I am Pakistan. How does that make you feel?

I am Pakistan. How does that make you feel?

Does your heart choke with fear? Or do your lips curl with contempt? Do your eyes follow my every move?  Do you mark me off as insignificant and unworthy of your time?

I am a Pakistani boy. You call me illiterate and uncouth. You think me a thief and an addict. You call me reckless. But do you see me when I work at a car workshop by day and study in a flickering light bulb by night? You see me fighting. But do you see me fighting for my basic rights – from clothes on my back to the bread in my hand? You see me stealing. But did you see me when my father committed suicide because he couldn’t afford us. No. You never see anything worth seeing. You only see what they want you to see.

I am a Pakistani girl.  You think I am caged in a prison, waiting to be poked at or worse, raped. You think I am a helpless fly trapped in a spider web. You show me pity I don’t ask for. You give me shallow sympathy I despise.  What you don’t see is my pride. What you don’t understand is my will to survive. Some of you clip my wings, but that doesn’t stop me. I can climb mountains, I can fly. I can fight. I can sing. I can write. I can take on the world. And at the end of the day, I can smile, I can laugh. I am everything but I am not who you think I am.

I am a Pakistani man. You call me a terrorist. You call me an extremist. You cringe at the sight of my green passport. You kick me in the gut with your unfair words. I fight on the borders. I fight within the boundaries because I believe in freedom; freedom from dishonest hooligans and years of corruption. I raise my voice. I am not a murderer. I am not an animal. Some of us are but most are not.  You also have animals disguised as humans living around you. Yet you come as a spectator to watch us. Because you can’t tell the difference any more.

I am a Pakistani woman. You think I sit at home all day, living a useless life. You think I master at gluttony and nothing else. But you don’t see me when I stay awake late at night worrying about my children’s safe return. Your don’t realize how much it takes to keep my house stable and running. I now choose to come out on the streets. I choose to show my voice. You won’t catch me weak anymore. You won’t see me crying. You will only see my head held high, living each day as it comes.

I am Pakistan. How does that make you feel? You see me on the news and you shake your head. You taunt my existence. You ridicule my people. You label me a lost cause. You make plans to wipe me off the map. You think I am a disease. You think wrong. You know nothing. I have an abundance of resources and bravery. I am struggling to keep it all intact because I know my true worth. I bleed for my people. I bleed for their survival. My people  will swim in my red ocean until they find a shore. My people have finally stood up for what they believe in. They have spoken and nothing they say is to your fancy. Because you like it all twisted and muddled up. But no more. I say, no more. They say, no more. They are fighting the corrupt and refuse to give up. I salute their resilience.

My flag may be tattered, but it is still swaying to the rhythm of many heartbeats.

I know we will find a way.

Because we are all Pakistan.




*This emotional rant is dedicated to the ongoing Political crisis in my country. Forever hopeful for a better future. Though sitting far away, my words and prayers will always show solidarity with the Pakistani masses who have long been abused and misused.  God bless Pakistan.

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