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By Fareeha Qay­oom

It’s August again. Pak­istan will be cel­e­brat­ing its 62nd birth­day this year. Look­ing back, I think 2009 has been the tough­est year yet. No doubt, all busi­nesses are vir­tu­ally pray­ing for this bad eco­nomic patch to be over…however, per­son­ally, I think it’s just the ‘per­cep­tion’ thing…yes, our eco­nomic man­agers are not doing a good (man­age­ment) job but that’s been true for the past 62 years so what’s changed? Our econ­omy is always on the brink of bank­ruptcy when the old guard hands over the watch and is always climb­ing back up after the new guard is sworn in. In the mean­time, our lead­ers are fond of tak­ing on huge for­eign debts to pay for their per­sonal spend­ing sprees and we end up pay­ing for it all. This has been going on before I was born and will be true after I am dead and gone…But don’t for­get, Pakistan’s eco­nomic fun­da­men­tals con­tinue to remain strong dur­ing all these tran­si­tions and upheavals so there is no rea­son for all this panic and uncer­tainty.

You need to real­ize that our great­est assets are our nat­ural resources includ­ing the human ones – we have one of the largest pop­u­la­tions of young peo­ple in the world – and they are moti­vated enough to carve their own niche in this coun­try and the world. Only the rich want to migrate but even they love this coun­try when all the chips are down…there’s no place like home. Do not let your­self drown in all this vir­tual mis­ery cre­ated by the media…take stock and you will real­ize that Pak­istan is not Afghanistan or Iraq even though, we are being slot­ted with these war-torn coun­tries and are in the process of being dri­ven in a cor­ner – in the words of U2’s famous song Acro­bat, “Don’t let these b***ds grind you down!”…we are dif­fer­ent because we are Pak­istan.

Pak­istan was cre­ated because of a par­tic­u­lar ide­ol­ogy. There’s noth­ing wrong with that. It just makes us unique. What’s so bad about being dif­fer­ent any­way? If the world is not big enough to tol­er­ate some dif­fer­ences – we should be feel­ing sorry for this world. It should prac­tice what it preaches. Human blood is pre­cious any­where in the world. Remem­ber your Shake­speare, “If you cut me, do I not bleed?” We should stop apol­o­giz­ing for our reli­gion. That’s not the prob­lem with our econ­omy any­way – our prob­lem is a nation­wide epi­demic of hypocrisy and denial.

We need to snap out of it immediately…a friend of mine remarked the other day…”I don’t get it? How is this coun­try still tick­ing over? Things are so bad but some­how things are still run­ning! There must be a God I tell you!” I found this com­ment really funny. We may deny the pres­ence of God in our lives but we are still mys­ti­fied by the fact that we con­tinue to sur­vive despite all odds! Our only expla­na­tion – God is run­ning the show in spite of our cor­rup­tion, hypocrisy and dis­hon­esty. Tech­ni­cally, our self-destructive behav­ior should destroy us all!

So, thank God for small mer­cies! Let’s cel­e­brate another year of sur­vival; 2010 will def­i­nitely be bet­ter – you know why? Because things can’t get any worse; the only way is up when you are all that way down! Pak­istan Pa’aindabad! Long Live Pak­istan!

Ps This is my last post from the plat­form of Val­uemag – if you want to tune in at this fre­quency – drop by at www.tkfr.com and you are sure to catch up with Val­uemag team one way or the other!

Au Revoir!

This is for you peo­ple out there! A song by Glo­ria Gaynor for the PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN and the politi­cians

At first I was afraid
I was pet­ri­fied
Kept think­ing I could never live
with­out you by my side
But then I spent so many nights
think­ing how you did me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along
and so you’re back
from outer space
I just walked in to find you here
with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stu­pid lock
I should have made you leave your key
If I had known for just one sec­ond
you’d be back to bother me

Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now
’cause you’re not wel­come any­more
weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with good­bye
Did you think I’d crum­ble
Did you think I’d lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will sur­vive
as long as I know how to love
I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
and I’ll sur­vive
I will sur­vive (hey hey)

It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept try­ing hard to mend
the pieces of my bro­ken heart
and I spent oh so many nights
just feel­ing sorry for myself
I used to cry
But now I hold my head up high
and you see me
some­body new
I’m not that chained up lit­tle per­son
still in love with you
and so you felt like drop­ping in
and just expect me to be free
But now I’m sav­ing all my lov­ing
for some­one who’s lov­ing me

Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now
’cause you’re not wel­come any­more
weren’t you the one who tried to break me with good­bye
Did you think I’d crum­ble
Did you think I’d lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will sur­vive
as long as I know how to love
I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
and I’ll sur­vive
I will sur­vive (oh)

Go on now go, walk out the door
just turn around now
’cause you’re not wel­come any­more
weren’t you the one who tried to break me with good­bye
Did you think I’d crum­ble
Did you think I’d lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will sur­vive
as long as I know how to love
I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
and I’ll sur­vive
I will sur­vive
I will sur­vive…!

This arti­cle was orig­i­nally pub­lished in the print edi­tion of Val­uemag, August 2009, issue 13, under the sec­tion ‘From the editor’s desk –August 2009′


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