'Iran mai kon rehta hai?'
'Iran mai Irani qoum rehti hai.'
'Inglistaan mai kon rehta hai?'
'Inglistaan mai angraiz qoum rehti hai.'
'France mai kon rehta hai?'
'France mai franseesi(french) qoum rehti hai.'
'Ye kon sa mulk hai?'
'Ye Pakistan hai.'
'Is mai Pakistani qoum rehti hogi?'
'Nahi. Is mai Pakistani qoum nahi rehti.
Is mai Sindhi qoum rehti hai.
Is mai Punjabi qoum rehti hai.
Is mai Benagali qoum rehti hai.
Is mai ye qoum rehti hai.
Is mai wo qoum rehti hai.'
'Lekin.....Punjabi to Hindustan mai bhi rehte hain!
Sindhi to Hindustan mai bhi rehte hain!
Bengali to Hindustan mai bhi rehte hain!
Phir ye alag mulk q banaya tha?'
'Ghalti hui. Maaf kar dijiye. Ainda nahi banayen ge.'
(An article by Ibn-e-Insha)
The above article never fails to make me feel ashamed. That's because it is as true as it is witty. Our lack of unity is what has made our collective identity so weak and sneered upon. Even among ourselves, we identify ourselves with different labels: Sindhi, Punjabi, Muhajir, Pathan etc etc. Everyone of us keeps shouting about what others did to us. No one remembers what we did in retaliation.
This desire to separate ourselves from the nation is alarming. It has led to an open fire throughout the country and especially in Karachi. The dead don't know who killed them and why. The recent bloodshed in Karachi has made many people sneak out of their own houses and burn for revenge. I don't blame them. It’s not easy to watch a loved one die in front of your own house. And if it’s a stray bullet that caused the death, the ‘sabar’ that many people tell you to practice never comes. And this desire for revenge increases the hatred for other identities that live amongst us.
Where all this mess is leading us, I have no idea. I think no one does. We can’t decide whether we should call this place a failed state yet or not. It’s not that no one loves this country. It’s just that no one knows how to defend the flaws which are so obvious and which can be solved but aren’t. This confusion is gripping everything we have; our mind, sight, decisions everything. We are all in a limbo. We can’t settle upon our own identity. And that, I think, is the biggest dilemma of all.