I am one of the most unpatriotic person you could come across. This wasn’t always the case. In fact when I was little, and when I lived in Maldives, (bear with me, I know you’re sick of hearing me blabber about Maldives) I used to be a proud Pakistani. On every 14th August, every single adult Pakistani would be invited to the Pakistani embassy in Male’ and I happened to be the only child present at the occasion. It was surreal. Being so far away from home and yet I got to see the flag being hoisted on to the pole and the national anthem being sung by everyone, completely tone deaf. But still, it was a matter of pride and honor. Plus the embassy had some amazing food. Not the point, but still.
Fast forward almost 5 years, and I am not a patriot anymore. This is largely due to the fact that I did not have exposure to the Pakistani turmoil back then, and the situation wasn’t this hopeless. I distinctly remember telling my friends in 2005, “I am so proud that bomb blasts don’t take place in Pakistan. Look at Iraq and Afghanistan! What? NO, I AM NOT A TERRORIST!” So maybe that last sentence was an add-on, but the point gets across. Then came Lal Masjid , everything just took a turn for the worst and here we are: Broke, isolated, bitter, angry, hypocritical, fearful and deranged. What am I being asked to celebrate, again?
When I ask this question from family and friends, I get the same responses. Here they are, and along with them are my responses to their responses.
1) This country is your identity. YOU WERE BORN HERE!!!!!!
Ans: Firstly, stop screaming. Secondly, my birth here was a genetic accident. My ancestors just happened to live here and I just happen to have come into existence here. What am I supposed to celebrate? The fact that I just happened to have been given birth here? Like George Carlin said: “I’ve never understood ethnic or national pride, because to me pride should be reserved for something you achieve or attain on your own, not something that happens by accident of birth.” I agree Mr. Carlin. I agree.
2) THOUSANDS OF MUSLIMS GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THIS COUNTRYY!!!!!!!
Ans: Why do you keep screaming? Coming back, thousands of Muslims gave their lives for this cause and this is how you treat their sacrifice? You harbor suicidal terrorists, indoctrinate children with historical bullshit, inculcate hatred for your neighbors, destroy the law and enforce laughable ordinances like the Ehtaram Ramazan Act and more!? Be ashamed instead of hooting like a moron on the streets and clogging up the roads.
3) MUSLIMS ARE ONLY TREATED WELL HERE. GO TO AMERICA AND THEN SEE HOW BADLY THE MINORITIES ARE TREATED!!!!
Ans: If people are mistreated in America then I condemn that. But that is not an excuse and it should never be. The whole idea of Pakistan was to provide opportunities for minorities, majorly Muslims, who never got them because the Hindus dominated education and occupations so much, NOT to instill an Islamic Caliphate, like the Imam at the mosque where I perform the Friday prayer would like us to believe. Your Quaid-e-Azam, the man who worked to make Pakistan, said: ‘I don’t know about anything else, but what I do know is that Pakistan is not meant to be a theocratic state…especially not one to be ruled by a group of priests.” And one fact Jinnah was completely aware of was the mistreatment of minorities. Yet hundreds of Hindus are leaving Pakistan because you treat them like second grade citizens. Well done.
4) IT IS COMPULSORY TO TAKE PRIDE IN PAKISTAN BECAUSE WE ARE MUSLIMS AND PAKISTAN IS BASED ON ISLAM!!!!!
Ans: Well then I guess I should go and inform the Christians living down the street that they should probably quit celebrating and take down their flags. Christians. Pffft. Also, once again, Pakistan was never meant to be a place to enforce Sharia’. Quaid believed in Islamic principles but NOT a theocratic state. And if we are to believe in Islamic principles then Pakistan is an abomination. It divides the ‘Ummah’ as much as it unites it. I’d love to see our religious nut cases in the army share military and nuclear secrets with Nigeria because that is how an Ummah is supposed to work.
5) THE PEOPLE ARE GOOD. IT’S THE LEADERS!!!
Ans: Have you even studied Islam? Leaders are a reflection of the people they rule, says Allah. I’m sure this was the same context facing the Egyptians. What’s wrong with you? Patriotic for a day? Can’t come out to the streets because you’re too pre-occupied by Veena Malik and Mathira (and Aamir Liaquat and Maya)?.
I don’t hate Pakistan. Hate should only be for the things that are most vile. But please don’t confuse your love for this country with blind faith. Open your eyes because 14th August should be mourned, not celebrated.