Friday, July 13, 2012

Change We Believe In

Having lived overseas for almost one third of my life and then ‘migrating’ back to my country, people get curious as to what led to my ‘return’? To me that is strange, because I think sooner or later everybody will return to their place of birth. But my reply does not satisfy the lay men because, knowing what they know about this country, I should not have returned to my country. 

Now that I have been here for a couple of years, I can understand their growing frustration. I am also aware of the fact that if the motherland would have provided the general public with the respect and the basic necessities of life, hardly anybody would want to leave their home in the first place. 

The most frustrated are the young and educated professionals like doctors and engineers, who had to compete against thousands to find a seat in the top medical and engineering universities. They spend four years studying hard, looking forward to their bright future, bringing emotional and financial stability in their lives and homes. Once they graduate the reality strikes. They are the bottom of the barrel in terms of working and living conditions, after they find a ‘respectable’ government jobs. Their jobs require long hours with lots of public trashing, with the ‘pay’ they are too embarrassed to mention to their loved ones. 

No wonder I met so many of the doctors and engineers in the U.S. working and living the life they truly deserve. Many people questioned my decision. But I must say, some people do swim against the tides. They have to, or the world would not get the kinds of people like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mendala etc. Everybody wants to have a decent life for them and their loved ones. I don’t blame them. They have worked hard for it, so they should. 

The recent saga which played out between the Punjab government and the young medical doctors in Punjab was an example of how stupefy our leaders are. They have such a parochial vision that they can’t think beyond the ordinary. As long as they will remain in power, our young and brightest will keep leaving their homeland. It is such a pity for the whole nation. It is worth mentioning that the foreign lands are not hospitable, but compared to the current situation, the foreign countries present a better option. 

The people of Pakistan need to think about it and they have to weigh their options very carefully the next time they get the opportunity to vote. Do they want their children to look for another country to live or they want to make this country a reasonable place to grow? And having seen all these things going around, the people should strive to change this place. Otherwise, the future of this country will become the future of some foreign country. I rest my case.