Monday, July 05, 2010

Going back to Pakistan

This post has also been published on The Express Tribune's blog section here.

If you're a Pakistani student studying abroad (US, UK, Europe, Canada, Australia wherever) pursuing whatever degree, people automatically assume you're staying there for good. And by people here I'm referring to our fellow countrymen. When you meet them at a gathering or a get-together, such topics are often the subject of discussion. Telling them that you have plans of returning home will earn you looks of utter bewilderment, as if you've said something embarrassing. You come go back to Pakistan to visit family and friends, and everyone invariably asks you how you are doing abroad, so you tell them you're getting by OK ... which is almost always followed by something along the lines of `Good! Get a job / green card, and do not come back`.

I know things are bad, but this utter hopelessness is not going to do us any good. If we abandon our own country, when it needs us the most, what right to we have to call ourselves proud Pakistanis when we couldn't even bother to spend the prime of our lives living in it and working for its betterment? My mind tells me it's a foolish obsession that makes no sense, given the instability prevalent over there, but then my heart says: `No matter what the outcome. At least I would have done the right thing`.

The battle between my heart and my mind rages on.

15 comments:

Nikki. said...

Hope to have you back :)
Seriously our country DOES need us....

Sakib Ahmad said...

Good luck. Pakistan needs more people like you.

However, if you end up trapped in the spiral of Pakistan's corruption and your sole aim in life becomes personal enrichment at the expense of other less fortunate fellow Pakistanis then you might be better off abroad. As my 'gift' to you before you set sail, or run up the steps to a plane, I offer you this: (do read all the comments as well)

http://sakibahmad.blogspot.com/2010_01_01_archive.html

zk said...

Happy return to Pakistan! Wish you good luck and prosperous entrepreneur.

احمد عرفان شفقت said...

Let your hear win. You won't regret inshallah. Your feelings for your country are commendable :)

Razz said...

Don't thank me yet people! :P Perhaps I should have clarified it in the post, that I still have some time to go before I make this decision. I do not graduate until 2013 (god-willing)

Ali said...

Do come back, dude. Pakistan need smart & qualified people like you!

ayesha5 said...

I believe in realism. If you have strong nerves and can take on the challenges prevalent in Pakistan plus if you think you'd have better opportunities in your homeland including that you'd really make a difference (make positive contribution to society) then definitely go back :-)

Anon said...

Yep, we definitely need more people like you :)

Anonymous said...

Betaa buhat achi baat kee app nay..magar zara aik Middle class person kee life spent karoo Pakistan mai..thoray din khuwaar ho gai tu khud pata chal jaye ga kay sab asa kiyon kehtay hein...

democratic-leadership said...

Pakistanis living outside of Pakistan who foster the feelings of love and sadness when it comes to Pakistan are indeed proud Pakistanis since they haven't forgotten their homeland. Its very natural to desire to go back as I have felt the same as you all these years but just think about it..maybe we are those few Pakistanis who are sacrificing their emotions and the urges to go back in order to do good once we return. Making Pakistan proud while living here also counts.

http://your-own-theory.blogspot.com/

Ali said...

Pakistan needs more people like you.


Send flowers to Pakistan

Kamran said...

Hey Raza,

Nice post. I saw this post ages after it was first published I guess :) but will post my question anyway: Do you think you need a foreign degree to change Pakistan? I'm living here in Germany and I came here for my own 'mean' reasons to sort of have a foreign degree that I can cash out (yes, in today's system, it helps to have a 'foreign qualified' stamp).

Arguments like 'I want to live abroad to learn about their society' don't really attract me, as all you need is common sense to identify what should happen and what is happening in our country, and not a journey abroad that teaches you all the "should be's" and "shoudn't be's"..

Personally, if I were patriotic, I wouldn't waste my time living here abroad when my homeland is simply drowning... but then its just a different way to look at things from me :)

Razz said...

@Kamran
I would disagree. When you've been brought up in such a screwed-up system and society, you NEED to step outside and look at how things are really done, how other nations have resolved differences among their people and are now living peacefully. That exposure does so much good to you, your personality and in countless other ways. It is not necessary, but it is VERY useful.

Secondly, Education is worlds apart here and outside. If you just want a degree, then sure you can go to any school in Pak and get that, but if you really want to learn, and get a taste of the state-of-the-art in your field ... you need to get out ... it's a no-brainer for me.

And do not think of your time as being "wasted" living abroad. You are an ambassador of your country no matter where you are. The least you can do is show people the true side of Pakistan, that we are great people just going through a bad phase. And make the most of your time too, if you plan to return. Make the most of everything I'd say, `guzra waqt wapas nahi aata` as they say.

MAK said...

Just curious. Still think the same way or by looking from outside you figured out you were wrong?

You are one of the few who would like to return to Pakistan.

M.A. said...

We should return back to our motherland. Our country is more important than our comfort.

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