KARACHI: For Pakistan, the glass is always half empty. Why?
This was the question Irfan Mustafa, the managing director at Yum! Restaurants International, wanted Mera Passion Pakistan’s (MPP) netizen supporters to answer.
MPP, a non-political independent platform which aims to highlight positive things about Pakistan, organised a netizen meet-up at a recreational club in Karachi on Saturday.
Mustafa, who calls MPP his personal and not a corporate venture, said that Pakistanis are fond of “washing their dirty linen in public”.
“Our favourite past-time as Pakistanis is to talk bad about our country,” Mustafa claimed.
Linking bad talk to negative thinking, Mustafa said that there was an immediate need for a positive approach which could eventually result in fruitful action.
Calling Pakistanis their own worst enemy, Mustafa stressed that the people of this country should stop considering countries such as the United States, Israel and India as their enemies and focus instead on bringing change in their own mindsets.
Mustafa questioned his audience on whether the glass is actually empty. “Is there no good thing happening in the country,” he asked.
The MPP enthusiast enlightened the participants with positive facts about the country. From high international producer rankings to huge coal reserves, Pakistan has 400 multinational companies doing business not because they love the country “but because they make a profit here”.
Fazli Masjood, one of the key MPP members, showed videos of Pakistanis who despite having limited resources, were high achievers. Asad Mehmood, the boy from Okara who made Pakistan’s 6th largest telescope, Amina and Ifrah Wali, the skiing champion sisters from Gilgit-Baltistan and Zahid Shah, who built his own power plant to produce electricity for his area, were among the achievers.
“I personally went to far flung places like Buner, Hangu and Miramshah to meet these amazing people,” Masjood said.
Mehmood, Shah and Iqbal, a visually impaired person who completed his Matric at the age of 18 in one year’s time and later topped college, travelled all the way to Karachi to attend this event.
Inspired by their motivation to do good, regardless of all the difficulties they face, Masjood questioned why are we not as motivated as these people? Helped by one of the participants, Masjood concluded that most of us are comfortable with our conditions and don’t feel any need for change.
Badar Khushnood, the Google Pakistan country consultant and an MPP supporter, also spoke. He asked them to decide goals for themselves as it helps give life perspective.
Emphasising the online aspect of promoting good about Pakistan, Khushnood told people to share success stories of their fellow countrymen through their social networks and spread the word.
Faisal Kapadia, a Karachi-based writer, while speaking to The Express Tribune, admitted that Pakistan’s blogger community organises “pat on the back” events for a select few bloggers but what really needs to be done is support efforts such as MPP.
“It’s inspiring to see real Pakistani people being promoted and we need more things like these,” he said.
The event host, Sarah Dawood, a manager marketing communications for FedEx, appreciated the idea of getting people together and telling them about achievements of other Pakistanis.
“It is a great way to motivate our youth,” she said.
Physically demonstrating it, Mustafa told the participants in the end, that from now on, “the glass should be half full for all of us.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2012.
Correction: In an earlier version of this article, Sarah Dawood was erroneously referred to as Sarah Mehmood. The correction has been made.