Last week at a boardroom luncheon in Sydney, many people asked me about the floods in Pakistan, gave their condolences and shared their views on the humanitarian disaster. One person actually asked me, 'What is the meaning of Pakistan', and 'What does it stand for?'
'Pak' means pure and 'Stan' means land, so essentially it means land of the pure, I retorted almost robotically. After I answered that question I thought to myself, either I would make a great politician or a great diplomat because although the answer was correct, my sentiments didn't match my answer as I continued to smile and make excuses for why there was so much of Pakistan to be salvaged, restored, preserved and promoted. Deep down, I had a guilty parasite of conscience making me sick to the stomach. This time even I didn't think I had the momentum of positivity to swing the pendulum of hope in the right direction. Recently with all the doom and gloom surrounding Pakistan I wrote an article on Pakistan being a symbol of survival and how we should concentrate on its strengths as a nation: adversity, survival, endurance, courage, faith and hope.
However, what happened a week ago with the Sialkot public killings has shaken all my foundations of what I stand for, what I believe in and the core of my character. I am an optimist and I am not a quitter, I have always lived by the rule 'never give up' and I know these are also the traits that keep Pakistan alive.
Since seeing the footage of the killings, I cannot make excuses anymore, how do I defend or explain this latest incident to those who ask, and what angle of optimism can I implore?
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