Why I will never leave Pakistan

Pakistan has given me a good education, a blessed life and boundless happiness. It is now my time to give back.

I have been robbed twice at gun point. On an almost daily basis I witness the gross negligence or ignorance towards the concept of civic sense. Traffic cops more often than not are more interested in lining up their pockets with ‘chai paisa’ (money for tea) rather than implementing the traffic laws and regulations.

The festive season in this country sees a surge in prices rather than a celebration of the occasion. Our current government doesn't carry the best of reputations and is widely thought of as corrupt. The remaining political options consist of an idealistic autocrat, a tried and tested party from the centre and a mixture of extremists and power hungry feudals. There is a general lack in direction of where the country is headed or where the inflation and ability for the common man to survive in this country is going.

The daily news in the papers consists of people getting robbed or murdered. You can also find tussles in the political corridors of this nation between its institutions and establishment. There is a growing ‘brain drain’ trend. People of my age or younger are eyeing exit strategies much more seriously than before.

Despite all this, I refuse to leave Pakistan. I will always deny the option of settling down in some foreign country somewhere.

I do acknowledge that all of the above mentioned problems exist on a grand scale in our country, but at the same time there also exists good and the potential for greatness.

There exists the human strength in coming together in great numbers at the time of need arising after a disaster ( flood relief, earthquake relief); there exists the talent of extremely bright minds in our country; there exists brilliant artists; natural resources; creative entrepreneurs; wonderful musicians; passionate sportsmen, captivating play writers and performers.

Where people see political turmoil, lack of dedication and the ‘Pakistan First’ spirit in our national leaders, I see the great potential and a vacuum for people to make things happen themselves. I see inspiration from the examples of Shaukat Khannum Memorial Cancer Hospital, TCF, Teach for Pakistan, Edhi and SOS village.

The potential and thirst to do good by our country will always remain. We just have to make that choice and actually commit.

We can continue to dwell in useless drawing room discussions about how things are rapidly deteriorating in Pakistan, but what good will this do? What we can choose to do is acknowledge the problems and then maybe do something about them - whatever we can do in our individual capacities.

I will never leave Pakistan because this country has given me a good education, a blessed life and boundless happiness. It is now my time to give back.

I am not, and will never really be interested in getting involved in fixing the political scenario of this country. I don’t believe that is where I can contribute. I believe in humanitarian causes and have already made a choice for myself. I hope and pray to Allah that I get to that point where I have the ability to implement what I have in mind.

Let’s actually start thinking of ‘Pakistan First’ as more than just a random party slogan or a political mileage making sentence; let’s make it a goal. Let’s not just wait around for a symbol of hope for change in this country to come into power to fix things for us. Let’s start trying to fix things ourselves.

This post originally appeared here. 

Follow Shiraz on Twitter @sammywiseguy85                                                                                                                                                                                        [poll id="145"]

Shiraz Abdullah Mahmood The author is a marketeer by day and a blogger by most nights. He loves writing, football (Arsenal! Gunner since '99) and is a delusional romantic of the Pakistan cricket teams. Avid book reader, viewer of sitcoms and general fun lover! He tweets @sammywiseguy85
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


sheila | 9 years ago | Reply @BlackJack: He never said those who leave Pakistan are deserters, infantile or reprehensible, overseas Pakistanis are beneficial in their own way to the country providing remittances etc, and we have to have some brain and talent left in the country that can at least pave some way for betterment for its future. Things just don't change one day sitting and doing nothing. People of high resolution are required for that and I appreciate this guy Shiraz's optimism and determination. These are the sort of people we need to stay in Pakistan, meanwhile every Pakistani is important in their own way, be it overseas or staying in Pakistan. so please don't confuse yourself. I'm with you Shiraz, good going! light the flame, no matter what. we need peace and people with good and positive intentions here in Pakistan, it is the need of the hour!
Khalid Shahzad | 10 years ago | Reply Dear Friends A complaint case of Blasphemy laws 295 B ppc has been filed on 18- 5- 2012 in Farooq abad Police station FIR NO 173/12 against Sajjid Masih S/o,Inayat Masih of Sadeeq Abad Farooq Abad District Shikhupura Punjab Pakistan. Yesterday morning 8:A.M when Sajjid Masih was going out for breakfast from his scrap shop. When crossing near the electricity poll where box of holy pages was hanging and burning with fire Faisal S/o,Akhtar Called him and asking him about Fire but Sajjid masih just ignored and going his way, Then Faisal Akhtar, Imran Ashraf ,and Nafees Akbar shouting and the villager were gathered, They protested and blocked the road and shouting against Christian community then the city police station Farooq abad reached their and the registered FIR against Sajjid Masih and arrested him The perpetrator is Mohammad Shaher UL Zaman who is the President of (Karwan-Tahfooz – Quran) Farooq Abad. Today 19 May 2012 police send him in to Shikhupura Jail without presented to Magistrate. The Trail will be going on in the Jail due to some awful situation. Khalid Shahzad Human rights activist.
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