Guinness World Records: Pakistan first or Politics?


Originally published at Express Tribune

Pakistan made it to international media again on 20th, 21st and 22nd Oct 2012, but happily so, in a positive and progressive manner. In a country that is so accustomed to digest target killings, honor killings, bomb blasts, terrorist attacks and drone strikes, the news of Pakistan setting records after records are nothing but moments of pure joy and national pride.

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Midst of all the surrounding taboos of terrorism, political instability, corruption, restlessness, load-shedding, inflation, extortion, kidnappings, target killings, sectarian violence and what not, these small events serve as ventilators that bring in fresh air of hope, joy, life and belief in ourselves. This Punjab Youth Festival (PYF12) which was named as “Pakistan Youth Festival” by CM Punjab Mr. Shahbaz Sharif is, regardless of any political affiliation, one of its kind and a great initiative for all the youth of Punjab, a great opportunity to spread positivity and hope, i wish all Pakistanis have these kind of events in their respective provinces and cities.
Although I wasn’t physically present there in National Hockey Stadium Lahore, but I witnessed this on my television screen and recited the national anthem with all those participating. It felt great, sheer pleasure, a moment of pure national pride and unity. There have been only few times this year, when Pakistan emerged beyond national level in a positive and progressive manner, and this record setting activity was by far on top of the list. Other good news was the exhibition match between Pakistan XI and International World Stars XI, indeed a door has opened, making its way for international cricket back in Pakistan. The largest national flag record as well held my heart like millions of Pakistanis around the globe. mosaic reord pak

All these news brought smiles on millions of distressed, agitated, disappointed and worried faces. People rejoiced and cherished these moments. For they know how these little things help in national image building in the outer world. Pakistan has never emerged in world world news this way. Sadly though, but others mostly know us as a nation that manufactures Taliban and terrorists and export them. People text each other and congratulated on these records and social media went all green again. Twitter trends and public response was so overwhelming.

This happy episode continued until I found some people ranting about it and came across tweets like these.

Regardless of political hatred for Punjab government or PMLN, we all should have cherished these precious moments in a time when all we get is bad news. Mostly PTI trolls took the pride in overlooking the achievement and degrading Punjab Government for corruption and looting money and all. As mentioned in the copied tweets, that Punjab government spent billions of rupees on PYF12 and all. This proves that political hatred is greater than patriotism or love for Pakistan. This is biased, political leaders and opinion makers need to divert their attention to this as well or else it would become an even more critical issue, it also makes obvious whose out there for Pakistan and whose there for personal/political gains. This brings two simple questions in my mind that I would like to ask all the self-claimed-revolutionists.

1- If this money could be so well used otherwise, why didn’t they donated all the money for rehabilitation of drone victims instead of creating all the hype and drama for so-called ‘peace march’, when they never even marched to the announced station in Wazirstan?

2- Are these records building Pakistan’s image or Punjab government’s image? Who participated, common man or political workers? In case PTI comes into power, should we expect no-sports in Pakistan, since its wastage of time and money?

In my humble opinion, we’ve already suffered a lot and the basic reason for that is our lack of unity. We are so separated and segregated by these ‘classes’. Be it ethnic, political, sectarian or caste. We cannot rise unless we break these immortal shells that are keeping us separated and injecting intolerance & hatred among us. Having different opinions is okay but not on cost of Pakistan. Its about time that we put in combined efforts for Pakistan beyond political bias, learn to give credit where its due, Let’s be united and cherish these moments of national pride and joy together, and show the real soft image of Pakistan to the world.

Tsunami and Pakistan


So the much talked about tsunami finally hit the ground. As expected there were a huge crowd boys, girls, old people, families groups and what not. The zest and conviction was worth-watching. I wasn’t there; I watched it all over television. But it felt like some kind of remaking of that Manto Park rally in Lahore, 1940. Something that’s going to change the history, or will become history itself, amazing feeling it was. Felt as if I am witnessing a historical event. These emotions aren’t out of love for Imran Khan or PTI. It’s all about the public. It’s all about the participants that were present there with all their enthusiasm and courage and the faith that they have in the party and its leadership. I have never been a supporter of PTI, I have my own reasons. As Justice (Rtd) Wajih ud Din mentioned today our grandparents used to share with us their memories of that Rally at Manto Park in 1940 or memories of how Pakistan came into being. Now witnessing this so called tsunami we’ll tell our children or grandchildren that we witnessed making of a new Pakistan. Today I noticed some good things that I would like to share.

Unity, Faith, Discipline:

Our beloved Quaid gave us the above lesson. I witnessed this in today’s rally. All the leaders individually mentioned it too. There were people from various ethnic backgrounds, social backgrounds, provinces races etc but all of them were united in their cause. There were Muslims, Hindus and Christians for one cause. This is what Pakistan always wanted. Unity: acceptance of other’s existence and respecting it. Faith, in their own-selves, faith of capacity to make something happen, faith that people had back in 1947. This nation was so undermined and cornered that they nearly lost all their self-confidence which is now backing into play. Thirdly, the discipline and the organization, it was so well disciplined. These are the same Pakistanis you’d see on streets and think they could never behave or they could never make a queue etc. As Imran Khan said “an idea, whose time has come”. It’s power of that very idea that made people to unite under one flag on a single platform. If I am not mistaken, that’s what the real change is. That long-lost “Pakistaniat” is returning back.

Concept of Equality:

When you claim to be against status quo, the first and foremost thing you need to ensure is equality, and that’s what we witnessed today. Different people from different social, economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds were equally treated. There were daily wagers and billionaires sitting in the same row. Then there were illiterate and PhD scholars, secular minded to religious ones. Everyone represented a different class and a different thought but all were equally welcomed and treated by PTI. This reminds me of Iqbal’s famous shair:

Aik hi suff mein kharay hogaye mahmood-o-ayyaz

Na koi banda raha aur na koi banda Nawaz

Zest, Enthusiam:

The enthusiasm and zeal & zest that were depicted at the site both by public and the leaders are infect the good news. Pakistani nation that everyone was predicting have lost the thrust of life hit back at large. It felt like Pakistan have won a world cup or have beaten India in a cricket match or that we’ve just had test nuclear explosions or that everyone has got surety of no-CNG/electricity load-shedding. Karachi, as rightly stated by Javed Hashmi, is in actual a Pakistan. It’s like a prototype of Pakistan. There was bloodshed, street crimes and what not but still people looked happy, they were full of energy and their body language conveyed a very positive message to everyone else in the country. If Karachi is smiling, we all will.

Public involvement in national matters:

People were so dis-connected with politics and all this idea of a revolution that they never really cared. But this credit goes to PTI that they’ve made people reconsider their options. People have started to care about national matters and are involving and engaging themselves in every possible way as if it’s not a national issue but their household issue. This is another positive sign; now people are ready change and accept the change. It’s about time to unleash the real agenda and take people into confidence, which Imran khan did during his address.

Innovation:

PTI has introduced innovation and gave a teaser of how un-orthodox its approach is. It can think out-of-the-box and can come-up with solutions yet unknown or unacceptable to public and politicians. The way PTI campaigned for this rally online and how the rally-site was well-equipped with latest technology was in itself a commendable organization also PTI’s belief in employing technology for its aid.

Empowerment and Accountability:

The concept of public empowerment and system that offers accountability is the need of time. Imran khan referred to ameer-ul-momineen’s style of governing. If he succeeds in pulling it off, Pakistan will be back on track in no time. They are empowering people now let’s see what do they do about accountability.

Conclusion:

I have always been criticizing PTI. But I was right in my opinion; I had my own questions that I got answered one by one.  Now that Imran Khan has got seasoned politicians on board and lot of public support, I would like to say that agencies or invisible hand can finance a rally, can make politicians join the party but they cannot make people love nor have faith in someone, they cannot make people to leave their homes for a cause. So, be it an agency’s idea but now it has become our national emotion, a national idea, a point of unification, people have chosen this and now Imran Khan and other leaders in the party aren’t left with any other option but to deliver.  So let’s look forward to it. Long live Pakistan.

Originall published on 29th Dec 2012 at http://abrarkureshy.blogspot.com/2011/12/tsunami-and-pakistan.html