Lest we forget

The 13th of August brought rain and some relief from the heat Karachi had been suffering for a while. As I made my way back from office thinking the usual thoughts of “god how to find less traffic” and “man are they  ever gonna fix anything in the KESC for the rest of us who do not know anyone in the government” I saw an accident on Shahra E Faisal.  A couple riding a motorbike slipped in the rain and got hurt as it skidded across the road.

Perhaps this was a rare occurrence but in that instant the entire line of cars braked and stopped. People ran out  and gave them water, someone called an ambulance and helped them in when it arrived, the guards outside Avari wheeled their motorbike to the side and promised to keep it safe for them in the parking till they came back. In about five minutes the traffic started again but my mind stopped back there.

We often tend to blame our country, we often tend to scream and cuss at our leaders but do we ever look into our ownselves and ask what we have ever done for this land? Do we even realize what our ancestors gave up when they arrived in Karachi?  Or how the people who lived here opened their arms to them.  My own family was sheltered by a Hindu one in the old saddar area of Karachi. My own parents traveled first to Bombay by train and after that horrifying journey boarded a steamer to come here with nothing but hope.

This accident showed me something, it showed the good of the common Pakistani, it gave me hope for this land. For even if our politicians leave no stone unturned to take us as far back as possible the people of this land are hard working, hearty and good folk and one day god willing we will make it somewhere.

So let us today make an oath, let us try till the next 14th of August to forget that we are Mohajirs or Pathans or Sindhis or Baluchis or Punjabis. Let us first try to make ourselves worthy of the freedom that so many died for! Let us first call ourselves Pakistanis and be proud of it. This world may heap it all on us, and land every blame at our doorstep but do not forget who we are, we are the flag bearers of a rich country, we carry the wealth of freedom!!

Long Live Pakistan & Happy Independence Day!!

15 Comments so far

  1. barristerakc on August 15th, 2008 @ 8:34 am

    Fasil Sahib,
    "My country, right or wrong," is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, "My mother, drunk or sober."

    It’s a nice post; however your feelings of ethnic harmony are theocratic. God know how many times I had convinced myself to shed aside differences and discrimination to be a ‘Pakistani Nationalist’ but failed due to the actions of passer-e-zameens aka son of soils.

    The latest discrimination is the recent Army Selection Board meeting where they did not permote at least 3 Urdu Speaking Brigadiers who were on merit to the ranks of Major Generals. The problem is: institutional racism against Urdu Speaking Nation apart from attitude in upper-Pakistan.

  2. Tariq Khanani (tariqkhanani) on August 15th, 2008 @ 8:46 am

    Faisal has got a point. First we need to become a good human being, then a good citizen. You will not be asked on the day of judgement that were you discriminated or anything like that. You will be rewarded for your deeds not your words. Individual deeds is first priority.

  3. obiwankenobe on August 15th, 2008 @ 10:04 am

    We are not Pakistani. We want Karachi to be separated from Punjab.

  4. obiwankenobe on August 15th, 2008 @ 10:04 am

    And please don’t preach us ….

  5. bozz on August 15th, 2008 @ 11:22 am

    I can see your drift Faisal but in short either keep dreaming or rather stop dreaming. Did you see the true colors of this colorful nation yesterday. Noisy, unruly, rude, aggressive, dirty, uncivilized, polluting are some of the adjectives that come to my mind. And none of them had anything to do with Independence. Any excuse to act and behave like subcontinental monkeys.

  6. Shamsi (shamsi) on August 15th, 2008 @ 2:38 pm

    Faisal- a good post,

    Thats how a common Pakistani (person) is, the problem is with those who we ‘CHOOSE’ to lead -i.e – represent us in the legislative compendium.

    @OBI those with such a dream WILL DIE & REBORN & DIE & REBORN But It will not happen.

    Discrimination, Injustice, quota system, extortion by mafia, by taxation department, etc etc does not mean that geographical boundries be changed, if thats the solution to apathy and injustice Balochistan shall be 1st to get independence. Support them so people like you have reason to ASK for seperation.

    I’m alive once and am sure in my Life time it will never happen, But I pray that people with such a wish of yours born again & again and die with a failed dream. – This depression sometime happens to me as well, but that sometime is always OVERCOME with the pride & dignity of saying Pakistan Mayra Hai., not any city or village or tehsil mohalla etc etc.

    @BOZZ you subcontinental naturalized monkey citizen of an adopted civilized cultured country of others , keep wondering how we manage our lives day to day. but we are Happy Alhamdo Lillah, we are hopeful.

  7. bozz on August 15th, 2008 @ 3:13 pm

    Firstly you represent nonone but yourself, so stop trying to speak from a platform by using the word we.

    I have no doubt that you must be happy for only a monkey would thrive in a jungle.

    Ah Shamsi or mulana or whatever. Sometimes the less said the better it is. Have you heard that sometimes it is better to keep your mouth closed than to open it and be proved a fool.

  8. barristerakc on August 15th, 2008 @ 4:37 pm

    It’s pretty clear that we (the Urdu Speaking) are a clear minority (a special group) in this nation; discriminated and unwelcome – the nation we moved into had unfortunately proved to be a ‘failure’ (since half of the nation already parted twisting the two nation theory).
    We in the form of MQM are fighting for our survival in a form of ‘desperate solutions needs desperate actions’ and by being diplomatic (unfortunately) because of our numerical strength.
    We (Mohajirs) control most of the wealth, we are the most literate and professional in this federation – we give the highest amount of tax to Islamabad while the federation gives us pennies – why? Why do they discriminate? Do they believe in Socialism? Why don’t they believe in socialism when there(s) shortage of flour in Karachi and Punjab refuses to give out there flour stocks?

    I think none of us hate Pakistan but unfortunately, somehow Pakistaniat in reality is: Punjabiat and that’s what upsets us back here.

    I think it’s time for another partition; exactly on same grounds as East Pakistan – I know it might sound far-fetched but the federation of Pakistan will break (unfortunately for North and fortunately for us). Enough is Enough!

    I do not mean to fight nor argue ; I am interested in an academic discussion.

  9. idealali on August 15th, 2008 @ 4:37 pm

    I started visiting this forum like a week ago when someone highly recommended it. I am sorry to say that I was really disappointed. I was so stumped initially that I wanted to put a post here but later found out that only a few are allowed to post stories and others can post comments only.
    Anyways, I am shocked to see such hatred here on this forum of highly educated middle-upper class people of the city. Almost every other post is marred with Muhajir versus Punjabi, Sindhi versus Pashtoon, and God knows what else, racism. Not MQM versus PML or PPP versus ANP but Muhajir versus Punjabi and Sindhi versus Pashtoon. Just try reading the first few comments on (not one but all) independence day posts and you’ll know what I am talking about. Like, what the hell?
    These political parties are not the real representatives of the majority. If this is so hard for all these elite class educated people on this forum to realize, can we blame anyone for the fiascoes of 12 May and 27 Dec in our city? No wonder we have incidents like these.
    There was a campaign in India recently (). Shahrukh Khan asks a very relevant question: "Are we going to keep thinking about what we should be doing or do something about what we are thinking? Are we going to simply shrug our shoulders and blame our infrastructure, our bureaucracy, our political system or are we going to roll up our sleeves, get up and actually DO something about it?"
    Please, we hardly need this hatred. We should pull ourselves together and try to listen to what Faisal is saying here. We are good people, we don’t deserve leaders like the ones we currently have, which have created all this hatred in the minds of the common Pakistani. We are better than this, I know we are.
    And before anybody starts doubting my loyalties, let me clarify that I am a Karachiite, I was born here, I have lived here throughout, I have loved every moment and I would love to spend the rest of my life in this beautiful city that has it all including, unfortunately, people that are always up spreading detestation.
    I think I am gonna quit visiting this forum very soon.

  10. zsikand on August 15th, 2008 @ 10:01 pm

    Okay this is the problem…with…US:

    We are so desperate for someone to simply besttow us some sort of resolution out of the blue that we have given up on our everyday lives.

    If one single person has seen some good on the road, h’s not lying. Heck, he’s not even wanting your ‘approvals’ on it. He is just saying that he feels happy people are still human in Pakistan.

    I give props to Faisal K for the article, and a pat on his back. The rest who simply said dream on, or anything of the like, really need to grow up. FINE. We get it..you see the "reality" while everyone else keeps ignoring it. But the truth is it is because of people like you who have given up to such an extent that they just want to up and leave. sharam karo and learn to appreicate what you see! Keep your low-moral commentary in your own little sad worlds from time to time.

  11. zakirm12 on August 16th, 2008 @ 9:50 am

    In our own city we live like prisoners, can u enjoy without fearing for your life, can u enjoy one moment without thinking that the next moment what would happen .u see the solution of attaining a peaceful nation is given in the quran , its not by praying five times a day but the 3 points are given in surah ASR
    [103:2] The human being is utterly lost.[103:3] Except those who believe and lead a righteous life, and exhort one another to uphold the truth, and exhort one another to be steadfast."
    Do we have the guts to do the above 3 things , the day we can we would have a city our country on right track.It needs sacrifice , we dont have the courage to go out in the open and speak the truth and fight for the in justice happening and when we face opposition to remain steadfast.

  12. sceptic on August 16th, 2008 @ 3:59 pm

    Zakirm12 – The three points you have mentioned are practised by most western countries in letter and spirit. By the way, justice, accountability and honesty are the pillers of the western civilzation and the reasons for their social and economic success.

    Barrister and Obi – "we" don’t give highest taxes. The revenues generated in Karachi do not go out the pockets of Karchitiites, whether Mohajirs or not. The two main sources of revenues in and around karachi for the Federal government are (1) custom duties on imports and some exports and (2) the corporate taxes paid by national entities such as banks and industries with headquarters in Karachi.

    Large companies and financial institutions generate their profits (and therefore their share of taxes) by conducting their business activities through the country. Most banks, for example, have more branches in the Punjab that anywhere else. So the income (and the taxes on that income) is mostly generated out of Kaarchi, since that’s where 90 percent of Pakistani population and therefore an overwhelming majority of consumers/customers live. Only that when the annual taxes have to be paid they are paid by their chief accountants based in their headquarters in Karachi. Nothing extra goes out of the pockets of the citizens on the city.

    Ditto with the international commerce. The goods imported through the port of Karachi are not all consumed in Karachi but a majority goes upstream as that’s where the majority of population and therefore consumers live. The importer pays custom duties through their income generated by selling these products to consumers, and as we have learnt above that consumers are spread from NWFP to Sindh and from Punjab to Balochistan. And export goods are mostly agri-products predominently coming from north of Karachi, and hence any export duties on these goods do not go out the pockets of a common Nazimabad resident.

    Now let us talk of the GDP – gross domestic product — another source of random figures thrown at thsi forum. It is calculated on any activity resulting in productivity (NOT THE REVENUES OR INCOME) of any kind. So a poor peasant living in Dadu or Mianwali generating milk from a domestic cow for the consumption of his family or harvesting enough wheat for his family’s survival is indulging in generating products which are included in the country’s GDP. The farmer does not need to sell his products to generate any profit of income for him but he only has to produce these products (even for his own consumption. The value of products he is generating will form a part of the national GDP.

    It is easy to guess that Punjab’s contribution to Pakistan’s GDP will be highest as that’s where most people of the country reside and indulge in generating products.

    It is human tendency to find easier way out of blaming his own failures on a scapegoat. The issue of revenue generation and distribution is not as simplistic as some of the contributors here have tried to portray.

  13. d0ct0r on August 17th, 2008 @ 1:39 am

    Why do MMQ needs invitation to be in govt. We got 9% of all votes in last election.
    Just be rational please and don’t think I am a thug or terrorist.

    Thats what am saying if you read what i said earlier,MQM didn’t needed any invitation at all from current coalition government,it sided with the dictator and licked his boots for the last 8 years,cursed,maligned and persecuted those in opposition(PPP) and was no way involved in struggle against the dictator, now after elections when MQM saw that the whole scene changed it ditched the dictator and jumped ship.. Initially they did tried to blackmail PPP and ‘demaned’ key ministeries but as PPP clearly told them that PPP didn’t needed MQM to form govt here they agreed to what ever was being offered(after all they were only interested in ministries),PPP only engaged them coz they know that MQM would mess up karachi and resort to violence,its like an aggressive bandit who holds your son hostage and put a gun to his head and asks for money,threatening you that if you fail to comply then he’ll blow your son’s head.
    Even a party with 49 % votes could sit in opposition in a dignified manner rather then licking ruling government’s boots for bunch of ministries(Bathakhori (extortion) at the ministerial level is all MQM is interested in.)

    Plus am i not tagging you a thug or terrorist,you do hate Altaf,but your MQMized(if there can be talibanized then its antonym would be MQMized) views do match those of absconding Grand terrorist Altaf bai of Edgware Street.Karachi needs to be treated like a international megacity and needs funds more then Lahore and Islamabad combined but we need to get our acts together as well and flush out these terrorists who are eating us up from inside without doing that even billions and trillions of rupees won’t be able to help karachi prosper.

  14. d0ct0r on August 17th, 2008 @ 1:47 am

    *posted it by mistake* my comment wasn’t intended for this post..

  15. seskey on August 18th, 2008 @ 11:41 am

    bozz tun tun

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