Pakistan, my fatherland, I weep for thee
24 October, 2007
By Anwaar Hussain
On the worst carnage in Pakistan’s history in which close to eight hundred innocent people were killed and maimed
Today I weep for this blood-smeared mournful land that you have become, marooned in the blazing desert, torn and tormented, plundered and ravaged, disfigured by the scars of myriad wounds, tears dropping from your dolorous, longing eyes. Today I weep for thee.
Today I weep.
Today my grief is a sea—a fathomless, boundless sea. In this dark expanse drifts my soul…aimless, doleful and in mortal pain. Today I weep, unreservedly, unashamedly and in gushing torrents for Pakistan my fatherland. Today I weep for thee.
Today I weep with grief for Pakistan of flowering fields and blooming orchards, that wondrous land of jasmines and daffodils in freshest blossom, of tall snow capped mountains with rose fragrant valleys. I weep at your slow death at the hands of boisterous evil. I weep at your bloodied countenance and contorted face. Today I weep.
Today I weep for the demons of extremism that are stalking your splendid fields and farms. I weep for none can see that these monsters come clothed as messiahs bearing gifts steeped in poison. Nurtured on a diet of hate, these are now out of control. Rejuvenating in each bloodbath, they are consuming innocent humans at will. And while these demons have taken our nation on a guided tour of hell, the good men continue to wallow in their deafening silence. Today I weep.
Today I weep for the hapless victims. I weep for the unsung songs of the dead, for their unlived lives, for their untold stories. I weep for the loss of innocent souls whom no amount of crying or wailing can now bring back. I weep for scores of disabled whose limbs were torn asunder and will now hobble on ugly crutches through the rest of their miserable existences. Today I weep as I gaze upon your once promising past and then the present full of pain and then again upon the ominous unknown towards which you are headed. Today I weep as I find myself unable to soar above this dark abyss, weighted down with the mute silence of my good countrymen as I am. Today I weep.
Today I weep for this blood-smeared mournful land that you have become, marooned in the blazing desert, torn and tormented, plundered and ravaged, disfigured by the scars of myriad wounds, tears dropping from your dolorous, longing eyes. Today I weep.
Today I weep in the full knowledge that in vain are my bitter tears. In vain and useless because man the man-eating beast is on rampage in your bosom in the name of God while my good countrymen sit in meek acquiescence to the evil sermonizing from the pulpit. With their heads bowed, they listen to bigotry, intolerance and oppression spewed out in the name of God. Today I weep.
Today I weep for even as these lines are being written, somewhere at the fringes of humanity, in some dark recesses devoid of fresh air and sunlight, ominous creatures huddle together planning more massacre as the good men sway in trance to the bellowing from the pulpit. Today I weep.
Today I weep at the festering wounds in your body the gangrene in which is alive and spreading fast. Today I weep because your sons who could cure these boils with air and light now sit cowering in fear in their homes hoping that time somehow will pass healing all your injuries. I weep for they fail to realize that the time to break out of our collective apathy and lead the nation from its present state of gloom and despair is now or never. Today I weep.
Today I weep because my countrymen think that their religion is just about prayers and worship. I weep for they forget that a significant portion of their Book deals with purification of self, interaction with others, knowledge of the universe and what is contained therein. I weep because they do not see that while they are busy loathing the West, the West is busy conquering the same universe, solving its riddles, harnessing the nature for the benefit of mankind and finding that time is their only competitor. I weep because my countrymen counter the West by suicide bombing, beheading of innocent human beings, issuing Fatwas to that effect, continuing to pray for Divine intervention and by hating the whole West for the stupidity of just a few of their leaders. I weep because nobody seems to care that the only, repeat only, way to walk tall and strong in the comity of nations is to come at par with the West in education, technology and economy. Today I weep.
Today I weep for the once wonderful madarasah that was supposed to be a bastion of knowledge and a guiding light to the world where every order of learning from mathematics to science, from medicine to astronomy, from philosophy to jurisprudence were taught, where great Muslim luminaries such as Al-Beruni, Ibn-e-Sina and Ibn-e-Khuldoon produced timeless works is now being used to mislead innocent Muslims by promoting intolerance, hatred and violence. I weep because from its podium and the pulpit, the so called clerics are inciting adherents to kill innocent people, while singing sweet lullabies of their marvelous past. I weep because we are told to keep hugging past glories to our chests and remain prostate in prayers waiting for a Saladin to appear and restore us to our rightful destiny. Today I weep.
Today I weep for the horrendous indifference of the good people, for the hush, impotence and disappearance of moderate voices from across the national scene. Today I weep over the past three decades that have seen Pakistan navigating a course strewn with blood, bones, and bodies of innocent victims. I weep for I have witnessed firsthand -the whole nation slowly caging itself into an obscenity of horror, pushed by the hands of decent men who remain quiet when they should speak. Today I weep.
Today I weep, O country mine, for each new pain the beasts inflict upon you. My breast is torn again and again as you reel from the countless wounds inflicted by the savage hordes. I weep in the sure knowledge that neither God nor fate had destined you to become this vale of sorrow and anguish that you have now become. I weep for I cannot see any time soon that dawn will rise and put an end to your murk and gloom. Not unless we the silent ones arise from our slumber and pour sunshine into your stricken heart that you may burnish with new light, my Fatherland. And that I do not see. Today I weep.
Today I weep for I see nary an effort to get up and start carving tunnels of hope though the dark mountains of despondency and disillusionment that we have allowed coming up all around us by remaining a silent majority. I weep because the dark clouds and the deep fog of extremism now engulf our communities from all around. I weep for I cannot see any where on the horizons the radiant stars of happiness, harmony and prosperity that should have been shining by now over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty. Today I weep.
Today I weep for the thousands that have paid for our apathy with their lives and the thousands more that surely will because we continue to remain silent. I weep for this harvest of hate season after season. I weep for our failure to face squarely the extremists who sell their dark dogmas as superior to enlightened reason. I weep for my countrymen who fail to see through the naked, twisted, mindless logic of the bigot. I weep at the silence of the good men who have brought this about. I weep at the impotent look in their dead eyes as they gaze on at the slowly erecting sorrowful tomb of Pakistani nation. I weep at their terror-stricken question that they ask each other in hushed tones….what happened to Pakistan?
YOU happened to Pakistan.
Pakistan, I weep for thee.
Copyrights : Anwaar Hussain