Reality check: Nothing is pure in the land of the pure


Is purity to be chaste, clean and to not be adulterated by any foreign element or is to be pure, ordinary and stagnant? What if purity for you could hold a different meaning altogether than what it is for me?

When I say nothing is pure in the land of the pure, am I being presumptuous? Yes, but I’m not wrong in being so.

Our forefathers gifted this nation as a prized gift – an independent country, and in return we have awarded their efforts, sweat and blood by becoming the 10th poorest country of Asia, 8th most dangerous country in the world, and ranked 3rd in the global terrorism index ranking. In almost three quarters of the world, 775 million illiterate adults are found in around ten countries, and not only are we on the list but we have managed to be placed in the top three.

Pakistan was created for our sense of pride and our sense of belonging. All those principles on which the foundation of my country was built upon are now nothing but meaningless words. The swords of faith, unity and discipline have reduced themselves to a mere location. Where my founder rests in peace, so do many other couples because a mausoleum has been reduced to a meeting spot. The society which does not respect its history, heritage, and roots is bound to collapse one day, and we see ours collapsing every day.

But my question is, are we the only ones to have tasted bitter realities – failed governments, extortion, money laundering, arson, corruption, fraud, rape and prostitution?

It’s not just my country which is dealing with crisis, corruption, oppression and neither are we the only ones lying and cheating. It isn’t something to be proud of, but then we shouldn’t be the only ones scorned off either.

When I say nothing is pure in the land of pure, do I mean my country is filled with filth and doesn’t deserve to be named in the same breath with other countries? No.

I say it so that we accept the ground reality. Yes, this is a sinking ship but it hasn’t drowned yet so let’s not wait for it to reach the bottom of the ocean where the rest of the collapsed systems and societies rest. Let us stop pitying ourselves and start loving what remains of us. Self-deprecation will lead us to nothing but an endless hollow pit of nothingness. It will reduce us as a nation to mere creatures of the planet.

In such times we should remind ourselves of all the good things we take for granted – our culture, hospitality, traditions, colorful festivals, booming music industry, soulful art, the daunting Karakoram heights and the serene Hunza Valley. Let’s not forget the renowned philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, our very own Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and the melodious Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

Nothing is pure in the land of pure, but you can’t deny that we have seen our share of purity. Therefore you can’t deny the sense of pride I feel in taking ownership of that share! We need to take a stand, acknowledge the truth with our head held high and take an oath that we will try our best to change it, to cleanse it and to bring it back to the pure intention it was once made for.

Unfortunately most of us seek a way out of the situations our country is wrangled in. We choose to be scared and we deem ourselves worthy of sympathy when instead we should be facing our fears and taking control of the situation. If only we could rekindle the fighting spirit inside us and fight with pure intentions for a better country! Then, and only then, maybe one day the land of pure – our land, my land, Pakistan – would truly be pure in the true sense of the word.

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