Stop Putting Down Pakistan!

A recent commenter wrote something that I read and hear very often, and that always infuriates me. The comment was on a post about foreign aid, and the commenter wrote that Pakistan should not be a beggar nation and should stand on its own feet. I reject this entire way of thinking and wish people would stop calling our country a beggar!

The ‘beggar nation’ slur always comes up whenever there is some discussion of foreign aid, usually from the US or IMF. Now, there may be a good reason not to accept a particular aid package from the US or loan from the IMF. But saying that Pakistan is a ‘beggar’ is offensive and, I have to say it, not very smart.

First, do you think that people outside Pakistan do not hear what we are calling our own country? Already there are too many misconceptions about Pakistan, why would you reinforce these stereotypes by calling your own country a beggar?

Second, let’s look at what is actually being referred to. With aid packages, particularly from the US, I do not like the term ‘aid.’ It sounds too much like we are taking alms. But this is hardly the case. For example, current US ‘aid’ is really more ‘investment’ in Pakistan. The Americans invest some money in building our infrastructure, energy capacity, etc. and they receive dividends in having a peaceful and prosperous partner.

Nobody in Greece calls their country a beggar because the EU will help them stabilize their economy. Nobody calls the USA a beggar because their economy relies on Chinese investment. Nobody calls Iceland a beggar nation after it took a £1.3bn IMF loan. Nobody calls Turkey a beggar nation because they receive some aid from the US. I think you get the idea.

The fact is that we live in a world with an economy that is more connected than simply one nation standing alone. Just as two brothers may invest in each other’s business because they know that the family will be more prosperous if both succeed, so nations invest in each other so that the world community will be more prosperous and provide more opportunities to improve the lives of all citizens.

And being a respected member of the world community has other benefits as well. Not only does it provide better access to foreign markets and investors that can improve our economy, nations that join the world community have more influence in global affairs.

Look at the difference between Iran, a nation that refuses to be a part of the world community, and Turkey, which is well respected. Turkey not only has a better economy, but when Turkey makes some criticism of Israel, the world powers listen. When Iran makes some criticism of Israel, nobody takes them seriously. Would you rather Pakistan be like Iran or Turkey?

Pakistan has in its reach the opportunity to be an influential member of the world community. In doing so, it would help improve our access to foreign markets and investors and it would give us more influence on world affairs. But all of this can be gone if we continue to recite anti-democratic propaganda and put our nation down. So, please, stop calling my nation a beggar. It is simply not true.

5 thoughts on “Stop Putting Down Pakistan!

  1. good point in we cant be just critical…need to celebrate ..and i dont mean sialkot wedding…say, the 18 amendment???

  2. I am that commenter on whose commenting you have written this article and first of all let me make clear that I have not disgraced my country and I love my nation more than anyone else and I have respect for it. What I wanted to say is that all such organizations like IMF have tied all over the world in the trap of interest based debts and show me one example that which country of the world has made progress by such loans. In fact, I have an example of Brunei which was a very prosperous country some years back but after taking loans on interests, this very country is under the burden of debts. The reason behind this is that Allah has forbidden “interest” and I have belief that no Muslim state in this world can make progress through such interest based loans. We have example of Iran which has not taken loans on interest but still making progress.

  3. Thank you for your explanation. I think perhaps you have done this only from habit because it is said too often. There can certainly be some reasons for NOT taking IMF loans or any other type of agreement. If there is some good reason to take an IMF loan or some other agreement, let’s hear the argument. If there is a good reason NOT TO take the agreement, let us also hear that argument. But also please do not call my country a BEGGAR. The point I want to make is that we should STOP doing this nonsense and show our pride instead.

  4. The difference between other nations and pakistan regarding aid is, Pakistan is solely depends on the US aid, unless, Pakistan can not survive a month

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