Not that it’s a competition, but there is something wrong somewhere when you compare news from Pakistan to news from India. Pakistani news is a lot less sanguine that the Indian version of it. But now that these days Pakistan and India are not sparing any opportunity to have a go at each other, we thought we’d bring some interesting facts to life as well.
A.R. Rahman scored not one but twin Grammies for God knows what now, because we did not have the heart to read on. We switched back to another page to look for more encouraging news from Pakistan, and thought we read the word ‘torch’ and an image of a youth carrying an Olympic torch (as a consolation prize weeks after Rio?) formed in my mind. We hoped it would be a news piece about the Makrani soccer team finally gearing up for the next Olympics. But as my eyes focused on the headline, it read ‘NATO tanker torched in Pakistan’. Our worst nightmares often mirror the truth when Google is run by an Indian, while Pakistan is still celebrating its nuclear bomb testing anniversary.
Game of thrones
Have you been following cricket? Ahha! Pakistan is currently very close to the top in test cricket ratings (we were briefly number one after that gutsy England series). And, we’re ahead of India in T20s as well. It’s true that none of the Pakistani players are in the top 10 in either One-day or T20, but then so what. It’s not like we play for rankings. Except for in test matches. That was totally intentional.
It’s nobody’s business
Even in the business / finance section, I did not find Pakistan doing any better. In fact, it was perhaps best that Pakistan was not featured in the section at all. The report from India claimed that India was trying to control inflation. Now, ‘trying to control’ does not sound depressing. It presents an image of expert economists and committed civil servants working together to limit the rising prices in their beloved country. We are sure that a piece on Pakistan would have read a blazing ‘Inflation at an all time high’ (see, they’ve made us bitter!).
It’s okay to be different
It’s interesting to note that, at least judging by the news, countries seem to conform to their respective international reputations. India, to the average global citizen, is the land of Holi and Diwali and Amitabh Bachhan and Slumdog Millionaire. Thousands of call center ‘Daves’ and ‘Johns’ (This is Dave how may I help you?) call India home, as do many expatriate whiz surgeons and scientists. Come to think of it, Indians are everywhere doing anything and everything. I say, good for them. But if any Pakistani cares to read this, to them I urge not to conform to our unfortunate reputation. Be anything and everything (Hi, I’m Haris and I’m a budding blogger). ‘Budding blogger’!! That sounds horrible, but hey, don’t let anyone tell you that. Pakistan does not need to conform to a terrorist-training, evil-nurturing image. Sure, all is not well either and times are troubled, but our lives are multi-dimensional. There is a lot more to Pakistan than meets the eye.
Forget what you read in Dawn or the Wall Street Journal or hear on the TV (and don’t even bother with Fox). Be aware, don’t be delusional, but also remember that Pakistan is not ‘a country between Afghanistan and India’, nor is it part of any AfPak region, it is a great country. And maybe the people are not entirely self-aware and confident, but they need to shake it off and wake up. So, keep that chin up, there is hope yet. And, yes, one more thing: our drag queens are a lot better than theirs. And bigger too.