An infidel Pakistani: By T.G. Matthew

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I believe that I love Pakistan because every day reading different Pakistani newspapers, watching Pakistani talk shows, writing E mails to columnists and talk show hosts; If this is not love to Pakistan then what should I call it?
I was watching a talk show on Dunya Tv with Zahra Naseem. The topic was minorities and their rights. I was really shocked to see that an educated person claimed that in Pakistan minorities are enjoying better life than other countries. I really do not know why we have to compare ourselves to other nations in everything we do. We pretend to hate the neighbor country India but we always love to compare our beloved country to India for almost everything. I just don’t know when we will start to set examples for others so they will follow us instead of always looking at others and learning from them.
We claim ourselves a great nation but the question is what we have done great to consider ourselves great. If getting developed in religious extremism or blowing mosques and public property or hating minorities make us great then no thanks I do not want to be part of that “Great” nation. Recently the killing of Shia has changed my opinion about Pakistani extremists that they only kill Non- Muslims.
In Pakistan there are sectors of people who do not even want to talk about minorities and I am really tired of listening that in Pakistan all the nation is suffering and we should not talk about minorities.
I am proud to be Pakistani but it makes me to rethink before I claim a proud Pakistani when I see Asia Bibi in Jail or an 11 year old Rimsha who does not even know how to read and write or when I hear that Shehbaz Bhatti has been killed or Taseer got killed for speaking out for an infidel Asia Bibi. It makes me to reconsider my opinion about being a proud Pakistani when I talk to a graduate Christian young man Isaac Pervez who applies for a job and gets denied because he is Christian or Non- Muslim. It does not make me feel comfortable to read in the newspaper that the sweeping jobs are only for Christians when the health department of Jhang calls for applications for sweeper jobs. It does not make me happy to be told at restaurant to bring your own plates to eat because these plates are for Muslims only.
My heart cries when I see today’s Pakistan because I love Pakistan. I am sure that Muslims are not more patriot than Christians or any Non- Muslim Pakistanis. I believe in this philosophy that we all have to born again and consider ourselves Pakistanis first and then Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Hindu etc.
I am afraid that our next generation will not tolerate the discrimination like we did or are doing. We must save Pakistan because whatever we are it is because of Pakistan. If there is no Pakistan there will be none of us.
T.G. Matthew, Minnesota USA

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