need to living in a glided tower!! I would rather go and live in India where there is a lot more tolerance and freedom for people of different faiths and beliefs.

    Get a reality check, think you are suffering from some form of illusions!! Recommend

  • Anon
    Mar 16, 2011 - 4:20AM

    I rarely if ever leave comments on pieces I read, but your piece resonates with me deeply.

    “Some days I hate this country. I mutter prejudicial comments and decide that the problems of Pakistan can be summed up in the stupidity of its drivers; I glare at shop assistants and make sarcastic comments I know they can’t understand. Some days I’m not a good person. But I never go so far as to claim I want to leave.”

    I too have the choice of leaving, and have frequently country-hopped in the past. However, the conscious choice to stay in Pakistan, especially in the face of what I feel is its worst time, shows maturity & a sense of committment. It’s too easy to pack your bags and catch the next flight out of Terroristan. But in reality, you build a relationship with the country you choose to live in and you see it “through sickness & in health”.

    I won’t commend you for choosing to stay, because then I would have to deride George for leaving- and to each his own. However, I really appreciate your honesty and wisdom in recognising that it is what you make of it.

    Really nice piece, Caitlin.Recommend

  • John
    Mar 16, 2011 - 6:57AM

    Sad to see your reply. Asia Bibi is Pakistan’s Rosa Park, and you do not seem to care. What kind of critical thinking will children have under your care?

    When you have an option to write under the opinion ” Reason for staying in Pakistan”, at the present time, people do not want to hear about the condescending remarks that they have been hearing all their life.

    Thirty years from now your children will ask you, ” Why did you not remind the nation about Asia Bibi with your pen when you had the chance? ”

    What is going to be your answer? I was rebutting George F and blew my chance?

    Perhaps you can understand the words of GF “corroding personal value” in your words “seeing no use in sending Flowers”.Recommend

  • M. Qureshi
    Mar 16, 2011 - 7:38AM

    This is as opinionated as the piece by George but lacking in facts and logic. Was this meant to be rebuke of his article? Poorly done if that was her intent. I loved reading the comments though.
    Pakistan has its issues and everyone has their own take on how bad they are. People even immigrate from the UK to other countries. Does that make UK unlivable? Of course not but they just exercise their right to a better life.
    Lets just chill out. George was a gora and he left like many Pakistani’s I know who had left Pakistan many years ago, came back hoping that things had changed and then ran back to their adopted homeland, be it US, UK or the Moon. I am a realist and I know that I do not want to go back to my middle class life (now probably lower middle class). Deep down, I hope things will change but I that’ll happen in my lifetime.Recommend

  • ani
    Mar 16, 2011 - 7:42AM

    Admire your love for the adopted homeland and your decision, assuming you have a say in the choice to stay. Mr. Fulton never said anything bad about Pakistan. He called a spade a spade. He asked its ruling elite to take responsibility and lead the country. George had the courage to protest. He utilized his status to make a point – a very valid one indeed, given the dark forces that grip Pakistan. What have you done to draw attention and rectify the alarming situation in Pakistan? Love for something that denies tolerance, fairness, equality and basic freedoms is blind and deaf – it is an enabler of injustice. Recommend

  • Nanda
    Mar 16, 2011 - 8:07AM

    “Change countries but realise you do it for personal reasons and not because the country has failed you”.

    “Personal Reasons” are influenced by things around the country which might fail you.

    God Forbid, If you go in under Blasphemy Law or “Fear if you & your family will be alive to see the next day” or end up in driveby shooting or an economic meltdown., would you still carry the same opinion? How do you expect a change when killer gets lionsed and murder is celebrated?
    I would n`t let my children learn and grow in such a radicalized enviroment (learning & watching Suicide Bombing & Hate.

    Being rational & hyper patriotic are two different things.Recommend

  • NK
    Mar 16, 2011 - 8:25AM

    “Ostrich” is a word that holds resemblance to your Article. Also, there are lots of Hyper Partriotic Ostriches (Comments that you can see) which see Conspiracies, fail to see the truth, & live in their own delusions.

    Well, we`ll see when your next article comes with a title “Good Bye”, and see how Ostriches react.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Mar 16, 2011 - 9:02AM

    Any experienced sailor (or piirate) will tell you that the rats are the last to leave a sinking ship. In fact, they never leave, but sink.

    Anyone who can afford to leave Pakistan has and will leave. It is the rest of us, which is most of us, who are stuck in a sinking hell hole. Of course, we can always call the people who leave “rats” just so we don’t feel too bad. Till of course, we win the lottery and become a “rat” ourselves.Recommend

  • Shazia Khan
    Mar 16, 2011 - 9:14AM

    I love my country and instead of cribbing about it trying to make my self a better muslim and pakistani and we should ensure that our children are aware that where ever they are they will be recognised as pakistanis the west are picking our most talented and skilled people but when i talk to my daughter and her generation they want to stay in pakistan and make pakistan a better place as it is these leaders wont stay for ever Inshallah !!!!Recommend

  • Rahul Singh
    Mar 16, 2011 - 9:46AM

    No one expect from any country to provide complete security or zero poverty but it is very much fair to expect a democratic set up where people have freedom to express their views and criticize the rotten things in the society. The problem with Pakistan is that it has reached a stage where it is life threatening to be a open minded and liberal. George left Pakistan because he was denied this basic need which is very important for a journalist. Not everyone can compromise with their values. You may stay in Pakistan because you have personal reasons to do so.Recommend

  • saher
    Mar 16, 2011 - 9:50AM

    it took me one year abroad to realise i cant survive there.. who says ppl dont want to come back? At time they can’t come back.. and i seriously didn’t want to get in that situation. the author is correct, when u decide to live in a country you should accept it for all it gives u, the good and the bad.. otherwise you should leave it. Recommend

  • Lahore
    Mar 16, 2011 - 10:00AM

    Great Thoughts indeed! As a Pakistani I feel conceited! God Bless you and your family!Recommend

  • hasnain
    Mar 16, 2011 - 10:58AM

    @Zunoon Meer

    Well; your wish to stop the people from leaving Pakistan by making Pakistan a good place to live in; is a desire of all real Pakistanis; not of those who came here to earn wealth through wrong ways.But society is high jacked by some selfish politicians and some extremist; by some religions leader; all of those do not allow society to get a quality education or awareness. Those are making Pakistan to an unsecured place; by creating such a situation they let the people to think only about their lives; to earn bread and butter; to get hope of medication; to hate each other. Majority of society know realize this situation and setting their minds; discussing each other; hatting all those in open media or in their community; educating their families; seeing the rulers battle for growing their wealth humps; waiting for proper time to react; society is neither extremist nor part of selfish politicians.
    We should be positive to our thinkings; to our nation; to educate our children; to utilize our resources; there will be better Pakistan.Recommend

  • vasan
    Mar 16, 2011 - 11:43AM

    My reading on this is that this article has nothing to do with Pakistan. It is purely a pommy bashing by an aussie. Boy, dont they love that.Recommend

  • Mar 16, 2011 - 11:52AM

    Looks like once again ET is about to implode into writing wars. When can we expect George’s rebuttal to this piece?

    But that’s besides the point. Yes the Pakistanis love their country. There never has been a question of loyalty. The problem is (and there are so many of them) that despite wanting change, it is rarely ever forthcoming. Why George left this country was because his freedom of speech had been curtailed and he couldn’t speak his mind. And that is true isn’t it? Is there any one who disagrees with me on this issue? When you murder a Governor and then celebrate his death, when you murder a Minister and say he had it coming, then you realize you’re living in a society where there is no respect for you or your family or your sanity.

    He took the easy way out. He left. Given the choice, thousands more would follow suit. You Miss Malik are the minority who drives around in chauffeured cars, live in air conditioned homes, eat and drink in the fanciest restaurants. Just a bit of friendly: ask your driver (whom you think might murder you based on statistics) to take you to his home and family. See how they live and how they will never be given an opportunity. Then maybe you’ll understand what George was talking about. Recommend

  • Mar 16, 2011 - 1:33PM



  • Mahmood
    Mar 16, 2011 - 1:36PM

    @Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,IBA Karachi:

    Too narrow!Recommend

  • ik
    Mar 16, 2011 - 2:03PM

    @Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,IBA Karachi:
    We Pakistanis are crushed between The Army & The Wadera so Help us GodRecommend

  • shumaila zehra
    Mar 16, 2011 - 2:08PM

    i totally agree with you ,most of us docters,educationists,engineers our country’s cream highly educated people who have left for more good future abroad are either driving taxi’s or selling newspapers there and livig hand to mouth.there is always two faces of every picture to remain happy you need to become optimist and thankful to ALLAH for what ever you have otherwise there are million reasons to remain unhappy in life mostlyRecommend

  • Rubya
    Mar 16, 2011 - 2:17PM

    Thanx lady!
    When people like George discouraging Pakistan and Pakistanis I salute your courage. Pakistan is our country, what happens to our beloved country we will always love Pakistan.
    God bless you..Recommend

  • Waseem
    Mar 16, 2011 - 3:10PM

    Cool Breeze of eve in a hot day!Recommend

  • FF
    Mar 16, 2011 - 3:49PM

    One word. “Denial” you are in a mixture of utter depression and denial.

    Spend 2 weeks in a country where you aren’t in fear of losing your life by a random bombing. Realize no one is going to randomly kill you and you’ll realize what a looney bin this place is.Recommend

  • Shahbano Amer
    Mar 16, 2011 - 3:57PM

    Well if you are among the top 2% of Pakistani population having access to all amenities and facilities, life is not bad in Pakistan specially if one lives in a “safe city” where security index is much higher than other parts of the country. In Pakistan just like in many developing countries of eastern origin, people generally more spare time in their personal life, relationships with friends and family are deeper and generally culture is more supportive of a strong social life. Combine these with the fact that being among the top 1 or 2% of Pakistani society allows you to hire an army of cheap maids, servants, drivers and gardeners, life can be pretty much easy. But this standard of life is hypocritical and not egalitarian. The majority of Pakistan live their life with insecurities, in a country where less than 12 motorized vehicles exist per 1000 population. Where the child mortality rates are one of the highest in the world. I am sure if the mothers of the childern who are to die tonight in the many underfunded, understaffed public hospitals had the chance to be anywhere else than Pakistan in order for their children to be saved, they would have chosen so, unlike the author here. Yes, life might be good here. But not for all. Certainly not for the majority. Most of Pakistanis given the choice would leave this place forever preferring to work harder in other nations. Ofcourse there are exceptions eg. politicians, intelligence/military officers, mullahs, opportunist businessmen and bureaucrats. But then exception just proves the rule. The rule is Pakistan as young nation of just six decades has failed to rise upto challenges facing it. Sorry to break the bubble for good hearted author here, but the reality is, Pakistan is failing. In a nation where educational goals are not met, violence is bred, corruption is endemic and its leaders having become the puppets for western interests, the priorities of local population is continuously undermined. Recommend

  • Shazada malik zahid mahmoud loan
    Mar 16, 2011 - 4:43PM

    The writer has expressed very beautifully that is Pakistan, unlike Mr George’s grumbles. Well done who ever and where ever you are. You have captured very elequantly the feelings of the Pakistani people.Recommend

  • Dr Rizvi
    Mar 16, 2011 - 4:52PM

    Ms. Malik, thanks very much for seeing good in Pakistani society. My experience of living in Pakistan as well as abroad has helped me compare Pakistan with many western countries and I do strongly believe that there is a lot positive in Pakistan that you will not find in so called ‘developed’ and ‘educated’ nations in the west.

    Do people think there is less corruption in the West? Do they think there is no racial extremism there? Do they think politicians are angels there? Strict adherence to rules bind them to behave like humans, even then they are deteriorating. If left to live without rules, they will be wilder than any nation in the world. Raymond Davis is a great example!!!Recommend

  • Kumail Wasif
    Mar 16, 2011 - 5:04PM

    Thanks for your faith in our country Mrs Malik.

    Pakistan is not perfect but if you truely love something you don’t just leave it because you see imperfections, no matter how seemingly bad. George has every right to leave Pakistan if he wants; he can be bitter if he wants too but then he doesn’t have the right to say that he is/was a patriot.

    Hope you manage to enjoy your time in Pakistan! (unlike Georgy obviously)Recommend

  • Brooke
    Mar 16, 2011 - 5:05PM

    I am an American living here in Pakistan for past seven years (my husband is Pakistani). I couldn’t have said this better myself. You were spot on with everything and I laughed about Pakistani drivers because that is so true! For all the problems this country has, I love it and I love the people and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!Recommend

  • Mar 16, 2011 - 5:24PM

    Wow….can i have a pair of the Rose Colored glasses you wear? They must be very powerful. All I see is HELL.Recommend

  • anwar shahid
    Mar 16, 2011 - 5:27PM

    I am thankful to the initiative taken by MsCaitlin.It helped me come out of the depression caused by Georges farewell letter. It also helped create a good discussion in which our Indian friends also showed keen interest….providing food for thought and a free exchange of ideas.
    In my opinion George did nothing different from what the media-persons in Pakistan have been doing for quite some time now…spreading frustration and disappointment, except for a few among them like Ms Caitlin. There is no doubt that we are passing through difficult times but we have survived relatively much worst situations….Just recall the days when we had been reduced to half in 1971 and the Indians were planning to eliminate us totally…But we survived and emerged as a strong country again, this time as an atomic power…We must not forget that we had started from scratch in 1947,with a burden of millions of refugees….and according to the latest confession by Jaswant Singh, Nehru and Patel had accept the proposal of division of India with a strong belief in their hearts that Pakistan would survive for a few weeks or months only…but survived we did and moved ahead to face India as a strong nation when she tried to decimate us in 1965.We developed a conflict between us in 1970 of which India took full advantage to exploit it in her favour to make Nehru’s dream true. But ultimately the Indian mischief resulted into two Pakistans one of them bordering West Bengal by the name of Bangladesh…Indra had to pay the price for it and his children too when they tried to curb the centrifugal forces in their own country which have been much stronger than Pakistan ranging from north to south including Khalistan Asam and Kashmir. The point I want to make is that the basic factor in the politics of Pakistan has been the fear of Indian aggression, openly demonstrated from time to time by India which resulted into building up of a huge army and the unusual spending on defence and consequently the unusual role of the army in the political affairs of the country. As such the solution to the problems being faced by Pakistanas lies a great deal in the positive shift of the Indian attitude. to a great. The moment the Indians starts treating their Muslim brothers in India as brothers in the real sense of the word and accept Pakistan as a sovereign state and don’t expect it to behave as a lackey ,the destiny of people in both the countries might take a great turn in the positive direction …Other wise fanatic and disruptive forces will keep on growing may be at faster rate in Indai this time,,,,Pakistan in any case will survive and and shall keep on moving ahead as it has learned to survive in the most difficult circumstances…. Recommend

  • Mar 16, 2011 - 5:48PM


  • S.Khan
    Mar 16, 2011 - 6:31PM

    I wonder if Ms. Malik noticed that between 1960 and 2011 Pakistan lost one of its wing (East Pakistan) Has she heard or read the Hamood ur Rehman commission report. Does she know where we stand among the nations of the world as regards literacy rate, infant mortality, life expectancy, corruption, etc etc.Recommend

  • Travel Boy
    Mar 16, 2011 - 6:59PM

    Was born in Pakistan.

    Moved to Saudi Arabia.

    Moved to Pakistan.

    Moved to United Kingdom

    Moved to Saudi Arabia

    Moved to United Kingdom

    Moved to Pakistan

    Moved to United Kingdom

    The future who knows.

    Thinking about Brazil and then Back to Pakistan.

    So whats the big deal moving countries?Recommend

  • JR
    Mar 16, 2011 - 7:02PM


  • Zunnoon Meer
    Mar 16, 2011 - 7:57PM

    @hasnain… i do agree with you, our politicians are selfish and not even close to patriotic! and we can not put all blame on politicians and other religious parties who are using people for their own sake and you know education is not enough to make this society better living place, if u noticed how this nation was divided on the murder of Salman Taseer very educated people condemn the killing and the same time highly educated people were calling Qadri Ghazi… .. we have to change the mind set of the people and tell them true teachings of Islam

    on the other hand everybody should be responsible for his act to make this society better living place….Recommend

  • Mrs. Ahmed
    Mar 16, 2011 - 8:32PM

    i absolutely LOVE this article. THANK YOU for expressing sanity in the madness. there need to be a lot more people like you out thereRecommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 16, 2011 - 9:11PM

    I don’t think noticing Pakistan’s positives, especially when everyday the papers are full of the negatives, is denying that negatives exist. I stated in my column that the problems of pakistan are deep and varied. I am also well aware of my priveleged status (another point stated in the column) however i can not see the use of me leaving my house and living on the streets. I teach in a pakistani school and i have a child who is half pakistani, i beleive that by working hard and genuinely at these very important responsibilities i am doing as much as i effectively and realistically can to improve the world around me. i may well leave pakistan in the future but it will be nobody’s choice but mine. @maynotmatter: Recommend

  • Gori Larki
    Mar 16, 2011 - 9:15PM

    I just heard there is a family leaving Pakistan courtesy Pakistan.Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 16, 2011 - 9:15PM

    am well aware of pakistan’s bloody past – in fact it supports my point that things have not gotten worse. in terms of soldier and civilian loss pakistan has had worse decades than the current one – what about the karachi bloodbath circa 1980′s? furthermore you will find pakistan has improved markedly in all those feilds you have mentioned – it has regularly made the top ten for most improved countries in the UNDP HDI report. my point is pakistan is improving – slowly but definately @S.Khan: Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 16, 2011 - 9:16PM

    nice response – thank you @anwar shahid: Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 16, 2011 - 9:18PM

    am assuming you don’t live in the US @FF: Recommend

  • Awais Farid Khan
    Mar 16, 2011 - 11:49PM

    i will not run away with out a fight. Currently everybody in Pakistan is shouting, therefore no one can understand others point of view. I believe that my generation has the will to face the challenges. stay strong stay hopeful. pakistan needs the strength of youth and wisdom of old.Recommend

  • ZS
    Mar 16, 2011 - 11:58PM

    Brilliant! Glad you took the initiative to write. We all feel really low about the country on some days. A mixture of personal and professional frustration can lead us to feel incredibly angry and despondent. But it doesn’t make much sense to spill it all out on paper and announce you’re leaving like that because the country isn’t good enough for you and your son would become a horror if he spends any amount of time in it. After all, most readers are unlikely to have the luxury to up and leave like that and it’s thoughtless to make them feel bad about it. I’m sure George is a bright guy on many days, but that article of his was totally unconstructive. I would call it insensitive too, if I didn’t interpret it as a cry for help.

    I’m glad you wrote this rejoinder. Given your background, you’re the best person to do so. From someone else’s mouth, it would have reeked of nationalist defensiveness to a greater extent.Recommend

  • Zahiruddin
    Mar 17, 2011 - 9:37AM

    I agree with the lady. At least she is sincere and honest. Recommend

  • TL
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:15AM

    In any case George took a right decision. At least, he would not need to buy a new mobile phone every month. :)Recommend

  • NK
    Mar 17, 2011 - 12:03PM

    Yeah.. Raymond Davis loves Pakistan too.. & all its Pride.Recommend

  • Mar 17, 2011 - 2:00PM

    You probably live half an hour away from Pakistan, love! More than 40% of the people of Pakistan live below the Poverty Line, meaning surviving on less than a dollar a day, i.e., living like a dog. You call that survival ? Not only has that number been growing, but the percentage too. For the time being you are impervious to these menaces and can only be hit by a motorist; but hold your horses and the rest WILL join in.

    or ironically as Faiz says….

    Fuqut chund roze or mayree jaan………Recommend

  • Mar 17, 2011 - 2:07PM

    @Brooke: No offence dear, but you havent gotten into the Pakistani mainstream….do u hang out with the local ladies or discuss the problems of your maid’s caused by her mother-in-law or how her husband is having an affair with another woman, etc., Im sure you have friends and you go around thinking that you’re IN, but do you seriously think they confide in you with their more “TRADITIONAL” problems ? Do you think they have the confidence in you to understand them, much less advise them (in a culturally sound way). You’re probably in the top 2%. and I agree with you, for your kinda people, there is indeed no place like Pakistan !Recommend

  • Mar 17, 2011 - 3:31PM

    youre not the only one caitlin.Recommend

  • Naumaan Hassan
    Mar 17, 2011 - 3:45PM

    First of all, I salute to Ms. Malik who despite of Australian, chooses to live in Pakistan knowing of its current situation. Its a slap on those Pakistanis who with the interest of getting foreign passport abuses their mother land. But keep in mind, wherever you are or having other nationality, people will call you Paki or Pakistani first.
    I had very good chance to live in Brazil , Dubai, China and South Africa and realized that God gave us a very beautiful country but we ruined it. We have everything, from different type of land, weather, culture and minerals but we could not transform it into paradise. We dont realize how much important this country is, both strategically and economically.
    Problem is not with Pakistan but with the Pakistanis. So it means whether they live in Pakistan or else, their characteristics are same. One can easily find same type of behavior anywhere in the world. So we need to change our attitude, need to develop sincerity and patriotism.

    @Umair Waheed: No country can be run without bureacracy, Army and politicians. These all part of a system. We have to change ourselves. Once we know how live and make Pakistan like Koreans, Japanese, Malaysians, then you will find the way how to live otherwise live abroad as Paki.

    @Raja: Yes, its true that USA funded us a lot but its totally misconception that without their “blessings”, Pakistan would have been collapsed.

    @Truthseeker: For better opportunity every person go abroad. This includes not only Pakistanis but you will find Indians, Philipinos and Chinese more than us, whether its Canada, Australia or South Africa. Is there any Taliban in those countries !!!!!

    @ Akhtar Rao: Its really difficult to live in the rural areas only for those who is living in urban life since birth but Rao sb its not because of Pakistan but due to Pakistanis. We have witnessed many development in the past but hopefully you will soon see changes even in the rural areas.
    But we have to participate in the development of the land from where we belong and must keep in mind, Pakistan is our identity which you cant write off.

    @Ahmed Ayub: You are absolutely right about majority but there are some others as well who decided to remain stay Pak sar zameen even have the opportunity to get Western passports, and majority of them are engineers and doctors, for the good cause (to build Pakistan safer and stronger).

    We have to build Pakistan for our younger ones. If Pakistan gets strong and better then every Pakistani, anywhere in the world, will definitely feel proud like Indians and Chinese do nowadays. But dont wait for Quaid-i-Azam or any angel again.

    Long live Pakistan. AmeenRecommend

  • Mehnaz
    Mar 17, 2011 - 3:47PM

    @Athar Quraishi:
    very well said!Recommend

  • harkol
    Mar 17, 2011 - 4:28PM


    All your opinions will change the moment a Pakistani Muslim runs out shouting “Blasphemy” and accuses you of saying something against islam, god or prophet, and you are hounded out of your home and It won’t matter it was entirely a false accusation.

    You’d be better of killing someone instead. Courts (and Rahaman Malik) will tolerate the murder if you can pay Blood Money, but unfortunately Blasphemy can’t be tolerated! So, you’ll have to be executed…Recommend

  • John
    Mar 17, 2011 - 7:07PM

    @anwar shahid:

    The comment of Anwar Shahid and the response of the Author,”Nice Response” to that comment says it all.

    The author is not only ignorant of the history but she has also lost her own appetite for reasoning.

    I pity the children she teaches.Recommend

  • Dr Usman Hotiana
    Mar 17, 2011 - 8:19PM

    I would just like to state some facts . Research does show that mental health in developing countries is better than developed countries. Patients inflicted with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia , even they respond better in developing countries even though multifold facilities for them are present abroad.

    Some of the connections regarding inner satisfaction and happiness mentioned in the articles agrees with this fact.Recommend

  • Pearl Molloy
    Mar 17, 2011 - 8:39PM

    All a bunch of hypocrites, When Christians are allowed to practise their faith in the country of their birth and are not punished for their beliefs it will become a lovely country, till such time I am glad people are leaving as fast as they can. Hope Citlin has a burqa in her gilded cage. Maybe all you people should spare a thought for the christians being killed for their beliefs or jailed or raped Oh the list does go on and on and on!! but reading all yoiur comments makes me laugh!!! Give the girl a gold medal!!!Recommend

  • Aftab Ikram
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:21PM

    My daughter studying abroad referred this article to me and I found it inspiring. Views of the writer are really appreciable. This God gifted country of 180 million people (as the writer states) has every thing. There were only about 35 million people when this country came into being. The same land feeds and provide shelter now to 180 million people. This country has every thing from talented youth to hard working middle and lower middle class. The only thing lacking is the sincere, bold and faithful leadership. I am sure we will find it and we will find it soon. We will soon find our own definitions to govern this country. May God bless you Ms. Caitlin. Recommend

  • Molvi_Whisky
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:53PM

    I was born outside Pakistan, did travel a bit, over 25 countries – s. America, Africa, EU, and east Asia, True it is a poor country third world country, but I’d still rank it as 20 in the 25 visited so far as regards quality of life, security/crime, hospitality, cost of living, food, etc.. Imagine a hair cut, or a trip to a private clinic costing less than One Euro ?
    Pakistan should advance, if issue number one as I see is tackled ‘corruption’ For that to happen, Pakistani voter needs to reject the established poitical parties. Vote for the untested. In fact, being a trader by profession, I was researching natural resources of Pakistan. Do you know Pakistan is ranked top 12 in countries bestowed with vital mineral resources – natural gas, coal, iron ore, bauxite, marble. Indian Punjab (half the size of our Punjab) produces nearly most of Indian food because they follow better farming techniques. If only we could follow their example, we’d feed 220 million Arabs and parts of west Africa.
    We don’t even have to go for capital intensive high tech industry, because we can’t compete with China, but we can sell to China after adding value to our raw material. Intead of iron ore, we may sell to China stell billets, copper ingots, dyed knitting yarns instad of raw cotton under the newly signed FTA with China. My best advice ” VOTE FOR NEW LEADERSHIP “Recommend

  • Team USA
    Mar 18, 2011 - 3:09AM

    If only Ray had read this post. He’d never leave this land!Recommend

  • Jamil
    Mar 18, 2011 - 9:38AM

    Bravo Bravo and Georgy porgy IN YOUR FACERecommend

  • Hamza Ayub
    Mar 18, 2011 - 11:45AM

    this is pretty damn awesome!!!!!Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 18, 2011 - 2:09PM

    i do, my family and i could live most places @rofl: Recommend

  • Naveed
    Mar 18, 2011 - 2:49PM

    Wake up Ms Malik……. Pakistan is an ideological miscalculation……it is bound to collapse sooner or latter………GTH out of here asap.Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 18, 2011 - 9:20PM

    so do i, as far as i know him. it was not an attack on George personally just his way of saying goodbye @Rana Asghar: Recommend

  • Usama Zafar
    Mar 18, 2011 - 10:52PM

    I dont see a point in paying any heed to Mr. Fulton as he is not a Pakistani and has been bestowed with celebrity status by Geo TV, not by Way of his own achievements.  The national interest he has generated is only due to the fact that he looks and speaks differently. Dont beleive me? Walk into any Karachi market where tourists frequent.

    He is not an authority on Pakistan, and does not deserve any such status.Recommend

  • John
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:16AM

    @Usama Zafar:
    And so is Caitlin Malik. Why should her opinion should be counted by you as per your logic about George F. Both Caitlin and George are as much Pakistani as you are. That is why they are voicing their opposing opinions. What is different here is their reasons, and that where Caitlin fails. Recommend

  • Usama Zafar
    Mar 19, 2011 - 2:42AM

    @John: When did i endorse Caitlin’s view? :) Recommend

  • imran khan
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:03PM

    Mrs. Malik, im glad you feel this way, you seem like a really nice person.
    Hope you stay well and safe, lots of prayers for you.Recommend

  • Munzar Ata
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:42PM

    It is natural that most humans want to follow the path of least problems. So I understand the desire of those who want to leave the country. We talk of Army, its pet Intelligence agencies, politicians, the clergy and bureaucrats but forget that they are from us and form only a minor percentage. To sort out a minority in power should be no problem in the presence of a will to do so. It is the will that brings in revolutions, but we are only good at talking. The lack of will on the part of majority to force an improvement, does not necessarily transfer the blame to the corrupt minority.Recommend

  • Junaid
    Mar 19, 2011 - 2:57PM

    Dear Caitlin Malik,

    I really regards and respect your views. I liked George and his efforts to promote n bad things about Pakistan and also how things can be made better.. but that last Good bye letter was seems like a kind of stunt making Salman Taseer Biggest martyr on earth. What was he, Allah knows better… But have anyone thought how much reliable source of information house workers are? we all seen highlights of Salman Taseers normal routine and get angry/disappointed etc.. Imagine what goes on in Heart n brain of a guy(the Guards/Cook/maid) who get minute by minute update and is a concerned human/muslim/citizen?

    George leaving letter doesnt show any solid reason with the exposure, knowledge he gained about Pakistan. He probably should left after Sialkot’s Incident if thats the case.. That letter was just another Sponsered column like many politician do here.. But Allah knows best.

    Pakistanis do need vision like your and of PREVIOUS GEORGE. And for anyone who wants to Leave Pakistan, try serving Pakistan by involving in volunteer services here or make someone’s life better than before. One or another, this is no selfish and meaning less that u study here(or abroad), do job, raise family all your life and die…

    Best RegardsRecommend

  • Ali Akbar Khan
    Mar 19, 2011 - 8:20PM

    You do not run away because you CAN run away if you want. The majority of Pakistanis CANNOT and are forced to stay.Recommend

  • Akeel
    Mar 19, 2011 - 9:05PM

    Its seems George had never completely accepted Pakistan as his homeland, otherwise these are the very challenges he should have braved to face and help eradicate. Escape is not a solution, and the corrupt and wrong-doers do not own Pakistan. George simply threw down his guantlet and chose an easy way out!!Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 20, 2011 - 12:49AM

    i stated things were getting better, not that they were good @parvez: Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 20, 2011 - 4:22PM

    if / when i leave, it will be up to me and not because of Pakistan – that was my main point. i wish both you and george the best of luck wherever you go @AXE: Recommend

  • Tammy Omar
    Mar 20, 2011 - 8:49PM

    Your remarks are a bit ‘bachkana’.
    When you say that Pakistanis live in better homes than the people of UK, are you talking about the 85% of population who are not of the elite or are you comparing that to the houses in Defence & Clifton? Give me a break please. I love the country, but I am not stupid.
    We left Pakistan, not because we were impoverished, but because we had been held up once and the fear of some wadera picking up my daughter had enveloped me.
    We left Pakistan, because unless you make a lot of money, you cannot ensure your children the kind of education you would like them to have and there is no guarantee about the medical service that you might need in an emergency.
    We left Pakistan because an opportunity presented itself to us. We work very hard, both husband and wife, but atleast we know that our kids are safe, are studying and will have medical care if and when they need it.
    If you have pots of money, have cars and drivers, monthly trips to Dubai and summers in London or New York, servants at your beck n call, guards keeping you from the teaming masses and the list goes on and on, then Pakistan is a great place to live in. The common man is fed up and at his wits end. He makes do with what little he has and if he cannot afford doctors for a sick child, the end result is not a happy one.
    I am not putting Pakistan down. It is the land of my birth and even if I want to, I cannot get it out of my system, BUT, I am a pragmatic sort of person and can understand why George left. He could be a target anytime and why wait for that.Recommend

  • Adnan
    Mar 21, 2011 - 2:35PM

    A slap on the face of people who were referring George. Recommend

  • Mar 21, 2011 - 4:10PM

    Ms. Malik, your article arrives at a very difficult time in Pakistan, when people are forced to face their reality in order to change it. It is extremely difficult to believe that what we know and love is false. Pakistanis are suffering their way thought the change toward greater honesty. Your article brings a much relieving band-aid. They need not undergo the discomfort anymore. Nothing was wrong, George broke our heart because he was playing diva. Thus, the reality of Pakistan that you love, can continue for longer.

    It is sad for the future of Pakistan that you chose to make it your home, but chose to provide diversions as it faces a difficult challenge toward a better existence.

    I don’t know either you, or George. I have read exactly one article by both of you. George wrote about Pakistan and his impotence in seeing its values degrade. He chose to provide in important shock of love as he exited by sharing both his love and his frustration and took a risk alienating people who loved him by speaking a truth that needed voiced (again, I know).

    On the other hand, in your article I read that you seem to be comfortable with the life you have, have learned to deal with the security risks, see no problem with the way things are going on and George Fulton is a fool.Recommend

  • Mar 21, 2011 - 4:33PM

    Ms. Malik,

    I have no clue why you are writing in a newspaper, as your article is about your safety and your opinion of George’s choice. Your opinions are yours, and you are entitled to them, but I see this as a matter of grave concern that you miss three things completely AND you are a teacher.

    You are not the person at most risk. The person at most risk are the Christian pastors trying to save their community. They are the human rights activists/politicians/liberals who court death every time they seek justice against a majority that’s increasingly like a mafia, only open. They are the shopkeepers outside mosques. No one is interested in seeking you out in some quiet area of the city just to explode a bomb for one person, unless you specifically pick a fight. They are looking for mass deaths.
    George left as a statement of protest that a governor was killed and his butcher was showered with rose petals. This is different from the deaths from 1960 to 2011. His cheering supporters included the lawyers of Pakistan. George chose to make a stand with his leaving the country in such a public manner. He wasn’t playing diva. You don’t have to agree with him, but if you don’t even understand the context which was stated so clearly….
    You are, in essence saying that whatever is going on in Pakistan is how Pakistan usually is, and its not a problem. If, as a teacher, you can say this at a time of extraordinary butchery and inhumanity, I don’t know what hope remains for Pakistan. There isn’t ONE day when newspapers aren’t carrying news of fresh death since the beginning of this year, possibly longer. It isn’t about you learning to avoid certain areas to be safe, because if everyone followed your formula, the bombs would go to where the people were.

    It is possible that as an Indian I am used to taking certain things for granted, which may not be the ground reality in Pakistan, but I think it is important and urgent that Pakistan find a way to settle differences that is other than death. George was right. Staying there, and staying silent is tacit support. I think he should be respected that he didn’t stay on and okay with the slaughter just because he was safe.Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 21, 2011 - 8:52PM

    actually, most of the developing world, if that’s what you’re after. i find most westerners, myself included, don’t keep service staff as we are not used to it and find the situatiuon uncomfortable. no doubt someone will accuse us of not providing employment.@mawali: Recommend

  • Caitlin
    Mar 21, 2011 - 9:02PM

    please check your statistics – civilian deaths due to terrorist attacks have been higher (both percentage and numbers wise) in india in past decade than in pakistan (Stockholm Institute of Peace). namely because the maoists attack civilian targets while pak terrorists attacks non civilian targets. All attacks are despicable.
    i will also state again – i don’t dislike george, nor disagree with his leaving, but only with the tone of his farewell @Vidyut: Recommend

  • ABM
    Mar 22, 2011 - 2:22PM

    I salute your positive attitude Caitlin.
    Very rightly pointed out by the wirter, that, if you browse, through what has been written & spoken of Pakistan over the last many years, you will conclude, that very little has changed over time. However, the amazing thing about the country & its people is the fact, that despite all the odds, we are still moving ahead.
    We see chaos, in every country, be it USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan ……………….., but fewer people have the motivation to talk about them, as compared to the people tallking about the good things happening in those countries.
    Lets be proud of who we are, because we are as good as we feel about ourselves. Lets no wait for things to change, before we change ourselves. Let we be viewed as the beacon of light, rather than wait for someone to show us light. Recommend

  • Israr raja
    Mar 23, 2011 - 11:52AM

    I do not agree with Mr.Raja that Pakistan would have been collapsed if USA would not have pumped the money into Pakistan, I think other wise , this easy money has corrupted Pakistan more than nay thing and made Pakistani lazy and beggar.So please do not think that Pakistan can not survive without money from US or any other country. Pakistan just need a better law and order and a little bit honest leadership, MONEY IS NOT THE PROBLEM.Recommend

  • Israr raja
    Mar 23, 2011 - 11:59AM

    I already.Recommend

  • R, Satin
    Mar 27, 2011 - 8:02AM

    A sincere article..Recommend

  • Mar 28, 2011 - 3:24AM

    I belive that the decision should always be taken according to the conditions of a person and we cannot blame the country for not entertaining us. Its a part of our responsibility as a citizen to do something for our country and if we cannot even manage to dedicate services to the country we have no right to complain as well.Recommend

  • Apr 9, 2011 - 2:32PM

    As far as I can understand….both viewpoints stem from the same feeling of love and bonding with this land and both should be nourished. I believe that we, as a nation were and are one of the best nations of this world and I also believe that being humans we have some major faults which are now seriously threatening us and which need to be corrected. I must say though that all people who have dreamed for our land are our loved ones and should be cherished.Recommend

  • May 12, 2011 - 5:48PM

    finally an article true to its words..i visited Pakistan after 8 years..and this was 2 months ago, i had similar fears of unrest, terrorism, poverty etc..ect.. that we all here in the news. fact of the matter is yes they do exist but media has blown it out of proportions. life is normal there,people live their lives, children go to schools, young adults go to unis, hang out.. i felt safe there, and this is lahore

    life is actually better in Pakistan than where i live now… Recommend