Sweat, blood and tears

Published: February 10, 2011
The writer is communications adviser of the All-Pakistan Muslim League 

The writer is communications adviser of the All-Pakistan Muslim League atiqa.odho@tribune.com.pk

Whoever I am, and whatever I have become, I realise it is they who have brought me here. It is the love and respect that my own have always shown me that has empowered me and made me stronger each day. I don’t owe my strength or recognition to America, India or any other nation, as my people are the ones who have blessed me and bestowed on me a name and a national identity that I can be proud of.

If one lacks the ability to recognise what or who has enabled them towards their journey to success, it is unfortunate and the biggest loss is to the person him/herself. I personally believe that thankless souls ultimately end up unfortunate and lonely. I have, through my own life’s experiences, found that by giving back, I have enriched my own existence, as with each step I have taken in the direction of my own people I have discovered more about myself.

My children have also picked up on my nationalistic sentiment over the years and my eyes well up with tears of joy when they say that they prefer to live here rather than anywhere else in the world. My son loves travelling all over the countryside to discover his heritage and my daughters delight in everything truly Pakistani. As much as they like to carry foreign brands once in a while, they will carry a Khadi, Jafferjee’s or Thredz handbag with just as much pride, if not more.

Over time, I have converted very quickly from mainly using foreign products to using more indigenous handmade goods whenever I can, realising the endorsement impact I could lend to locally manufactured goods by doing so. I recently came across someone trying to sell smuggled shawls from India and decided not to participate in this illegal activity and purchased handmade shawls from Swat instead.

Over the last few years, whatever I have earned from producing television software, I have given into the hands of young Pakistani talent to help them launch their careers. Never have any of my earnings from television gone overseas in any form. I don’t own a home or property outside Pakistan and have no desire to ever do so either.

The happiest life I could ever hope to live would be one amongst my own and in my own country. How quickly we forget that death is a definite and when I go, I hope my country will bury me with as much love and respect as it has allowed me to live with.

My sweat, blood and tears shall always be for Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (59)

  • reader
    Feb 10, 2011 - 11:54PM

    Was there any point to this, besides self-promotion? Recommend

  • Feb 11, 2011 - 12:03AM

    What exactly does your son see in his “heritage” in the countryside? Does he not see anything in urban centers? So the real Pakistan is only in the villages? And where exactly did he go?

    Are all “countrysides” across the country the same? Your daughter delights in everything “truly” Pakistani? And what exactly are “truly” Pakistani things? Are you the one who decides what is and what is not truly Pakistani? And how is your children’s handbag choice relevant?

    Thank you for regurgitating all the stereotypes of what is really Pakistan and not so real Pakistan.

    And who cares if you have property abroad or not? So people who have property abroad are unpatriotic? Jinnah owned property in Bombay after the creation of Pakistan, does that make him unpatriotic? Or Abdul Sattar Edhi has a green card, is he unpatriotic as well?

    For all your talk of nationalistic sentiments, you are publishing this article in English, in a newspaper which is associated with a foreign publication. This inward looking cultural mercantalism is sadly a few decades too late. Why the need to be so defensive and overtly explain your choices on how you did this and that? Are you setting yourself up for standing in elections? Recommend

  • nadirrehman
    Feb 11, 2011 - 1:16AM

    Thank you for your so emotional column. Can I ask that,what made you write on this topic? Recommend

  • Noor Nabi
    Feb 11, 2011 - 1:48AM

    Yeah right! You sound like Winston Churchill. Recommend

  • rehan
    Feb 11, 2011 - 1:52AM

    I hope Musharraf shares the same thoughts and comes back to ‘his’ country and taste the bitterness of the mess he created.Has APML anything to say on the David Raymond case?I guess it is ‘relieved’ that the case is subjudice which helps it in remaining silent!Recommend

  • Blithe
    Feb 11, 2011 - 1:57AM

    And did Musharraf whisper all these epistles in your ear???Recommend

  • nikko
    Feb 11, 2011 - 2:51AM

    But you live in Abu Dhabi with your husband, dont you?And your kids have an american passport, with your daughter at the American school?Ive often seen you waiting for her outside.
    So what are you going on about national pride?Doesnt that smack of double standards?You dont even live in pakistan!Recommend

  • pmbm
    Feb 11, 2011 - 3:28AM

    Your thinking should be fully endorsed. If more people would think on those lines Pakistan will have less problems. In fact that is the purpose of Zakat, but how many muslims (religious or irreligious) talk about it, let alone practice it.
    Keep up the good work and Good luck and GOD bless you and your children.Recommend

  • pmbm
    Feb 11, 2011 - 3:35AM

    Wish more people thought like you. A good example to follow.Recommend

  • saad hafeez
    Feb 11, 2011 - 4:16AM

    Wow! If only every Pakistani thought the same as you…Recommend

  • Qamaruddin Shaikh
    Feb 11, 2011 - 6:19AM

    She is a good woman at heart. Thats why she chose to side with Musharraf, who is a good man also.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Feb 11, 2011 - 8:04AM

    Pop sentimentalism for the peanut gallery. There is nothing sacrosanct about Pakistan or any other country. Nations are just artificial human constructs that divide mankind rather than unite. And, often a means for the political class to exploit the poor. So, enough false jingoism.Recommend

  • nasser
    Feb 11, 2011 - 9:13AM

    You will now hear your national anthem! Why, for God’s sake, do we deserve this piece.Recommend

  • yaarku
    Feb 11, 2011 - 9:39AM

    madam, tell us straight that you want to gather support for your so called political party by making us emotional fools, playing the love pakistan emotionally card…dont worry you will get it, but please stop these patriotic rhymes. exploitation is the tool of scoundrel… Recommend

  • Dr.Mull
    Feb 11, 2011 - 9:43AM

    Ok Abraham Lincoln ,we will bury you with as much love and respect.Bring your party head back too,we wont say him anythingRecommend

  • myja
    Feb 11, 2011 - 10:02AM

    @ nadir
    Obviously she is playing role of a politician these days under teh directorship of Mr. Mush who chanted ‘Paksitan Firs’t but now lives abroadRecommend

  • Tippu
    Feb 11, 2011 - 10:41AM

    Awesome atricle. You have my utmost respect for your stance. I wish all of us learn from you and behave as you do. Thank you.Recommend

  • myja
    Feb 11, 2011 - 11:17AM

    she is playing politics these days under teh direction of Mr. Mush who used to chant “Pakistan First” but now lives in UKRecommend

  • Sheraryar X
    Feb 11, 2011 - 12:05PM

    But you DONT live here..you live in Abu Dhabi? Take it easy there kiddo.Recommend

  • rehan
    Feb 11, 2011 - 1:32PM

    @Sheraryar X. Hahahaha.Gr8! How does she manage to get “Pakistani” made items there though is a question.Recommend

  • karim
    Feb 11, 2011 - 1:58PM

    you present a very narrow and deterministic approach of your inside ,,,need to preach your fanes to be broad minded not to just be a narrow minded citizens of military state and religious extremist state of Pakistan..its 21srt century people in the west (just European union i,m not the one to favor US hegemony) with a glaring progress towards peace and prosperity of all human being with diminishing national frontiers,,,,,,,,come and tear out the old cloak of rustic nationalism and talk of humanism make a good international agenda for a better future of depressed men and women in the world……….,,,,Recommend

  • Saif M
    Feb 11, 2011 - 2:58PM

    Blockquote As much as they like to carry foreign brands once in a while, they will carry a Khadi, Jafferjee’s or Thredz handbag with just as much pride, if not more.

    I would buy X, Y or Z brands, not just because they are Pakistani made but only if they are good quality. You are being unnecessarily sentimental. I bet, given a choice, you won’t buy a Pakistani assembled TV set, a watch, a refrigerator or an another appliance. Does that make you less patriotic?Recommend

  • parvez
    Feb 11, 2011 - 3:12PM

    In politics when you have nothing to say it is prudent to keep quiet. That way you don’t get your foot into your mouth.
    Question : Do you have a second nationality / passport ?? Honest answer appreciated.Recommend

  • Ghazala
    Feb 11, 2011 - 4:50PM

    hahaha what funny columnRecommend

  • M. H. Hussain
    Feb 11, 2011 - 5:24PM

    AWWWWWW [Yawning!!]Recommend

  • Mehnaz
    Feb 11, 2011 - 6:16PM

    “As much as they like to carry foreign brands once in a while, they will carry a Khadi, Jafferjee’s or Thredz handbag with just as much pride, if not more.”
    So this is “everything truly Paistani”? Ms. Odho, real Pakistan cannot afford the pricetag of even a wallet in one of these premises. Your children are lucky to see the world through a coloured lens where “once in a while” they decide to show their nationalistic sentiment by switching to a local brand. Very touching, I’m choked with emotions!Recommend

  • Junaid
    Feb 11, 2011 - 8:39PM

    Point being????Recommend

  • pmbm
    Feb 12, 2011 - 10:25AM

    if you are so good how could you be associated with a pakistani political party?Recommend

  • M. H. Hussain
    Feb 12, 2011 - 10:53AM


    Good one lady!!!Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Feb 12, 2011 - 11:22AM

    Could not agree with you more! Recommend

  • Talha
    Feb 12, 2011 - 11:43AM

    what did u see in the article, come in the realities.

    and madam odhoo, im sorry to your thinkings. Recommend

  • IK
    Feb 12, 2011 - 11:50AM

    Can one type comment in Punjabi? just asking:)Recommend

  • Fasih Ali Khan
    Feb 12, 2011 - 12:48PM

    My God … Truly Inspirational …. Ms. Atiqa Odho, May I Say you are Mash’ Allah As Beautiful by your heart As you can bee seen by one’s eyes. May Allah Almighty’s Blessings be upon you. You are our Pride. Thanks for your Beautiful Writing Above. God Bless.Recommend

  • Mastishhk
    Feb 13, 2011 - 10:32AM

    Im choked with emotions. Nice work by APML communications advisor. This piece is a SHAM. Reserve some of your advise and patriotism for Pervez Musharraf . Urge him to come back to Pakistan and face the AWAM.Recommend

  • salim
    Feb 13, 2011 - 10:52AM

    Atiqa, you are an insperation for many. God bless you!Recommend

  • Goga
    Feb 13, 2011 - 5:25PM

    I understand the tears bit (not buying foreign goods), but what about blood and sweat? How are they relevant to this article?Recommend

    Feb 13, 2011 - 7:04PM

    Can’t understand why so many brickbats for a person who has written such a beautiful article expressing patriotism and selfless love for her country. However, somebody has penned that the writer lives in Abu Dhabi so my advice to you is ‘Madam, please come back along with family to your beautiful country permanently and serve your people in some remote village, only then people will believe your undying love for Pakistan. Recommend

  • pp_arman
    Feb 13, 2011 - 8:35PM

    Odho madam, fyi, Pakistan economy is somehow surviving on foreign reservers and exports. Pls read the article
    One has to use local products but it does not make him non-patriotic if he uses foreign brands. It is time of global economy and hence one should see everything quality, price etc. If there is a product from India or China, which is of good quality and better cost, why not purchase it. Protectionism will kill local as well as global economy. So be open to all products.
    A true pakistan needs to see other than what you have described in your article. We need to be open to all including religious harmony, be more courages to accept the facts, oppose to fanatism, extremetism, fight corruption. If we can make Pakistan where once again tourist will start coming from west to beautiful city of Peshawar, SWAT to enjoy nature beauty, definately future generation will bury with all respect & love when you die . Recommend

  • Hassan
    Feb 13, 2011 - 10:28PM

    Too bad for you, Pakistanis are done with this kind of self-promoting brand of “Nationalism”. So if you need to promote yourself, then maybe you just need to stick with the acting on TV.Recommend

  • rehan
    Feb 14, 2011 - 2:55AM

    @Goga.Well said.hahaha. @RS JOHAR.She will only come back when Mush does..AND..He just said it he ain’t coming no more!:))Recommend

  • light
    Feb 17, 2011 - 2:17AM

    Not bad for a new writer; try not to use too many “I”s .. It loses the effectiveness of your point making you self centered individual oblivious to her surroundings. I liked your view point in general, its good inspirational article which is what I really needed today :)Recommend

  • Aleem
    Mar 3, 2011 - 5:52PM

    I am myself a firm believer in the proud Pakistani identity, and staying true to ones roots. Even though, at time,,,some events make it hard. Never the less,, I was very happy to read this and just wanted to commend you for this article.
    Keep it up !Recommend

  • Malik
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:28AM

    honesty is becoming rare in Pak, and hypocritical attitude is getting more dominant Recommend

  • Malik
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:40AM

    if i put it this way, this article is rather being convincing is more like a challenge to people! if one want to give some good suggestion one should understand the psychology of people ….. even i wanted to challenge the way the article is written and when the article is written ….. although everyone here agrees with the content, negativity is coming from what people think that what is the actual purpose of this article (may be gaining some political space) ….. so everyone is putting up their argument against the main content! fighting and fighting over something which almost a universal truth …. everyone is linked to its root, if you cut down the roots you cannot survive in any situation and its normal to love your country! GUYS THERE IS NOTHING WRONG TO BE PATRIOTIC Recommend

  • Sami
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:43AM

    Not everyone is as fortunate as you Atiqa. Recommend

  • Jaweed Nasir
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:46AM

    You’re actually smarter than your parents — and probably most other adults, too In fact, most of what you need to know about success and extremely high quality life. You won’t always appear to be winning. But as you hold the picture of your perfect success in your mind you’ve already won. It’s only a matter of time until you make it a reality. I believe ‘credibility’ is one of the biggest issues. Honesty and ethics were the huge part of successful and good governments of 1958-68 and 1999-2008.Recommend

  • Maaz
    Mar 15, 2011 - 4:34AM

    I am delighted to read about your struggle for the national pride. We all have our own opinion on how to represent our country and how to withhold our pride as a nation. Pointless criticism by some of my fellow countrymen is counter productive, needless to say. All of us in our individual capacity have a duty to perform for the betterment of our country, such actions by individuals should only be encouraged and not to be treated otherwise. Best of luck in your effortsRecommend

  • Rafiuddin Shaikh
    Mar 15, 2011 - 7:47AM

    I respect your sentiments as a patriot proud Pakistani. Our land, people, weathers, sea, rivers, mountains, plains, deserts, heritage, culture and traditions are beautiful assets one must be proud of. Sometimes we become frustrated and disgruntled what havoc our present leaders are playing with the masses for their personal agenda.
    Good article. Keep it up. God bless you and your family.

  • syed nadeem ul haq
    Mar 15, 2011 - 10:48AM

    Sir, I to am great believer of my identity as Pakistani,and its the main matto of my live,now a days every one is talking about REVOLUTION AND REVOLUTIONARY WARS ARE INEVITABLE IN CLASS SOCIETY. what do you say is it a valid question,keeping our country in focus ..Recommend

  • iqbal
    Mar 15, 2011 - 10:50AM

    I feel pity for those who have written against. I always thought i am the best Pakistani but after listening/reading her views and observing her actions, i have come to the conclusion that i am not alone. How many of us can dare to walk in swat in the middle of the crisis and after, she is the one. Keep it up. Recommend

  • ayesha
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:28AM

    A sound patriotic approach highlighting indigenous loyalties towards our sacred homeland,which no doubt provided us a true identity we can be proud of.There is lot of blood,sweat n guts between dream n a success.Always dream BIG cuz dream is not wat u experience in sleep,its wat doesn’t allow u to sleep.Keep up the good wok.Recommend

  • Asad Baig
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:29AM

    Very Well Written. All Honest and Patriotic Pakistani’s Including Myself Appreciate Your Sincere Efforts in Promoting the Good Image of Pakistan Everywhere.Keep it Up.Recommend

  • sabk..
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:31PM

    salam to all…….bat niklay gee to door talak jaya ge…………….she made a nice effort non of us tried to do so.so plz beind a pakistani open hearted appreciate her…atleast she is trying for a change…………here comes our part the self proclaimed patriotists. doing nothing and complaining …yeh sahi nahi hai wo sahi nahi hai…..go and change rather than being a complaint box forever ….when some one make a good effort regardless of intensions…because ALLAH best know the intensions ..please please appreciate them…no more sarcasim plzzzz.Recommend

  • Mar 15, 2011 - 2:15PM

    very nice said and its indeed the voice of many patriot Pakistanis, there are lots of people those who have the pain and love for the country not like the big bosses in power ,have the business in other countries!
    we need to encourage such people to work for the country with pure intention to serve common men of Pakistan!
    its lovely peace of writing and moral booster!
    May God Bless youRecommend

  • NSHR
    Mar 15, 2011 - 6:55PM

    My sweat, blood and tears shall always be for Pakistan

    simply EXCELLENT Recommend

  • sHoB!
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:20PM

    Ur absolutely right inshAllah we all pakistani support to Perv. Musharaf sb, bcz one an only he is do more for Pak & nations & inshAllah we hope literate peoples are support to him. He is a best for Pak future. Jeet k Geo Perv. Musharaf & Atiqa OdohoRecommend

  • s jawed
    Mar 16, 2011 - 1:30AM

    very well saidRecommend

  • Sajid Kamal
    Mar 16, 2011 - 2:55PM

    I am very impressed with your thought as I am a big fan of you and I pray for your every success in politics because now we really need Mr.Pervaiz Musharraf and the person like you, wish you good luck.Recommend

  • sarmad
    Mar 18, 2011 - 11:07AM

    love uRecommend

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