To leave or not to leave Pakistan

As a kid, I had made up my mind to not leave Pakistan, but today I hardly recognise my country.

Bilal Ahmad May 09, 2011
As a kid, I had made up my mind to not leave this country even if it was falling apart. But then again, the biggest worry at that time was whether it was safe to stay out late at night.

Things have changed now and that, too, rapidly and drastically.  Now the situation is such that there’s no guarantee that even when you go to pray, you’ll come back alive.

The past few days put things in better perspective. On Monday, while everyone only sang OBL tunes, Karachi was set ablaze. Vehicles were torched as if they were for free, people killed like animals and business came to a standstill. Everyone rushed to the safety of their four walls and breathed a sigh of relief.

The government, which spends billions on defence every single year, had put its hands up and left the city in chaos.

And this happened in Karachi – the metropolitan city, the biggest commercial centre of the country and the provincial capital. The shocking bit is that although the destruction was expected, it was for some reason allowed to happen.

Call me cynical, but whenever the government sets its mind on doing something, it gets the job done – like reopening a 32-year-old case.

Anyway, the city had barely got back on its feet when the Oil Tankers’ Association called a strike.

It was like a carnival by midnight with vehicles hoarding to petrol pumps, but to no avail. I even saw parents manually pushing their cars while their children took over the wheel, in hopes that they would reach the front of the queue and manage to buy some fuel.

Going to the hospital for medical emergencies was a problem. I’m not asking for free health care, which the government does not provide, but spare a thought: recently a patient passed away in the ambulance when, for the prime minister’s safety, roads were cordoned off.

I was once proud, but today I hardly recognise my country. Yet I won’t leave for one simple reason –there were great sacrifices made to bring us to existence and there might still be hope.
Bilal Ahmad Designation: Sub-Editor English Paper Department: Business
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Maroof Moulvi | 12 years ago | Reply An exceptionally well written article! Maroof Moulvi London School of Economics
Tuk Tuk | 12 years ago | Reply @Maria: Perhaps that is the exact reason why tons of Pakistanis from all walks of life come to India to learn a living.
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