What is a Pakistani?

[pak-uh-stan-ee, pah-kuh-stah-nee]

What the dictionary says:

a native or inhabitant of Pakistan. of, pertaining to, or characteristic
of Pakistan or its inhabitants.

What urban dictionary says:

A bunch of brown people who are obsessed with funding terrorists to destroy USA, India, Europe and every other non-muslim country possible.The truth is pakistanis are just a bunch of low-caste hindus who immediately converted to islam because they were weak minded and had no education or strength.God give strength to the Indians to civilize the pakis.. 

Why is the pakistani air force so easy to train?
You only have to teach them how to take off!What do you call a guy who slaves for Indian people?
A: Pakistani!

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Am I the only one who thinks there’s something wrong with that picture? Alright. Let’s try the mother of all search engines. What does Google say? I image-searched the word ‘pakistani’ on Google, and what do I see?

1. a semi-clothed woman with dark brown skin, posing in front of her laptop
2. a picture of impoverished young boys, they’re ribs jutting out.
3. two over-makeup’ed models, one male and one female, styling a pink sari and a grey sherwani, urging you to shop online.
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My fellow Pakistanis! What is wrong? A simple search on the world’s biggest search engine and what do we get? A website that urges us to ‘Watch, Upload, Rate, and Download the photos of Hot, sexy, Pakistani women‘ (I quoted directly), not to mention various sites talking of the ‘terrorism’, ‘violence’ and security threats in our country.
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Now we’ve got another disaster on our hands. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal’s article Pakistan’s Minority Cleansing Campaign Continues says it all. As if the world’s media isn’t breathing down our throats enough, a Minority Minister has been killed, and that too in the name of religion. Pakistan was made under the battle-cry that minorities need to be protected and respected, given equal opportunity. Mr. Jinnah, the father of our nation, was above all, a defender of minorities. And now, 62 years after Jinnah passed away, the only Christian member of the Cabinet has been shot dead.
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Islam teaches tolerance of all religions. Islam teaches tolerance of other ways of life. Islam teaches tolerance! These ‘Punjabi Taliban‘ as they call themselves, what have they shown the world? That Pakistanis are prone to violence and that democracy is just a joke here.
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The New Statesman says:
Bhatti advocated reform of the controversial laws, which can carry the death sentence for anyone who criticises Islam or the Prophet Muhammad. Because they do not require much concrete evidence, they are frequently abused to persecute minorities and settle personal scores.
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Everyone knows Pakistan’s government isn’t exactly corruption-free. It is very possible that these laws are not justly used. Instead of killing the man, couldn’t we have tried to make sure that a compromise was reached? Maybe close some of the loopholes in the system?
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What would Jinnah say?
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17 thoughts on “What is a Pakistani?

  1. Hi Zainab, I found you through the Pakistani bloggers site. I was very interested in your blog because I am an American living in Pakistan. You’re the first person I have found who seems to be similar to me well except I am American by birth and not Pakistani. It’s very nice to meet you and I look forward to reading your blog.

  2. Yay :) Thanks you guys. I thought you guys would have something interesting to say about this. You know, one of my friends read my blog post and said she hadnt even heard that all this had happened :s Im taking Pak Studies this semester and our teacher is making us research everything that went into making this country. I totally agree with you Maha, national growth (emphasis on national) is really something we need to be working on.

  3. This was so sad and yet so true. I was really disappointed by the urban dictionary definitions too. And the shooting of Mr. Bhatti is so unfortunate. ‘islam’ isn’t even a religion in Pakistan anymore. it’s just dirty politics.
    I just wish there was a way to “fix some of the loopholes in the system.” Great post Zainab!

  4. Thought provoking! I was hurt and disappointed by the ignorant definitions on urbandictionary, but the fault is collectively ours as pakistanis to not rise above our differences and work towards national growth

  5. Great post. Depressing beyond words, this situation *sigh*…
    I wish there was some way to eradicate bigotry, there seems to be way to much of it going around.Whatever happened to the (reason behind the) white stripe in the Pakistani flag?=(

    • My mom actually told me about that when she read this post. I hadnt a clue! A whole section of our flag is dedicated to minorities. It’s a shame. I want to work for a better Pakistan. Inshallah we’ll be able to make it a better place.

  6. As soon as I read this, the first thing I did was Google it. I am appalled that this is how the rest of the world perceives us! I knew that to most of the people in other country(s) Pakistan is just a country filled with crazy politicians and people who blow themselves up. But our actual image to the world is scantily clad women and illiterate people who blow up people?
    How is it that while all of this is going on we are all just sitting here. There is no other time better than this to start working for a change.
    I have actually gone under depression after reading this. It’s just pathetic. :/
    Thanks Z, I wouldn’t have known all of this without this great blog. :)

  7. Yes. It’s sad how religion has come to mean so little, and yet cause so much destruction. Where it was once the source of happiness, acceptance, and harmony, it now carries violent and unstable connotations.

  8. Zainab, a very good post indeed.
    We need ‘tolerance , understanding and respect’ to make things better in Pakistan.
    It was so unfortunate to hear about the shooting of Mr. Bhatti….my heart goes out for the bereaved family.

    • Thank you for stopping by my blog. I’m glad that you feel the same way I do. We can all only hope, and do our individual best, to show the world that there is more to Pakistan than what they see on the news.

  9. When Pakistan was created,what was the driving force behind it? ISLAM. Now,look around you, which part of Pakistan is islamic? The youth which is the biggest power behind a revolution? Certainly not. What could Jinnah say? We leave our Islamic ways,we won’t be respected in any field.Nowhere. Nobody is going to value us or consider us a force and nobody will think twice before damaging our reputation.And they have done it numerous times. Make no mistake about it,the only way a revolution can come is the Islamic way. We don’t adopt the ways of our forefathers, then all we’l do is sit around talking about what would Jinnah have had said had he been here.

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