May you live long

My heart goes out to my country. Yes I love Pakistan. Despite the cynic in me, I love  her soil, her rivers, her mountains, her unmatched scenic beauty in the entire world. The entire year I complain and whine about all the things that are wrong with my land. Its the politicians, corruption, nepotism, religious sects and their divide, load shedding, shortage of water, the non tax paying heartless goons, the ugly label of terrorism, low literacy rate and a long list of nerve racking problems and crisis . 
There is a rush of anger I feel when something or the other goes wrong with Pakistan. I hear myself not being happy with Pakistan and like many of us, I too dream of fleeing to greener pastures where life would be secure and stable. But I realise that every time Pakistan faces a downfall, every time it bleeds, every time people point fingers at it, it is not my dislike towards her that makes me go red in the face. It is because I immensely love the land where today I live and breathe and it pains me to see her getting hurt and maimed at the hands of corruption, lies and deceit and elements hell bent on tearing it apart.
No matter how much I try or think that I cannot love a place that is ridden with innumerable problems and turmoils, there is an invisible umbilical cord that ties me with Pakistan’s soil. It is something in my blood that rushes through me every year as 14th August approaches and forces me to reflect on myself and the situation around.  
It makes me think about the hundreds of selfless people who migrated in the dark of the night, in the early hours of the day, on their way sacrificing their lives and loved ones. And it is no easy feat to push your own daughters and sisters down a train or a well or see your fathers and brothers been killed by daggers by unknown faces only to protect your integrity, to safeguard a newly born land. Our people did this. They died in hope to keep the newly born Pakistan alive. My heart goes out to these people, their pristine souls and their bravery. 
So what is it that draws us far from the spirit of our elders, far from what is the heart beat of our lives. For me its the lies, the dishonesty, the double dealings, unfulfilled promises of the so called leaders, the blood of my brothers and sisters that dries up on the roads and streets after ‘terrorist attacks’ and easily gets forgotten by us all. It is this and much more, things very basic, things that are the right of the citizens; something that people in many countries take for granted but the poor in this land can only dream of. 
I reflect today and tomorrow and pledge yet again to stay true to the heart of Pakistan because when it skips a beat, my heart too goes restless. It must be realised that we need to unite. Cliched as it may sound, we need to look deeper into the meaning of uniting. We need to look past our sects and languages and provincial boundaries. We need to mend the divides that scar our ideology today. We are Pakistan, one country. If a man in up North gets killed, if a youth is denied a job because of nepotism in Balochistan, or if a sick dies on its way to the hospital owing to the traffic block (read: VIP passing) we all should feel the same pain. We are one. We need to make efforts honestly and courageously in our own spheres of life, if we are doctors, artists, scientists, or simply housewives, we need to think Pakistan.

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