Mr Jinnah, are we really the people you wished us to be?

Published: December 29, 2010
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The writer is communications adviser of the All-Pakistan Muslim League
atiqa.odho@tribune.com.pk

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

Mr Jinnah, would it be too hopeful to think that perhaps this New Year we, in Pakistan, may suffer less from our own self-inflicted wounds? I find it difficult to believe that a leader such as yourself, and the qualities you carried, never rubbed off on your humble citizens. I am sure there are many among us who have some of your integrity and your love for our motherland.

A famous line from your speech given on October 30, 1947 in Lahore was: “Musalman museebut mein ghabraya naheen karta” in response to which the huge crowd went frantic with passion. So what are we so afraid of today and when did our passion for Pakistan die?

I look around and see fear on many faces. We, unfortunately, fear ourselves. It is the untruths that we have lived by that make us fearful of everything we should have believed in and been proud of, enabling our sense of nationalism further. If Jinnah had been here today, I am sorry to say, there would have been much pain in his heart at witnessing our state. Gone is the honour and will to fight for our own nation. We have been selling ourselves, little by little, each day, in so many ways that we have forgotten who we actually are.

What happened? Were we not prepared to appreciate living on our own soil? Is it that we crave instead a refugee camp on a foreign land or perhaps second-class citizenship in a country where our children shall always suffer from displaced anxiety whenever someone asks them where they are from?

I lived in America for several years and my children went through such incidents constantly. My youngest child, Zarmeen, was born in New York City and when she was three years old she participated in a pre-school function where children had to present a flag of their original nationality. I, of course, very proudly put the Pakistan flag on her dress. She looked up at me at that tiny age and said, “Mama, why are you putting this flag on my dress, I am American, aren’t I?” to which I answered that she was born in America but she was actually Pakistani. This made no sense to her and, frankly, didn’t make much sense to me either when I realised what had just happened. It was one of many incidents that eventually convinced me to bring all my children home a few years later, out of the fear that they would grow up never really knowing themselves.

We have been back 10 years now and I have to say I am happy to be home and have no regrets. But I am extremely saddened by the state of our identity. Even while living in Pakistan, I desperately search for it.

What happened? Where did our Pakistan go? Is all lost or shall we one day regain our sense of self-worth and passion? When do you think we will stop fearing and start living with pride?

When will Sindh feel the pain of Swat’s suffering? Will we ever reunite or were we never united to begin with? Will we find Pakistan within ourselves someday? Mr Jinnah, are we really the people you wished us to be?

Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (46)

  • Maria
    Dec 29, 2010 - 11:20PM

    This is an interesting article but it really applies not only to Pakistani immigrants but immigrants in general. I find that a number of immigrants to Western countries have an inferiority crisis, especially when they are from a developing nation. I live with my family in the United States and there is great peer pressure to fit in and conform. The key is to educate children about the rich history and contributions of our civilization. Pakistan has so much to offer and celebrate. As an adult, I am able to synthesize the best of my own cultural values and that of my adopted American home but this process is more difficult for children. They just want to be like everyone else. It’s only natural. Some families don’t understand the importance of heritage or identity. They have had little formal education in Pakistan and they have not furthered their education in the US. It’s even harder when both parents work long hours in labour jobs and have little time for their children. That’s where parenting comes in and I salute you on doing a good job of explaining to your daughter her heritage. It is a struggle which is worthwhile I believe. I too impress upon my children that their ancestry is both special and worthy of celebration. Educated Pakistani families in the diaspora keep up traditions and discuss our heritage regularly. I take my kids to Pakistan when I can. I am pleased to report that my children are often dress in native Pakistani clothing, presentPakistani crafts and proudly wearing the flag on so called heritage days here in California. Not only do they have greater confidence but they get more respect from others too. Our Pakistani identity is alive and well but it remains for educated Pakistani families to maintain this heritage. Thanks for sharing this article.Recommend

  • Dec 29, 2010 - 11:23PM

    We are still confused about best government system for Pakistan (democracy, technocracy, presidential system, parliamentary system etc) and if Pakistan should be a strict Islamic state or secular state. Pakistan’s progress will start when we won’t be wasting our time and energies on these matters.Recommend

  • Sonia
    Dec 29, 2010 - 11:38PM

    @ Author, Why don’t you come back and save your child from this identity crisis state? Your child was right. If she was born in America then she is American. Why are you confusing her? Do you think this national politics will haelp you or your generation? It will at least not effect Pakistan. I must say that Pakistan is in transition state and those who live here at this moment are really making the history. This expat group is really confused and to some what extent very unhappy about Pakistan.Recommend

  • Robin
    Dec 29, 2010 - 11:42PM

    A famous line from your speech given on October 30, 1947 in Lahore was: “Musalman museebut mein ghabraya naheen karta” in response to which the huge crowd went frantic with passion. So what are we so afraid of today and when did our passion for Pakistan die?

    @Atiqa Odho
    Totally Agree with the statement that – Muslims should never be afraid during hard times. A shining example of this great Muslim valour trait was demonstrated by Musharraf who in a sheer act of bravery – did the famous U-turn – after getting a call from Richard Armitage after 9/11 terror attacksRecommend

  • Syed Abdus Sami
    Dec 30, 2010 - 12:04AM

    For sure it was not the Pakistan he struggled for and the one for which the millions lost their lives and separated from their families. Its high time that we should start think as being a nation. Its high time that we lift up our heads to say NO to the ideas being inflicted on us.
    Its time that we think of Pakistan as our home and be sincere towards it like we are to our families and our home.
    We have to play our role in running of the country being a citizen of a democratic nation, the role from which we ran away for so long and which has led our country to be in such state.Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Dec 30, 2010 - 12:22AM

    Dear Atiqa:

    It is unfortunate that after Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan could not produce any political leader who would have followed the footsteps of Father of the Nation.

    Quaid-e-Azam did not make Pakistan to earn money. But now-a-days political leaders speak very high about making Pakistan according to the wishes of the Quaid, but their basic intention is to make money, the money which they could not take along with them to their graves.

    Our political leaders did not learn any lesson after we lost our one arm in 1971. Former East Pakistan was made Bangladesh in 1971 due to a conspiracy.

    You went to USA and came back. But I declined to migrate to a foreign country due to one simple reason that I am a by birth Pakistani and when I am born in Pakistan, I should also die for Pakistan.

    Today’s Pakistan is not the same Pakistan which was given to us by the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. It’s altogether a different Pakistan, which I have never thought of it.

    The question arises: why we have changed our mindset? Why some people are working against the country? Why the politicians do not think that Quaid made Pakistan for the masses and not for the few people.

    Why there is a continuous brain drain from the country? Why people do not get the opportunity in their own country which they get abroad?

    The simple answer is that most of the political leaders are not sincere with the country (with few exceptions). And those who feel pain in their hearts about Pakistan do not have enough resources to become members of parliament.

    The other rouge elements are the bureaucrats. Pakistan does not need puppet bureaucrats, Pakistan need visionary and revolutionary bureaucrats who should be capable to change the stale system.

    With the passage of time, we are losing our identity and no one in the country wants to accept the responsibility that whatever is happening today in Pakistan, it is due to the basic reason that the system of Pakistan is not running according to the wishes and desire of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

    We do not blame ourselves for our own misdeeds, but we have become selfish and take advantage of blaming others for the wrong-doings. It is very easy to shift responsibility from our shoulders and put blame on others.

    Unless we do not bring total transparency and self accountability, we cannot rise. Pakistan needs a silent revolution which should start from the top and its affects should be trickle down to grass root level.

    May Al-Mighty Allah save Pakistan from evil forces. Ameen.

    PAKISTAN ZINDABAD.Recommend

  • Shahbaz
    Dec 30, 2010 - 12:44AM

    Absolutely right a good piece divulges many aspects of an immigrant as it happened with you have perception to the cruel reality to live in abroad is not as easy as it shows. sounds good when some one prefer its homeland as compare to other more civilized & developed countries. Recommend

  • karim
    Dec 30, 2010 - 12:47AM

    come out from national boundaries madam …walk through the world… Recommend

  • Dr.Khan
    Dec 30, 2010 - 1:27AM

    Would Jinnah want continuous military coups as your leader Musharraf did to the nation?
    we love to criticize otheres but we never look in the mirror?Recommend

  • Raqib Ali
    Dec 30, 2010 - 1:28AM

    Mr Jinnah, did you wish Musharraf to overthrow civilian government? Then why Ms. Odho is his spokesperson?Recommend

  • Dec 30, 2010 - 1:39AM

    Article is good. But Ms. Atiqa Odho, being a staunch supporter of Musharraf who derailed the dreams of Quaid, doesn’t sound good while talking about Mr. M.A. Jinnah.Recommend

  • Emmon Khan
    Dec 30, 2010 - 2:24AM

    A childish article! Is Pakistan only for muslims? Isn’t it another crude attempt that only ‘muslims’ are not afraid of dangers? A typical ‘Pakistan studies’ line of thinking….Come on think of Pakistan as a nation state and not just as a ‘musalmanistan’!Recommend

  • Sonia
    Dec 30, 2010 - 3:51AM

    It is too early for us to understand. Moreover, we are quite confused between the nation and religion. We have to sort it out first.Recommend

  • Dr+Dev+Mishra
    Dec 30, 2010 - 4:14AM

    India and Pakistan were roughly equal in 1975.

    Today India is on a different plane despite the fact that we have had to face two of the bloodiest insugencies known to the world- Khalistan from 1980-1992 (30, 000 dead) and Kashmir 1988-2010 (40, 000 dead and still counting). If we did not have these, we would have been on a much higher plane.

    Please do not think that this success came in the last 10 years only, the foundations were laid 30-40 years ago. Similarly, the failures in Pak did not come in the last 10 years, the foundations were similarly laid decades ago.

    The way back, my friends, will take years. Please start the process. With basics. Love yourself and everyone around you- Shias, Ahmadiyas, Indians etc. Angry young men only look good in movies- in real life, the calm ones get ahead in the long run.

    Identity, what a wonderful word. My Pak friends tell me that the one thing they admire most about Indians is their sense of identity which binds a Tamil to a Gujrati to a northern brahmin like me. And together we trace our lineage back to ppl like Aryabhatt, the Indian astronomer who declared that the earth is spherical and revolves around the sun, in 490 AD.

    This heritage is not mine alone, why are Pak children not allowed to share in this heritage? Any Pak child who believes he is the descendant of Aryabhatt will bask in a warm self belief and will go far in life to become the next Amartya Sen or President Abdul Kalam.

    Did my musings make sense? I was trying to contribute constructively and not score points. Feedback from ATIQA ODHO or other Pak ppl welcome.

    With love from Dr Dev Mishra, India and UKRecommend

  • Dec 30, 2010 - 6:00AM

    in an increasingly interconnected globalizied world, location means nothing. In the case of many people who read and write in English dailys here, I am sure your children (and I am going on a limb here) are more comfortable speaking, reading and writing in English than in Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi or whatever. I am sure they study using textbooks published by foreign authors. The very fact that you are propagating your pseudo-nationalistic drivel in English, in a publication associated with the a foreign news publication speaks volumes of the interconnectedness which shapes our reality. Identity is not reduced to ones location. People can be very “Pakistani” whether they are in or outside the country.

    Think of the event which made you think of all of this. Your child was attending a school function in another country where she and her class mates were able to dress up and represent their country. Would that happen in Pakistan?Recommend

  • Sonam Shyam
    Dec 30, 2010 - 9:20AM

    The existential and identity crisis which the Pakistanis are facing is a direct result of the two nation theory propounded by Jinnah so eloquently. Jinnah maintained that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations and hence India needs to be partitioned on religious lines. But what Jinnah did not envisage was the fact that majority of the Muslims of India had rejected the two nation theory by simply choosing to stay in a secular India rather than an Islamic Pakistan in 1947. This decision of the Indian Muslims is ostensibly the source of identity crisis is Pakistan. Muslims in India, with all the problems of religious partition of India, had by and large thrived in a secular India much more than a theocratic Pakistan. I know the typical response of the Pakistanis would be to remind us about Gujarat riots, backwardness of Indian Muslims, Muslims having trouble in getting homes etc. But the fact remains that India is a country of a billion plus people and even large sections of Hindus are also poor and backward. Poverty is not religious centric and its more related to poor governance and corruption of the administrators. As long as Muslims are living peacefully in India, Pakistan would always have an identity crisis. This is precisely the reason why Pakistan keeps trying to destabilize Hindu-Muslim relations and of course Pakistan also indulges in massive propaganda about the terrible plight of Muslims in India and that Indian secularism is a sham. But the fact is that with all the massive diversity in India, it is still one country since 1947 and an Islamic Pakistan couldn’t keep the Bengali Muslims happy and Bangladesh was born. We in India believe that Pakistan can come out of its identity crisis if it becomes more secular and protects whatever handful of minorities left and of course stops looking at the world through the prism of Islam only. Jinnah actually wanted a secular Pakistan, with a Muslim majority just like India which is a secular republic with a Hindu majority. If Pakistan relies only on Islam as a binding factor than they will continue to suffer and it would mean no lessons learnt from history at all. Recommend

  • Ch Allah Daad
    Dec 30, 2010 - 10:18AM

    You have done so much wrong to your own children, what better advice or service you can render to others. Recommend

  • Talha Khan
    Dec 30, 2010 - 10:35AM

    It’s always the leader and then a team of professional that bring about change.

    There is nothing to do with Jinnah over here; he has given us the best country with his vision and courage.

    We cannot vigor nationality and ideology into the minds of people; it is the surrounding and the circumstances that built trust in the people around us. We should work on our young generation for a better tomorrow. Recommend

  • Fasih Khan
    Dec 30, 2010 - 11:03AM

    Great Article by most articulative writer. Hats Off Ms. Odho.Recommend

  • Arifq
    Dec 30, 2010 - 11:28AM

    Dear Atiqa

    Answer to your question lies with the institution that produces Ayub’s, Yahya, Zia and Musharraf, please leave Jinnah out of this quagmire.Recommend

  • Pakistan One
    Dec 30, 2010 - 11:34AM

    I can bet Jinnah wouldn’t be happier seeing us in the state that we are as he was the one who sowed the seeds fruits of which we are reaping today.

    It was his asristocratic life style that is followed by our leaders today.

    The axis of elitist All India (patriotic) Muslim League whose office bearers were all the richest of the rich have laid down a style of goverment that is followed until today.Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Dec 30, 2010 - 12:37PM

    Mr. Jinnah did divide the country in name of religion and the Pakistani establishment is following the trend. They too are doing the same. So for as author’s explaination to her daughter is concerned, her argument is at fault. Her daughter is as American as one can be. Her daughter is a muslim and muslims are not just Pakistanis. The author is confusing between her religion and her daughter’s nationality. Two different things.Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Dec 30, 2010 - 12:43PM

    Great article – and children born abroad are still Pakistani is their parents give them that sense of identity and heritage.Recommend

  • hsb
    Dec 30, 2010 - 1:06PM

    I think Atiqa is doing great job by resorting to writing. Her articles are thought provoking and genuine.

    we’ve really lost our identity; what to talk of immigrants in US or EU, even in Pakistan we’ve resorted to everything foreign.
    As per Sonia Gandhi’s famous statement, we’ve lost the cultural war with India, which was the basis of two-nation theory / Pakistani ideology. Presently, Pakistani media is banned in India but Pakistanis are unable to miss their favourite soaps and movies on Indian media. Resultantly, desopite PEMRA’s ban, the cable operators and DVD retailers are providing what the public desires.
    we’re ashamed of speaking our language, dress our native, mention our heroes, eat our cuisine, practice our rich traditions, appreciate our craftsmen, play our cultural games, and following the west blindly.
    Even though the west is now in a position to be repenting in few aspects, we tend to follow everything blindly.
    Movies from India, US, China are always found to be sending hidden messages regarding projection of their own cultures. Here in Pakistan, our media is bent upon projecting everything imported is good.
    We are unable to differentiate between Modernisation & Westernisation.
    Another dimension to be thought upon is feeling proud to be ourselves.
    It is because of inferiority complexes of nations like English, French and now US, that they want to inpose their lifestyles and traditions upon other countries that they colonized in past, and are still making efforts to. At the same time the nations like our present Pakistani elite are also preys of inferiority complex, resultantly trying to copy US in every possible aspect.
    I happen to be one of those who have denied western migration for the reason I feel we are better than them. we don’t have the ills of society that they’ve got, we still are practicing religion as a gudie for our lifestyle and progressing with modern technology at the same time. ours is not a tradition of inposing our beliefs upon others. whatever coloniasm activities they’ve been undertaking were TOTALLY IMMORAL. But the problem is that when a terrorist reaches a high position after success, he’s graded as a hero. We need to educate ourselves more.
    I’m not Musharraf fan, but believe that democracies in Pakistan have failed because they don’t work sincerely. a son or daughter keeps raising the slogan of their previous leader and passes their tenure doing things just for their personal gains. such public representatives are not required by Pakistan.

    @Dr Dev Mishra.
    Good input.
    We do need to understand and share the geographical heritage of Indian sub-continent, but at the same time we own Islamic tradtions and heroes due to our faith.Recommend

  • SYED AGHA ALI Moosavi
    Dec 30, 2010 - 1:11PM

    Mr Jinnah, are we really the people you wished us to be?…!!!!!! YES …!!!! we can only answer this question ,when we take part in active politics instead of just cribbing or trying to “serve the humanity ” through NGOs’.
    we think that politics is “out of question” thus providing chancess to THEMRecommend

  • Rabia
    Dec 30, 2010 - 1:30PM

    You ask, “Mr Jinnah are we really the people you wished us to be” To answer this question, we should refer to Jinnah’s address to army staff college, Quetta in 1948 at which he said:

    “I am persuaded to say this because during my talks with one or two very high-ranking officers I discovered that they did not know the implications of the oath taken by the troops of Pakistan…I want you to remember…that the executive authority flows from the head of the Government of Pakistan, who is the governor general and, therefore, any command or order that may come to you cannot come without the sanction of the executive head. This is the legal position.”

    Based on this statement by Jinnah and given that you support a political party founded by someone who does not and has never recognized this basic principle of civil military relations, in your specific case the answer to your question would be – “no”. Recommend

  • Ravindra Mishra
    Dec 30, 2010 - 2:58PM

    I would like to thank Ms.Odho for this article. However, I cannot deny that there is a pitch here for nationalism. Now, nationalism is an old import from Europe / West to this subcontinent of ours. What is instead climbing the ladder of evolution is REGIONALISM.

    Think about this, African Union, NAFTA, Mercosur, EU, APEC, CIS. SAARC(?).
    Rabindranath Thakur (Tagore), the first Asian (Indian) to win the Nobel Prize in Literature,
    had stated that nationalism was the way of the unenlightened. That in order to work in the future (we are that ‘future’ he spoke of, our present!), humanity would have to acquire a sense of internationalism.

    Whenever, I read articles beating the drums of Pakistan Zindabad or Hindustan Zindabad etc, it comes to mind that the partition of 1947 is a done deal. What South Asia now needs a solid confederation of independent states. Very much like a cross between the political and cultural continuity of EU and the economic cooperation on the lines of NAFTA.

    The vilification of Gandhi and Jinnah is passe, if it ever was acceptable. We don’t have to live up to their ‘vision’ by the divisions which have been bequeathed to us by the narrow and vested hawks on either side of the border. The generation that hacked each other to bits is on its way out … in a decade they will cease to exist amongst our midst. Their sorrows and their memories will pale and leave only in photographs and hazy movietone reels. The hatred that they (some) have propagated, will gradually melt away. But to do this, we have to start now.

    One South Asian federation, with a unitary defense force, with a common foreign policy, with a common currency, with a common educational platform, with a network of academic campuses, with a grid of common high speed transportation, with a shared water and essential earth resources policy, with an emphasis to give preference to homegoods and home-services, with a SAARC parliament and a new capital from scratch if need be. We need a new republic, that will BE CAPABLE OF REPRESENT AND ADVOCATE ONE THIRD OF ALL HUMANITY.

    Right now, you are reading this and dismissing this as a flight of fantasy. I wouldn’t blame you. Such is the sorry state of our region. BUT IT CAN CHANGE. If you believe in Ms.Odho’s determination, then you too share in her determination. And I compliment you and complement you in that sentiment. The difference is only one of degrees. The task is enormous. The sooner we start, the better the harvest.

    Janoobi Asia Zindabad.Recommend

  • R. Khan
    Dec 30, 2010 - 3:10PM

    Atiqa O, Firstly Jinnah Pakistan was not only made for Muslims only but for the poor minorities also who have suffered enough in this country. Secondly, if Mr. Jinnah is brought back today to see the country which he made, I am sure that he would go in a state of shock. Mr. Jinnah wanted a educated, secular & liberal Pakistan not Mullah’s Pakistan which we have become unfortunately since Mullah’s from day one tried to black mail the true leaders of Pakistan & unfortunately a liberal & highly educated leader ZAB fell into their trap by making Islamic constitution of Pakistan. The day this Islamic constitution was approved in the assembly Jinnah’s Pakistan died & it’s very difficult to revive Jinnah’s Pakistan now. Ultimately your kids would go back to USA not only for studies but to permanently settle down. Would you blame them?Recommend

  • vish
    Dec 30, 2010 - 4:18PM

    One thing I am proud to be Indian is that, Our brothers went to other part of the world long back, world thought it is brain drain but today we are happy the second generation of this drained people is comming back to my country / our mother country to contribute with their highly eduicated / skilled form, today these same people who settled in the other contries celebrate our Indianness in the form of festivals, and every person has their roots here and they revert or refer during their Identity is in crisesRecommend

  • Bukhari
    Dec 30, 2010 - 4:21PM

    Hi Atiqa,

    Impressive words are not enough to express my feelings about your articleRecommend

  • Fasih Khan
    Dec 30, 2010 - 5:20PM

    Musharraf Obsessionists Can Not Hold Back … Well Written Ms. Odho …. Well Done Mr. Musharraf.Recommend

  • Hamid Hussain
    Dec 30, 2010 - 5:32PM

    Ms Atiqa your article is good enough but you should remember the deadly earthquake that struck the country in 2005. People from across the country ran to help their compatriots. Anothe exmple is the Internally displaced people crisis. I have personally seen people from Karachi who came to help people of Swat. So I think the situation is not as grim as you portrayed in your column. The problem with us is that we are adept at making statments/giving opinion/criticising others but inept at applying them on our own lives. Recommend

  • rehan
    Dec 30, 2010 - 5:41PM

    If “our” Quaid happened to come back to Pakistan in say 2007 and was received by “your” party head Mushy,would the Quaid have agreed to the “in the National Interest”?
    It is very easy to be a ‘Patriotic Pakistani’ while one has a US citizenship too:) Recommend

  • parvez
    Dec 30, 2010 - 5:43PM

    Smacks of double standards and hypocrisy. Recommend

  • G.Din
    Dec 30, 2010 - 7:05PM

    @Ravindra Mishra
    I am an Indian like you. I am sorry to say that your lengthy postulation is at best superficial.
    It is based on admittedly deeply felt wishful thinking or yearning and nothing more. In this you are not alone; millions of Indians indulge in this day-dreaming. Even Gandhi did. But to no purpose, because for most of us it is far easier and comforting to do so without taking into account historical imperatives which over time are mapped on our genes. ” If all wishes were horses…….”
    You say:”The generation that hacked each other to bits is on its way out … in a decade they will cease to exist amongst our midst. Their sorrows and their memories will pale and leave only in photographs and hazy movietone reels. The hatred that they (some) have propagated, will gradually melt away.”
    All the hacking that took place did so in Punjab and Bengal. Apparently this generation probably exists only in those two provinces. Yet babri demolition took place in far away Uttar Pradesh and Godhra Broasting and the subsequent riots took place in Gujrat. Was this some kind of a virus that infected the rest of the people? Again, why do you think,”The generation that hacked each other to bits” did so? There had been no such hacking in the prior 500 years, during which many a generation was born and went on their way out? Was that particular generation seized with some kind of unnatural frenzy which, you hope, will “melt away” with their passing? Why did the 1857 Rebellion against the British, touted as our First War of Independence (possibly because Hindus and Muslims joined to fight it) fail? Do you think that history might have played some part in that? If you do, why do you expect that all will be hunky dory after this “uniquely hate-filled generation” has passed on? “The hatred that they (some) have propagated” was that the problem with this “villainous” generation only or was that hate nursed and handed down from generation to generation?
    What is your take on the reasons for destruction of Babri? Why weren’t any other mosques touched? Would be interesting to hear from you!
    Do you see now why I believe you have indulged in superficiality and wishful thinking? Your longing for a Janoobi Asia political and economical federation is as ethereal as the wishful yearning for Khilafa indulged by Muslims worldwide for ages now. And it has as much a chance for its materialization.Recommend

  • Uzma
    Dec 30, 2010 - 11:03PM

    I live in the West and although AO’s article and rationale does not seem to have much rationale behind it, I can appreciate that Pakistan does have a huge identity crisis, which has manifested itself in Pakistanis particularly the uneducated diaspora hiding behind religion in droves, to compensate for embarassing or shameful Pakistani cultural practices that they brought with them from their villages and towns to the UK. The educated regrettfully are following in their stead and religion has become almost a fashion and the norm. The ‘educated’ not understanding that there was no vacuum in their lives, but they have sucumbed to the influence of Wahabbi Islam that spread like the plague from the youth to the parents and to the middle-classes. Rather than making an effort to turn things around and/or embracing positive aspects of Pakistani culture, Pakistanis in the West have thrown their language, their costume, their art, literate, poetry and traditions in the bin either because they have found fault with them, especially after ‘discovering imported Islam’. Pakistani cultural traditions and religion were wishy-washy and appeared less sophisticated, smacking of country yokelness. Forced marriages between cousins for visas, domestic violence for disobeying the husband, belief in peers/jinns/black magic practices/superstitions have shamed a lot of Pakistani diaspora into embracing arabesque born-again Wahabbism, which is clear, literaral and has been prescribed by educated ‘scholars’ who speak and understand arabic. This has clearly enticed the Pakistani diaspora who now play who can look the most arab. They wear the hijab, the jilbab and don arab dress hoping it will make them look sophisticated and more muslim. Meanwhile the arabs are busy throwing their original rags in the bin and rushing to wear the latest chanel or designer suit. At the same time, Pakistanis find their appetite for eastern art in the Indian movies and music that have been so slickly produced with colourful sugar-coated technicolour and songs. No-one has the time to fix Pakistan’s cultural and religious maladies because to do so would be playing with fire after-all Pakistan has become a complete dichotomy now, with strict orthodoxy and parodying the West vying for centre-stage, there is no room for rational, non-religious debate. Pakistanis have forgotten to intellectualise, to think for themselves to work out logical solutions to these ills. They need the crux of religion to save their own soul because selfishness and salvation of ones-self is all that matters now in this competitive world. We have become a laughing stock, where now we have no more openly agnostic atheist philosophers who can debate about politics, they fear for their lives to voice their ideas, when in the 50s or 60s people could sincerely declare their religious and political affiliations. Now its all a game to save ones soul, ones life, ones face in this hypocricital superficial, lazy society.Recommend

  • Zaid
    Dec 30, 2010 - 11:19PM

    Dear Write,

    It can be a dilemma for children who are born there and permanantly resident of foreign country, but country like Pakistan and their people are always brave (I am not talking about elite like our politicians, feudals, businessman, civil and military bureaucracy). During 2010, there were 1544 different bomb blast which took live of 3571 innocent people and business of life still continues. I believe that if this could have happen anywhere in the world, the country could not have been survived. Its only Pakistanis who dare to live and coping such a difficult situation.

    Myself, youth, media and many scholars are sensing that revolution is not far, which will off set this status quo elements. The most liked by youth is Imran Khan not only in Pakistan but also oversees. Let see if anyone else comes better than him. Recommend

  • Dec 31, 2010 - 5:01AM

    It is amazing for me to see that people here are more interested in commenting on the author (who has a right to support whoever she wants) and not the article.Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Dec 31, 2010 - 5:34AM

    All those ladies and gentlemen who did not fulfill Mr. Jinnah’s dream or to whom Mr. Jinnah would enquire or seek explanation are already with him in Heavens. The generations born after partition and especially younger generation have more questions and few answers.

    Those who were born many years after the chaos of partition, and those who did not see Mr. Jinnah, but saw his subordinates, friends and workers playing havoc with new state are very disappointed with Mr. Jinnah’s chosen people. Respectfully, my question to Mr. Jinnah would be.. As you very well knew that people around you were incapable, dishonest and corrupt, and you also knew that your deteriorating health would not allow you to hang on few more years, why it was necessary to give those incapable, incompetent and dishonest people an opportunity to shatter your dreams. With what magic they were going to change overnight? Mr. Jinnah, as a very wise and intellegent person, why would you wish new generation any different than your own?Recommend

  • O
    Dec 31, 2010 - 9:36AM

    Some here say that the Quaid would be shocked or something to see the current state of Pakistan, like this is not what ‘he meant it to be’. Well the Quaid wasn’t so dumb really, he was actually pretty smart. In fact, so smart, he even told a close friend of his (Cowasjee–father of the current writer), “Mark my words, each successive government of Pakistan will be worst than the previous one”. I’d say he was quite correct with the prediction, for the most part (the current govt at least is worse than all the previous ones). Jinnah wasn’t some old guy who believed in fairy tails; if Pakistan was really as ‘secular’ and trouble-free as he would’ve obviously wanted, I think that’s what would’ve really (pleasantly) surprised him.
    I’ll tell you something else Jinnah didn’t want to tell his people: What Jinnah wanted of Pakistan was it to be ruled by the plutocratic elite, the wealthy and well-educated Muslim business families of India. They were to be the inheritors of Pakistan, and they were to lead their Muslim masses. Unfortunately this elite remained so concerned with making more money out of their money and leading lavish, bubbled lifestyles that they let the governance of the country slip into the hands of military men and the God-forsaken feudal lords.
    If you don’t believe me on this: well, why do you think that the State Bank of Pakistan was one of the few central banks of the world (like the shady ‘Federal Reserve’ of the US) which actually had privately-held shares? Who do you think held these shares? These shares were sold during the promulgation of the SBP, to raise funds from ‘the public’ for its initial capitalization. The highest bidders received the shares. The highest bidders were obviously those who had the most money. And once they procured the shares of SBP–of course, they now controlled the issue of Pakistani currency. To be fair, at least 51% of the shares of the SBP had to be government-held, according to the SBP promulgation act written by the Quaid. ZAB nationalized the SBP, thus ending the ‘reign’ of the infamous so-called ’22 families of Pakistan’.
    If you really want what the Quaid wanted, this is what you should probably do. Give the country’s highest taxpayers and/or the chambers of commerce and industry a constitutional say in the government. And with that, you might as well also include educational institutions and even the military and civil services. Obviously giving it all to politicians (i.e. feudals and gangsters) isn’t really working too well. Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Dec 31, 2010 - 12:26PM

    @Zaid
    Do you have a choice. People name it resilience, but in reality its accepting the situation. Its hopelessness that make us go on with life irrespective of the barbarism around us and its true for all communities and countries. The only remedy is not to show this “resilience” but to stand up and fight. Hopefully people of Pakistan will.Recommend

  • Balwinder Sandhu
    Dec 31, 2010 - 2:10PM

    @ Zaid– your statement- “but country like Pakistan and their people are always brave. During 2010, there were 1544 different bomb blast which took live of 3571 innocent people and business of life still continues…”- I dont know whether to laugh or cry here. You could have pointed out not the bravery but the fact that a country must have rotten foundations that 1544 bomb blasts actually took place.

    @Dr Deb Misra- brilliant comments above. Could I pl ask all Pakistanis respectfully to please read them and do as Dr asked and respond to his brilliant analysis.Recommend

  • Kanishka
    Dec 31, 2010 - 10:01PM

    Do you guys see anything beyond religion? Its common sense that there cant be only one highway to God :)….even Atiqa quotes Jinnah invoking Musalman no Pakistan :) that how sad things are….In India Gandhi/Nehru did not invoke Hindus but India as a whole, thsi is the difference in thefoundation of the two countries…At independence Pakistan had 15% Hindu+Buddhist+Jain+Sikh population, today its an immpressive 2%…great work..you strangulated religions that originated in the Indus Valley..what an achievement…The day Pakistan and muslims in general get over the madness of the concepts of “Muslim Ummah” “Kafir” “Sharia” etc etc… That day Pakistan will be liberated… If you hate Hindus its fine, but atleast do not deny the Buddhist legacy of your land and follow some of the eastern wisdom that the entire world is flocking for…a wakeup call for those who try to immitate the Arabs…Recommend

  • Zain
    Dec 31, 2010 - 11:04PM

    @Balwinder Sandhu

    The article is related to Bravery and courage. It is not discussing any system issues. However, if you want to discuss this issue with that aspect, then things are different. Before US presence in Afghanistan, these suicidal attacks were very few, but now Pakistan with its very little resources find it difficult to cope with non presence of trained and organized institution. That is why, Army has to come out to tackle this problem, otherwise it is purely responsibility of local government with law forcing organizations like Police and Intelligence agencies.

    I accept that this is due to lack of our weak governance and rotten leadership. Recommend

  • H. Basharat
    Jan 1, 2011 - 12:40PM

    It is a thought-provoking account by Ms. Atiqa Odho. This identity crisis is a tragedy of Pakistani nation at present times. Within the country, we have no trust on anybody at all. At work, we are not safe, during shopping, we are concerned of safety.Every body is scared of other person. In other countries, mostly adults, older generation, talk about Pakistani socio-political issues and the younger generation keeps a distance from this group of generation. I recall a Pakistani businessman, who often swears General Parvez Musharraf. I had been confronting to convince him to show proper manners. One day I went there his young son was at the store. He showed a real disgust against his father that he always talk about Pakistani politics and uses profane language. He should go back to Pakistan to play politics games. I got surprised when I saw him at the front table at the dinner in the honor of General Musharraf. What a hypocrisy and identity crisis of our people. I still believe that “Musalman museebat main ghabraya nahin kartay”. We need a strong leader to lead this nation. This is a nation, lead by Hazrat Qaid-e-Azam and got a new land, our land. I have to speak loud enough that we have a leader, a Quaid, Mr. Parvez Musharraf, who will take our nation out of this upheaval and uncertain state. It will take some time but APML Shall succeed. These Nawaz and Jageerdars will be rejected in next elections InshaAllah. Recommend

  • hsb
    Jan 3, 2011 - 10:42AM

    Why are we so much concerned to satisfy Mr Jinnah;
    once asked about the constitution of Pakistan, he said it was already there from the life example of our Holy Prophet Muhammad PBUH.
    Shouldn’t we be focussing on the root rather than the branches?Recommend

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