Dear George Fulton,
I grew up watching your amazing show ‘George Ka Pakistan’ on TV. You did an exceptional service to promote Pakistani culture and unveil the face of Pakistan, quite often ignored by the International media.
We, Pakistanis bow in respect of you and your work for this country. Let there be no second thoughts on that.
Today I read your emotional piece of Express Tribune. You have decided to call it quits and break up with your love, Pakistan.
George, the defining moment in your bumpy relation with Pakistan as mentioned by you was Salman Taseer’s murder which was cheered by thousands. Hope died for you with Salman Taseer being buried six feet under, with crowds garlanding Qadri, with thousands on streets glorifying a murderer. To be honest, it made me very sad too as I realized how polarized Pakistani society was and how extremist ideology stems deeper than we think it does.
But what made me did not lose hope was these amazing amazing men, women and children vowing to further the cause which took Taseer’s life. There were a few hundreds of those, out in streets, in Kohsar Market everyday, paying homage to the late Governor and among them was this beautiful little girl, who after your departure, I name ‘hope’.
And you are right. Our Intelligensia might still be protecting, projecting and ‘using’ extremist militant proxies to gain geo-political mileage in the region and beyond. But, George, which Intelligence agency in the world isn’t involved in ‘dirty’ games, seeking ‘under-cover’ advantage for its rather absurd objectives? Some of those have been spotted in Pakistan too. I remain to be a vocal critic of using ‘religion’ for anything political and there are many like myself, who openly criticize our Intelligensia’s politicization and abuse of this great religion. So, I am yet to lose hope there too.
We have been used, abused and left alone, more than once. We have sacrificed 30,000 only in the last decade to this ideology. We have lost top politicians like Benazir Bhutto and even, generals to this cancer. We have sailed through the worst humanitarian crisis in all of modern history and we still stand a strong chance in cricket world cup 2011 after all the drama.
It was never meant to be an idealistic perfect world; yes, our society still needs to introspect and build majority consensus on various socio-political and religio-political fronts but at the least we have something to begin with. [read: How long can we remain apathetic?]
The atrocious murder of Butt brothers, in Sialkot, had thousands protesting against it. The brutal murder which transformed your love into hopelessness had thousands protesting against it — my point being that though outnumbered, we still had some standing for sanity. We still have hope.
I know things are not perfect here. I know we discriminate between our citizens on the basis of faith, the very reason for which our forefathers demanded for a separate homeland. I know we are shrouded with too much noise as we embark on an ideological battle to redefine Pakistan. I know you leave us in melancholy and there’s nothing but love, from here, as always.
My last words for you would be to remain ‘friends’ after your divorce with Pakistan. Hope will remain to lighten our chests till the last man stands and we promise to infest hope in you, in your lifetime.
Love & warmest regards,
Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi