Islamic Republic of Pakistan

(If Pakistan were a person)

Don’t start judging me by my name. Please, for a moment, forget everything you have previously heard about me and put everything you know about me aside. Give me a chance to talk a bit about myself and then feel free to form your opinions.

So I have been in the news lately and you might have noticed. It is possible one of your friends mentioned me in a conversation or you heard a politician say my name. Whatever the source of your information might be, it is likely that the content wasn’t positive. Unfortunately, I have become known for a lot of bad things. Popular belief is, I am a terrorist. I have been accused of violating human rights by many several times. Many have blamed me for not having done enough to fight extremism. Fingers have also been pointed at me for sheltering dictators.

I will understand if you look at me with disgust. I realize no one likes to associate themselves with someone with a reputation like mine. My own children have left me and I am not surprised if strangers want to distance themselves from me.  However, I would appreciate if you give me some of your time today to hear my story. To save your time, I promise to keep it simple and short.

Let’s start with where the problem started. I became independent in 1947. I had grown big enough to live by myself but the struggle to become free wasn’t easy at all. There were many bumps along the road and many unexpected turns that I was forced to take. My children toiled with me for independence as all of us realized its worth. In the process, a lot was lost but there was a lot more to be gained that kept us moving forward until one day we became free. However, not too long after we became independent, something very unfortunate happened. The vision of our independence was blurred.

People started to attribute different reasons for our independence. It wasn’t so shocking to see outsiders attribute false claims but my own children had started to give dangerous colors to the partition. Soon, I was given a name by my children that became my identity. Even though I loved my middle name, ‘Republic’ and my last name, ‘Pakistan’, I always felt uncomfortable with my first name, ‘Islamic’.

I never wanted a faith to be associated with me. To me all my children were equal irrespective of what their personal belief was. I was aware that my children spoke various languages, had different faiths and followed different traditions. I knew differences amongst my children existed but I had hoped, perhaps naively, that they would accept each other as there was a fundamental bond between them. All of them shared the same mother.

As time passed, I found out my children had started to betray me and my vision for independence. They had started bringing out differences and imposing their views on the others. My vision of a pluralistic society where everyone lived peacefully together was put in the background. I found out soon that my own life’s story had been distorted. It had been tailored for personal interests. I had spoken of the protection of all religions, but as I was revealed, some of my children had associated my views to a particular religion. These children also seemed to have taken the right to correct others in their own hands. It became more obvious as some of my children started to be mistreated. They were denied the right to talk about their faith in public and even stopped from calling their places of worship by the names they wanted to.

This mistreated group of children included a great scholar as well. His name was Abdus Salam. Abdus Salam was a genius. He took my name to countries and places, I was unfamiliar with. Because of him people happened to want to know about me. They started to praise me for producing such a great scholar. I was so proud of him for setting an example for other children to follow. Little did I know that his success wasn’t liked by all. Religion was brought in to undermine his contributions and so his achievements were submerged by his own siblings.

Another thing I couldn’t come to terms with was that while some of my children were spending their money on luxurious items and vacations, many were begging for food. No one was helping each other out. Those who had the money had shut their curtains and were enjoying their meals in their air-conditioned rooms while others stood in the heat waiting to be fed. Those who had the education had it for themselves, no one cared to cater to the illiterate. Similarly, I noticed that some of my children had started using religion to control others. There were a few attempts by those with the guns to rule through fear too.

Mosques, which were supposed to unite, started creating divides. So much so that there were different mosques built for different groups. One had to prove their membership of a certain group to be allowed into the mosque. The house of God became the property of individuals and some children took the duties of God in their own hands. The sight of equality eventually vanished and tolerance started to disappear. The bonds began to fade away and differences started to fill in the vacuum. My beautiful daughters were forced into marriages and told they were somehow less important to the society than men. The society shaped their identity in such a way that people looked down upon them.

The dream of independence came true but only as a nightmare. My dreams had been shattered by my own family. I was betrayed by my very own children. This gave an opportunity to my neighbors to exploit my weak position. Some came forward to show concern only for personal interests. Some shunned me completely. Yet others kept telling me I had to do more to be accepted.

Only if I could tell the world, I didn’t want to be what I am today. This is not why I was born. This is not what I wanted to be known for. Only if I could tell the world, I wanted to be known for producing squash champions like Jehangir and Jansher, for producing great scientists like Abdus Salam, for respecting all religions, for fostering democracy, for creating equality, for removing gender bias. Only if I could tell the world, all these things are as dear to me as they are to you. Only if I could say it to the world, all my children are being blamed for the faults of a few. Only if I could show the world, my children are nice people. They just need to be guided through education and not punished with drones. If you still mock my condition, at least don’t doubt my intentions any more.

I hope I haven’t taken much of your time today. I hope I made sense. It was very hard to talk against my own children. I had to hold my emotions back while saying all of this. I am glad though that I took it out today. I realize it’s only the mother’s blind love which ruins its children. I have already been blamed for so many things. This one more accusation wouldn’t have made a difference but I care for my children and I did this with only their good in mind. May be somewhere, one of my children has heard me, and seen him/herself in my true image.

Just remember, it’s never too late. We only go down to come back up even stronger. Remember, it’s your responsibility to help your brothers and sisters who are in need. In need of education, of food, of justice. You don’t have to be scared of them being dependent on you. They just need a chance, a push, an oppurtunity. Remember, religion is your personal relationship with God. Don’t let it come in between your interactions with anyone. Remember, remember the sacrifices we made for independence. Let’s value them and work towards reaching our true potential. Remember, I will always have hope in you. You are the only thing I have.

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14 thoughts on “Islamic Republic of Pakistan

  1. harisimranwirk

    This is brilliance, Aun 🙂
    I have read in a few books about Mr Jinnah. One of them is penned by Mr Jaswant Singh(Jinnah:India Partition Independence) in which he has dealt in depth about Mr Jinnah’s aspirations for his fellow Moslems and people from other communities alike. Your piece is in perfect sync with the details presented there.
    I sincerely pray to thee to bless the people of the sub continent and give them the understanding and power to create a tolerant, independent, and prosperous society.

    Reply
  2. mahlaqa

    hey Aun.. well done there boy.. am impressed really. great work. i wish there are more ppl to listen to this guy u mentioned as Pakistan.

    p.s. hey where’v u been.. dont pay me a visit any longer.. 🙂

    Reply
    1. makenaun Post author

      shukriya Mahlaqa didi!
      i am just stuck up in exams, getting done soon though. You should be one of the first ones to notice when i am done ;)!

      Reply
  3. makenaun Post author

    Neel while I don’t feel ashamed to admit where we have gone wrong, I won’t let you talk like that about my country. May be you have been brainwashed or are ignorant of the reality.

    I have lived in India for three years and never met a person who has had such extreme views. I have finally found one on the other side of the border today. You are doing what you accuse us of doing!

    I can point to a 1000 things where India has discriminated against the Muslims. I can point to a 1000 things where Pakistan is still better off not being part of India but I wont bring myself down to your level and start a finger pointing game.

    I want us to learn from the past and construct for ourselves a bright future. You don’t have to feel pity for us, just look down your own throat and you will see how many problems exist there that have to be taken care of before it’s too late.

    (p.s. your comment doesn’t make a difference to me, I still love India. However, had you said such things to a Pakistani who had never lived in India, his perception of India would have been like yours on Pakistan and you would have to be blamed)

    Reply
  4. makenaun Post author

    Neel relations between the two countries might never change at the national level until they don’t change at the individual level. People like you will always be standing in between peace. If you want to argue, do it from a neutral standpoint. You could say a gazillions things against my country and I could do the same for your country. It won’t change anything.

    The terrorists who have killed innocent Indians have also been killing innocent Pakistanis and for me the life of a Pakistani, an Indian or any other human being is equal.

    I have seen the treatment of Muslims in India. May be you haven’t or you wouldn’t have used the word ‘thriving’ to describe their situation. Do some research, your own media and reports will tell you in what conditions most of the Muslims in India live.

    Reply
    1. Harsimran Singh

      You got much better things to do. And many more willing hearts who want to listen from you 🙂

      God Bless

      Reply
  5. makenaun Post author

    Who told you I was talking peace for you? I can only pray for you to be guided.

    The peace you want our army to talk about is what has resulted in all the confrontations between the two countries. Are you so ignorant to not understand that its only in the Army’s interest to keep relations hostile and keep their defense budget high.

    I am not going to take your insults personally and do the same to you. Its impossible to have a logical argument with irrational and biased people like you.

    Reply
  6. eva626

    Hello, this is my second time reading this post…I couldn’t comment before because I had go stir something my mom was making. Anyway, this was a great post. If I was Pakistan I would have said the same thing…except you put it well since you’ve actually lived there. To an outside observer, this was well put and it shows the situation our country is in. I think change will come in Pakistan; your doing your part well!

    Reply

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