14 Feb 2013: Yesterday’s verdict of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Dr. Qadri’s petition raised questions on the loyalty of overseas Pakistanis. After the decision there is a hot exchange of comments taking place between the resident and overseas Pakistanis. Our friends who live in Pakistan are of the view that we are not faithful to the country and should not give our opinion on the political matters and other issues of national importance. On the other side overseas Pakistanis claim that they are serving the country by sending money from overseas and therefore they are loyal to the country. They also claim that resident Pakistanis are responsible for the current issues in Pakistan as they did not chose right people in the last election.
I am not going to defend overseas Pakistanis just because I also live outside Pakistan; however I would like to compare both resident and overseas Pakistanis and will try to prove that both groups love Pakistan and are faithful to the country.
Every single honest person living in Pakistan is undergoing mental and financial strain everyday. There is no security for their life or assets. Mothers pray for their kids’ and wives pray for their husbands’ safety when they are outside for attending their offices or educational institutes.
Prices of everyday necessary items change (increase) without any reason and no one can question the product suppliers or manufacturers for the inflation. People are paying more then 100 Rs. for getting one litre of petrol, which is not pure most of the time. People are asked by the Police and security guards to present themselves for body and bag search. There is no respect for any honest person and systems in the banks, government departments, NADRA, Police stations and passport offices are so much complex that they put lot of stress on your mind. Then there is no value of any human life in Pakistan. A fake drug can result in death of a large number of people, but no one is punished. In Pakistan only those people enjoy the life who have high family resources, i.e. land, plazas, business etc. or whose relatives are on high positions in the government or Army. Common people are definitely experiencing the worst time of their life.
Resident Pakistanis are the one who came out on roads for the rule of judiciary and reinstating of the Chief Justice. They welcomed Imran Khan and PTI by attending their gatherings in a very large number. They still have hopes that Pakistan would come out of crisis very soon insha Allah. Many Pakistanis are playing vital role in educating the common men on the importance of casting votes.
Pakistanis who left Pakistan for choosing to live in some developed countries have different reasons for taking this tough decision. I will just give my example. I left Pakistan on 31st October 2007 permanently after getting a job in Dubai, UAE. I was working with NESPAK in Lahore, where my work was not appreciated by my higher ups. However delegations from Asian Development Bank and World Bank highly appreciated my environmental reports and declared that I was an asset for NESPAK. I got disappointed on this. Then I got sick of presenting myself for body and identity checks on the roads and shopping places in Lahore. Third thing was the worst level of service at the passport office and foreign office in Lahore. I therefore decided to leave the country and moved to Dubai and later shifted to Australia.
As an overseas Pakistani, I always keep in mind that I have to promote a good image of my country, which is being presented as a failed state by USA and our own media. Almost every Pakistani living in Australia always respects law. We do our duties honestly and with dedication. We behave in public in such a decent manner that Australians and peoples from other nations living here change their feelings about Pakistanis. They have many times appreciated me and other Pakistani friends. They admit that Pakistani people are different from what is presented on the media. Then we always read our newspapers (internet version). While talking to our friends and relatives in Pakistan, we tell them about the good system in these countries. We try to educate them on the importance of vote and value of human life.
On social media like Facebook, we show our full support for the good politicians. We also collect funds and charities for Pakistan. I am a big supporter and overseas member of PTI. Every single member of PTI overseas pays $10 per month to the party, which helps party in meeting the expenses. Similarly we are struggling to get the right to vote in the upcoming election in Pakistan.
All good Pakistanis, no matter wherever they live, must be respected and considered patriotic. As per Pakistani law overseas Pakistanis cannot contest the federal or provincial election in Pakistan, but they can cast their votes. I appreciate this law as members of the assemblies must not be the citizens of any other country. This is a compulsory requirement for making sure that in case of conflict between the interests of Pakistan and some other country, members of the parliament support Pakistan only.
Overseas Pakistanis are the face of Pakistan visible to the people living in other countries. Where they enjoy good lifestyle, they suffer a lot because of staying away from their beloved ones. They must be treated with love and respect that they always have the strongest love for Pakistan in their hearts.
Long Live Pakistan!