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‘What a country’

March 11, 2013

THIS refers to the article ‘What a country’ by Anjum Niaz (Dawn Magazine, March 3). I would advise the writer to refrain from comparing this country with America. Landing with pockets full of earned dollars, everything and all things seem cheap and readily accessible.

Ask here an average earning man or a woman or a pensioner like me and you would understand what is cheap and affordable and what is unthinkable.

Please try to realise that a rupee is like a dollar for us till it changes colour when travelling to and fro. Imagine what Americans would do to America if they had to pay $470 for a gallon of petrol.

In the good old days, which we often recall, my grandfather purchased a brand new American automobile for Rs1,700 with a money back guarantee within six months if not satisfied. The same vehicles were being sold in America for $2,000 each.

I must also add here that the writer is like a visitor to her own country and what she observes is only a fraction of what we in our day to day life witness and tolerate meekly and perhaps with amusement and sometimes with disgust.

Dictators may come and dictators may go, politicians may come and politicians may go, but we as a freedom-loving nation go on freely frolicking forever.

However, all said and done, we still love this land for all the countries put together.

S. RAYAZ MEHDI Karachi

Anjum Niaz adds: Apart from the scathing personal criticism from the writer, I fully agree with what he says. However he seems to have entirely missed the drift of my argument and is determined to heap all the blame on me for things having gone wrong in Pakistan. I did not land with “pockets full of earned dollars,” as he cryptically asserts. He’s tried to paint me as a wide-eyed ‘foreigner’ who returns to her native land where “everything and all things seem cheap and readily accessible.” Perhaps the writer is mistaking me for someone else with unlimited wealth and privilege. Obviously he has not read my columns in Dawn Magazine where I have been contributing for over 20 years. I am as much a proud Pakistani as he claims to be. A close read of my column would make him appreciate instances that are uplifting