A Positive Note

I like positivity. Yes, there are plenty of things to complain about and there are many issues that need immediate attention. But life is a beautiful gift from Allah and we must always look to the positive side of things also. So it always gives me hope when I run across a blogger that is not simply complaining and breathing hot air. As such, I was excited to read this post by Yumna Rathore, a young Pakistani blogger who is interested in politics and, can you believe it!, has a positive attitude! It is this type of thinking that will ensure a bright future for Pakistan more than the old guards and their self-righteous complaining. Yumna is not complaining only, she is looking for solutions. Our so-called intellectuals could take a lesson.

Just a few thoughts I had while I sat in the Institute for Peace in Washington D.C listening to yet again another great discussion by Javed Jabbar. There are so many misunderstandings that the average American and Pakistani has about the other and there is no other way to clear the air than just to say it.

Living in Pakistan recently that is 2007-2009, there were several things I learnt, one being never believe everything you hear. I was told Pakistanis hate Americans but believe it or not that is not the case. Yes, what they hate are selected policy decisions made by the American GOVERNMENT and POLICYMAKERS and why shouldn’t they? People are allowed to have their own personal opinions don’t they?

If people just rely on what they are told by others they will never know what it is really like within Pakistan. “Pakistan is run by crazy Islamists” – a friend said to me. “It is a country based on Islamic principles and thus can never be democratic.” Also many have said to me that “There are no rights given to minorities.” There is some truth to these claims however, theres always the other side that deserves to be heard. Did you know Pakistan may be the only country who gives NON-MUSLIMS TWO CASTING VOTES? Did you know that parents happily send their children to Christian schools where they address their teachers by calling them “sister”/”father” and other Christian references? There are churches all across the country. Our judges, one being the famous and much loved Rana Bhagwandas, was a Hindu. These are basic facts about the state of Pakistan however not known to the average American or even some Pakistanis.

Yes Pakistan is at fault in many places and the civilians disagree with the government when it comes to issues such as Ahmadi rights. Its unfortunate that a bad apple can ruin an entire nation, for example Zia-Al-Haq and the terrible tracks he left behind increasing sectarian violence significantly.

A good point Mr. Jabbar made about Pakistan was by comparing the Pew Institute’s research findings with the Failed States Index research. The FSI says that Pakistan is the 10th Failed State in the world. The Pew Institute recently found that around 87 percent of the people in Pakistan say that they are wholeheartedly patriotic Pakistanis first. To these statistics Mr. Jabbar said that Pakistan cannot be a failed state with such a majority so committed to their nation…”it is not a failed state..its just a struggling one”

I leave you with these thoughts. We always see Pakistanis in the negative light while forgetting all the positive characteristics that the people of Pakistan possess. There’s still hope and great potential in Pakistan. We just need time and patience 🙂

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