Pakistan: the land of the

Pakistan needs more holidays! Cricket team win day, Rehman Malik award day, Love Mumtaz Qadri day...

Salman Qureshi November 03, 2011
A recent article I read stated that Pakistan’s private sector was complaining about the loss of productivity because of too many national public holidays (15 days in Pakistan) as compared to someone like our neighbours India who have only 3 national public holidays.

It perplexed me as to why people would make a big deal out of all this. Why wouldn’t these private sector workers want these holidays? Then a bulb lit up – because the power had returned but that’s not the point. The private sector employees had electricity and ACs at their offices – amenities they did not have at home!

But we need to look at the bigger picture. We as a nation have faced numerous, enormous challenges such as terrorism, energy crisis, debt, natural disasters and diseases. The poor government has gone from one catastrophe to another and deserve a day off. So what if they actually never did anything about the challenges? I'm sure it's still pretty stressful just knowing that they are there.

A holiday is needed. We are a Muslim nation and we are supposed to take the middle way in all things. With Sri Lanka having 26 holidays and India only 3, we are in the middle at 15.

I couldn’t agree more with our current President’s decision to announce holidays. Here is a man who was fairly elected by our parliament. I remember distinctly that I was so hopeful of these people during the last elections that my vote went to them without me stepping out to do so. Such was the strength of my convictions. And the only way forward for our country is by supporting the current demon-cracy system.

Anyway what’s the big deal of declaring a day off? Don’t give me that jazz about it affecting our nation’s productivity. It has been well established that, holiday or no holiday, our government institutes’ productivity remains pretty much the same. So right back at you Mr. Economist!

And Mr Kaptaan (yeah you know who you are), this is right back in your face too. How dare you accuse our grand old parties of acting outdated? Gone are the days of calling a strike – so passé. It is holidays now dude. Holidays are even being creatively used to solve our country’s biggest problems by our esteemed institutes – such as the Sind University’s declaration of every Saturday a holiday now.


In fact, if anything, we need more holidays. We need to acknowledge the important things happening in Pakistan and show our appreciation by declaring those days off. With that in mind, I put forward dates that we must immediately put into our national calendars (no, not those type of dates you Burger bacha):

1.        Celebrate Pakistan cricket team win day – we no longer are winning a lot of tournaments or series. Hence we must find other reasons to celebrate our wonderfully highly paid players. Don’t be negative. It’s hard to win when your best players have to spend their time like tennis players – in courts.

2.        Holiday for death of great Pakistanis – where we try to find days to give off for Pakistani civilian casualties by drone attacks. That’s about 300 odd officially reported people. We need to find a whole year off people.

3.        Film day – the old parties need to recuperate from PTI’s show of power concerts by relaxing and watching their favourite movie by Ram Gopal Varma: Dharna Mana Hay

4.        Rehman Malik award days – a day off to think about what else we can award this man who has achieved so little in so much time

5.        Pakistan Tourism day – where we promote our country to foreigners with the tagline ‘come have a blast’.

6.        Will you be my Pakistani Valentine day (also known as love Qadri day) - to remind us to send flowers to our favourite terrorist. Maybe a karva-chauth day also to fast for their long lives?

7.        Ostrich day – where we celebrate all our minorities and their problems by doing nothing.

8.        Earth Hour – where we switch off our car's headlights.

9.        MQM and PPP’s ‘Guess our relationship’ day.

10.      And Lastly: A Bhutto dead somewhere in the world day.

Thank God we don’t just do 2-day weekends instead. That would leave us no time for these holidays.
Salman Qureshi A Masters graduate in International Business from the University of Wollongong Dubai. He is a standup and Improv comedian based in Dubai with an intense interest in reviving and supporting arts in Pakistan. He blogs at:
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Kalim Hussain | 12 years ago | Reply Good article. Non controversial. Good we have articles like also sometimes ET
therealpakistani | 12 years ago | Reply I read all your articles. well written all of them. funny!
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