Pakistan is beautiful — and it’s mine

Published: January 16, 2012

The writer is a reporter for Newsweek Pakistan. She tweets at @shehrbanotaseer

2011 was a bleak year for Pakistan — even by its own harrowing standards.

My father, Governor SalmaanTaseer, was assassinated by his own fanatical security guard in January for his stand on Pakistan’s cruel blasphemy laws, and minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian in the federal cabinet, was gunned down in March allegedly by the Punjabi Taliban for holding a similar view. In April, five of the six men accused of gang raping village woman Mukhtar Mai on the orders of a village council of elders were set free by the Supreme Court. Since the sexual assault on her in 2001, Mai has braved death threats to have her victimisers punished. She has appealed the verdict, but the court, it is widely believed, is unlikely to reverse the acquittal.

In May, Pakistanis around the world hung their heads in shame as Osama bin Laden was found and killed in sleepy, sedate Abbottabad, a stone’s throw from our premier military academy where Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani spoke just weeks earlier declaring that the “terrorists’ back” had been broken.Then the tortured body of journalist Saleem Shahzad was discovered and suspicion fell on the country’s intelligence services. Pakistan had yet to recover from the devastation wrought by the 2010 floods when the August monsoons inundated Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and especially Sindh affecting tens of million of people. My older brother, Shahbaz, was kidnapped on August 26. It’s January 2012 now and he is still missing.

These are just some of the highlights from a ruefully eventful year. All of these events played out against the cacophonous discord that we have become accustomed to: target killings, routine disappearances in Kashmir and Balochistan, suicide bombings, riots decrying the overall economic condition of the country, protests mourning the loss of Pakistan’s sovereignty, the unsettling hum of rote learning at poisonous madrassas.

But there’s nothing that’s bad about Pakistan that can’t be fixed by what’s good about it. The narrative of lost hope is a tired one.

After the Arab Spring, the first question I was asked by journalists and interviewers was “When will it be Pakistan’s turn?”. General Zia tried hard to convince us that we’re Arabs, but we clearly are not. Watching Muammar Qaddafi’s bloodied and bullet-riddled body paraded up and down streets as protesters cheered, and seeing desperate dictators inflict violence on their own people, I realised that in many ways Pakistan is far ahead. Our transition from a dictatorship to a democracy was relatively smooth — no bloodshed, no political prisoners, no violence. And in 2010 — long before the Arab Spring — Pakistan’s nascent democracy returned the powers usurped by dictators back to parliament with the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, passed unanimously in parliament. As a people, we are more critical, more engaged. We believe in peaceful evolution of existing structures, not revolution. A record number of people have registered to vote in the upcoming elections and the deadline isn’t even up yet. We’ve snatched our democracy back and we’re not letting it go.

It’s an exciting time to be a Pakistani. Our resilience, our determination — it pulsates untouched through the streets. It is oft difficult for women to brave. And in a conservative country like Pakistan, one has to work twice as hard to be considered half as good as a man. But Pakistani women artists, entrepreneurs, politicians, authors and professionals have always rejected the corseted roles men have sought to cast them in. From MPs like Sherry Rehman (now ambassador to the US) and Marvi Memon (who resigned from parliament recently) to lawyers like Asma Jahangir and filmmakers like Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, to the thousands of other selfless unsung heroes, Pakistani women are dynamic and unafraid — and this fact is one of the saving graces of our benighted country.

Although the Hudood laws continue to cripple the status of women in Pakistan today, 2011 has seen some important legislation by the PPP government. The Women’s Protection Act, the criminal law amendment against “honour” killings, the law providing women protection against harassment at the workplace, the acid crime prevention laws that mandate life imprisonment for perpetrators, and the Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Bill which prohibits forced marriages, are all powerful strides forward. Today, nearly 30 per cent of doctors and 22 per cent of parliamentarians — including the National Assembly speaker — are women.

For the first time, we are seeing human rights activists, journalists, and parliamentarians taking on the intelligence agencies, openly criticising their double games. There’s been a burst of new TV channels, newspapers and magazines. Pakistan’s press is much, much freer and our voices are louder than they were ten years ago.

Interestingly enough, politics is not the only way to make a difference anymore. The private sector and NGOs are filling gaps ably. Compassionate Pakistanis, people with middle-class income who donate to charity above their means, make it possible for philanthropic giving to come to a whopping $2 billion a year. There’s also been an entrepreneurial boom in Pakistan. Young, savvy businessmen looking to shake things up have become millionaires overnight setting up jobs websites, health care, housing schemes, branchless banking, and car dealerships, prompting Forbes to ask “if they’re prescient or nuts”. There’s forward movement on our relationship with India. We’re rolling out Fashion Weeks, rap artists like Adil Omar are collaborating with Snoop Dogg, Meesha Shafi is acting alongside Kate Hudson in Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and a number of renowned Pakistani scholars, architects, musicians, artists, producers are showcasing their expertise all over the world. We’ve come alive.

Pakistan is not the jihadist caricature it is oft made out to be. This is the majority of Pakistanis. Don’t mistake its lower pitch for silence. We are just less noisy, going about doing our business without feeling the need for propagandist validation by making headlines.

People can call Pakistan dangerous but I don’t care. It’s beautiful and it’s mine.

 

This has been adapted from an article that was published recently in Elle India

Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2012.

Reader Comments (157)

  • rk from NY
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:44PM

    hahaha…pak is not yours it belongs to USA now…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • John B
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:45PM

    “Mirror mirror on the wall who is beautiful among all”.

    As long as one is a Muslim, Pak is beautiful and it will be his or hers. The day the second amendment to the constitution is repealed, and the highest seat of government is open to all, PAK will be beautiful as it was before her birth.

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  • prakash
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:50PM

    What a beautiful and optimistic article about her country by young shehrbano who has suffered so much at the hands of her own countrymen. My heartfelt sympathies to her and her family, though I fear these sentiments coming from an Indian may not go down so well with some people.
    I hope and pray she is right when she says the majority of Pakistanis are different to what the perception is about them in the neighborhood.I hope her brother is brought back to the family and they are spared with further agony.

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  • Adnan
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:50PM

    Shehbano!!

    I solute your courage and love for your country!! My regards to you and your family!! No Words to describe the greatness of your family.. I’m speechless!!

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  • USMANx
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:51PM

    Singh, that was an insensitive and rude comment.

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  • Abbas from the US
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:52PM

    Good to feel the sense of optimism from the younger generation, specially this young lady who has personally been affected by some of the events that she mentions summarizing the difficult year.
    I have always held that despite all the negetivity that is assoiciated with Pakistan in the media world wide. Eventually the people will get what they want in terms of democracy which will chanelize their basic right to education, healthcare, and economic growth as well as progress.
    I have seen several societies with a Muslim dominant population from a close vantage point, but even in the worst of times when Army dictators have turned off the lights, there has always been hope and viberancy that this Pakistani society has been able to offer.

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  • Jan 16, 2012 - 9:52PM

    Very well written article. Pakistan has a lot of beautiful places and probably one of the most scenic country in the world. I am a tourist guide here in Pakistan some years back I took an American lady 83 years old who had seen about 100 countries and she agred with me that Pakistan would be certainly the most beautiful of all the countries she had visited.

    The people here are actually caught up with prjudice of provinces and languages. Punjab being dominent controlls every thing from military to beaurocracy they have gone a bit too far now not realising that they are in fact damaging their own countrymen and province-men.

    Killing of your dad was exteremly sad I wish he had lived and spoken more about what was going on in his province. I hope you fold remain safe.

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  • Zubair Khan
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:52PM

    Though I find you piece powerful and inspiring.. i also tend to think you have no idea what the average Pakistani goes through on a daily basis.. I would never wish harm upon anyone, and as much as i hated the way your father was gunned down, and your brother’s kidnapping.. Aren’t you also from the same elite that has been on the forefront of this country’s misery!? Just a thought..

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  • Adnan
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:54PM

    Taseer Family is a beacon of light for generations to come. Salman Taseer is a true Martyr! He stood for a cause and died for it!!

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:57PM

    Disapearing of the peoples in kashmir and Baluchistan and kidnaping and rise of theftness in the country and still we are better than Arabs???
    we have Docmocracy and we still better than Arabs hahahahahahah. wah maam wah.

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  • Omair
    Jan 16, 2012 - 10:04PM

    Your resilience and undying optimism is the strength that we all need to set Pakistan on the right path. The path of peace, diversity, tolerance and prosperity.

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  • Afaaq
    Jan 16, 2012 - 10:15PM

    I have lots of respect for your father. I have heard lots of things about him. Some good and some bad. What i do know for sure is that his stand on the blasphemy law was admirable. There are not many men who openly stand up against the extremist element of our society. For that he is a Hero …

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  • HH
    Jan 16, 2012 - 10:40PM

    @John B:
    John B fails to understand that his country and some others have democracy for centuries and then they have reach such freedom of expression and protection which we see today. Mind you it was not long ago when white americans run hate campaign against Black AMERICANS and it is now after so many centuries and struggle they have a black american as president. Now you expect us to do something which you have taken centuries. And it is also not nice these days to live as Muslim in USA. “Mirror mirror on the wall who is beautiful among all”

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  • Ali S
    Jan 16, 2012 - 10:42PM

    Criticize her as much as you want for being a burger liberal and what-not, but this folks is true patriotism. She’s still sticking with this country even after it paraded her father’s killer as a hero and showed little sympathy to the grievance suffered by her family (losing a father and a brother is hard enough, I can only imagine what it’s like to have it publicized constantly and often in an inflammatory manner). Meanwhile the ‘ghairatmand’ living room warriors who scorn at her and lambasted her father’s opinions as ‘anti-Islamic’ and ‘un-Pakistani’ would gladly jump at the opportunity of an American visa or foreign citizenship.Recommend

  • Ali S
    Jan 16, 2012 - 10:44PM

    @Zubair Khan:

    Have you ever lost a father or a brother for speaking out for a minority? If not, you should be ashamed to make that comment.

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  • Falcon
    Jan 16, 2012 - 10:58PM

    An inspiring and optimistic piece. Your father was a great man who has been unfortunately misunderstood by many a people. Hope your brother comes back home soon.

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  • Pinky
    Jan 16, 2012 - 11:11PM

    such positivity and optimism, from someone who has arguably suffered the most from all thats wrong with Pakistan, is AMAZING!!!!
    thank you Shehrbano!!!!! ^salute^

    PS: join PTI plz…we will vote for you ;p

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  • Pinky
    Jan 16, 2012 - 11:12PM

    @zalim singh
    you chose your moniker well…

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  • Khurram
    Jan 16, 2012 - 11:18PM

    Shehrbano: Hats off to you resilient optimism, passionate humanism and the genuine love for Pakistan. Your article gives us a new understanding of the dark tragedies of our time.

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  • ADEEL759
    Jan 16, 2012 - 11:26PM

    Hats off to yuor strength and courage.

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  • White Russian
    Jan 16, 2012 - 11:38PM

    @Zalim singh:
    How cruel

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  • adnan raza
    Jan 16, 2012 - 11:45PM

    i salute this lady.she lost her father and brother and still has high spirits.

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  • Ahsan Raza
    Jan 16, 2012 - 11:48PM

    As much as I hate her support for People in Pakistan People’s party government. I love this girl’s views on the world, need more enlightened minds like her.

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  • Parvez
    Jan 16, 2012 - 11:53PM

    The good happening is more at a people’s level, visible to few.
    The bad happening is on a national level, visible to all.
    When the first happening overtakes the second, it truly will be beautiful.

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  • Jan 17, 2012 - 12:15AM

    i heard that Shehrbano Taseer is joining pti??? is it true or a rumor???

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  • Ali Wali
    Jan 17, 2012 - 12:40AM

    It is clear that deviant Talibans are not representative of real Pakistan, absolute majority of Pakistanis are progressive. Madam may your father Rest In Peace.

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  • Farhan Gilgiti
    Jan 17, 2012 - 1:18AM

    Hats off for writing this Shehrbano. You are a brave lady. If my dad had been killed and my brother kidnapped, my feelings for the state and the society would have been different, most probably in the negative.

    That you own Pakistan and consider it beautiful, rightly so, is a new lease of hope for me, personally, and for thousands more.

    Our country is in difficulty and many of us are more deprived, unlike you, but together we can move forward and make this country a land of opportunities and tolerance.

    Thank you for writing this and thank you Express Tribune for publishing it.

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  • Cynical
    Jan 17, 2012 - 1:24AM

    @John B
    You are too subtle.A little too much for the average troll.

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  • Hasan_ordinary citizen
    Jan 17, 2012 - 1:35AM

    Sherbano; you are Pakistan. Pakistan is Sherbano. Respect!

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  • Naseer Muhammad
    Jan 17, 2012 - 2:25AM

    As a British Pakistani (Braki) I’m heartened to read this article by a young lady who has suffered so much but still believes the glass is half full! I am proud of her courage and like her believe that Pakistan will emerge as a progressive, modern and moderate nation state.

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  • Ali Wajdan
    Jan 17, 2012 - 2:25AM

    Pakistan is beautiful and I always wanted to say ‘It’s mine’ but Pakistan’s (MMA) Mullah, military Alliance never allows me to own my own country. I am an Ahmadi Muslim.

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  • Anas Khan
    Jan 17, 2012 - 2:48AM

    Everything looks beautiful while sitting in a John Lewis’s sofa bed while using a Macbook , have a glance at the real Pakistan by commuting in a public transport or by standing in a queue of a Utility Store for ”so called” subsidised wheat and then contemplate your views accordingly- Recommend

  • G. Din
    Jan 17, 2012 - 2:53AM

    “We’ve come alive.”
    So you have! Pakistan is going througf a rough patch and a learning curve right now. Who hasn’t? It is a necessary part of growing up for nations as well as individuals. It shall, for sure, pass! As long as there are people in the world like you, it shall never go out of keel. You are a proud young lady and I compliment you for that. I am honoured to have visited you through this beautiful piece!

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  • Mariam
    Jan 17, 2012 - 3:11AM

    Your love for Pakistan is truly inspiring. You have been though tragedies that would have driven many to the point of insanity yet you are holding onto the same country that was ruthless with your life. Thank you for showing us what true patriotism is.

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  • Mirza
    Jan 17, 2012 - 3:31AM

    Beti I love your optimism and positive thinking. I am sorry and feel ashamed that we have hurt you so much and still your have the courage and character to stand for Pakistan. I wish your borotehr is recovered unharmed. Give my regards to the rest of your family, who raised a daughter like you!
    Mirza

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  • Sheharyar Rana
    Jan 17, 2012 - 3:31AM

    Great piece!

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  • Ali
    Jan 17, 2012 - 3:43AM

    Indeed! Indeed!

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  • Sheikh
    Jan 17, 2012 - 4:03AM

    I have seen people who are bitter towards thier country after loosing a lot less than this woman.

    10/10 for courage and patriotism.

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  • JustAnotherPakistani
    Jan 17, 2012 - 4:04AM

    I didn’t know your late father; however, I salute his courage and the power of his convictions. He spoke up on behalf of a poor and defenseless woman. What could be more righteous and just?

    I scan the news everyday hoping that your brother is safely reunited with his family, and look forward to the day when Qadri meets his maker, which I hope will happen sooner rather than later.

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  • Sindhvoice
    Jan 17, 2012 - 4:36AM

    In this land of pure, it’s hard to find sane voices.Thanks for writing such a comprehensive article about current state of affairs of Pakistan. And Pakistan is indeed not going in right direction. Till minority of fundamentalists, ultra-rightists and security state champions hold control over our country, the downfall will keep going. Wish sanity prevail and people in power should some courage to counter rising extremism, sectarianism, intolerant tendencies.You are daughter of a great person who laid his life for justice, minority rights and progressive system. I wish you courage to stand firm on this road to peace, liberty and human rights.

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  • Chacha Fazlu
    Jan 17, 2012 - 5:06AM

    Good Kiddo! It is the young people like you who keep our hopes alive.

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  • RS
    Jan 17, 2012 - 5:23AM

    Meh.. I’ve read this way too many times, Shehrbano. Resilient, brave nation etc. Tell that to the people who have to wake up at 2 am to cook their food because the rest of the day has no gas. Tell that to the people who have to work two jobs just to afford paying their utilities bill. Tell that to the people who are losing money in their jobs because the lack of electricity is affecting their businesses. Pakistan is beautiful, and its yours because you have ‘money.’ Step out of your elitist bubble and then write another article. We’ll see how optimistic your view will be then.

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  • Javed
    Jan 17, 2012 - 6:17AM

    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that – MLK. Stay strong and positive – much love from many many more than hate. Recommend

  • aysha
    Jan 17, 2012 - 8:02AM

    It all started in 1974.
    It has to be understood very clearly that an individual’s faith is his business, and his alone, it cannot become part of public domain. The government of Pakistan by way of law in 1974 started to identify individuals as muslim and non-muslims, then there was no stopping to the madness of meddling with people’s spirtiual lives and judging them for it, to the extent that to take lives based on such judgment were recognized by some as laudable acts

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  • Pakthooni
    Jan 17, 2012 - 8:14AM

    You make some valid points, but I have trouble understanding what you’re aiming for in Pakistan exactly. Pakistan can become that free and prosperous state if it truly wants too. Recommend

  • imme
    Jan 17, 2012 - 9:44AM

    Thats brilllant .. i hate PPP but i was greatadmirrer of your late father was a legend .. a man who stood beside the poor & helpless

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  • Fasih Ali Khan
    Jan 17, 2012 - 9:50AM

    All I can say is that you made us proud, Sister. May your father is blessed with heavens for talking the truth and your brother gets safe homecoming. Ameen. What a brave young lady. Salute.

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  • antanu
    Jan 17, 2012 - 9:50AM

    I love Sheherbano Taseer for loving Pakistan so much. I love Pakistan too. One day all Muslims will be one under Greater Pakistan nation!

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  • daredevil
    Jan 17, 2012 - 10:02AM

    I would love to agree with the ‘other’ picture the writer is showing despite all her personal tragedies last year, one has to say things are not as rosy as the article is portraying. One would love the things, matters and lives to be normal, if not rosy. But right now things are difficult and despairing for common Pakistani woman and man. In the despairing times we tend to cling to every spot of bright light, but to say that everything is in full light is perhaps stretching our imaginations.

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  • From Kolkata with Love :)
    Jan 17, 2012 - 10:07AM

    What a beautiful piece of article. As an Indian, I salute your courage and wish you and Pakistan a very happy and progressive life. Indeed, no matter what, when it comes to human feelings, we, India and Pakistan are same. People of your courage are needed in both sides of the border, and in the Government establishment. Thank You for such taking time and writing this.

    Joy,

    Kolkata, India

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  • Sami
    Jan 17, 2012 - 10:23AM

    like father, like daughter. BRAVERecommend

  • Adeel Ahmed
    Jan 17, 2012 - 10:41AM

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but this isn’t democracy…
    Its a civilian dictatorship… something PPP/Bhutto are all too familiar with…
    Since they started it.

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  • Pakistani
    Jan 17, 2012 - 10:44AM

    Proud of you.

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  • aarvey,india
    Jan 17, 2012 - 10:55AM

    @Ali Tanoli:

    most of your comments do not seem to have any meaning at all. Request you brush up on your english before you can attempt to comment in these pages. This article was written by a slain man’s daughter, a man who stood for certain principles but was shot in back by a cowardly murderer. She has inspite of all loss and probably abuse still stands resolutely for Pakistan. Give her that respect.

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  • Amir
    Jan 17, 2012 - 11:08AM

    Sheherbano you articulated the voice of every Pakistani who loves Pakistan unconditionally.

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  • Mirza
    Jan 17, 2012 - 11:28AM

    @Mirza: Sorry for the typos, my eyes were watery when I read this Op Ed and was typing. If there is any shred of humanity left among the abductors of Taseer Jr., I urge them on name of Islam, humanity, Pakistan and its traditions; please do not hurt this family again and again. They love their country and harm no one. Please, please, please!

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  • HT
    Jan 17, 2012 - 11:36AM

    The Arabs might have dragged Ghaddafis body around.but are we any better? What do you have to say about the two brothers who were killed in Sialkot mercilessly. Atleast these Arabs act this way in the name of ‘revolution’. What reason /justification do we have? We have failed as a nation. Believe me I love Pakistan, and I would never live anywhere else, But Pakistan has the worst people. We are inhumane intolerant of anything that is different. And as much as I agree with you that we have to be one of the most generous nations, it cannot make up for all the inhumane acts we display on a daily basis. (killings of shias, ethic conflicts etc)

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  • Mehreen
    Jan 17, 2012 - 11:38AM

    I think Zubair Khan’s comment is in bad taste, though it may be unintentional. I think the “average Pakistani” should thank their lucky stars they havent been through what the Taseers have been through in the last year. Compassion shouldn’t only be for the poor.Recommend

  • antony
    Jan 17, 2012 - 11:41AM

    @antanu, Being a muslim and living in india dreaming about greater pakistan does no good to india nor pakistan as its not possible..The love you have for pakistaniyat can be excercised by applying visa to pakistan with your entire family and contribute to pakistan economy..

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  • Zeeshan
    Jan 17, 2012 - 11:42AM

    Ms. Sherbano. First, thanks for teaching us the tolerance and positivity. Despite what happened to you, your courage and sincerity to fight for the true is inspiring May Allah protect your brother and give him long long life.

    We cannot recover what you have lost. But we will stand with you when required. And this is the start of it! A start which will give Pakistan a new life and bring more patriot people like you.Also, I urge you to be part of the political party so that you can continue spreading this spirit the tolerance. I am sure people will take you as granted and follow you.

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  • TENNIS
    Jan 17, 2012 - 12:09PM

    I really feel sorry for your brother..!! and yes u r courageous..

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  • let there be peace
    Jan 17, 2012 - 12:25PM

    Well written. Especially because it was not pretentious and sounded honest.
    However I find it difficult to believe your assumption that ‘majority’ of Pakistanis are like this.

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  • Anjum Hameed
    Jan 17, 2012 - 12:26PM

    Wonderful article!..thank you for making the point that we are NOT Arab..to each his own sphere of influence, without anyone claiming one is better than the other..Recommend

  • Abhi
    Jan 17, 2012 - 12:27PM

    Really nice blog! I am impressed. You showed positive and right attitude. Thing will improve if more people start thinking like you.

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  • Ali Kazmi
    Jan 17, 2012 - 12:46PM

    You’re too cool, Shehrbano Taseer. I’m a big fan of yours now. I will post this article everywhere. I want people to share your hope. No one has the right to despair if you haven’t.

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  • Imdad Soomro
    Jan 17, 2012 - 12:47PM

    After reading her piece my heart becomes heavy but eyes lit up with hope: My heart goes on………
    Imdad
    Hyderabad- Sindh

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  • sars
    Jan 17, 2012 - 1:03PM

    Well done sherbano!!! we could all learn a lesson from this positivity.

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  • MarkH
    Jan 17, 2012 - 1:11PM

    @HH:
    um. Yes, blacks were treated bad. No, it was not centuries. The US really isn’t that old. Pending on opinion of what counts as it being created, it’s about 236 years old. Slavery was abolished roughly 89 years after the creation. It did take a while for their ability to vote, which was roughly 189 years after.
    That’s not to say it wasn’t acceptable at any point during that but, centuries? Nope.

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  • zahid
    Jan 17, 2012 - 1:50PM

    Sherbano your father was killed in Pak and elder brother kidnapped here. Still you love pakistan. its really appreciative and encourgefull for all.

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  • Paki-Away
    Jan 17, 2012 - 1:52PM

    After hearing such terrible negative thoughts about Pakistan, it was a pleasant change to read such an optimistic and positive article. Thanks for that, its a great ‘pick me up’ for someone not living at home but missing Pakistan alot. As for all the critics out there, please keep in mind that while the author might be privelidged, she and her family have gone through something most of you can not even begin to imagine, she never once disregarded all the hardships ppl are going through, however she just said there is hope for us, hope for Pakistan, and its important we give her credit for being able to be so loving and positive about a nation that took so much away from her.

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  • Thevoiceofreason
    Jan 17, 2012 - 3:01PM

    @MarkH, 89 years is roughly 1 century. 189 years is roughly 2 centuries. Regardless the treatment of minorities is America is irrelevant to the treatment of minorities in Pakistan.

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  • Mohammad
    Jan 17, 2012 - 3:13PM

    How beautiful will be our country if everybody thinks and act in this way!! Superb –

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  • Sana
    Jan 17, 2012 - 4:04PM

    @Ali Wajdan:
    May the forces of good undo the crazy law that Z A Bhutto created to vilify your community. In my books, you are very much Pakistani and Muslim.

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  • Sana
    Jan 17, 2012 - 4:08PM

    A great read. A powerful article. Thank you for highlighting the good that exists in this lovely country. May the forces of good overcome the ignorance of the evil and may safety, sanity and sensibility prevail for all in our beloved land. I admire you for penning these words and keeping your optimism even as you have gravely suffered at the hands of tragic circumstances.

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  • Reema Shakeel
    Jan 17, 2012 - 4:19PM

    Shehrbano, beautifully written. Pakistan indeed is beautiful and it’s mine! There is always a beautiful morning after a dark night. We have seen the worst and now I am hopeful for a beautiful morning. Despite all the saddening and depressing events of 2011, I am praying for a blessed 2012 and a great future for my country.

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  • K B Kale
    Jan 17, 2012 - 4:34PM

    @prakash:
    Miss Taseer, we all stand by you. I am also an Indian but I loved your article. Like Mr Prakash, I also send you my condolences on the death of your fearless dad & send you my best wishes for safe reunion of your elder brother with the rest of the family. U
    Hold your head high & remember that most of Indians will feel this way about your dad & you!
    God bless you & your whole family. Amen!

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  • Anonymous
    Jan 17, 2012 - 4:44PM

    Miss Shehrbano Taseer,
    I would like to translate your article in Marathi, my mother tongue & publish it on a popular Marathi newspaper’s web edition & some other Marathi websites.
    I seek your permission to do so. You can convey your permission here or through Tribune who have my e-mail details. Best regards.Recommend

  • A Y
    Jan 17, 2012 - 4:46PM

    @rk from NY:
    Kind of mean, but unfortunately true……

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  • Jan 17, 2012 - 5:04PM

    Beautiful Lines..

    Pakistan is not the jihadist caricature it is oft made out to be. This is the majority of Pakistanis. Don’t mistake its lower pitch for silence. We are just less noisy, going about doing our business without feeling the need for propagandist validation by making headlines.

    People can call Pakistan dangerous but I don’t care. It’s beautiful and it’s mine.

    Recommend

  • Atif
    Jan 17, 2012 - 5:15PM

    Haven’t read this article yet. The headline of the article took my attention and this is enough for me to say “Excellent”. Thumbs up

    Recommend

  • Mastuj
    Jan 17, 2012 - 5:31PM

    Nice article. Salman Taseer was a hero no doubt.

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  • sana
    Jan 17, 2012 - 5:42PM

    @John B: this country belongs to christains and hindus as well who live here and they are equally beautiful.

    Recommend

  • Abbas from the US
    Jan 17, 2012 - 6:06PM

    @Ali Wajdan:

    Yes! You have ownership of Pakistan, your forefathers also contributed equally to the idea of Pakistan. Your forefathers were also part of the founding fathers of Pakistan. Your forefathers also sacrificed equally for this idea and need to be acknowledged, not only in Pakistan’s history books but in the narrative that is propounded by the media.
    But not only you, Christians who lost Shahbaz Bhatti, and Hindus who have lost not only their sense of identity but everything, need to be acknowledged as part of this nation.

    Mullahs who opposed the idea of Pakistan may have taken its ownership, forcibly and thats the reason they fear democracy.

    Keep the faith and your ownership rights will be returned to you eventually. Take inspiration from this young lady who despite unbeleivable personal losses has retained the right of ownership, and with this piece of writing has relit a sense of optimism in all of us.

    Recommend

  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Jan 17, 2012 - 6:12PM

    President zardari once said, ” There is an Indian in every Pakistani and vice verse”. Indians have been living on hopes for ever. It is Indian-ness in Pakistanis which will keep them always hopeful where as the Arabi in Pakistanis will keep them always violent. Trust me, we Indians are very hopeful that some day Pakistanis will shake out their Arab mentality and become like what they always were; Indian by heart and Muslims by faith. Reminds me of famous Raj Kapoor (one who was born in Peshawar); ” Mera Joota Hai Japani, Patloon Englishtani, Sur pe Topi Rooshi, fir bhi dil hai Hindustani”..Our Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians are all Indians, It were the Indian Muslims and not Arabs who gave the beautiful face to Islam. Almost one third of world Muslim population lives in pre-partitioned India. Even today the best Islamic study institutions are located in India and not in Arab world. Islamic plant might have been born in Arab world, but it flowered in India. I am sorry to say that the creation of Pakistan made Islam again flowerless and the results are for all to see. Its not the geography which makes nations. Its the people who make nations. I am sure Pakistan will evolve and find true path. Pakistani Islam will be Indian Islam once again and bloom in all its glory.

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  • Sumo
    Jan 17, 2012 - 6:12PM

    ‘Very Patriotic’ in a sense when the writer had to go through personal turmoil brought about in her own country yet trying to see and hope for optimism, reflects a lot on the inner self of the person and the need to stay and be optimistic about life

    Recommend

  • taimur tareen
    Jan 17, 2012 - 6:19PM

    Dear brother why don’t you call yourself a MUSLIM? Why have we segregated ourselves into, sunny, Shia, Ahmadi, Wahabi Muslims bla bla bla.
    Is it not against Quran where Allah says “do not become in different groups” (La takunu shiaan”.
    You may have different interpretation of Quran yet you are only a Muslim. Does it not define you enough?

    Thanks.

    Recommend

  • amoghavarsha.ii
    Jan 17, 2012 - 6:24PM

    “”There’s forward movement on our relationship with India”"
    Where is justice to the murdered people of mumbai???

    we started seeing ur news only after ur people came here to kill innocent unarmed civilans.
    I am still seeing the happenings in pakistan only to know if we can get your citizens punished who were masterminds of this killings,

    I don’t see anybody of matter really interested to change in ur country.

    whats use if you feel good or bad, as long as u r not part of the change.

    Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 17, 2012 - 6:33PM

    @Rajendra Kalkhande,
    I agreed this is true what u says but tehreek e pakistan start it and flourished by your area muslims from U.P AND BIHAR, BANGAL.

    Recommend

  • John B
    Jan 17, 2012 - 6:37PM

    All the emotional outburst and teary eyed feel good responses are expected in reading this article. But the question still remains, did her father die in vain?

    I was anticipating huge protests, demand for justice, and swift apprehension of all those who backed Qadri following his assassination. Instead, Bhatti was assassinated, Ms.Rehman resigned and went into seclusion, lawyers showered rose petals, and PAK moved on as if nothing has happened.

    If the assignations have not shaken up PAK conscience, nothing will in the future, as well.

    All those who think that PAK treats all her citizens equally under the law as per Article 25 of the constitution, please read the Preamble to the Constitution. It clearly says that PAK is for Muslims only.

    Please do not assassinate her father again by saying that PAK is for Hindus and Christians and all other minorities.

    He did not give his life in vain. Face the mirror and ask the questions honestly.

    Recommend

  • Navrattan
    Jan 17, 2012 - 6:40PM

    @Amoghavasha ii
    if we keep fighting on the graves of 1947 and kashmir , mumbai , hyderabad daccan, dehli nizamudin shrine boming or samjhoda express bombing or Gujrath fasad then how it gonna be peace in india and pakistan we gotta leave all the diffrences behind and look forward look it france germany and england they were fighting not too long ago ww1 and 2 they called and now trains running there i hope we have a same thing one day karachi to kolkata trains ser.

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  • V K Bajaj (Delhi)
    Jan 17, 2012 - 6:55PM

    It is the first time I have read article by the writer Shehrbano Taseer. What a coincidence that I read a BEAUTIFUL article on BEAUTIFUL motherland.

    It is in our human nature that we love and respect our own mother and own motherland so beautifully and find it difficult to hear anything (even if it is true) against mother or motherland.

    A child would never tolerate any words against her mother but can tolerate against him/her self.

    Sherbano you have said negative items in a positive and beautiful manner.

    Continue to love your respected Mother and Beautiful Motherland. I also love my respected Mother and Beautiful Motherland.

    Recommend

  • Amer Ali Shah
    Jan 17, 2012 - 7:03PM

    It is unfortunate that the 180 million or so of us are basically uneducated and live in the dark ages , this is an enlightening piece for those like myself who call themselves educated and yet hitherto have never heard of the great personalities like snoop dogs and Kate Hudson and an average pakistani spends more in a day on three lavish dinners whereas he may as well use the same money for capacity building and buy a copy of forbes

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  • Abbas from the US
    Jan 17, 2012 - 7:49PM

    @John B:

    Nobody here from Pakistan is suggesting that everything has suddenly changed because of Salman Taseer’s murder. But Taseer’s murder and his loss has been felt in the social and poltical world within Pakistan. To the extent that every thinking person has stopped and asked themselves as to where this person stood on this very provocative issue. Whether this was the of murder of someone who stood for reforming the blasphemy laws, where innnocent minorities become victims entangled due to individual personal differences between themselves and other Muslims, or was it the killing of a blasphemer oblivious to the sentiments of Muslims as some would see it.

    From the discourse in one small avenue of discussion the ET one wouldn’t be able to gauge how seriously this question was given thought by everyone. But sometimes ideas take time to germinate before they are absorbed by larger sections of society. There is no denying that the question has brought to the forefront of how Muslims would like to see themselves with the rest of global society. Exclusionary to the very bitter end, or taklng into account the softer side of Islam which allows for tolerence to other religiious views the ideas that prevailed before we lost direction.

    As time goes by the event will be a demarcating point of return to our original values. And for that alone Salman Taseer’s sacrifice as a martyr will not be in vain

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  • Sultan e Hind,
    Jan 17, 2012 - 7:57PM

    @Bajaj Dehli,
    It is good thing to love Motherland so deep but it is sad not to speak against unjust of some peoples we must say something for example even great artists if india silver screen cant find
    a apartment in Mumbai india like anjum rajab ali, saif ali khan, shabana azmi etc even though
    they are good muslim either just by names but for them its hard then what we gonna about ordernary indian muslims. Discrimination In Democracy.

    Recommend

  • Asma Baloch
    Jan 17, 2012 - 7:59PM

    @antanu:
    you affection for the lady is adorable, I, however, couldnt comprehend the other part of you comments

    Recommend

  • Jan 17, 2012 - 7:59PM

    It was very refreshing to read this article. We do have many ills in our society for which we could be ashamed of but … majority of our people are peace loving, hence victims in the hands of extremists and those who secretly plot and support extremism. Media reports crash landings but Shehr Bano has positively pointed out what’s in the ‘Media’s Blind Spot’. Pakistanis are quick to criticise themselves, a good quality but we’ve gone so overboard with it, it’s affecting us negatively. Let’s join hands with this young lady and start highlighting our positives. During a recent visit to Pakistan, my Canadian friends advised me not to go to that ‘troubled land’. Well, I landed in the media’s blind spot and wrote a poem titled ‘Butterflies of Pleasures”.
    My sympathies for Taseer family, great admiration for their courage and now an invitation to Shehr Bano to start compiling positiive stories about Pakistanis, especially women. zohraz.com

    Recommend

  • Jan 17, 2012 - 8:37PM

    It is very much your country, as it was your father’s. Beauty lies in beholder’s eyes!

    Recommend

  • Mujtaba
    Jan 17, 2012 - 8:57PM

    Nicely written. Hope your brother comes home safe and sound.

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  • Syed
    Jan 17, 2012 - 9:08PM

    Dear Shehrbano Taseer,
    May I take this opportunity to offer my condolence to you and all your family members. Pakistan is indeed beautiful and Pakistan is certainly yours, but may I respectfully add, that it would have to be reclaimed from the Mullahs. May I also state, on a rather factual note, that it was the PPP, the party your late father too belonged to, that handed over Pakistan to the Mullah. This tragedy took place in 1974, when through a constitutional amendment, during the PPP rule, the Ahmadi Muslims were declared “not Muslim”. It is my sincere belief, and let me honestly share this with you, that as long as this amendment stays, Pakistan will remain in the clutches of the Mullah.

    Recommend

  • Jay
    Jan 17, 2012 - 9:30PM

    @antanu:
    This exact mentality is causing all your misery. Pakistan has no means to save all the muslims nor all muslims wants to be part of Pakistan. Save yourself and your nation first.

    Recommend

  • alina
    Jan 17, 2012 - 9:41PM

    @Zubair Khan: I may not agree with PPP’s politics but I am not going to bash the writer just because her dad or family are members of that party. She may be from the elite class, but why pigeonhole her and indirectly lay the blame of the country’s woes on her just because of the class she comes from? Just because she is elite, does that mean she can’t write about the problems of this country or spread a message of hope to readers? Stereotyping her, and anyone because of the class they come from, might be exactly why we can’t move forward socially as a nation. However, Shehrbano’s words might prove otherwise…

    Recommend

  • SM
    Jan 17, 2012 - 9:44PM

    @John B:
    Does the US allow a Muslim to become President? France and Canada even outlaw the Muslim hijab.. so much for equality…. The Americans have a cow if a mosque is constructed in lower Manhattan and it is only the minorities that defend the right of Muslims to have a mosque where they want there. The bulk of the Americans were all for banning mosques in their communities. So please do not talk about how non-Muslims should be allowed to become the head of Pakistan.

    Pakistan was and is and will remain a Muslim country, made by the Muslims of India as a separate homeland.

    Recommend

  • antanu g
    Jan 17, 2012 - 9:53PM

    @HH:
    john b understands everything but does not want to accept. his mind is biased and any positive word about pakistan is unacceptable for him…Recommend

  • Satya Issar
    Jan 17, 2012 - 10:02PM

    While Ms Taseer’s courage can not be doubted and one ought to salute her for that. But the reality is very different and grim for the vast majority of people who are losing their livings for want of basic necessities. The loss of such basics is not necessarily due to real shortages but SHEER INCOMPETENCE AND GREED by the very people who are supposed to provide such basics.
    In the name of a false JAMOOHRIAT and false interpretation of RELIGION fed to masses who are deliberately kept IGNORANT, serves their usurpers well. Ms Taseer , please wake up and start a movement to address the problems. My best wishes and prayers are with you.Recommend

  • A.Khan
    Jan 17, 2012 - 10:18PM

    Yes, doesnt matter what happens, its beautiful and its mine!

    Recommend

  • Ali
    Jan 17, 2012 - 10:25PM

    Technically speaking, how is the acquittal of five of the six ‘accused’ of raping MM a bad thing? Didn’t the legal process run it’s course? Thought it was innocent till proven guilty – and it was the Supreme Court that acquitted them as per the law. Should they have been sent to the gallows just to make a good fairy tale ending of law and justice because civil society wants it that way regardless of what the legal conclusion is?

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  • Alia
    Jan 18, 2012 - 12:46AM

    Shehrbano – You move and inspire us. May Allah give you more strength and makes voices like yours stronger, firmer and louder!

    Recommend

  • Lofted Shot
    Jan 18, 2012 - 1:40AM

    Shehrbano Taseer I Love you, You won my heart by writing this fantastic Article.

    May you and your family bear the enormous losses you all had.

    Recommend

  • Amir Jamil
    Jan 18, 2012 - 2:06AM

    i second you shehrbano. you father still rules on my heart. your article is the true depiction of whats happening here… May God be with you….

    Recommend

  • John B
    Jan 18, 2012 - 2:59AM

    @SM:
    Perhaps you should visit American consulate and ask for the details of American Muslims and number of mosques being constructed. If you get a chance, please read about US presidents speech and NY mayors speech about the construction of Mosque near ground zero.

    In the US, Muslims enjoy more freedom of worship than they do in PAK. Yes, there are apprehensions and hate crimes against Muslims, but it is not the US position to defend and protect the bigots.

    As you acknowledge, PAK is a Muslim country and as per the third constitution of PAK the Muslims of PAK claim authority of sacred trust given to them in the name of Allah on the lives of all who live and will live in Pakistan, including Hindu, Christian, Animists, atheists and apostates whether they like it or not.

    Pak people of present generation understand this fallacy but I am afraid the well is poisoned too much. Mr. Taseer assassination was the last straw that broke the camels back.

    “Mirror Mirror on the wall, is my PAK for all”?

    Recommend

  • geeko
    Jan 18, 2012 - 4:03AM

    Beautiful overall but…

    It’s an exciting time to be a Pakistani. Our resilience, our determination — it pulsates untouched through the streets. It is oft difficult for women to brave. And in a conservative country like Pakistan, one has to work twice as hard to be considered half as good as a man. But Pakistani women artists, entrepreneurs, politicians, authors and professionals have always rejected the corseted roles men have sought to cast them in. From MPs like Sherry Rehman (now ambassador to the US) and Marvi Memon (who resigned from parliament recently) to lawyers like Asma Jahangir and filmmakers like Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, to the thousands of other selfless unsung heroes, Pakistani women are dynamic and unafraid — and this fact is one of the saving graces of our benighted country.

    I disagree: they are not ‘just’ women, but women from bourgeoisie (hold on for a Marxist ride): if Marvi Memon or Asma Jahangir are where they are, it’s not because they are women who, through education and hard work and all our misogynist odds went to the way to success, no, it’s simpler : it’s because they were already in the dominant class (daughter of that politician, wife of this one, sister of this industrialist, …)
    The day I’ll see a woman from a poor background, I’ll clap, but we have a long way to go!
    Though kudos to Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. :P

    Cheers all.

    Recommend

  • da man
    Jan 18, 2012 - 4:43AM

    Shehrbano Taseer — I salute you and your family. Your father is not dead. He will forever live in the memories of the living!

    Recommend

  • Aakif
    Jan 18, 2012 - 6:02AM

    Respect!

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  • DANNY DHALLA
    Jan 18, 2012 - 6:32AM

    Shehrbano Taseer you are indeed your fathers daughter & a true heroine & your optimism & love for Pakistan over shadows all the gloom & doom we hear daily. The whole Pakistani nation salutes you & your fathers bravery & courage lives on through you. God bless & keep you safe & God will return your brother safely back to your family & mark my words one day soon all Pakistani women will be equal to men in all respects thanks to courageous heroes like your dad & heroines like you.

    Recommend

  • Arun
    Jan 18, 2012 - 7:23AM

    Thanks Shehrbano.. May more Voices of Pakistan speak to eradicate the barbaric practices and turn Pakistan into a Nation to reckon with.. It has the potential as noticed in sports, fashion, arts, ..

    Recommend

  • sadhu
    Jan 18, 2012 - 9:55AM

    It is not beautiful. Migrate for your life.Recommend

  • Aamer
    Jan 18, 2012 - 10:42AM

    Feelings make us human and hope makes the human to live. No matter which social class you belong to, no matter how bad is the world around you, no matter how much darkness you are sucked in, HOPE of a better day will keep you alive. Shehrbano is an inspiration for all Pakistanis to think positive and act positive to give this beautiful country a beautiful nation.
    Salute to Shehrbano – a true Pakistani spirit !

    Recommend

  • Dr. Samia Babar
    Jan 18, 2012 - 12:55PM

    Its heartwarming that she still calls herself a Pakistani as do the others who have been wronged.
    We can only pray for the safety of all in Pakistan and for the return of her brother. I cannot even imagine what the family is going through at these times.
    May Allah be with you all.

    Recommend

  • Anum Akram
    Jan 18, 2012 - 1:30PM

    Fantastic article, Shehrbano! I love your optimism and truly admire your bravery. Lots of prayers for Shahbaz’s safe return iA.

    Recommend

  • Alam Dar
    Jan 18, 2012 - 1:51PM

    It may be urs but I dont quite understand the unconditional love to PPP.

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  • Abdul Wahaab
    Jan 18, 2012 - 2:19PM

    Its mine !

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  • Hira Z
    Jan 18, 2012 - 4:11PM

    Applause ! All credit goes to your parents for such exceptional upbringing. Your story is loaded with positive vibes .

    Recommend

  • Concerned
    Jan 18, 2012 - 4:56PM

    Its great to hear that you are still optimistic like millions of others in Pakistan. But, yours is more appreciable after seeing all your sufferings. And dear I wouls say to you that Pakistan will remain ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’. And we would eliminate from here all sections of Liberal Fascist as well as fanatics who used ‘religion’ as excuse for their ‘doings’ Insha Allah. .

    Recommend

  • Rahim
    Jan 18, 2012 - 5:39PM

    one love! PAKISTAN

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  • Eram
    Jan 18, 2012 - 7:37PM

    A brilliant article! Looking at the bright side (which obviously exists) and working towards spreading that brightness is what makes the darkness goes away. Keeping the hopes up and staying resilient is all that matters.

    Recommend

  • antanu
    Jan 18, 2012 - 9:15PM

    asma baloch

    Pakistan is a beautiful country for all Muslims. I am proud of Shehrbano Taseer because she is good Muslim who loves Pakistan. Pakistanis don’t know how lucky they are to live in a country which is made for Islam.

    Recommend

  • Still a Pakistani
    Jan 18, 2012 - 9:44PM

    Great expresion by a brave heart…!

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  • Mister
    Jan 18, 2012 - 10:30PM

    @ Antanu

    people like u are the root cause why minorities are not respected and accepted, according to you, u must be a good muslim to be called a Pakistani? what if she/he is not muslim, does she/he has the right to call himself Pakistani?

    Recommend

  • Abbas from the US
    Jan 18, 2012 - 10:47PM

    @antanu:

    Wrong!!!!! Pakistan was made to gaurantee economic and political rights for Indian Muslims.
    Thats what we were repetetively informed right thru the late forties, fifties and sixties.

    This idea of Pakistan being made to serve as a tool for the Mullahs is from the seventies when General Zia needed to stay in power by exploiting the masses in the name of Islam.

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  • Alysha M
    Jan 18, 2012 - 11:05PM

    Bano!
    Loved the article :)

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  • sherry
    Jan 18, 2012 - 11:15PM

    Great piece:)

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  • Mister
    Jan 18, 2012 - 11:51PM

    Pakistan is really a big mistake, there is no freedom for minorities/liberals/atheist, and the majority still wants islamic pakistan, while their muslims brothers/sisters are enjoying more rights and freedom in western/secular countries. Bravo!

    Exactly the reason why I as a non-muslim left Pakistan and many Pakistani hindu friends left for India.

    There will never be freedom again for Pak Minorities as long as Pakistan remains a theocracy!

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  • faisal munir jatoi
    Jan 19, 2012 - 3:14AM

    great job done mashALLAH

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  • Zeffos
    Jan 19, 2012 - 4:05AM

    @Mister: Mistakes have no age, you just proved it.

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  • Aviator
    Jan 19, 2012 - 4:49AM

    Shehrbano you are very very brave, and I agree with what you, pakistan is a beautiful country, the talent of its people is extraordinary, and I too am excited by all the positive developments!

    I am a british pakistani, having lived a few years in lahore. I remember with great fondness the beauty of pakistan, and love I have for the city.

    I have introduced some of the new pakistani music, such as coke studio, to my english friends, and they have been blown away by the musical skill, talent, and its deepness, in pakistan.

    I feel that if we develop our talents and keep developing the postive things we have, then pakistan has a bright future.

    Btw my friends say that pakistani cuisine is the best in the world, which I agree! :)

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  • Babur Sohail
    Jan 19, 2012 - 9:11AM

    I am really touched to know your love for the country after such a tragic incidents with your family, while in the same circumstances others may have flown abroad or have spoken rude language for the land they live in. Thanks for writing such a lovely article and I am sure the nation stands by you.
    Govt must announce award like sitara e jurrat to your family for showing such courage and affection for the homeland. Don’t break and keep the hope alive.
    God bless our country……..

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  • Babur Sohail
    Jan 19, 2012 - 9:28AM

    @Mister: all these problems you mentioned about Pakistan are well and truly alive and growing in india. I think you are mistaken and fooled by common western perception.

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  • Babur Sohail
    Jan 19, 2012 - 9:43AM

    @John B: Muslims are more than 96% while minorities are remaining population of the Pak. Do you suggest that 4% should be taken more care of than 96%???????
    Offcourse minorities in Pak are much better than India and other countries as they have equal rights to progress if not the post of PM or President. Do you think it makes the much difference. The temples, churches and Gurdwaras are much safer than our Mosques. You going on stereotypes and shying away of facts. Common man understand the ground realities.

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  • antanu
    Jan 19, 2012 - 9:49AM

    Mister, you left because of your own problems. So many Pakistanis live happily. And what if you were an Indian minority who couldn’t leave like you to live in comfort where Christians are favored? Unlike other religions, Islam gives minorities full rights. You are so ungrateful. Inshallah Pakistan will still be a great nation without you.

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  • Jan 19, 2012 - 10:03AM

    I thank you on behalf of all pakistanis.

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  • radiha
    Jan 19, 2012 - 12:35PM

    beautifully composed a very well drafted article respect the sentiments of the writer

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  • Mustafa
    Jan 19, 2012 - 1:33PM

    You only see what your eyes want to see. If only you would travel like the 90% of people in this country and eat with them and sleep with them. you would then know what Pakistan is going through and what a rise in the price of ‘Roti’ does to a family of 7 with just one bread earner. They have not all of a sudden come alive. I am sorry but you know nothing about Pakistan. You belong to the 1% of the fortunate ones in Pakistan with warm water running down your shower and the generator at home that keeps the darkness away. I think its been a bad year for your family, 90% of Pakistanis have it bad since the day they are born till the day they die. You need to go see the whole country and talk to the people. We have many Jihadists who we must confront as we don’t have armed guards to protect us. So please next time your about to write something about Pakistan come out of your shelter and write whats real. We wont get rid of the Jihadists with just optimism.
    p.s You cant google your way into becoming a journalist.

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  • Osama Ahmad Warraich
    Jan 19, 2012 - 1:35PM

    Shehrbano,

    I have all the respect in the world for you for writing such a beautiful piece especially after suffering so much at the hands of these religious bigots who are trying to hijack the idea of a progressive democratic state the father of the nation stood for.

    I hope and pray your brother Shahbaz returns home safely soon and also pray that your father’s killers are given an exemplary punishment.

    Pakistan belongs to you. Thank you very much Shehrbano for inspiring us and for giving us hope.

    Osama

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  • Vigilant
    Jan 19, 2012 - 2:09PM

    Very Encouraging article…….no doubt Pakistan is beautiful & belongs to each & every Pakistani regardless of their background, religion & community…..

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  • wah
    Jan 19, 2012 - 6:16PM

    Indians who have lived in democracy and secularism (with some exceptions) always love to see bright spot in dark of Pak .Generations born after 1947 do not believe in hatred world except those who earn from fundamentalism I don’t know about Mr Taseer but the cause he died for was great
    Your article reminds me An old song …….Ae mere pyare watan ……comes in my mind
    God bless youRecommend

  • Satya Issar
    Jan 19, 2012 - 9:24PM

    Most of the comments on the article are in kind of sympathy for Ms Taseer and quite rightly so. While one can understand that Pakistanis love their country as every patriot should. But sentimentality can not and will not address the malaise which has been creeping in the very structure of the political and religious arena which two are the main cause of the decline of Pakistan in the chaos in which the country finds itself. Calling your country lovely, beautiful and lauding Ms Taseer will not improve the situation just as WISHING (only) will not solve the problems. Ms Taseer and millions of the silent majority have to take POSITIVE and ACTIVE steps to improve the situation.

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  • Isaaq
    Jan 19, 2012 - 11:07PM

    Great article, but it misses the point. The collective mentality of the people is backward. The way Pakistan will be fixed is through a complete overhaul of the education system – no more institutions that preach hatred and intolerance, no more classes that ignore teaching basic human rights and wants like freedom, justice, democracy and development.

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  • Hassan
    Jan 20, 2012 - 1:33PM

    Hats off to you girl Bravoooo… just amazing how positive you are…loved it.

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  • Adnan
    Jan 20, 2012 - 3:30PM

    @prakash:
    YEs and you better keep safe some sympathies for your own countrymen too as they are also suffering from various magnitude of crisis…shall i count you some

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  • Shama Sheikh
    Jan 21, 2012 - 11:53AM

    Kudos for a brilliantly articulated article Shehrbano…Pakistan needs more young people like you…
    Thank you and God Bless…

    Recommend

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