By Ramsha Ali
I always wonder when I hear people saying ‘this is the true picture of Pakistan’. No please, don’t take me wrong I am truly a patriot and love my country but such a saying always makes me think that what is so wrong with my country which makes people say such things. Whenever the beauty of Pakistan or any other positive thing is addressed there is a line with it, this is the true picture, this is real Pakistan etc. I totally disagree with such statements you say such things when it is hard for you to find good or the goodness is almost negligible and you believe that you finally found something.
There is a problem, we believe such things so easily because the only way through which most of us experience world is from our television screens or laptops. We see what media wants us to see. Media doesn’t give you whole lot of picture it only shows what they want you to show. “NEWS” this is what they have to make out of everything no matter whatever it is. Being a common citizen I am saying with surety that ‘Pakistan’ that the whole world mostly knows about is not what we really have nor my country is confined to any true pictures. The Pakistan that I know is nothing but love even after such hatred that it receives, even after being called a state sponsoring terrorism. How come such state sponsor terrorism whose foundations are built on that religion where killing one human is equal to killing all mankind.
No, my country is a place where God put most of the beauty, the country that gives the glimpse of heaven, whose lands are enriched with minerals, whose ports have warm-water. I am saying not because I have read it somewhere or these are the facts, I am saying because I have experienced. I have been to different places, lived among people belonging to different regions, sects etc. Seeing people together here you can’t differentiate whether which one of them is Shia or Sunni. Religion and culture is the last thing my people care about when it comes to brotherhood and mankind. You always hear about the common Sunni Shia conflict on your television screens but this is the not the case in reality. when they are together you hardly differentiate who is who. They meet like there is no barrier but only love and loyalty. You hear about the energy crisis yet you never heard how in the light of lantern the family gathers and the eldest member tells the stories, this is how the tradition of storytelling become famous in history it all originated from our ancestors and is still in practice and is considered one of the best way to gather family. You heard about the acts of target killing and theft yet you never heard about my people who irrespective of any personal relation offer their homes, their money their everything in time of need to people whom even they don’t know. People whose hospitality can’t be compared to any other group of people living in the world, they are not rich materially but they are rich spiritually. People who live on the toughest of mountains among harsh weathers with scarce living facilities yet their hearts are made of gold, their smiles are warmest their eyes shine brightest. Their kindness is pure; it is free from material gains in return. Their beauty is not physical only they carry their beauty in hearts it runs in their blood. You heard about the conservative minds and fully covered women we have yet you never heard about the women who works from decades separating gold from sand along the rivers of Gilgit all bare hand without the use of machinery. Approximately 70,000 ton of river sand is refined by a single female to get few ounce of gold to earn their livelihood. This is the height of hard work. You heard about the political unrest in the country yet you never heard about how melodious the people here are their music is not which get on nerves but rather soothe it. Their morals are ones that gives importance to family system, they do not know the concept of old houses. These are the people who can sacrifice their life for relations and family. They live in streets where children play fearlessly, where seeing a stranger in street is not a sign of threat. This is a place where neighbors live like family, whole of village consider each other their relatives they are not like western people where people are unaware of their surroundings. This is the place where greeting a stranger does not mean that you did it on purpose, I have never seen this thing anywhere else in the world.
I could write thousands and thousands of pages on how beautiful by heart my people are. They are not what most of the world think they are. And believe me if I tell you that this is not the true picture of Pakistan but, the “ONLY” picture of Pakistan.