Published in the e-zine: The Green Kaleidoscope on March 14,2009.

There have been numerous occasions in which I have heard aunties, uncles, and not to mention generation X talking about how unlivable this country is becoming. Their only resort seems to be is to shift “abroad”.
There is this constant bickering of how unsafe, dirty, expensive this country is becoming. Not to mention how horrifically shabby the infrastructure is becoming on a daily basis and we are no short of falling into a constant quagmire with a devastatingly grim future.

When I actually hear these people talking, I wonder if they actually are “listening” to themselves.
The fact that most of these people are very consistently repeating themselves, they probably are aware of what they are saying. This breaks my heart.

It’s bad enough when western countries stigmatize Pakistan as an “under-developed terrorist state” (which oddly amuses me of how they manage to call us under-developed and yet a terrorist state with high-tech weapons of mass destruction). However, it is much worse when “your own” are indirectly calling your nation just that.

It has been well over 60 years to the birth of Pakistan. Yes, we have had good and bad days. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that we are not going through tough times, talks of instability constant fear of being attacked by terrorists, sometimes it does feel like a nightmare.
We, however, quickly forget the fact that we as a nation still manage to pull through. We very quickly start comparing the infrastructure here with the one of various countries in terms with our “bad” with their “good”. Let’s try a switch shall we?

We so quickly tend to forget that even if we have been labeled a terrorist-state, Pakistan’s “finest” are fighting two wars; one in Afghanistan and one against the Taliban in Swat Valley and its vicinity.
They do it with such vigour so for most parts of the country’s citizens can sit calmly and sip their “chai”. I’m sure most of you reading this agree with me that we are much better off then those poor souls in Gaza. They have very little to fight with and too much to fight against.

In the 1950’s the IMF (International Monetary Funds) had said that, Pakistan as a young nation is a model of economic stability. Yes, it does sting a little that now we are on the brink of being declared bankrupt and that we have been hit with the inflation rate of 20-30%. Zimbabwe, however, has been hit with hyper-inflation (which is constant inflation) to the extent that a slice of bread costs (roughly-converted approximation from Zimbabwean dollar to Rupees) Rs.200.
Not Rs.200 for a loaf of bread, but a slice of bread. As we speak the price for this slice of bread is going up. We happen to complain about a tandoor roti piece increasing to Rs5-7.

In 1994-95 there was this statistical fact going around that by the year 2000, Bangladesh would have a higher literacy rate then us based on their total population. Which eventually did come true, however, we are into a quarter of 2009 and we have beaten their literacy rate by at least 2.4%.
Our overall literacy rate is 49.9% and Bangladesh’s 47.5%. I’m grateful to say that the female literacy in Pakistan has been steadily been increasing since the 1990’s. These rates were estimated by UNESCO in 2008 based on data from 2006 and onwards.
Recently there has been news that the total population literacy rate has increased to 54%. Thankfully this has not compromised on the quality of education. Pakistan is one of the few countries with a scoring high in the overall worldwide ranking in the Cambridge System of education, as well as in professional studies.

Some of you maybe thinking while reading this, that this is one lame way to look at it all, but quite honestly if you think about it, when was the last time you actually thought something nice about your own country? The fact that no matter where you go, how you see other Pakistanis act, the way you may be treated because you are one; it all boils down to where you come from.
The fact that you are who you are, you have your own homeland, which when looked at is filled with so many of God’s beautiful riches, that we have so much and make so much more rather complaining about the “coulda, woulda, shouldas”.

How many of you have thought about it at all recently? If you have, then bravo! Give yourself a pat on the back!
If you haven’t, then you ought to try it, it makes the daily by and by go easier. It makes it easier to say Pakistan Zindabad.