Like many people, I have grown up balancing many different identities. I was born and raised in Canada, follow the Muslim faith and have Pakistani roots…all have been very important to me, however, it seems that my Pakistani origin has dominated in shaping me into the person I am today.
My obsession with Pakistan started very young, and to this day people are often confused by my degree of patriotism. I wasn’t born there, have never lived there and only visit every couple of years…but still, there’s something about her that keeps pulling me in.
However, I have recently begun to feel like a minority amongst other Pakistanis; people just don’t feel the same love for Pakistan as they used to. Conflict, politics and popular media tend to bring the worst out in people- Usually it doesn’t bother me much, I figure everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but the recent attacks on Pakistan have left me more than just a little disturbed. Whether it’s due to the growing violence, political corruption, or overhyped media delivery, it is important now more than ever that we don’t give up on Pakistan.
How can so many people have turned on their own country so quickly? I hear them all the time, sitting around talking about how horrible Pakistan has become, and how glad they are to be out of that place. Some even go as far as to say that they’re disgusted by the country and would never go back. Seriously? The country that gave birth to you, where you started your families and have buried your elders. A country rich in culture, history and good old fashion jazba, now disgusts you?
The thing that amuses me the most is that these people still want to be associated with the culture; they wear the beautiful clothes, eat the delicious food and speak the poetic language…they want to be associated with everything Pakistani…just not with Pakistan. Hypocrisy at its finest.
Don’t get me wrong, I am the first to admit that Pakistan has problems…lots of them…but how is cutting your ties going to help? Until we are united as a people, both inside Pakistan and around the world, we will never be able to see the change in the country that is so desperately needed. The recent events in Pakistan have shown the government, and the world that the time for change is now. It will not happen overnight, and definitely will not be easy, but together we can help Pakistan achieve the dream that Jinnah had envisioned for her…don’t give up on her now.