Rise Up Pakistan

Posted on May 12, 2009
Filed Under >Arsalan Faheem, Politics, Religion, Society
42 Comments
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Arsalan Ali Faheem

I am not prepared to accept the pessimism that characterizes our current national mindset, and neither should you be. One of Quaid-e-Azam’s best sayings was ‘Mussalmaan museebat mein, ghabraya nahin karta!’

It should be a source of motivation and strength for everyone in Pakistan, even our non-Muslim brethren, who should be confident that as Pakistanis they will enjoy freedom from injustice and be treated equally. Were not the odds stacked against our country in 1947? Were not our state’s coffers empty, our army poorly equipped and our infrastructure non-existent? What was it then, which motivated millions to forsake everything and place their trust in a land with no visible future? It was hope and the power of ideas and dreams. What we did have in ample supply were large hearts, optimism, and belief, instilled by the Quaid, in our ability to forge a great nation out of pathetic conditions.

Look around you. How would those Pakistanis (some of them are still around) feel if they saw us in our present state? Did we obtain independence to fight over our various versions of Islam? It was not without reason that Quaid-e-Azam ruled out the possibility of Pakistan becoming a theocracy. Yet foolish men still make impassioned statements about bringing an ‘Islamic’ system to Pakistan. In reality, no one knows what such a system entails, how it would be implemented and how it would be run. It is a useless exercise, repeated because it makes us feel more ‘pious.’ What did this approach lead to? It led to our only Nobel Laureate person dying a maltreated and disappointed man. It led to the bombing of mosques, shrines and schools. It led to Pakistanis throats being cut and filmed for all to see. Throats being cut? Can we pause for a minute and think about that? Better yet, think about it at the next Qurbani at your home. Imagine a human being’s neck being put under the knife, and perhaps then we will come to realize the brutality of the barbarism that must be cleansed from our society.

Do we not have the capacity to accept each other’s viewpoints that we may coexist peacefully? Wake up Pakistan! Look around you. We once fought for the creation of this country, now we must make every effort to ensure its survival. Our country is not without its flaws and has committed more than its fair share of mistakes, but we must move swiftly to correct ourselves. We have to keep moving forward. The oppressive sun hangs low in the sky, demoralizing our people. Vultures circle over head, their crooked beaks menacing. Be prepared to defend what you love, or watch it being taken away.

At this moment, we must make a firm vow to safeguard our country. The time has come to fight; stand in unison to defend Pakistan. Fight not in the literal sense, but in the sense of daily struggle. It is our everyday lives where we have to change our behaviour. Work hard in our professions, do well at school, be good parents, kind to servants, charitable to the needy and considerate of fellow citizens. Let’s give each other the breathing space we need to exist. Must we really be concerned with who is performing their religious duties and in what way? Has not God promised to dispense justice at the end? How about we wait a little, the day is probably not too far off.

The external threats to Pakistan are very serious as we live in a dangerous neighbourhood. However, presently there are internal dangers which we must deal with. There is no way Pakistan can survive as a sovereign state if there is disunity at home. Is the hegemony of others an acceptable option? It is not and never will be. Make a vow, yes do it right now by putting your right hand on your heart, to love every Baluchi, Sindhi, Pushtun, Kashmiri, Punjabi, and every Pakistani regardless of religion and socioeconomic status. All for one and one for all! Our beautiful provinces complement each other perfectly and have complete capacity to sustain and provide for all of us. We have a youthful population that should believe that we can change as we want, to become what we want. Confused about what Pakistan means? Well it is about time that you started trying to figure it out! No more apathy, please. The road to success lies through social justice and economic progress. Both require toil and we should embark upon the journey without delay.

No country will come to rescue us in the hour of need and we must provide for ourselves. We need neither billions nor twisted criticisms to find our way. We need perseverance, courage, and love. Those who are dark of heart and turban creep upon us. They threaten from the valleys above. They ridicule our way of life and they have no concern for the dignity and property of our people. They are illiterate and intolerant. They are not us. They do not belong here. For a moment, think of Muhammad Ali and Fatima Jinnah. They were well educated, respected professionals. They should be our role models. Would these extremists allow a Fatima Jinnah to exist today? What punishment would she have received under their primitive code? Keeping in mind the examples set by our founding family, we must work to create a Pakistan with equal rights and respect for all men and women. Wake up tomorrow morning and make an effort to change. Stop at the red light, refuse to pay a bribe, help the old woman cross the street, speak the truth, solve your exam honestly, read a history book, pick up a wrapper, take a stand for the oppressed and respect a different opinion. Smile. For you are lucky and have much to be grateful for.

It is only Pakistan which offers boundless potential, and we should aim to realize it. Please, let us forget prejudices and cleanse our minds of negativity. Then prepare to be surprised at the dexterity and genius of our own people. I am not ready to accept a defeatist approach towards Pakistan and I hope by now, neither are you. Say this out aloud, “Never again will we be subjugated, we will guard our Azadi with our sweat, blood and skill!” Chin up Pakistan! Rise and be counted as a great nation! Peace, prosperity and love for every man and woman.
“Waqt ke andhairon mein, apna aap pehchano.”- Mehdi Hassan
Pakistan Zindabad.

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42 responses to “Rise Up Pakistan”

  1. Pakistani says:

    Inshallah, we will

  2. Thank you so much for writing this. Profound things always sound simple, and this is one of the best I have read about the present scenario recently. I shall be very grateful if Arsalan could get in touch with me (my email address is khurramsoffice@yahoo.com , I dont have yours or else I would have written to you directly).

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