I often wonder that just like we read the histories of King Alamgir, Gadr War, Spain, Garnata, and the East India Company, when the future generations attempt to study the history of Pakistan, what would they read? If someone was to do an analysis of our country and society and record its history, what would he write? Perhaps he would write that this was a society that had a slight glitter of life, a sliver of faith, and a deeply buried spark of vitality. This was a nation that though died every single day, yet never gave up living. These were people who when it came to the question of giving, gave up everything they had. These were citizens who when they were jubilant, celebrated in the streets like little children, who had the power to change the weather with their dances of joy, and who made the skies weep with their wails of lament.
If a nation had the force to accomplish all this without even the basic necessities of life or even a second grade education, had the intellectual capacity to produce an atomic bomb, and had the tenacity get back on its feet after repeated suicide bombings and drone attacks every sixth day, what could there possibly have been in this world that this nation could not have achieved?
Historians will write that these were people defined by their fierceness; both in the way they loved and in their manner of hate. That had the heart to give up not only something when asked but also everything when required, and whose children got education sitting on the ground under neem trees and writing on gray slates, yet produced the atomic bomb. The people of this nation slept in homes that had no roofs and ate meals of stale bread and water, yet remained satiated and content. This was a race that once with its mind made up to do something, stood by each other to make sure the task was accomplished.
However, most regrettably, despite all the stellar qualities that bred within its core, this was an unfortunate nation that never realized the full extent of its potential. It divided and distributed its sovereigns and commanders as it wished and desired. It forgot the hands that had rendered it favors and rejected its saviors. It failed to recall its faith, sold its ideology, and forbade upon itself not only education but all other aspects of virtue.
Pakistan was indeed a strange nation; it was simultaneously the diabolical and the sufferer of this diabolism. Every person had aching stories of maltreatment and abuse upon his lips. But given even the slightest chance, he lost not a moment to crush anyone weaker than himself, giving him not even a moment’s respite. The Muslim who was apprehensive of having even one curtain move away from his wrong deed became the least concerned about the ever watchful eye of Allah (swt).
This country also suffered appallingly from load shedding. Not only had the light gone out of the electric bulbs in its cities and towns but also the flame of the oil lamps in its tombs and mausoleums, the gaiety of its mosques, the joy on the faces of its children, the twinkle of the stars above it, and the luminescent beauty of the moon over it also dimmed. The pulpits of the mosques were silent. In effect, there was not just a load shedding of electricity in the country, but a load shedding of national fate.
This nation was so deterred from education and so unenthused from the idea of knowledge that any given person read hardly a few thousand words a month. If education was gained, it was only with the intention to earn money from it and to turn the self into a profitable, non-human, economic creature. Alas! If only money could have been earned. But even that wasn’t able to be earned. The West had money but no faith. This country neither had faith nor money.
The historian will record that the nation which was to leave behind institutions, grand personalities, and monumental ideas as its legacy, left behind nothing but huge, vacant plots, and towering shopping arcades. He will write that the very bread that the people were to eat in order to thank the provider, ended up devouring the entire country. He will conclude that these were idiosyncratic people who clashed with the innate nature of humanity and ended up suffering a terrible loss at its hands. He will lament that if only had this society committed as many virtues in secret as it had committed sins, it would most certainly have come out the winner at the end. And perhaps the historian will also write that religion, in the name of which the country had been acquired, was the most neglected aspect in the entire greater picture of this nation.
In history, the society of this country will be remembered as the one which was blindly devoted to the idea of bondage. In the name of this blind love, it left the entire task of foresight and vision making to its masters, for it did not consider it the work of the slave to be involved with planning of any nature. He whose every fiber was soaked with the thought of servitude remained continually enamored with the idea of enslavement. The slave remained forever in love with slavery and it flowed in his veins like blood. His nature evolved into that of serfdom. This became a nation where bondage was in the atmosphere and it was impossible to exist without breathing it in like air into lungs. A free man either could not survive here or was eliminated if he tried. The people were bound with unseen chains. They roamed in the valleys of doubts, apprehensions, and fears until there was no shred of confidence or conviction within their soul. And without conviction how was one to tear apart the hearts of formidable mountains and create inroads through the crashing, wild waves of rivers and seas?
Had the citizens of this country have any gallantry, and displayed courage and valor, there was hardly any status other than that of prophethood that they could not have acquired. Whether it was becoming the world’s Super Power or gaining the intimacy of Allah (swt), all was dependent on the citizen’s determination, willpower, and determination. Perhaps above all, the greatest adversities to befall this nation were the impoverishment and famine of hope, the unwavering conviction of despair, and the proclamations of gloom that the television channels continually poured into the hearts of its youth-like mind numbing drugs. Gone were the days when people gave a second thought to what ‘someone’ would say if such news was broadcast day and night. But ever since the media in the country broke free of its moral chains, that ‘someone’ also died a pathetic, untimely death.
The people in this country whiled away their lives with fantasies of ‘life’ while those beyond its borders spent theirs actually living these leisurely dreams. For a long while now, the number of these dreamers in the nation has also dwindled for one has to sell his eyes and toil nights and days in order to afford expensive dreams. It cannot be denied that those who refuse to exhibit the grit and guts to make something of themselves end up spending their entire lives, and eventually die, waiting for Godsent miracles.
This nation will also go down in history books as the one that not only forbade the quality of hard work upon itself but totally condemned all virtues of the trait. It will forever be remembered as the nation that imparted religious education to the pusillanimous, and lessons of worldly knowledge to the vacuous. Here, those raised within the eye of the storm got the ranks of government. These were the ones who refused to believe that the truth uttered by anyone but themselves could be true.
In this country, the poor were forced to spread their palms in front of the timorous and had no choice but to prostrate a thousand times a day even for the most minor issues. Where the penalty for speaking the truth was eternal isolation, the cool headed were referred to as dishonorable, and the repetition of sin eventually turned it into an instinctive national habit.
This was the country where knowledge spread without debate and debate became common without knowledge. This was the land where the people failed to realize the difference between injudiciousness and verbal eloquence. Within these borders lived the nation that despite the passage of over half a century, still remained at odds about the permissibility or non-permissibility of pictures and images. It was this very nation that was continually forgiven by Allah (swt) for over sixty-five years. Although Allah (swt) was willing to make amendments with this certain segment of humanity, this specific group of humanity was bent upon not making amends with Him (swt).
There is little doubt that the historian would not forget to write that the nation that sought Fatwas, the most esteemed Islamic legal ruling, on the use of the polio vaccine considered the murder of any and all opponents absolutely legitimate and sanctioned. In this nation, schools were bombed to shatters, and educators cited education to be the root cause of audacity and impudence. There existed such an extensive variety of falsehood and deception here that one had no qualms about licking the feet of even the person one didn’t care to spit on under other circumstances. The people here were supremely fond of narrating tales and anecdotes but had no interest in the important art of following the moral lessons imparted in them. They turned their faces from veracity in an exhibition of pride. Honesty was an indictable crime here while the perjurer was the most esteemed. People had learned to speak in this land for the simple task of making fools out of everyone else in the light of Hadith and Quran.
Every year, five-thousand unwanted children were found buried under heaps of garbage and in the stinking refuse of gutters, six-thousand more were murdered, and over ten hundred thousand FIR’s were registered in the police station annually. Over fifteen-hundred young girls were raped in this land of the pure, a great majority of them the victims of gang rape. People sold their own children here to ease the burning fire of hunger, and critical condition patients in ambulances met their death as traffic was cordoned off for hours when the entourage of an important person passed. The business owners of the city, who paid millions of rupees in the way of bribes to the mobster of the area, spent their own days in constant fear for their lives.
At the end of the entire commentary, the historian will possibly end up revising and rewriting the entire national anthem. It is advised that you listen to this anthem lying down. For if you had the strength to stand up on your two feet, why would you have reached this pathetic state of existence at all?