Adil Najam, Owais Mughal, Darwaish, Asma Mirza
In this, the final post in our series on Pakistan Day 2009, we want to look towards the future. Not on what the source of our concerns are, but on the source of our hopes.
The spirit of this post, as you will see, is best expressed in the great song by Mehdi Hasan – Yeh Watan tumhara Hai. We have written about this song before, but as Khan Sahib struggles for his life in a Karachi hospital today, this March 23rd is a good day to remember his song and remember him in all our prayers.
Each of the four editors of this blog asked ourselves the same question that we ask you: "On this Pakistan Day, what gives you hope for Pakistan’s future?"
Here are our answers. Do please share with us what your answers might be. (Those who want to talk about threats and concerns can do so in the last post; but, please, do respect the question that this post focuses on).
DARWAISH: The Lawyers Movement, emergence of a vibrant civil society and the awareness created in masses by media has given me new hope for a better future. I know we are not there yet and itâ€™s just the beginning of a long road ahead but independent judiciary is the first step in right direction.
The ruling elite and others sitting in the corridors of power can no longer do whatever they want and get away with it. They will be exposed and that’s a very positive change. A transparent and fair public accountability process, which has been long absent from Pakistani society, can now hopefully be achieved through a combination of independent judiciary and media.
I also hope that now we will see extensive judicial reforms which are desperately needed, especially in the lower courts which deal with more than 90% of public issues.
ASMA MIRZA: When I compare general attitude of an average youth now with that of ten years ago, I totally get amazed at the change we went through. Ten years back the life of an average youth probably revolved around gaming, a bit of gossiping on media (read: films) and studies. That’s it.
Today things have taken a total turn. When I talk around with young people, the spirit they have for Pakistan – the hatred they have against evils that are killing us as a nation – makes me revive my thoughts of hope and respect in Pakistan’s future. It may be the media that is spreading the awareness but the willingness to ponder about things – about Pakistan’s future – is gratifying. This, more than anything else, gives me hope in Pakistan’s future.
Long live Pakistan ~ The land of beautiful people. Young saplings give me hope for Pakistan. This blood has got the potential and I feel happy that this blood knows their rights too. It is through this generation that I see Pakistan a better and progressive land in coming decades, Inshah Allah.
OWAIS MUGHAL: What gives me hope on this March 23rd are the women cricketers of Pakistan. Pakistan recenlty ended up at 6th position in the Womens’ Cricket World Cup but the ladies from Pakistan conquered much more than sixth position. They conquered the taboo of following their dreams, they conquered the no-no of coming from extreme rural background and competing against the best in the World.
I took special note of the places where these ladies came from. Some of these places have never been able to send a male player toÂ Pakistan’s national team but these ladiesÂ have shown there is no limit to what one can achieve byÂ aiming high and with dedication. OneÂ player of Pakistani women team cameÂ from Nankana Sahib in Punjab, one from a place as remote as Chaghi, Balochistan, 1 from Quetta, 3 from Abbotabad,Â 1 from Hyderabad, Sindh andÂ 3 from Multan. Rest of the team came from Karachi and Lahore.
This was a truly a Pakistani team comprising of players from remote cities as well as mega cosmopolitans. My congratulations to Pakistani women cricket team on this birthday of Pakistan Resolution. You give us hope!
ADIL NAJAM: My response to this question is not much different from my colleagues, in that it is the people of Pakistan that give me hope as well as sustenance. There are many many manifestations of the hope they stir, here are just five examplars (representative, but not comprehensive):
- Pakistani people give me hope. My conviction that Pakistan is a democratic society trapped inside an undemocratic state gives me hope. On Pakistan Day 2007 I wrote about "Celebrating the Democratic Spirit." On Pakistan Day 2008 I prayed "Let Democracy Reign." In the year since then events have again proved that the custodian of the democratic spirit in Pakistan is Pakistani society, not the Pakistani state.
- Pakistani media gives me hope. Not because I always agree with it (I often don’t). But because it has developed a habit of speaking its mind. It is not a habit easily controlled (here and here).
- Pakistani bloggers give me hope. Even those who I may not agree with, give me the hope that the voice of Pakistanis of all ilk cannot be suppressed. The Teeth Maestros, The Pak Tea Houses, The Pakistani Spectators, the PKpolitics’, The Metroblogs, and so so many more give me the hope that there will be enough voices voicing enough opinions that the diversity of our voice will not be suppressed.
- Pakistani music gives me hope. Not just because Laal will sing Umeed-e-Sahar and Musheer but also that Shahzad Roy will sing Lagay Raho, that our artists will gather to sing Yeh Hum Nahin, and GEO will play Aitizaz Ahsan’s Kal, Aaj aur Kal.
- Pakistani artistes give me hope. Whether it is the paintings of Saira Wasim, or the movies of Shoaib Mansoor or Mahreen Jabbar, or the documentaries of Shirmeen Obaid, they give me the hope that tough topics that need to be discussed in society will be discussed and not totally ignored. The Second Floor (T2F) give me hope that our artistes and intellectuals will have platforms from where to speak out.
So, this is what we think… your turn now.