Independent or Slaves?

Pakistan has become a symbol of terror and brutality. Everyday hundreds of people are tortured, and murdered in cold blood and there is no law against such bloodshed and mayhem that can save innocent people from this never-ending nightmare. Anguish is so plain on a common man’s features here for life for him is painted as depressed and melancholy. I wonder how we even have the courage to call ourselves a free nation. I think we should just stop pretending that we are free because we are not. Pakistan does not look or feel like an independent country. We are all slaves to our nasty and villainous political leaders, who are oppressing us to satisfy their own fierce hunger for wealth. They have their own ulterior motives to think about and the citizens of Pakistan mean nothing to them. They are betraying us. People here are severely debilitated by the cruelties of daily life. The evil and corrupted political system has eroded people’s ambition and pride. It has sapped their spirit and strength and made them surrender. But deep down there is anger and hatred bubbling in them.
When I think of a free and independent state, I think about law and order, good health care,  clean drinking water, quality education, electricity in the sweltering heat, a satisfactory public transportation system etc. When all these basic amenities of life are not present in the lives of more than half of the Pakistani population, exactly what is the Government of Pakistan doing apart of making shimmering promises to this nation. In this country, only if you belong to the privileged class can you have access to such facilities. If you are born poor and unfortunate, or coming from a mediocre background, life is a living hell for we have no justice, only inequality!!
In the scorching heat, there are homes and localities which are deprived of electricity for as long as 10 hours everyday and even more. In a nutshell, the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer everyday yet we sing and dance every 14th August, celebrating Pakistan’s independence day!
In fact, even the rich are afflicted. You can only feel helpless when on your way to work you are robbed of your sparkling Toyota Corolla or your brand-new I-phone! You only have the right to give out  a sigh of exasperation and quickly move on with your life because there is no one to help you in your time of distress unless you bribe them. Robberies and other heinous crimes are a common sight daily. If you are hit by a car or a bike, you are ill-fated to die there, vomiting blood, in the middle of a busy road with no hope of seeing daylight ever again because the concerned authorities will arrive when it’s too late and people around won’t help. Anyone who is determined to serve mankind in such situations is often held as a suspect and taken into custody because the law wants to believe that person is the monster. For these reasons, humanity in Pakistan is gradually disappearing for no one wants to put their lives and the lives of their family in any kind of danger and you can’t blame them for that.
Humanity reminds me of a 25-year-old woman who was only recently brutally murdered( using bricks) by her own father and brother in the name of honour-killing because she married the man she loved. If we are really independent and humane for that matter why was that woman butchered  and that too in front of the court of law. Several thousand people including policemen and lawyers watched the grotesque show but none stopped the horror. What a shame the legal proceedings began when that poor woman breathed her last.
Is this what Mohammed Ali Jinnah dreamed of? No! Absolutely not! His dream was about a Muslim state where we could live and breathe freely, not suffocate ourselves to death!  But his dream has now become a fuzzy memory! The kind of vicious system we live in today, the human traits in us are slowly fading into the shadows. Every man has a mournful, broken look. I am tired. Pakistanis are tired.
We are stunned by the magnitude of destruction we witness everyday and we are sick of riding the waves of pain and agony. There is so much unfairness and injustice, I find it impossible to not sound bitter!
Living in Pakistan is like constantly living on the edge and this is true for everyone: the rich, the middle-class, the poor and poverty-ridden! When I leave home for work everyday, I am not sure if I’ll return. Murders, kidnappings, extortion and rapes are happening every day and in every part of the country. We are not safe. There is absolutely no security. If a government can’t provide its people peace and security, that government must crash.  Instead, we should have army to take care of us. I don’t care about military dictatorship or democracy anymore. As a commoner, all I want now is some peace of mind and when I think of Pakistan army, a small ray of hope sprouts in my heart!
 Written by Shumila Malik

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