By: Zara Maqbool On the eve of 14th August, the 70th year of Pakistan’s independence, as I stood on a bridge in the capital city and beautiful fireworks lit the skies, I fell in love with Pakistan all over again. The spirit of people, rich and poor as they roamed around with flags in hands,...
By: Zara Maqbool
On the eve of 14th August, the 70th year of Pakistan’s independence, as I stood on a bridge in the capital city and beautiful fireworks lit the skies, I fell in love with Pakistan all over again. The spirit of people, rich and poor as they roamed around with flags in hands, playing ‘qaumi taraane’, wearing green and white, I felt teary eyed and emotional, surprised at my own reaction. I mean I love my country right? It’s a given so why ever question it. But last night whether it was seeing a poor guy in chappal’s standing on the roadside with a barefoot baby and a wife in a green shirt swaying the flag with a big smile on their faces or young Pindi boys singing Dil Dil Pakistan without a care in the world, made me fall in love all over again with my country and its people.
We are a resilient nation. We have gone through more than a decade of terrorism and still going through it on a regular basis. We have thrived under corrupt leaders and faced oppression in more than one way. We are still struggling with basic amenities such as food, water and shelter. With basic needs of any civil society like electricity, gas, education and healthcare and to top is all the monster of terrorism that comes and visits catching us unaware.
There have been times when I have motivated my husband to pack our bags and move to richer lands. We told ourselves that we couldn’t meet our potential in this country. We convinced ourselves that having eight hours of load shedding is a good enough reason to move out. We have had our share of frustrations at times like having a car accident and unable to do anything as the other party were local gangsters and we realized law and order still has a long way to go. Time and again Pakistan gave us reason to start looking outside. The political scenario in the country motivated us further. I patted myself for attending ‘dharnas’ for Naya Pakistan feeling I had done my share and then feeling disappointment when nothing happened. I gave up again and again.
Last night made me wear a new pair of glasses and made me feel ashamed for those moments when I was so ready to disown my country. Coming form a privileged background where almost all my excuses other than the security risk that our country faces, sounded lame to me. For me basic amenities are being met, my children getting great education, access to good private hospitals and what not. What was I really complaining about? And I realized somewhere along the years I had lost my love for Pakistan.
Last night and then today as I watched the air show standing with hundreds of people I fell in love with you Pakistan harder than before. My chest amplified with pride as I watched the jets fly over us. i envied my fellow country men as they looked up with pride on their faces People who must have their own baggage of troubles and most of them probably had more reason to complain than I ever could. Yet I saw ownership on their faces for a country that has stood by them for 70 years and a country that has stood by me too.
As a parent we need to work harder in making our children realize what national spirit is about and how to love their motherland. But yesterday as we all sang happy birthday Pakistan loudly at the top of our lungs while standing on a bridge and fireworks lighting the sky bright I felt that love is not lost. Together we need to teach our future generations how to walk with heads held high as proud Pakistanis.