Growing up in Pakistan, a third world country, I hated being back from America, where the streets were cleaner, cloths were better and the food tasted yummier. This country has always lacked to provide its citizens with the basics. We are moving at a snail’s pace from before I have memory of my childhood; of course those were simpler times when playing with children in the neighborhood was an activity, watching two TV channels was all the entertainment needed and snacks were homemade chips and roohafza. Things are very different now-the world is getting smaller, we know now what the world has to offer and how underprivileged we are at not having it! We’re too busy worrying about electricity in the summer and gas in the winter, as well as food and petrol prices all year round.
We’re not even good enough to buy houses and cars on mortgage without giving up an arm and a leg; the car dealership and banks (like everyone in power) are like the mafia who (like everyone in power) give zero accountability and create policies that sinks middle class people deeper underground. I won’t even mention the lower class because the less then minimum wage they earn barely covers food in their belly, roof over their heads and semi decent public transport to get them around.
If you have money (lots of it) life can seem somewhat equivalent to living abroad- if PTCL doesn’t provide fast enough internet to run your kid’s XBOX without lag, you get nayatel at three times more the cost. Long story short majority of the Pakistanis are angry, frustrated and bitter citizens! Are we alone in the world? Are our troubles an island sinking due to global warming?
In Saudia Arabia there are human rights violations, inhumane practises and lack of freedom of expression; although you might have extravagant, air conditioned homes and cars. Men and women cannot mingle with one another at Starbucks. You can get jailed for speaking against the government, let alone taunt them-far cry from the press freedom we get in our evening shows on TV.
Let’s take into account our neighbours- India seemingly is doing better on an international scale with foreign investment, steady political and economic growth and fewer terrorist attacks but they too are plagued with violence in the streets, constant shortages of electricity and water; not to mention in justices to minorities as well as women, primarily in the rural parts of its vast land.
Over to the north we have China-it may be busy taking over the world, one road at a time, but within its country people are suffering from communist rules, regulations and policies that are frankly strange- restricting birth of children (creating a social and gender gap), restricting news and information. China is a paradox of moving full speed ahead and pulling its people back simultaneously.
Then we have Afghanistan to our east- a land of great reform and culture growth back in the 70’s now a war ridden dead land and empty shell of citizens. If we look further out to powerful countries like Britain we find once an empire, invading strange and faraway lands, now gripping to Brexit like it’s a golden chariot whisking them away from Europe. Or Russia, otherwise known as Putin’s playground, another communist country which has impenetrable defences but women would rather become mail order brides and feed their families then live in their own country.
Of course we cannot go ahead without mentioning America- land of the free, home of the brave? Rather land of the N.R.A and home of racist bigots( who are coming out of the shadow because of president Trump- let that sink in-Donald Trump-leader of the free world-commander in chief of the armed forces of U.S.A) . If there ever was a display of politics and power, it is in the halls of government buildings in Washington D.C and they do it with so much shallow grace and cunning that you’d never know you’re playing poker with the devil, on a track with a one way ticket to hell.
These are scathing remarks of our fellow citizens of the world, they undoubtedly have great points to them, many benefits that are moving them forward at great human and environmental cost but nevertheless moving them forward. My point is that we, Pakistanis, NEED to find a way to move forward, we cannot let male entitlement, selfish prerogatives and blatant disregard for rules and regulations hold us back. If the government cannot make good and progressive policies that benefit us for centuries, then we practise common decency, ethics and morality as policies of the people. We are the only Muslim nuclear power in the world, we have a grand religion to help guide us (no it’s not the religion practiced by fanatics and molvis who hold us hostage every Friday). We have the potential to be great, then why are we not?
Why do we look with swelling eyes and hungry mouths outside our country, thinking the grass sure does look greener; when we should maintain our own beautiful, fertile grass and help it grow!