Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Soap Box: The Power of One - Zahid Husain

Between 1944 and 1985, so much happened in the Motherland, some of it I was not part of, as I reacted to the dictates of the Government in power in 1972; I was stationed in Karachi, then with a young enthusiastic and politically aware spouse, who supported my view, that as Pakistanis we were NOT going to start speaking Sindhi just because we lived there! By the way we were not alone in this belief, Karachi was in turmoil then and curfew was imposed upon a free spirited citizenry. So we sold our belongings and along with a friend of the same ilk, we set out to face the Big Wide World.

We wandered where we fancied in Europe, taking in the Old World and all it offered and stood for, while taking for granted the spirit with which we were welcomed everywhere, we felt like we were at home, thus drawing out in us the best we had to offer our hosts, as proud PAKISTANIS; seldom did we look over our shoulder and regret our decision.

As I look back now, I recall, that all the while I was growing up in my Motherland, never once was there ever any mention or news of racial, sectarian, religious, caste, rich or poor or social tensions; we all grew up then as fellow Pakistanis, proud to be able to sing our national anthem, to stand when the Flag was displayed in a cinema hall, and to stand in silence with respect while the anthem played!

We were afraid of the policemen, when we rode double-sawari on a bicycle, one would jump off or he would take the air out of the two tires, while we stood sheepishly bye feeling very guilty, for having broken the law; and making sure we had lights on our bikes if we were going to be out in the dark!

In school, we had a class period, when our class teacher Mrs. Jamaluddin taught us moral science and character building! That subject is no more part of any curriculum or syllabus in any school I know of, in Pakistan

My point is that with all that in the background, we never once looked at one another as anyone else, as anything other than as being a Pakistani! We were then moving towards Nationhood, one people, one country, one PAKISTAN.

We had great Bengali friends, throughout school and college; never did we discriminate between each other’s backgrounds or beliefs, there was peace and harmony, till we got US-Aid, that’s when our real troubles started. And when our people started going abroad to work in the Gulf where they were brainwashed and discriminated against by the sharper, shrewder, cliquish Indians and Arabs, thus forcing us to adapt and adopt ways that were till then alien to us.

Over the past 25 years we have transformed in to our present selves, forgetting our oneness true Pakistanis, and descending into the pits of this strife ridden society as all sorts of people first and Pakistanis afterwards! We muster under numerous flags that we believe represent our being and our association and forget what our forefathers’ sacrificed their all so that we could inherit a Motherland called PAKISTAN.

You notice I steer clear of the how’s, who and whys of our situation, because we now need to steer ourselves back into the right frame of mind by discarding all those misguiding ways, beliefs and views of each other drop the provincialism to 2nd level and bond together as One Nation under One Flag on the 1st level as PAKISTANIS FIRST AND FOREMOST!

NO other flag counts or matters, they ALL must be shed, and we all MUST only look to the Green & White Crescent & Star as the only path to our salvation as a Nation! This is very simple to achieve, and the quickest way is to start with oneself, I mean YOU, yes! YOU; Believe you are a Pakistani first and ONLY a Pakistani, nothing else matters or counts Forever!

Then make or convince your own family to change their thinking process that they are ONLY Pakistanis. Then move to your inner circle of friends and make them understand that they are Pakistani first and ONLY Pakistani

And so on, if each one of us can do this every day, day after day, 365/12, we will just begin to build ourselves into a NATION as the Quaid e Azam envisioned. Our recognition around the world is that we are PAKISTANI and our salvation on earth, lies in building a strong, united, faithful and disciplined country called PAKISTAN, We will then automatically think first of our country, the MOTHERLAND, also then ask yourself what it is that you can and must do for your Motherland not what can the Motherland do for you!

May the Almighty give us all the strength to give up our old hateful thoughts and ways and accept Pakistaniat.

Have a great Day! Pakistanis, where ever you may be!

Remember “PAKISTAN hum sub ke Char-devaaree hai, is kee hefaazat hum sub key zimadaree hai” PAKISTAN PAINDABAD FOREVER!

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