I am a global misfit

Pakistanis have unfortunately become misfits in the global village and our opportunities to cross borders are increasingly limited.

Khadija Husain October 16, 2010
After the Margalla Hills plane crash, the catastrophic floods, the Sialkot lynching and many other political dramas, I wanted to take a break from Pakistan. I had had enough and was eager to go to my parents, who reside in Riyadh.

But this lack of patriotism came to haunt me during my stay in Riyadh, just two days before I was planning to leave for my much-anticipated trip to Dubai, the place where I was supposed to experience the best of the East and the West (Yes, such was my disillusion with Pakistan at the time that I had become optimistic about Dubai). With ticket in hand, I was wondering why the travel agent in Pakistan had not sent me my Dubai visa. After a frantic phone call to the travel agent, I found out that I could not go because I had a manual passport. A law had been passed just recently and was especially aimed at Pakistanis, I was told.

And if that was not bad enough, I found myself stuck in Saudi Arabia as my residence visa process was delayed. Officials in Saudi Arabia were apparently still hung over from Ramazan, Eid and national holidays.

Contrary to the purpose behind the vacation, I returned to Pakistan feeling trapped, only to find out that a colleague of mine, who had been awarded a scholarship by a Canadian university, did not get a visa and could not pursue her studies. Unfortunately, this is just one of the many cases in which talented individuals have been denied a chance to study in prestigious universities abroad because of visa problems.

Pakistanis have unfortunately become misfits in the global village. We can communicate with people all over the world thanks to the internet, but our opportunities to cross borders are becoming increasingly limited. A mere piece of paper is now silently dictating our place in the world.
WRITTEN BY:
Khadija Husain A graduate from the Lahore University of Management Sciences
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

COMMENTS (6)

Deen | 10 years ago | Reply Tell me about it, Ive been there, the agony and inconvenience of owning a Pakistani passport. Being a frequent overseas traveller, this anxiety of second class treatment one gets courtesy of the passport they hold, is likely to the death of some one some day. You name a major international airport, and ive received the extra treatment because of my passport, if you know what I mean. Whether it be Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur or London Heathrow, if you have a Pakistani passport, there is no escape.
Abdul Rehman Ahmed | 10 years ago | Reply Already Mr. Suhail has portrayed the real cause of this inconvenience that most Pakistanis experience while traveling; it is the mere urge of wanting to get away from all the hassles they face in Pakistan and are demotivated to such an extent that they want to trade in another country's passport . Moreover the failure of the current Pakistani Government as well as the U.S, Israreli and Indian mission to declare Pakistan as an unsecured State has lead to damaging the image of a Pakistani National in the world. I would like to add that no matter how bad things get we shouldn’t be blaming Pakistan for it. It is we who make the country, not our leaders. It is our forefathers who have sacrificed their lives to bring this sacred piece of land on world's geography.. And Inshallah with the grace of Allah we will stand united and show the world that we are a nation who is proud to be called a Pakistani.
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