Originally published at Express Tribune
Pakistan made it to international media again on 20th, 21st and 22nd Oct 2012, but happily so, in a positive and progressive manner. In a country that is so accustomed to digest target killings, honor killings, bomb blasts, terrorist attacks and drone strikes, the news of Pakistan setting records after records are nothing but moments of pure joy and national pride.
Midst of all the surrounding taboos of terrorism, political instability, corruption, restlessness, load-shedding, inflation, extortion, kidnappings, target killings, sectarian violence and what not, these small events serve as ventilators that bring in fresh air of hope, joy, life and belief in ourselves. This Punjab Youth Festival (PYF12) which was named as “Pakistan Youth Festival” by CM Punjab Mr. Shahbaz Sharif is, regardless of any political affiliation, one of its kind and a great initiative for all the youth of Punjab, a great opportunity to spread positivity and hope, i wish all Pakistanis have these kind of events in their respective provinces and cities.
Although I wasn’t physically present there in National Hockey Stadium Lahore, but I witnessed this on my television screen and recited the national anthem with all those participating. It felt great, sheer pleasure, a moment of pure national pride and unity. There have been only few times this year, when Pakistan emerged beyond national level in a positive and progressive manner, and this record setting activity was by far on top of the list. Other good news was the exhibition match between Pakistan XI and International World Stars XI, indeed a door has opened, making its way for international cricket back in Pakistan. The largest national flag record as well held my heart like millions of Pakistanis around the globe.
All these news brought smiles on millions of distressed, agitated, disappointed and worried faces. People rejoiced and cherished these moments. For they know how these little things help in national image building in the outer world. Pakistan has never emerged in world world news this way. Sadly though, but others mostly know us as a nation that manufactures Taliban and terrorists and export them. People text each other and congratulated on these records and social media went all green again. Twitter trends and public response was so overwhelming.
This happy episode continued until I found some people ranting about it and came across tweets like these.
Regardless of political hatred for Punjab government or PMLN, we all should have cherished these precious moments in a time when all we get is bad news. Mostly PTI trolls took the pride in overlooking the achievement and degrading Punjab Government for corruption and looting money and all. As mentioned in the copied tweets, that Punjab government spent billions of rupees on PYF12 and all. This proves that political hatred is greater than patriotism or love for Pakistan. This is biased, political leaders and opinion makers need to divert their attention to this as well or else it would become an even more critical issue, it also makes obvious whose out there for Pakistan and whose there for personal/political gains. This brings two simple questions in my mind that I would like to ask all the self-claimed-revolutionists.
1- If this money could be so well used otherwise, why didn’t they donated all the money for rehabilitation of drone victims instead of creating all the hype and drama for so-called ‘peace march’, when they never even marched to the announced station in Wazirstan?
2- Are these records building Pakistan’s image or Punjab government’s image? Who participated, common man or political workers? In case PTI comes into power, should we expect no-sports in Pakistan, since its wastage of time and money?
In my humble opinion, we’ve already suffered a lot and the basic reason for that is our lack of unity. We are so separated and segregated by these ‘classes’. Be it ethnic, political, sectarian or caste. We cannot rise unless we break these immortal shells that are keeping us separated and injecting intolerance & hatred among us. Having different opinions is okay but not on cost of Pakistan. Its about time that we put in combined efforts for Pakistan beyond political bias, learn to give credit where its due, Let’s be united and cherish these moments of national pride and joy together, and show the real soft image of Pakistan to the world.