This is a love letter from me to you.
You are a country, of largely loving, caring, warm, welcoming people. Regardless of how much or little money individuals have, at a very basic and grassroots level, you love your fellowman and you want the best for them. You welcome people into your home and share your food and what little else you have with them.
You are a nation of poets, philosophers and romantics, always seeing the good in people and accepting your destiny as just your destiny.
But there comes a time when even the most tolerant and giving person would have enough of being taken advantage of and would be forced to fight back.
Even Gandhi must have at some point thought, I’m sick of being nice to people, I think today I’ll take the day off and just tell everyone to get lost!
People of Pakistan you must be bored, tired and weary. And that saddens me deeply.
People getting killed in election related violence, women being denied the right to vote, politicians falling off makeshift equipment and then campaigning from a hospital bed. And then, there are the transgendered candidates … Is this a comedy or a tragedy? It’s reality.
I wander what Quaid-e-Azam is making of this?
Around 1945 in Ahmedabad, Jinnah said, "Pakistan is a matter of life or death for us." Almost 70 years later, that statement means more today than it probably did then.
It’s time for you good people to fight back. It’s hard to keep fighting when you’ve lost the will to fight. But it’s time for a grassroots revolution, a tidal wave that must sweep away the corrupt elite.
Everyone knows what is wrong with your country, but the ordinary people never had the power to change that. Anyone that fought for right against wrong just got killed.
This is the first real chance you have to actually, really truly make a change.
If I was in Pakistan right now, I’d vote for Imran Khan. I think Jinnah would approve.
I pray for you all. But especially for the women and children, who in any and every society are the sewage in the gutter of mankind.
I will be thinking of all the women who have been denied the basic right to express any kind of silent opinion. Who have been denied the right to put any mark on any ballot paper that may make a change to their already powerless and dictated existence.
Men being sent threatening pamphlets saying, “Don’t let your women vote or you’ll be punished”. I hope you find the courage to smuggle your women into polling centers.
There must not be a lot going on in Waziristan for people to spend their entire time stopping others from living their lives and interfering in random strangers life choices.
I am a privileged person living in a civilized country where I have freedom not just physical freedom but freedom of the mind, to think and behave how I like and to able to say something about the things I am not happy with and know that something will be done about it.
This letter may well be a complete waste of your times; it’s not going to change your life. But I just wanted to express my love and respect for you big-hearted people in such a fundamentally beautiful nation.
May you help yourselves in becoming the great nation that you deserve to be. You have been resilient in your fight for true democracy in the face of fear and terror thrust upon you by the backward, ignorant, and violent.
Remember what Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”.
Go out and vote.
The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.
Shazia Mirza is an award winning stand-up comedian and writer. She has performed all over the world. A columnist for The Guardian UK, she was named Columnist of the Year at the prestigious PPA Awards. Find out more from her website. Follow her on Twitter @shaziamirza1.
The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.