Pakistan 2010: Our Future Is Our Own

Posted on January 1, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, About ATP, Photo of the Day
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Adil Najam

From all of us at, and on behalf of all our readers too, we wish the young girl in this photograph a wonderful New Year and a prosperous and peaceful 2010.

Her future is our own.

As she stares at the camera, and indeed at us, her eyes capture a sentiment that is also our own. A sense of  fear, but also one of resolve. One cannot know what she was thinking as this photograph was taken. But in looking at this photograph on this new year’s day, 2010, one cannot help think about the future and what it may hold for her, and for all of us. On this new year’s day, let us understand that – for good or for bad – our future will be what we ourselves will make of it.

The grand schemes of history and its attendant forces certainly structure the choices that we confront, but let us never forget that it is we ourselves who have to make the choices, no matter how tough the choices may be. The weaker and more fragmented we are ourselves, the more vulnerable we will be to the forces outside our control. It can be comforting to pass the blame to others, but even when there is much justification in doing so, it is not very useful unless we ourselves are willing to make the right choices.

Making those right choices – often tough choices – is our responsibility and no one else’s. It is our responsibility to history, to ourselves, and to the young girl in this photograph.

Let us make no mistake, our future is our own. And so is this girl’s.

P.S. This year, like in the year before, we have again chosen a photograph by one of our favorite Pakistani photographers, Umair Ghani (here, here, here, here).

32 responses to “Pakistan 2010: Our Future Is Our Own”

  1. Umair says:

    Of all that is said, I say, what does the girl in the photograph know of TALIBAN, DRONE ATTACKS, ISPR, REHMAN MALIK, GILLANI, TERORISM AND ALL THE CRAZY POLITICAL JARGON???? Her life and the lives of her kins was still the same, prone to even more immediate threats than TALIBAN & RHMAN MALIK et al. Threats of DISEASE, IGNORANCE & BEING LEFT TO LIVE IN UTTER OBLIVION. She never was known to PAKISTANIS, not even those who shed tears when they saw her photograph. I traversed far and wide along the banks of Indus River and I came across countless children [WEEPING SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF MYGHTY INDUS] dying of disease, hunger and those who are alive are forced to bear the burden of our neglect! When I took this photograph, I kept staring at her through the lens, I felt I was trying to avoid her staring, naked, questioning eyes. Thank God, there was a caemra between us, but now it is not. When do we react to this, she and her kins have no idea, and no hope perhaps.

  2. Adam Insaan says:

    Is there any justice…….
    my daughter becomes this girl
    and this girl becomes my daughter ?

  3. Aamir Ali says:


    Most Pakistanis I meet, including my close relatives and family, remain in denial mode over terrorism. They will blame everyone and everything but the terrorists themselves. I doubt the majority of Pakistanis have the courage to call a terrorist a terrorist and support action against them.

  4. Sadia Hussain says:

    @ Rafique! Well said the first step ahead is to break these barriers of denial, and as you said we must rise against the Taliban and their supporters, here I want to add they draw support from various quarters while some may do it unintentionally the result is never the less same so I strongly urge other to speak up when you hear some friend or neighbor say “this is not our war” do not let go of it thinking that you might indulge in a meaningless argument Please Confront them!

  5. Eraj Danish says:

    @rafique. Taliban does not have any support left. Terrorism is a symptom but the real problem is yet to be addressed. Poverty, seminaries and injustice need to be talked about too. The media has to show these things and the issue common man faces.

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