Responding to Pakistan’s Emergency: Aaj bazar mein pa-bajolaaN chalo

Posted on November 6, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, About ATP, ATP Mushaira, Poetry, Politics, Society
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Adil Najam

These are distressing times. But this is not a time to be depressed.

This is a time, as Owais reminds us in his last post, to reaffirm our hopes for the future. True defeat would be to give up on those hopes. I have put up the splash image (on the front page) that I have to reassert and to remind ourselves that ultimately Pakistan will be what we make of it. Emergency or no emergency, no one can snatch our Pakistaniat from us. Not until we ourselves surrender it!

Back in May, at a moment of similar desperation, I had written a post where I had sought “solace in the one place where I always find it. In poetry. Especially in Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poetry.” The video clip I had used there is worth repeating here.

I had written then – and it seems even more pertinent today to repeat it:

Here is Faiz – in his own words, in his own voice. The second half has the same poem masterfully sung by Nayarra Noor. Enjoy this rare find of kalam i Faiz, ba zaban i Faiz. But more than that, think about what he is saying and how it relates to what is happening today.

What I had to say (including about US role) I said at length in an NPR Radio show today (or here). But what Faiz has to say is far more profound.

The words of Faiz certainly cut deeper than anything I can say. They are an invitation to action. But they are also an invitation to thought. An invitation to responsibility. An invitation to continuing the struggle no matter what. An invitation to keep moving onwards despite the odds. An invitation to celebrate the spirit of defiance of those who will not give up.

I had ended that post by reaffirming ATP’s committment “to celebrating all the diverse trials and tribulations of being Pakistan … the mundane as well as the profound; the sad as well as the gleeful; the immediate as well as the long-term.” It is time, today, to repeat that commitment.

This is our commitment to Pakistaniat. We love Pakistan not because everything is right in it. But despite that which is clearly not right. And with a commitment to make right that which has gone astray. Ameen.

145 responses to “Responding to Pakistan’s Emergency: Aaj bazar mein pa-bajolaaN chalo

  1. Rafay Kashmiri says:

    @Expat Engineer,
    your very long but comprehensive post is not to avoid,

    parh chuknay kay baad post app ki
    Ji chahta hay kay likhen marsia aik
    Kia khabar ro parai’n Diwarayn bhi
    Roaiy ga kiun na kisi ka dil abb aik

  2. Sohail Agha says:


    I totally agree…

  3. Daktar says:

    This is not the time to despair, this is time to be proud of Pakistan. I am very proud of the Pakistanis who keep demonstrating, writing against injustice, speaking out despite all the beatings and jailings and the extreme measures this givernment is taking. In the past in Pakistan and even now in many places, people just sulk and go quiet at much less, but in Pakistan the students, the journalists and the lawyers keep protesting despite the extreme injustice and hurt to them. This is something to be proud of, not to dispair. I remain proud to be a Pakistani more than ever. I am not proud of the generals but very proud of ordinary Pakistanis.

  4. Saman Mohsin says:

    These days I am shying away from calling my self Pakistani. The sort of news that come across through news paper are not only depressing but also embarassing to own as a nation. I totally agree with the poem of Rafay Kashmiri this is the sort of Badmashi our forces are involved in these days. I believe illiteracy is the cause of all this, alas we are still no where near to be called a developing nation.

  5. Rafay Kashmiri says:

    @The commentators,

    My first Nazm ” Ye log” disappeared, alas I did’nt keep a
    copy, this is my second, hopes for Democracy !!

    Policy Dehrion ki ye hay, keh jhoot Phaiyla’ain
    Sirf Zubani batla’in, sirf Natak hi racha’ain

    Hath mein gar ajaiy inn kay iqtidar,
    bheint Kazibon par sachai ki charhadain

    Ikhtilaf kar nehein sakta koi inn say
    kehein wo app ko Suli pay ne charhadain

    Seh nehein saktay, ye sachai ki Zuba’n
    kisi aur say Zuba’n, app ki ne katwadain

    Syasat Pesha hay inka, ye kartay hein shikar
    Kehein such bolnay walon ko, ye ne marwadain

    Ghareebo’n kay bantay hein, ye Thekedar sabhi
    Josh hi mein kehein Ghareebo’n ko ne marwadain

    Nazariate ki jang ho, ya daulat ki
    Insaniat ko ye kehein ne marwadain

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