An open diary of a Karachiite (Pakistani equally)
As I push my age living abroad. My love for my city Karachi just keeps on increasing. I wait for that day when the opportune moment to go back arrives. Not a moment later ; not a moment earlier. Everyday when I come from a very tiring day at the office, I see my daughters grow. I Feel that something is missing. The love of their grand parents, their uncles and aunts , their own. Having grown in a family where I never got a great chance to know my grand parents . I wanted otherwise for my kids. I still remember the day when I decided to leave Pakistan in order to find for myself a better professional opportunity. A tough day; a tough decision.When I was leaving Pakistan, I thought at that time that it could not be worse of than what I am seeing but approx eight years later.
I see things going from bad to worst, the frustration just grows unabated sadly. My children age with something missing in their innocent lives as I also grow older. A few years ago I promised that when I return, I will return to a changed Pakistan. I wonder if that would ever happen? Life has no guarantees, but till I live, I will live with hope in me. Let me state for the record that I am a true patriot and I love my country. But I also believe that unless one does not indulge in self actualization or self correction, one may never be able to address the core of the problem.Karachi, my city is the real back bone of the country and is the center of gravity of our country. Any one familiar with physics would realize that if the center of gravity is unsettled, You may never find any kind of stability anywhere else.
Anyone who would like to destabilize Pakistan would never allow this city to become stable, meaning only one thing that Pakistan remains decentralized.Today many blame MQM for the ills of Karachi . Many accuse them of bringing violence to the city, naming them as part of the problem. I have stated this in the past that being a patriot, had I felt that had this been the case, I would have been the first to ask for cessation of the activities of MQM . But then I take note of the facts, facts which I grew up with, facts that I lived with. Not with an option to go back to northern Pakistan if it happens for the worse. With no option to leave abroad. I have lived in Karachi through out my days of youth until I left. I have seen the city smile, I have seen the city cry. I have seen the city suffer. I have smiled with it , I have cried with it and I have bled with it.
Thepoint to note here is that everyone came to loot this city, no one came to placate the city apart from former President Gen Pervez Musharraf who gave the city a couple years of golden rule. I feel everyone used the city and when the time was up, they left. Those left behind who either have no where else to go or still have not achieved their goals. The spirit of the city is being stabbed , mugged and abused every day. But it still stands like a smiling mother to keep on receiving and distributing its love and affection. Like the mother waiting for her children at the door everyday when he/she is late. She awaits with a smile and so does this city.The city graciously accepted millions of people who left India for their dreams to come to Pakistan in 1947 onwards. Only to find themselves challenged or confused as to what to call themselves. Pakistanis or Urdu Speaking or Hindustani or Mohajirs. Irrespective of what they chose to call themselves, the result was the same. Survival!I remember growing up in the days of fear that someone would kill me or attack me for being one of the above as my school was next to one such locality.
As I grew up and I tried to experience life whether it be applying in a college or in the Army. My not being perceived as the son of the soil haunted me. When I decided to become a political worker or join APMSO in 1993, no one forced me to go for it at gun point . I did it as I saw what happened to me though I still came from a middle class family and wondered what would be happening to the poor of the same community. Seeing all these persecutions, victimizations, allegations and trauma, not a single, I would repeat not a single instance happened when someone apologized to me! I know I may have suffered for my political beliefs during my college life, my relationships, my professional life and may be I would suffer more but I would continue to struggle till the time someone would step up and tell me that what my ancestors did in 1947 was not a mistake. I sometimes ask my self is it just restricted to the ethnic mindedness or is it a beyond mentality where the 98% suffer.
They wanted to hang Musharraf but not persecute Ayub, Yahya or Zia . They accused Dr Abdul Qadeer of treason where the sons of the soils looted and plundered Pakistan for more than US$ 250 billion . Do I need to say why? They call the workers and supporters of a certain ethnicity as agents of India because of their origin forgetting that whilst the Unionists of Punjab and Nationalists of NWFP were with British Raj and Congress respectively . It were the fore fathers of the same ethnicity struggling for Pakistan and gave up everything for this country. Do I need to say why? I am sure many would call me a traitor for writing this piece and especially after relating to the demographics of my grandfather. Do I need really need to justify? They can call me what they want. When they can accuse a man called Sheikh Mujeeb for being a traitor who struggled for Pakistan from a bicycle, what would stop them calling me one? I don’t care. Because I feel that I am the true guardian of the vision of Quaid e Azam hence I am equally Pakistan.
My message to MQM is simple. Your struggle is inspiring, but please find a way to build my city as well. Many sons have died, many brothers taken away, many orphaned and many widowed. Please move heaven and earth in line with the teachings of Holy Quran , our Holy Prophet PBUH and our Quaid e Azam where all of them gave a message that being oppressed is a bigger sin. Lets make Karachi so strong that not only it maintains its status as the backbone of Pakistan but its heart and soul as well. I know that you have been challenged every day with life and limb, but time has come maybe to put a stop to it.
Own us! We are equally patriots . We are equally your countrymen. Give us justice, development and recruitment. Let us also live. I feel Karachiites are tired of fighting goons and the Taliban. They need support , affection, consideration and action to stop themselves from bleeding further. They want to stop burying their sons every day.I would like to see Karachi like that before I die or return . My posterity are not treated as second grade citizens in their own country. I belong to a stronger Pakistan which is known for its production, for its talent and for its achievements. I’m not implying that we dump our ideology . But use the ideology to develop Pakistan like it was used by Hazrat Abu Bakar R.A. , Hazrat Umar R.A. , Hazrat Usman R.A. and Hazrat Ali to develop and reinforce Islam across the region.Whilst today our neighbors break records one after the other, have become the center of excellence, have become a financial hub . We need to try to attempt to reach that level in a progressive manner. We ourselves present such resources that we can grow united without prejudice, based on merit. But I wish this occurs sooner than later. Pakistan Zindabad!