My name is Miriam Mehdi and I am a Pakistani. As a Pakistani I should be free to roam around in my country, go to the holy place of my religious beliefs to worship - as Quaid promised, breathe in safe environment- the breath of freedom. I should be able to do all that as a Pakistani, not as a Syed or Mirza. But I don’t have any of that. I am often confused as Christian and discriminated, looked down upon and cornered. I am asked not to not carry my ‘ID’ card around because my last name suggests I am Shiite Muslim and well people who suggest this think my life values more than my belief. And at other times I am considered to be Sunni Muslim and am asked not to go to mosques, they fear I won’t return alive. I don’t understand how one can celebrate independence with such disputes over their identity as a Pakistani.
The provincial border lines are darker than ever, the election was an example. The national top priority concerns are terrorism acts across the country (and world if I may add) by groups claiming to be Pakistanis- bombardment at the residence of founder of Pakistan was a signal. Other concerns are separation or nationalization of Baluchistan. Yet another debate in the assembly is whether KPK should be further divided or not. Still the celebrations of Independence Day carry on without any hiccup.
Our flag is stained with blood and in such times you hide it rather than raise it high. Celebrating a black day in memory of the recent killings across the country is a better choice than to stand for anthem in the stink of burned flesh.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my country I love it very much. But we need to accept our faults and stop pointing fingers around. It is about time we start focusing our energies towards development, entrepreneurship, health and above all sincerity for Pakistan rather than migrating to Australia. The start can be from as simple a task as being punctual and fair. And well sky is the limit of the possibilities there are of what can be done. The transparency is the system is fundamental in removing the strings attached.
I wish to be able to celebrate an Independence day in my lifetime when I can look the flag with my head high and not feel ashamed in front of it. It has given me identity, shelter and a life and I owe a lot to this country. However, I do not meet the criteria to celebrate ‘Azadi’ yet and unfortunately my country doesn’t meet the criteria of being ‘azad’ still.