Unwind: Pakistan bashing needs to end

Why do we blame the whole population for the wrongdoings of a few cheats in parliament or the cricket team for fixing matches or a lynch mob that attacks people?

Maria Khan September 14, 2010
The events over the last few weeks are disturbing and depressing for any Pakistani. Not because the unwanted happened for the first time or that Pakistan is the only country for such happenings. The depressing aspect was that media and especially bloggers that took Pakistan bashing and self-flagellation to new unprecedented heights. I do not defend the fake-degree holders, nor do I condone of match fixing, nor the Sialkot lynching. However, I am a great believer in human individuality and complexity of the human brain.

What makes us different

DNA is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. The main role of DNA molecules is the long-term storage of information. DNA has complete information about every thing in a human body. This is the user’s guide or manual. Marvelously, DNA is manufactured in such a way that no two humans can ever have the same DNA, unless they are identical twins. What this means is that every person living on this earth has a unique identity and individuality. Even children cannot have exactly the same DNA as their parents and vice versa. Based on this fact, we routinely use DNA tests to identify dead bodies, missing persons, victims and perpetrators of a crime. The 170 million people in Pakistan are no exception to this fact.

How is it then that we blame the whole population for the wrongdoings of a few cheats in parliament or the cricket team for fixing matches or a lynching mob that attacks people? Why have we become such sensationalists?

Blogs over the last month have been pre-occupied by the Sialkot tragedy. I accept that it was very unfortunate and should not have happened. My sympathies are with the family of the brothers. Is this though the only way that we relate to Sialkot?

Sialkot is more than a mob

My first introduction to Sialkot was back in elementary school when we were told that it is the birthplace of the renowned poet Allama Iqbal. Germans in the city of Munich still celebrate the 9th of November because Allama Iqbal used to study there. Then we have a cricket team called Sialkot Stallions which is the national Tenty20 champion for the fifth consecutive year and is probably the best Twenty20 club in the world. This is the same city which used to supply footballs for the FIFA World Cup Finals. The world knows Sialkot not because of a bunch of crazy barbarians. When we talk about Sialkot, we talk about sports goods, Iqbal and peace loving citizens. Who can forget that the citizens of Sialkot have a unique distinction of building an airport on their own! A great city with so much talent, a vast cultural heritage, its contribution towards the creation and development of Pakistan does not deserve such harsh treatment.

Self flagellation at its best

It is the duty of the media to point out any excesses but it should not be for the sake of criticism. Everybody is entitled to his or her opinion but when one’s opinion matters to millions, then one should be careful of what to say or write. Yes, I accept our president may not be the best. We have problems of terrorism and the Taliban. We have fake degree holders in our parliament. Bloggers can come up with a million excuses to bash Pakistan. However, which country in the world has no problems?

The largest democracy in the world has a 40 per cent population who do not get a square meal to eat on a daily basis. Israeli soldiers feel proud to be photographed with their captives, however, we never see or read about these on BBC or CNN. Why can we not write something about a Pakistani man who has not taken a day off from work for the past five decades? A man who has probably forgotten living for himself? A man who spent his wedding night in a hospital nursing a poor girl? A man who refuses to accept dollars from governments but is generous enough to donate thousands of dollars for Hurricane Katrina victims? A man who is not ashamed of begging in the roads of Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta, to feed his countrymen and that too at the age of 82? Yes he is a Pakistani and his name comes first at the time of accidents and human tragedies.

Why can we not stop the self flagellation and Pakistan bashing? We should change ourselves. What can each individual do for this country? How long will it take us to understand the Pakistani DNA?
Maria Khan A PhD student at the University of the Punjab. She is studying biological sciences.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Mani | 13 years ago | Reply Absolutely Maria - good job!
Maria Khan | 13 years ago | Reply thank you all for your feedback.. the point i tried to make in this blog is that Sialkot and for that matter Pakistan is much more than barbarism and terrorism and all these bad things. we should not see it through the prism of foreign media. in 1947 they said pakistan will be annexed with india as it is so weak that it cannot run for even a few months but here we are after 63 years it is still there on the world map despite so much bad things happened. we the youth of the nation should be hopeful and try our part to make it a better nation.
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