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"Go Fix Your Own Country"

All these colourful passports harping on and on around us drowning our voices with their privilege claiming that we, as Pakistanis, don’t have a right to call out a blatant injustice because we’re only seventy years old with problems as old as centuries as we struggle with classism, education and unity, religious discrimination, & superficial gender equality so every time another part of the world erupts and we try to join in a global conversation, we’re told to silently retreat back to our own avalanche of problems as if we carry a contagious disease; as if first-world countries are completely devoid of these complexities

Let’s only glorify Pakistan when Fallon laughs with Malala, otherwise we stay the punchline of jokes long-ago hackneyed; let’s only acknowledge stereotypes when pointed out by Kumail Nanjiani; let’s only credit our film industry when it lends its talent to foreign movies; if we speak for our minorities, the radicals say we’re Westernized, and if we speak for those oppressed internationally, we’re told to “go fix your own country”, as if silencing our opinions caters to your sense of superiority that seems to trump your sense of humanity –

as if the one-dimensional view of Pakistan as a euphemism for darkness & a home to terrorists makes you anything but ignorant, as you include us in your poverty-stricken, terror-ridden, for-the-ratings-narratives, but call yourself ‘cultured’ as you dress in our attire, eat our food, drink ‘chai’ tea, reap the colours of our rich history then turn around nonchalantly and denounce our credibility, reduce us to nobodies

we do not claim ignorance over our troubles, nor are we blind to the work that remains but we as a people carry the strength to rip apart the map of the world and create our own space when other’s denied it, so what makes you think that it’s your approval we crave? seventy years later we may be a country infested with problems and lacking in solutions, but a sick body is not a blind body, so let us shatter this delusion of your superiority: telling us to stay silent when we stand up for the Kashmiris proves that despite an attitude so derogatory you’re all still threatened by our undying potential for resilience and humanity.

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