‘Is state a mean to attain happiness and well being of an individual or individuals are readily available cannon fodder to perpetuate the existence of the state they reside in?’ is how the perennial question of political science gapes at us. The way this question is answered reveals not only the relationship between state and citizens but also says a lot about the value of a human life, the concern for one’s fellow and how life is protected and celebrated in a country and a society.
We, the people of Pakistan, are reminded day in day out that if we just hang on a little longer, sacrifice just a little more, brave out routine storms and live through the daily lethal tempests our motherland will deliver us, one day some day, from all the earthly miseries and heavenly uncertainties. Meaning thereby, the sons of the soil are being slayed for the greater good of those standing in the same sacrificial line.
But we have disbelievers in our midst. Those who don’t believe in the above shibboleth hail from all classes. These individuals have varying reasons for their ‘jump ship’ act. Some find the environment at home stifling, other are of the view that earnings here are paltry and prospects slim and slight. The scions of wealthy barons and sons of hapless laborers can be found in this pool of renegades, all of them united in their discontent and are silently reciting, ‘Enough is enough, I can’t take it anymore’.
Every month thousands of Pakistanis leave their families and friends behind and head abroad in search of greener pastures. The affluent get their passports stamped with visas, book their seats in fine airlines and fly off to a certain land where opportunities are aplenty. They do everything by the book and spend millions of rupees to exit a country they find unsafe, devoid of opportunities and destitute of imagination.
That leaves us with the ragtag and bobtail, the underbelly, the barely-clothed, the ill-fed and the lot who has been left high and dry to eke out a living in a country where the only principle in the rule book is either to exploit like a savage or get exploited as if one is the fairest of the fair game.
The poor are left at the mercy of shady travel agents (read human traffickers), their lack of education and absence of skill cumulate in taking perilous journeys on land and sea. Their sole solace? They’ll hopefully end up in a country better than their own where they’ll earn and send money back home and thus turn the mythical wheel of fortune in their favor.
Every other day we hear that hundreds of Pakistanis are stranded in Greece, droves of our fellow country men are waiting in line to be deported from Turkey, thousands of Pakistani laborers have been issued their exit visas from Saudi Arabia while their salary for past four months still outstanding.
We hear the statistics and geography of these statistics, desensitized to all misery that is not ours or our children, and change the channel where all creatures go bananas while shouting ‘Panama-Panama’ with the full rigor of their lungs.
It is estimated that around 8 million Pakistanis live and work overseas, the majority of them are in Saudi Arabia and other states of middle east. Many of them are laborers who toil in punishing, scorching heat so that they can send their earnings back home where their families can keep themselves afloat with some dignity.
We have failed our countrymen in far far away lands. Patriotism, our last refuge had made us all into scoundrels who root for all things shallow, trivial and pathetic. We’ve become forgetful of worthy acts and necessary steps that can actually alleviate our poor folks’ plight. But hey, why bother, ehh? Let us brush this nuisance too under the rag and keep our mouths shut and soon it’ll vanish forever. What do you say?