Is there no hope?

It gets harder and harder to write everyday. So bizarre is the scenario in Pakistan that the news feed  jacked into my mind is full of people exploding at different places, human bombs strike us every day, killing all around them in their suicides.  Every single day brings reports of suicide bombings in different cities of Pakistan. All of this compounds to an air of depression that hangs around us like a dense fog.

However when I saw this article it struck me so deep that I had to sit down and pen my feelings on it. Basically Germans, really affluent ones have demanded that their government increase taxes on them because they have so much money that they cannot bear to see people suffering from poverty and joblessness in their country. They claim that a 5% wealth tax on them can raise 100 billion euros over the next 2 years and put the country back on track.

I thought people like these existed in fairy tales. People who care so much for their country that they want to help it any way they can. Compare that to the elite of Pakistan and you would be in for a shock. Forget help, all we want to do is to sit in our air conditioned rooms and shoot down anything that happens for the good of this land. This includes spewing obscenities at politicians or at main stream media or any poor sod who tries to speak up. The rhetoric is so deafening that it drowns out all thought and reason.

We clamor against aid but never pay taxes, every income tax season brings number fudging at its highest creative point here and the lawyers have a field day raking it in. We scream against discrimination of Muslims at the hand of Jews but yet employ people at less than USD 80 a month to do our “outdoor” tasks on scooters, they are called “runners” in Pakistan & they do everything from paying bills at counters to getting ice cream for the masters kids on hot days. A friend of mine, a lover of stats just informed me that his swiss banker says Pakistani businessmen have so much money piled up over there that they can pay off the entire national debt in cash and still be left with half.

So why cannot we be more like the Germans? Well its quite simple, most of us do not give a shit about Pakistan. To us it does not matter if the Taliban over take us or not, it does not matter if we disintegrate the dream our forefathers had, it does not matter if someone lives or dies all that matters is that we make our pile and quickly shift it out of the country for a nest egg to live off when we retire to Dubai or Barcelona or wherever it is that rich Pakistani’s retire to.

I am not trying to say that there are no good people here, but I have come to realize that most people here do not want to, or are up to no good and that is because of utterly selfish reasons. Still I am hopeful, because even in this shit storm of negativity there are small islands of strength, people like Salman Mehmood who lived a life affected by Thalaesemia major but never let it hold them back. Salman died a few days ago here in Karachi. He was 24 years old and fought for a cause that nobody gives a damn about. Yesterday the sindh assembly passed a bill which states that everyone will be tested before getting a marriage certificate to check for the disease he had. Even though he might not get credit for it, he lived a life full of pain and uncertainty but contributed to make this happen. Two days before he went into the hospital for the last time he and his sister held a blood drive at Fatmid, a local blood bank here, even at the end he fought for the cause. This is our tribute to him.

I believe that while there are people like this in Pakistan, nobody can bring it down. Not in their lives anyways. Salman keep watching over us man, we need all the help we can get!

  1. Good post! Actually reading about @skdev hurts me in many unexplainable ways. Pakistan’s health care is crap to be honest and although the Sindh Assembly passed the bill… but it will take lots of efforts to spread the awareness and to actually implement this law. You know marriage registration is a law too but how many people register their marriages? Why doesn’t our thriving media take up this cause and urge people to get tested for both Thaleasemia as well HIV before getting married?

    Remember HIV is another ticking bomb in Pakistan.

  2. We the Blaagers should take up the fight of Salman for the Thalassemia testing bill. The Shia Khoja community has made it compulsory on their community level. I think based on their model the different Memon jamaats can implement the same. And so can the Dehli walas. I’m sure similar ethnic community based organizations are present all over who can implement this on its members….

    Ideally though we should have it on the national level…. Nikah nama chahiye??? get a NOC from a certified doctor! Simple.


  3. faisal:

    So why cannot we be more like the Germans?

    kahaan say shr’u karain?


    – we follow existing laws
    – pay due taxes
    – do not bribe
    – expose corruption

    ….you get the picture? if we do that collectively…to begin with…pakistan would be way ahead


    some of us had been advocating mandatory blood testing for couples intending to marrry for years and were laughed out of gatherings….


    the other day sindh assembly passed a legislation (i linked the news report on baithak)

    this corroborates ayesha’s cocnerns and foreboding

  4. In the golden words of Oscar Wilde, ‘All of us are lying in the gutter but some of us are looking up at the stars.” Keep pointing the stars to us Faisal and I assure you, there is still hope! Every little efforts counts!

  5. forunately or unfortunately,we belong to the age where history takes new turn on daily bases….at this horrific dynamic time ,i feel that feelings and hopes both ;such terms have hidden themselves somewhere behind bullet proof shield.
    my hearty prayers are with my country fellows.may Allah bless us with with His unlimited blessings…and show us rightous path

  6. Sorry to know about Salman.
    The fact that the law got passed in at least one assembly is a one step forward. Now, instead of taking two steps backwards, we should do more to honor the efforts of people like Salman..

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