Muhammad Anwar Ul Haq
Benumbed by tragedy after tragedy in the span of one week, the whole nation is gripped by an air of despondency. In a similar frame of mind I was checking emails yesterday, when an Egyptian friend shared this video titled 'Brilliant Pakistanis''.
My first reaction was of reserved scepticism, as we Pakistanis tend to tread the extremes of the emotional spectrum. We are either basking in visions of grandeur based on an incorrigible superiority complex (where we reflect on past glories and curse India/America/Israel for all our woes current or past) or we sink into depression and declare that we are a nation of nincompoops with no hope in the forseeable future; case in point being the round of self-loathing & ridicule that started after the Sialkot incident, whereby anthropomorphic relationships were suggested between Pakistanis & cockroaches. Confused between these two extremes I played the video, which turned out to be quite contrary to my preconceived notions. All the personalities in the video were people who had given their lives (in certain cases literally) to bring about some measure of sanity to this otherwise anarchist pool. Without exception they have done something or the other to improve the status of Pakistan and its inhabitant without calling them kings or paupers, cockroaches or emperors, regents or serfs. However the people of Pakistan have forgotten them and their feats. Therefore at a time like this, when the entire nation is in doldrums and it seems as if nature itself is conspiring against Pakistan, I believe it is a time to celebrate all these wonderful people who have given their time, effort, money, blood and what-not to raise Pakistan's banner one notch higher, who have worked in the face of adversity to attain their goals. Let us celebrate these people who have strived for the people and not the other way around. Let us learn from these people who have tread the median, not indulging in 'self-pity' or 'self-glory'. Let us celebrate Pakistanis.