Times are tough, but we are tougher

We cannot all abandon Pakistan as a lost cause and join the bandwagon of those going to the US or Europe.

Azmat Ashraf November 11, 2010
We are living in turbulent times where only an excuse is needed to start a killing spree. Be it in the name of religion, national security or revenge. Pakistanis have never felt less secure than they do at present, because anything can happen at any time which can affect their welfare. The terrorists blow themselves up at whim whenever they deem fit with only one ultimate aim to have as many casualties as possible. There is terror and bloodshed at every turn, be it at our own hands or at the hands of external forces.

Although no one doubts that this mass violence is an effort to destabilize the already shaky government, which came into power with a unique mandate of ‘democracy is the best revenge’ the government’s inadequacy is also apparent. The poor man is suffering due to the rise in price of commodities, increase in taxes and also being martyred because of the militancy which is a raging threat that is hanging over our heads like the Sword of Damocles.

Previously the militants waged war non-Muslims (which is forbidden in Islam) by claiming it is a Jihad (holy war), but what kind of Jihad is it if they are killing their own Muslim brothers in Islam. The onslaught of the suicide bomber is not only on foreign franchises but also on mosques and holy shrines. This just goes to show that the ultimate aim of these militants is to kill whoever and wherever they can. The casualty in this war against the world is the innocent women and children who frequent these locales.

It is about time that we took matters in our own hands, with the resolve that we will have a better tomorrow, it is in our hands to demand mid-term elections and it must be made mandatory that everyone above the age of eighteen come out and vote so that they can elect officials that are representative of them. However, who is going to pass such a ruling? Surely not the ones who have been exploiting the masses this whole while, lest they be removed from power, thus, it is a vicious circle.

Should we all abandon Pakistan, because its a lost cause and join the bandwagon of those going to the US or Europe for a more stable life? No, we must face facts and take responsibility for being gullible enough to bring these unscrupulous politicians in a position of power or face the possibility of an impending state of anarchy. It is very easy to point fingers and blame those in power but we must look to ourselves and accept the blame of empowering this particular gang of crooks. It is my suggestion that we use television as an educator since it has the strongest influence on the masses, like our neighbor who launched a campaign with a local tea manufacturing company – that on election day if you are not casting your vote you are sleeping, and that you better wake up.

We should take pride in our country and need to come together to make it such that we do not feel embarrassed of presenting our passport when traveling abroad. We need to get rid of this curse of the negative publicity we have been subjected to for a while now. The nation and its 170 Million people are being subjected to hostile treatment abroad. It’s unfair to judge others by the worst behavior of a few and think that it reflects upon the whole nation.

Here I would like to question our values which consisted of integrity, virtue and above all honesty. Even today people who live in villages rely on verbal commitments not agreements signed on stamp paper. However, one’s word of honor doesn’t mean anything anymore, people even dishonor legal agreements these days, so it’s no wonder people trust no one anymore.  People now take pride in being able to rip people off when they have made a quick buck. A virtuous person is categorized as being naïve and gullible – traits that are synonymous with a simple mind and thus impractical in this day and age of exploitation. The common man is exploited at every turn be it the government or a shopkeeper corruption is at every corner. It is often said that if one wants to survive in Pakistan he has to indulge in some corruption at least. Morals and values can be damned if they are in the way of monetary gain.

Although the situation looks pretty bleak to us these days we can provide solace to ourselves that things can only improve from here on.
Azmat Ashraf A communications graduate who has worked as a print journalist in Karachi
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Dr. Nashtar Gardezi | 13 years ago | Reply Azmatunissa Sorry to say, your article is just a waste of time.
Saud Siddiqui | 13 years ago | Reply Your very last para. "Things can only improve from here on"......How? There is no hope Ms Azmat.
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