Is an Average Pakistani a Super Human?

Aug 28th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest, Religion

Scorching heat of summers in Pakistan, along comes Ramadan. The heat makes me crave cold water. I sit right in front of the fan and don’t bother moving an inch. Just when I start to relax.. BOOM! The power goes off. Leaving me appalled wondering whatever happened to all the promises that were made to the naïve nation about very little load shedding in Ramadan? Profanity, frustration, anger comes naturally in these sorts of situations. What happens after the power goes off can’t really be described in words. I’m sure 90% of Pakistanis would agree with me on that. Cursing the Government, WAPDA, KESC, etc. While the world progresses we’re going back, back to the Stone Age. While the world discovers new ways to generate electricity, we on the other hand are still struggling to get the oldest form of it.

I’m a Non-residential Pakistani and spending a few days in Pakistan makes me wonder how do Pakistani citizens cope with these kinds of situations? Usually Electricity doesn’t seem so important and vital, but in Pakistan, It could be used as a synonym of blessing. The day when there’s very little or no load shedding is considered lucky. People joke about how good the day was because there was no load shedding. Such is the situation in my land of pure where certain people are bent on turning it onto the complete opposite of pure, where people are deprived of their basic rights. The rich here keeps on getting richer and the poor, poorer by day.

According to Pakistan’s Planning Commission, poverty rate has jumped from 23.9 to 37.5 percent in the last three years. Thanks to leaders chanting slogans like “Roti Kapra aur Makan” the same old slogan has now become ‘zaher, kaffan aur Qabar’, literally, the suicide rate due to the poverty has risen tremendously. “Two-thirds of the country’s population is reportedly suffering from depression, and a trend of suicide among the people has seen a sharp increase in the first quarter of this year.
Lack of financial resources, insecurity and identity problems have pushed the suicide rate up by 24 percent as compared to last year” – Daily times

A recent incident in which a 12 year old burnt himself to death because he could not afford books shook me as I thought to myself how awfully unfortunate we are to have people who want to educate themselves, something which is everyone’s basic birthright regardless of his social status, but is forced it give it up.

It doesn’t end here. While he struggles to make the ends meet, he’s being bombarded with enormous issues like unemployment, terrorism, corruption. Unemployed due to illiteracy, if literate, yes you guessed it right, he need a “Sifaarish” because just a degree, doesn’t work. Hence, most of the competent and talented people leave the country as they are offered much better job opportunities abroad and the incompetent corrupt leeches are left sucking our blood and cycle goes on.  It hurts me to say this, but if you are poor, life in Pakistan is terrible. While our leaders are busy in their usual dirty politics and mudslinging, each claiming he’s “Ghareeb awam ki awaaz” the poor die every day sometimes of hunger, sometimes of target killing, drones, suicide bombs and the list goes on. USA has attacked its targets in the northwest of Pakistan since 2004 in the name of “War on terror” in which scores of innocent bystanders have lost their lives along with some suspected militants. Most of them were commoners like you and me. Makes me wonder, what exactly is our definition of “war on terror”? War against terror has become terror itself. It’s hard for me to distinguish between “friend” and the enemy. And if a drone or a target killer hasn’t killed you, worry not, we have suicide attacks and other forms of terrorist attacks, where again it’s a poor Pakistani who suffers. From the summer of 2007 until late 2009, more than 1,500 people were killed in suicide and other attacks on civilians.

Why is he being punished for something he has not done? Be it drones, target killings or suicide attacks.. It’s the common Pakistani who suffer not the elite, not the politicians, not the bureaucrats. A poor man’s fault is his poverty and death is his punishment. This simple innocuous man does not know who his President is. He’s unaware of his Prime Minister. He’s unaware of the ghastly politics. He’s unaware of his Chief justice. Moreover, he’s unaware of his own rights. His main concern is shelter and bread for his children then why is he being punished for something he knows nothing about? Why is life so terrible for him and every day the same?

“When the rich become a slave to their desires, the poor are exposed to all kinds of exploitations”

It’s he who deserves awards like tamgha-e-imtiaz for bearing so much yet remaining hopeful, not someone who lives in mansions, owns Ferraris and Lamborghinis, flats and villas abroad and will be the first one to flee if, God forbid, something goes wrong.

Let’s put ourselves in his shoes. We whine like kids for the slightest displeasures in life yet he still manages to smile. Despite all the hardships and torture he goes through, he’s still hopeful for Pakistan and prays that someday he will live in a country Jinnah dreamt of where everyone will be treated equally and no one will sleep hungry.  Let’s hope and pray to the Almighty that He bestows upon us a responsible and God fearing leader who feels the pain of the poor, who knows there are millions of people out there who would sleep hungry and millions who don’t have a roof on their heads and who is aware that he is answerable to Someone, Some Day, for the people’s plight living under his rule.

 

Nayab Fareed

About the author

Nayab is a nature lover and dreamer who would like to pursue a career of journalism. Her ultimate wish is to see a prosperous and tolerant Pakistan, a dream of Jinnah and Iqbal.

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5 comments
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  1. All these questions we ask ourselves..hope we get the answers to them someday..the suffering is unimagineable..Great piece btw n write more often pleaseeee !!

  2. Nicely arranged thoughts & good narration. One of the possible ways out is to spread awareness especially at the time of polls & do our bit for educating ppl. We should atleast try to support deserving ppl to get education.

  3. The article highlights the plight of the man below the poverty line. Ive been witness to how the poor operate in Pakistan. Ive also seen how the rich and famous move about. The stark difference is not only worlds apart but quite frankly, appauling.
    I wish we as a public can do more than just highlight or grieve about the living conditions of our brothers and sisters. Nayab is perfectly right in sayin,” This simple innocuous man does not know who his President is. He’s unaware of his Prime Minister. He’s unaware of the ghastly politics. He’s unaware of his Chief justice. Moreover, he’s unaware of his own rights. His main concern is shelter and bread for his children…” So everytime the public at large who sell their votes for materialistic gains, the poor become inspired by these “fitnah’s” (if i may call them so) These politicians not only promote dreams of a better Pakistan, but they potray themselves to be messiahs for the public.
    Abraham Maslow’s pyramid of needs highlights the needs of an averga human being in the following ascending order:

    Physiological
    Safety
    Love and Belonging
    Self Esteem
    Self Actualization

    ALL major parties of Pakistan have done nothing but promote in various shapes and slogans the basic human needs of “Roti, kapra aur makaan”. I ask these ignorant bigots “aapnay kya teer mara hay?”

    In order for any human being to achieve a state of self actualization where it basically means that the person feels in his bones that he can do whatever he sets his mind to can only take place once his basic human needs are taken care of. When we compare ourselves to America or other HEDC (High economically Developed Countries) we compare a person who has food to eat, clean water and air to drink and breathe respectively, Safety for external dangers, A family to love him, following which he feels that ‘Okay, Life is good yaar, I can utilize my talent for the good of my family and those around me.
    We dont have our basic necessities…We can only DREAM of what we can be if we achieve a state of self actualization…

    Im sorry, the article inspired me to rant on my own, Thought provoking as allways.
    Bravo.

    “The poor get poor and the rich get richer,
    Its just so disproportionate”
    – Eminem
    – “Above the Law”

  4. Very well thought and written with great observations. Unfortunately such a nice writing is not accessible to common Pakistani. Only a very small number of people are educated. I suggest that you write in Urdu also and publish in daily News Papers to educate the masses. Keep writing, excellent narration and insight into common problems.

  5. A Good read! You write on issues that every common Pakistani faces each and everyday. Looking forward to more stuff from you:)

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