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Pakistanis abroad: Ismail and Ishaaq

Published Jul 20, 2012 05:25pm


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-Illustration by Faraz Aamer Khan.

Sheer destiny – and nothing else – played a hand in ensuring that Ishaaq was born in a well-to-do and educated family. This good fortune ensured that Ishaaq was raised well.  He went to private schools and learnt how to swim at the Gymkhana, where his father was a member.  His mother pushed him to work hard and be diligent in his studies, as a result of which Ishaaq scored well in his O and A levels, and got admitted to a leading university in the United States. Since graduation, Ishaaq has found a cushy job on Wall Street, owns an apartment overlooking mid-town Manhattan, and has risen to a corner-office in a tall Skyscraper.

During his childhood, Ishaaq’s only friend was Ismail, the son of the maid who works in Ishaaq’s house. Ismail’s mother worked two jobs to fend for her eight children. Ismail grew up in a 2-room rented ‘house’ (if you can call it that) on the far side of the railroad tracks. Both the same age, Ismail and Ishaaq got along perfectly, studied and played together. Ismail was ‘better’ than Ishaaq in many ways; he was smarter (academically) than Ishaaq, and had a mean bowling action. But unlike Ishaaq, Ismail went to the local government school for his ‘education’ (which is all his family could afford), and that too was discontinued after eighth grade – when Ismail’s father was shot-dead during an attack on the Church that he attended. Since then Ismail works in a tyre shop near Mall Road during the day, and spends the evening looking after his mother who is now too old to work, and is suffering from Hepatitis C having consumed contaminated water from the local tube-well.

Ismail and Ishaaq are no longer in touch. Ismail thinks of his long-lost friend, every once in a while. He has heard from someone that Ishaaq is in New York, which is the capital of England. Ismail wonders how life must be there. And this imaginative detour is Ismail’s respite from reality. Ishaaq, on the other hand, no longer remembers Ismail. Between the new job, the Audi he just bought, the down-payment on the apartment, the hot girl he met at a friend’s birthday party, and the new Thai restaurant that has just opened two streets away … there is just no time for anything else.

The universe of Ismail and Ishaaq will never again collide.

And this divide, between the worlds of Ismail and Ishaaq, raises countless questions of national character and personal responsibility. Does Ismail – living in the slums of Lahore and trying to make ends meet, having never been afforded his fair share of opportunities in this life – claim anything off Ishaaq? Or can he only curse the stars for having been born in the ‘wrong’ house, at the ‘wrong’ time, in the ‘wrong’ country? And much more importantly, does Ishaaq owe any responsibility to the Ismails of Pakistan? Is his success not primarily a function of fate (much more so than his hard work)? Would Ismail not have done just as well (if not better), given the opportunity?  And if so, is it not incumbent upon Ishaaq to concertedly work towards bridging the gap between the Ismails and Ishaaqs of the future? Can this responsibility really be hidden behind paper-thin capitalistic arguments of pursuing personal opportunity and happiness (to the exclusion of the larger ‘others’)?

I am aware of the fact that the proposition, as stated, suffers from generalities – many Pakistanis have shifted abroad out of sheer compulsion, or for education, and many are doing all they can for the country and her people within the modest means they have.  But these exceptions do not detract from the fact that most others have simply chosen the ‘good life’, in a place without load-shedding or potholes in the road, with clean drinking water, health insurance and designer brands! Responsibility has been substituted by convenience. Virtue has been replaced by success. And, in the process, those whom divinity has blessed with intellect and inspiration, have chosen to prefer comfort over compassion, leaving Pakistan to the vices of time.

There is no legal argument to support the reversing of our national brain-drain. There is a logical case one can make, in earnest.  In fact, logic dictates perhaps the exact opposite – there is very little to return to Pakistan for.

This is, instead, an emotional argument. An appeal to the mystic senses of responsibility, selflessness and compassion.  Along with a fierce belief in our collective ability to turn around the destiny of our nation … not just for ourselves, or our parents and children … but for all those who sleep under the stars in this country, devoid of any hope for a better tomorrow.

We, who fate has bestowed with opportunity and privilege, owe a collective debt to that faceless Ismail who we all know exists, but we never bother reaching out to. We have all made a silent pledge, willingly or unwillingly, to carry the mantle of our national progress on his behalf.  It is time to redeem that pledge. It is no longer justifiable to hide behind career commitments or personal comforts, in an attempt to avoid facing this reality.

Pakistan is changing. Small revolutions are taking place – there is a resurgent Supreme Court, a dauntless media, a new political party, privatized banking system, and a growing influx of technology in agricultural and manufacturing sectors. And these developments require intellect, passion and hard work to materialise.

Ismail has no real way of understanding or contributing to these winds of change. The country needs Ishaaq to come back. Not only because of the blossoming (materialistic) opportunities, but mostly because perhaps this way we can work towards a society where the children of Ismail and Ishaaq have a better (fairer) chance of living at parity.


The writer is a lawyer based in Lahore, with a keen interest in fundamental and constitutional rights. Previously, he was Vice President in the Global Markets & Investment Banking Group of Merrill Lynch, New York.  He has a Masters in Constitutional Law from Harvard Law School and can be reached at:

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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The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (89) Closed

Hasan Jul 21, 2012 10:30am
You, sir, are a legend.
jkmanjiani Jul 22, 2012 01:23pm
yes other one who was original near quetta mr gopichand r narang the scholar of urdu language whom i met yesterday he has to give up america works on urdu language as his spirit i am hindu dr returned to karachi to be professor in jpmc hospital but has leave because brother and nephew were shot and some came with guns in my ,and left london .i love my village ,my schools my friends hindu muslim because in my thar district we are not civilised to have guns and not yhat much educated to be shamful as in karach i still visit my village ,helpwhere i can .i am trying to put water wells and some tree planting if it rains
MOHD MUSHTAQ HAJI Jul 21, 2012 10:21am
Neither ISHAAQ nor ISMAIL(after becoming successful) are not going to help Pakistani ,it can be seen everywhere, I can vouch for UAE.The maximum a Pakistani will do is help one of his relative and thats it.We are suffering from COMPLEX,people like ISHAAQ do not get indulge with poors thinking that they are superior and GOD blessed,on the other hand people like ISMAIL after success start relating them self with people like ISHAAQ to hide their past.Rich pakistani attitude is the hell with poor,and poor pakistani attitude is the hell with rich and the middle claas pakistani attitude is the hell with all as long as he is driving corrolla and childrens are going to english school.So dont be optimistic about pakistan going anywhere ahead in this world.
@qasimzee Jul 20, 2012 10:58am
KhanChangezKhan Jul 21, 2012 11:46am
We should not about the relationship between India and Pakistan because both sides people are friendly, except few, but the governments of the two countries as well as foreign self-interest powers are not interested to normalize the relation of these tow countries and no doubt these relations will never become normal. We are enemies for each other from the beginning and there is no end of this.
shyam Jul 21, 2012 02:57pm
Yes India has a long long way to go and by western standards it may even seem sinking. How ever the greatest asset of Indians is not living in denial. Also it is not the state's policy to encourage fundamentalism and wasting/misguiding the common mans talent and energy towards destructive activities. When prorities are right and all hands are on deck, even a sinking ship can limp to a safe harbour.
Rehman Khattack Jul 22, 2012 10:14am
What a shallow response to a moving article.
Amlan Jul 21, 2012 02:52pm
If anyone in claims what the author described happens only in Pakistan, not in India they are either day dreaming or they delusional.It also shows failure of society. Among SAARC countries only Srilanka don't have abject poverty and the question needs to be asked is why Srilanka with no resources can do it and other countries have failed in it.
Rahul Jul 20, 2012 04:38pm
I am from India and living in the USA. India's situation is no way different from pakistan: a lot of corruption. If Pakistan is a sinking ship then India is a slowly sinking ship.
Hamza Jul 21, 2012 10:23am
Wow. That's new news. Please, you be the first.
sid Jul 21, 2012 11:02am
see the amount of remmitances they send......still you want everthing free
Sana Jul 28, 2012 08:48am
Hep C is not transmitted through "contaminated water", pfft Harvard, how could you!
v gupta Jul 22, 2012 05:48pm
Saad Rasool's sentiments are honourable. To give them practical effect, a movement of like - minded people is needed. There is little doubt that an average person's life in Pakistan can be substaintially improved by actions of such civic minded folks. Instead of relying on disfunctioning politicians, people need to rise to their potential and work to realise it. This applies equally to Pakistan, India and many other countries.
bangash Jul 20, 2012 02:33pm
Fact is, 99% of Pakistanis would absolutely love to emigrate to the US and live in nice apartment in New York with designer handbags, cars and family. Why should anyone put up with the sheer nonsense in Pakistan ?
Aditya Jul 21, 2012 06:56pm
Sorry our countries don't need traders who work on Wall Street.They will not bring any value except for hording more money for themselves. We need technicians , entrepreneurs,scientists . People who will innovate, streamline, convert discoveries to application.
raika45 Jul 20, 2012 02:22pm
Why would anyone with a good job with all the benefits like housing,car and good education for his children come back? If the government is serious for their return, it should provide power,secure housing ,good schooling,top class tertiary education [ like India's IIT] .Look at India's IT business.It earns billions from nothing but brain work.The reason is that the people have no fear of their lives or poor education for their children.No where in the world is such a business where without digging for minerals or oil or even planting anything you can make billions.You have the potential,but the problem is that you do not have the "base" required by your overseas educated to come home.
Indian Jul 20, 2012 02:21pm
Well Ismael being a Christian is precisely the point. That is the irony as well. An Ismeal in the Indian context of the story would be a muslim. There in lies the problem of both India and Pakistan when religion takes a larger space outside of personal domain.
farhan Jul 20, 2012 12:24pm
Very nice article indeed, I love it. The article is about the 'INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY' that can bring the change but not to the extent as the governments. The character and moral values are build by the education, Education that is at the same level. The current education system tell us about the physics, chemistry, computer science etc, and people try to be good in these for getting a good job only. But at-least we can start with the individual level as of this article. Well done
Faraz Jul 20, 2012 11:41am
What a succinct and forceful 2nd paragraph that did that all.. Thumbs up for the write.
Ali Hamid Jul 21, 2012 11:14am
We all are well aware of India man. India is our neighbour and part of Pakistan before partition. This article represent all developing countries regardless.
Hamza Jul 21, 2012 10:08am
There is incoherence here. How can you attain fundamentalism from losing the 'fundamental' sense of belonging and sense of security to your own country.
Hamza Jul 21, 2012 10:03am
not really. Bangladeshis are not called Pakistanis. Its only been 41 years.
Hamza Jul 21, 2012 10:05am
That's because you were already corresponding from Burma to represent the interests of Burmese Muslims. Let this dauntless media report from Pakistan only.
sakib Jul 23, 2012 11:15am
I second you on this one Naeem. You have hit the nail right in the head. It's the common people of Pakistan who needs to change their attitude towards tolerance, fair play and freedom for others.
nayeem Jul 20, 2012 11:08am
'resurgent Supreme Court' ? yeah right.
Thiru Jul 20, 2012 11:41am
In all the countries of the Indian subcontinent, there are enough people living much more comfortable lives than the ones that went abroad. There are also enough intelligent educated people left. Just that the former lack the duty and compassion the author extols and in fact support the corruption to their advantage. The educated middle talk but fail to engage actively in the political arena to make things change. look at the education credentials and background of legislatures in the West and in India, Pakistan etc. The solution lies much closer at home. Those that left looking for comfort have given up the fundamental sense of belonging and sense of security. That is perhaps why fundamentalism is a much more attractive to the younger immigrants of the West.
Omair Jul 20, 2012 11:47am
I second thee. naivety incarnate
Hasan Jul 20, 2012 12:03pm
I can understand the emotional argument for selfless pakistanis to return to their motherland. But it would sound more compelling if it is supported by real life arguments and hard facts which are sadly just not absent from this blog but also from the average pakistanis day to day existence. The thing I can't get my head around is how is one supposed to get Hep C from drinking water..
AhmadM Jul 20, 2012 12:49pm
Interesting that ishaaq is a Muslim and Ismael is a Christian in your story... subtle. I think it's unfair to say there is not enough brain power residing in Pakistan and that your ishaaq needs to come back. I think it's time we give the overseas Pakistanies a break and stop the guilt game. They are people who left their comfort zones, families and worked their way to foreign lands. They still are contributing to this land.
Pakistani Resident Jul 20, 2012 12:44pm
Solution to Pakistan's problems is from the talented, intelligent, dilligent and honest folks residing within Pakistan. Pakistanis abroad can only but help by providing impetus to the movement which has to be initiated by the Pakistani residents to make Pakistan a better place.
peace lover Jul 20, 2012 12:35pm
what an amazing article that is true to the core. all it matters is which family you are born in pakistan and this will determine the course of your life.
peace lover Jul 20, 2012 12:33pm
even if you abandon this ship, for next 200 years your kids will still be called Pakistanis and that too without a country... its better that our country prosper and we have to stay positive about it. period
Indian Jul 20, 2012 01:52pm
I could not help but write this story........... A school boy in remote village of South India, and a son of a boatman. Studied in Tamil in his village school. But sheer talent and teachers help became an Engineer then a leading scientist and finally the President .........Yest APJ Abdul Kalam. Are there similar stories in Pakistan. If not then that is the major difference between the two countries, India and Pakistan. I personally know sons of maidservant's cracking IIT and heading the Science Council ...........R Mashelkar .......
exter Jul 20, 2012 12:30pm
Is the media actively reporting slaugter of Muslims in Syria? or Shias in our backyard?
peace lover Jul 20, 2012 12:30pm
well i would say this sresembles more with "Khuda ki busti" if any one has read pakistani Urdu literature
Raj Patel Jul 20, 2012 12:24pm
If you want to appeal then appeal to the riche rich people of Pakistan to pay their fair share of tax, you can appeal to the politician who are dumping their looted prosperity in the foreign banks. There are more well to do people remains in Pakistan should take responsibility to brings up the society socially and economically. I smell you are blaming Isaq for the the dire consequences of Ismile.
kami Jul 20, 2012 12:17pm
Even with all the bitterness and sarcasm that resides in me, I would never say this.
kami Jul 20, 2012 12:15pm
Media is even oblivious to plight of Hazaras within our country. Burma to bohat door hai meray bhai .......
Hamza Zuberi Jul 20, 2012 11:49am
The judiciary, parliament, media,bureaucracy, every aspect of our administration is corrupt to the very core, and the worst part is, no one is willing or able to expose the real enemy responsible for all these diseases we are suffering from.
Hamza Zuberi Jul 20, 2012 11:47am
These small revolutions you speak of, you include a "dauntless media" in the list. Care to tell us why this dauntless media has so far failed to report on the slaughter of Muslims in Burma?
Nak Jul 20, 2012 12:10pm
Even if Ishaaq comes back to Pakistan, he will not be of much use as there are not job opportunities in Pakistan,Unfortunately,he will too live a life like that similar to Ismael.
kami Jul 20, 2012 10:39am
Remake of "The Kite Runner" and quite frankly a very bad one.
Syed Jul 20, 2012 11:58am
Pakistan is a sinking ship. Abandon as early as possible
Irfan Ahmad Jul 20, 2012 01:06pm
It will take many Ishaaqs to change Pakistan but if you are one and feel that you cannot make a difference then think again. Every Ishaaq can contribute. And he will be appreciated here more. All the praise his corner office can bring him is nothing when compared to helping one Ismail go to school. If you cannot let go of the comforts of your Audi then at least take that Infinity Visa card out and send some money to TCF or Edhi or to the SOS Village or to any charity which can help the Ismails of the world. It is Ramadan. The month of giving and caring. Remember others.
nancy paul Jul 20, 2012 05:34pm
what i was never able to figure out all my life is why the loyal pakistani , like the top most politicians and bureaucrats never think about having their kids educated in their homeland , we are not even talking about the government schools . by setting this trend , the whole scenario will turn around . every one gets same attention and acquires same skills .
Ali Jul 21, 2012 03:39pm
Yea I have to agree! Those Ishaaq's even though there supposedly born with a 'silver spoon' still have to work hard when they get overseas. Do they eventually make it? Yes but they worked (some more than 10 years) to get to that point. But the Ismail's on the other hand...are they lacking the necessary privileges/options to succeed? Perhaps. But that doesn't undercut the fact that even with the lack of options, the Ismails tend to complain and not work at their problems. Its like one of those things 'your the rich brother, Im the struggling I'm gonna sit at home and wait for checks...rather than being the brother that at least tries to work and put some effort forward'. Is this all hypothetical? Yes, but look at all the foreign remittances that come in, some of them establish businesses some of them buy fancy mansions. But there is a net influx of capital and not a flight so much. Of course the politicians elected to the parliament by the Ismail's make sure they balance the capital deficit by balancing the flight side of the equation. So its just wrong to point fingers at the Ishaaq's for the short comings of the Ismail's, as for what they don't contribute to Pakistan in time, they make up for with financial and intellectual contributions.
Rai Musharraf Sultan Jul 20, 2012 06:46pm
All is not lost. Many of us have come back to help put Pakistan back on track, inshallah.
Latif Khan Jul 20, 2012 07:23pm
Thought provoking. I am really thinking is there any such examples in Pakistan....
Rashid M Jul 20, 2012 07:34pm
Nonsense. YOu can only think of Pakistanis living in pakistan or west, what about 4 million labourers living a dreadful life in the gulf and no one in Pakistan seems to be bothered about their problems. Using their hard earned forex you are quik to increase passport fee and force expenisve ID cards. Not having any voting rights anywhere in the world this silent community works day in day out to ensure that millions of mouths back home are properly fed.
Anwar Jul 20, 2012 08:29pm
It's god's plan and he knows best as to why.
Shams Jul 20, 2012 08:58pm
Dead on Mr. Patel......You prescribed the medicine in few powerful sentences....
Shams Jul 20, 2012 09:01pm
You are right about what you said, but the writer meant something different.
Aftab Jul 20, 2012 09:56pm
This real story might tell you something: Yesterday, I went to have lunch at a Pakistani fast food shop in Washington DC area. Having finished the meal, I stepped out for a smoke. The guy standing next to me (60ish, limping and not looking in good health) was the Pakistani waiter I had seen inside the restaurant. He started the conversation...had been living in USA for 35 ywears, had good times in his younger age, now decades of haed work had taken its toll but he stillhad to work to make a living. "Ever thought of going back" I asked. He answered "no". He preferred near slave labor conditions becauseat least he had access to basic necessities (cited bijli aur pani specifically).
Silajit Jul 20, 2012 10:30pm
C'mon! In fairness, other than the feudal structure in Pakistan which India has shaken to some extent, I'm sure there are similar success stories in Pakistan as well.
Sam Jul 20, 2012 11:49pm
I admire India NRIs for the diligent work they have done in uplifting less fortunate people. All I see at our functions is ritz and glitz.
sajjad Jul 21, 2012 01:25am
Say thanks to people abroad who are sending the foreign exchange.Is there enough job opportunities for those living in PK that you want to bring people from abroad.First try to finish load shedding , corruption and unsafe conditions and every thing else will be alright
junayd Jul 21, 2012 04:11am
this ismail - ishaq saga is there since british ruled the sub-continent. Ishaq must not be doing something right for ismail. All the ismails belonging to educated middle class will never return. Ismails from elite, graduates from ivy leagues will return but keep failing ishaqs. Once ishaqs get visas, they will vanish in thin air and then ismails will have no one to work for in the land of the pure.
Ali Jul 21, 2012 06:36am
Exactly and I am one of them from a lower middle class family. Thanks and well said. The author is biase
Wasim Jul 21, 2012 05:04am
Please give us a break. We are not talking here about India and Pakistan.
Ali Jul 21, 2012 06:38am
You probably do not read Indian news paper and only aware of one example. Also you do not know the positive of Pak. Zia-Ul-Haq is one such example. India and Pakistan have like minded people and carry similar fate. Good point though.
masmanz Jul 21, 2012 05:45am
Indians are good at bringing up good points about their countries and Pakistanis are good at bashing their own. This story is a fiction, yet the author was somehow compelled to give a very nasty twist by mentioning that Ismail's father was shot dead during an attack on a church. There have been hardly any attack on churches in Pakistan, yet he had to bring it up. There have been hundreds of anti-Muslim riots in India where thousands of Muslims have died but an Indian author would rather chose a Muslim success story to show how great their country is.
amjad awan Jul 21, 2012 05:45am
were you an Ishaaq Or an Ismail, Saad?
Noorani Jul 21, 2012 06:25am
I am Ishaq and am willing to come back home if any one can assure me of non stop un interrupted power suplly for 24/7 and my phone line to remain in order plus constant flow of clean drinking water and for all these even though I have to pay inflated erroenuous bills. Any guarantor?
Shahid Butt Jul 21, 2012 05:51pm
We can keep on discussing different issues. How about each expatriates from pakistan helping one child to be educated at home? I think education is the back bone for the progress of any country.
Raj Patel Jul 21, 2012 04:06pm
I don't mind Isaq contributing voluntarily. It is good for him and for Pakistan, but I feel author is blaming Isaq for every thing wrong happend to Ismile. People should owned their share of responsibility and should not blame others for their failure. There are so many talented young breed remains back in Pakistan. Give them an opportunity to develop Pakistan. You don't have to depend on brain drain. Create an environment in Pakistan automatically talented people will come back to their origin country. People who are living abroad contributing their fair share no matter which community you belongs.
Shoaib Jul 21, 2012 08:31am
True Story! Son of the fruit seller top the whole Lahore board in medical got admission in King Edward Got first position in King Edward got scholarship to one of the university of usa and now he is neurologist and making fortune their. There are thousands of examples like this. We need authors from low middle class too.
maddie Jul 21, 2012 08:46am
Sigh. That's the whole point of the article. Despite the lack of electricity and other 'comforts' (which most will call basic necessities), we need to come back to Pakistan and help bring about the change we want to see. We've left Pakistan to the uneducated and corrupt, and we wonder why Pakistan is in the state it is? This is our fault. Us educated Pakistanis who are living abroad, for whatever reason.
maddie Jul 21, 2012 08:49am
If Ishaaq was spending a fraction of his income on the betterment of his country, instead of his own material comforts, he would not be to blame. As it is, Pakistanis living abroad forget who we are and where we've come from.
latif Jul 21, 2012 08:49am a farmer’s son is now an IAS ………………………………………………………. a peon’s daughter is now an IAS
Pakistani Jul 21, 2012 09:02am
Before calling the ishaaqs back home, ask the ishaaqs living inside Pakistan to do something...there are countless number of people living inside Pakistan who enjoy all luxuries of the first world and remain oblivious to everything going around them! What are we (the privileged ones) doing despite living in the country?
manish Jul 21, 2012 12:50pm
gojra violence occured in my mind... the blast at ahmadi mosque which claimed 90 odd lives happpened on mars... the recent abduction of hindu girl was a fantasy of fertile mind, from jupiter.... if above all are right, then you are also right.
manish Jul 21, 2012 12:54pm
raj saab, do you think our country is good when it comes to paying taxes...or,, there is not much money stashed in foreign accounts....some estimates say that black money more than entire gdp of pakistan, is is tax havens.....
Jules Jul 21, 2012 08:48pm
Well written article which is definitely pertinent to the educated pakistanis living abroad. Each pakistani abroad should firstly be proud of his roots and be a brand ambassador for his country abroad and I hope in time many will return to serve the nation. By the looks of it, the writer himself is back to serve the country which is commendable and I hope more will follow suit.
Aj1 Jul 21, 2012 09:06pm
Don't both rich and poor have social responsibility ? Why could not ismails father have less kids and then thinking of where the school fees were to come from. look no further than the Chinese, they set one child policy and see where it has taken their country. But then again...... I suppose it's against our "culture" to discuss such an issue. Just blame the politicians.
Haider Jul 21, 2012 09:33pm
Well these two situations are extreme. I know that lots of talented Pakistanis have left due to better job opportunities abroad (may or may not be due to worsening economic situation). However there is still enough talent in pakistan which can be utilised. Individuals who have studied in good universities (in & out of the country) with meaningful experience. It is more important to utilise their talents first then to ask for return of those who have left.
Azhar Jul 21, 2012 10:49pm
Everybody should contribute their fair share to help the country grow prosperous, whether one is at home or abroad. The difference is one is fighting to survive and the other is not, but still contributing through remittance and other social contributions. The people living in PK are the ones who will have to build the nation and get intelligent people elected and create a society that is tolerant and humane irrespective of religion, class or creed.
Raj Patel Jul 22, 2012 03:23pm
Junaid bhai, Are they not citizens of Pakistan??? There may be Ismile in their family getting support from the foreigner Pakistani.
Junaid Akhlaq Jul 22, 2012 04:48am
The remittances they send, dear Sid, are mostly to their own families and relatives. Only a small amount of those total remittances are for the government or civil organisations working for the uplift of the society. And tell me frankly, do you see the current government spending anything on the uplift of the nation if someone sends them a hefty cheque. We know perfectly well that 90% of that money will end up in a few pockets down the governmental and departmental hierarchy.
Junaid Akhlaq Jul 22, 2012 04:59am
The problem with the fruitseller's son is that he followed the same footprints as the Ishaaq of the story. He too, went abroad, not just to study, but to settle there. Now, he must also have an Audi, go to parties and meet cute girls. No problem with that, but will he do the same for those he left behind here? Will he help someone else he knows get the same opportunity. Doubtless, he knows many poor people here who would have studied with him at school and dropped out before or around Matric. What's this fruit seller's son going to do for them? Does he even remember them?
ram Jul 22, 2012 05:14am
oh you forgot to mention poor boy from village in south India also happens to be Muslim by religion, may not be related to this scenario, However Ismail may have had a different story in different place
Dilawer Jul 22, 2012 06:54am
What about the daily killings all over the country? Why there is no revolution in Pakistan? Why can't we have a Khomenei in Pakistan? We need Stalin but 10 times more stern.
Naeem Jul 22, 2012 10:58pm
Junaid, i came from a Middle class Ahmadi family and also went abroad. I went abroad because of continuous harassment and lack of fair opportunity as an Ahmadi. I too became very successful and Pakistan has always been in my mind. However, recognizing that I do not have many rights as a citizen, I dread to think of coming back. After all I live in a free country where I have the same rights as other citizens irrespective of their faith. Why would I come to Pakistan where the constitution of the country decides my faith, what to call my place of worship, where I cannot even say the kalima or Azaan or recite the holy Quran in public . Further more the sword of the blasphemous blasphemy law will allow anyone to accuse me and have me killed???? I think the author must take a look at the root cause of the problem. Unless religious fanaticism is eradicated from the country and there is law and order and fairness and justice, no sane Pakistani will return back. My heart bleeds for Pakistan and the Ishmael's of the country.However, the solution is with the people of Pakistan and their response to religious fanaticism , justice, fairness, equality for all citizens. Today ,many Shias, Christians and Hindus are slowly leaving Pakistan if they can. It is a sad story for which most Pakistani are responsible along with fanatic religious leaders and weak Government.
Naeem Jul 22, 2012 11:04pm
We need a Kamal Ata Turk!!!! Get rid of religious fanaticism. Root cause of all problems in Pakistan!!!
Think Jul 24, 2012 10:43am
India was never part of Pakistan, however Pakistan was a part of India
Think Jul 24, 2012 10:43am
Muslims are a part of Indian population- they have rights to run for office, vote, right to worship in large numbers at their numerous mosques. What about the fate of Hindus in Pakistan - the minorities in Pakistan are disappearing whilw Muslim population in India is growing. What is Pakistan's records on treatment of its minorities?
B R Chawla Jul 24, 2012 05:03pm
A well meaning portrayal of disparity arising out of opportunities. Well this is the way the worldf is like. But so long as compassion does not diminish all have chance. Stop talking I,my and me. Do not rake up the boring topic of we the Indians or we the Pakistanis. it shall never solve problems.Put the bitterness behind, pool up your cobined resources and see the difference. All are the sons of Allah and equal therefore- give them an equal opportunity. Chawla
Ali Hamid Jul 25, 2012 04:42pm
same thing
marriam Aug 01, 2012 04:30am
i am the ishaaq! i don't enjoy the so called facilities of life here in U.S. not a sinle day goes by when i don't wish my kids could have the simple, innocent childhood i had growing uo when parents used to preach to kids the true values, including how all r equal no matter which walk of life they belonged to. my only question to everyone is how do i serve my beloved country when the moment i land there i or one of my kids get kidnapped only because v have come from states? how can i not fear going back there, where human life is cheaper than a piece of bread
Fizza Aug 04, 2012 02:39pm
You don't get Hepatitis C from consuming contaminated water.