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A tragic day in the history Pakistan transformed into a sad night as I write this blogpost. An Airblue A321 crashed into the beautiful Margalla Hills early this morning leaving the nation in shock and despair. All 152 on board died with 06 fellow youth activists from Pildat Youth Parliament – and after talking to many people from Karachi to Mardan, I am compelled to write about something positive that I felt amidst all the depression, gloom and tears.

Margalla Towers crashed not too far from my home, Swat IDP crisis (which remains to be the biggest human internal displacement in all of human history), hundreds of suicide bomb attacks across Pakistan leaving thousands dead and today’s tragedy had one thing in common – Pakistaniat. We tried to contribute in our humble capacities; I saw young men and men leaving work, studies and families to reach out to affected compatriots. I saw mothers crying and hugging children not of their wombs like they were their own, I saw fathers saving lives of children they did not have any blood relation to, I saw boys shedding tears and lending a helping hand to sisters, I saw sisters bringing water to brothers not related to them.

Irrespective of ethnicity, language, regionalism and religion– Pakistanis mourned today. Irrespective of whys, whats, whens and hows – I saw Pakistaniat during earthquake, swat and Baluchistan flood relief efforts.

I was admitted in hospital today and I had a lot of time with me, I called many people from different segments of our society. Though the streets of Islamabad smelt of woe but I once again felt Pakistaniat from Karachi to Khyber and beyond.

This bond of humanity, this feeling of sharing grief (and joy, e.g T20 WC celebrations), this notion of wanting to help, these tears for fellow countrymen and this heart that beats together irrespective of social, religious, regional and political differences is called Pakistaniat and we have to find the common beat more often, when it comes to matters concerning us all.

All we lost, in tears and rain,
As the morning of nearness departs,
Only the memory will remain,
In those skies and Margala Hills – Asim

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

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