Fight back, Pakistanis!

Published May 11, 2013 06:02pm

290-Pakistani-women-voters---AFP
Dear Pakistan,

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.

With love,

Me.

 


Shazia-Mirza-80
The author 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.

 


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.


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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 blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments (8) (Closed)


ayesha200bc
May 11, 2013 01:13pm
This is a wonderful article and we would like to thank the writer and wish to express our feelings that we have not lost any hope and we will confront many troubled times than what we are facing now, there is no element that can demoralize our spirits. The evil is bound to perish, and we are all prepared to bring the best to our country.We welcome Imran Khan from the core of hearts. May Allah keep our nation under his special protection. Thank you, once again for your encougement ---
rich
May 11, 2013 07:03pm
jinnah was used by congress and the english, he destroyed muslim unity
Akhlesh
May 11, 2013 01:42pm
Thank you, Shazia, for both hope and love for secular democracies.
farook
May 11, 2013 10:50pm
Thank you Shazia
Parvin
May 12, 2013 08:50pm
"If I was in Pakistan right now, I’d vote for Imran Khan. I think Jinnah would approve." In a way yes but even our very courageous and charismatic leader made some last minute U-turns which no longer makes him a moderate and of secular thinking. I am not too sure myself really. But we are back in the old grind. And that's exactly what the public choice is.
kulukku baba
May 13, 2013 02:52am
Imran lost! So much for your letter!
Khan
May 13, 2013 03:50am
Shazia: tell me somethjing -- bilwal bhutto prefers to stay in dubai/london instead of pakistan?! -- - musharraf just came back from living in dubai/london?! -- imran khan sees himself as an outsider/british trying to help the "lost and poor" pakistanis -- Nawaz Sharif finds it safe to live in saudi arabia instead of pakistan?! So all these pakistanis prefer to stay outside pakistan than in pakistan :) -- what does that tell you about pakistani leaders and pakistan?!
imran
May 13, 2013 07:48am
Come to Pakistan first