There are some traits common among us that posses an adamant viral potency. Some complexes, a few paranoid instincts; things that usually don’t come in the good books of psychology. A marked characteristic elaborating this point is our general opinion regarding our image as a nation from the worldview. We all are mature enough to understand that being in limelight with regards to terrorism, extremism, illiteracy and corruption is something that actually ‘does’ bring down a nation’s image. But somehow we are convinced that this exclusively owes to some planned mischief by the western lobby.
Ok, let’s have a sane peaceful debate regarding this. Majority of us are of the view that we are being portrayed bad only because we are Muslims. Of all the Muslim countries, why is the world so intent upon showering us with so much importance? Why not the same religious prejudice for Bangladesh or Syria? No, I’m not ignoring the other aspects. Of course our position in the international political and strategic framework does set us apart. But it’s not our religious identity that dragged us in the news. It was more because of the terrorist and extremist uprising phenomenons in the past decade. Once in the world spotlight; other linked factors like our reaction to terrorist elements, our society’s speedy radicalization, the root cause for all this and our view points as a whole were/are globally scrutinized for the obvious and understandable reasons. The output as expected drowned our name.
The element of prejudice might also be there but try considering things from a neutral prospective. Showering murderers with roses might be a noble act for you but the world views that as a shocking abnormality. The fact that we readily instigate violent protests on waves of fanaticism but prefer to act deaf and dumb on flaring corruption, terrorism, poverty, illiteracy, rape, child labor, pedophilia, inflation and violation of human rights is an accepted trend for us. But my dear, this makes the world think that we all take Afghan imported opium in our daily diet. The problem lies in the fact that we are obstinate in viewing things from narrow nationalistic lens. But the same does not hold when things are viewed from a global standpoint. And what the world views is something that we should lament and conceive as a stimulus to fix our errors. Instead, turning away from the unpleasant reality and marking it as some Western tactic is nothing short of a childlike delusion.
Now the question of what lies beyond that image? True, not all of us come in equation with our popular image. Not all Pakistanis are terrorists, not all of us are Talibans. Pakistan is not a barren bombed land; we have beauty, culture, talent and the likes of Abdus Sattar Edhi and Asma Jahangiri. But whose duty is to promote that image? US? Sorry you are mistaken. Common sense cries in exasperation that they will obviously highlight of us what suits their political designs. Digest it or not, this is the way things work. Exposing our greater image and pleading our case is the responsibility of our media-alone.
I’m not here to advocate the West or their media. The sole purpose is to inject a reality check. So if next time Angelina Jolie raises eyebrows on the grave contrast between the elite and destitute lifestyle in our country, look at the deeper reality instead of coining it as a UN ploy to malign our image. And if you believe that all is not as negative here then don’t expect foreign media to wage go “green” campaigns on our name. Accept the facts and learn to speak for yourself. Whining, complaining and throwing emotional tantrums won’t do the trick.