Pakistan, or maybe Asian country[ies], is one of those countries where even a teenager knows more about whats going around in its country regarding politics especially politics. So there is very little of anything of what he/she don’t know. Since the Independence Day, in fact long before the Independence Day, we all know what happened in India-subcontinent and how everything turned out to be what it is now.
Pakistan: A hard country is one of those current affair book which revolves around mainly since Pakistan came into being. Anatol Lieven covered entire history of Pakistan in a single book. It is remarkably, serendipitously, extraordinarily written. Everything was discussed with facts and opinions in detail. To talk about the Pakistan culture, Army, Democracy, Dictatorship, Taliban, 9/11 condition in Pakistan, Afghanistan influence on the politics and economy of Pakistan, Provinces, Education, Economy, Media in Pakistan, relation with different countries, Nuclear weapon, Political parties and politicians background, nothing was left in between. And they certainly provide a great mass to write in a college/university exam and it certainly won me a scholarship.
Apart from that, this book wouldn’t be a success in Pakistan because, I believe, there isn’t a single thing in the entire book of which a teenage whether a boy or a girl likewise don’t know. We, nation, consciously or unconsciously, somehow knows the insight of our country. It would’ve been a real success if he had written on some other non-Asian country.
Still though it’s a great effort by the author as he lived for nearly 25 years here to know about us. There were some aspects in the book of which the authors perception or conception weren’t legit especially about the role of MQM. The MQM chapter was laughing out loud part. The LMFAO moment, on 9/11 an American soldier said, “We were not scared of death while fighting out enemies”. I hope you could feel the irony behind it. To highlight the statistics since 9/11 there are more deaths in Pak-Afghan areas or it won’t be wrong to say, of Muslims, than it happened that single day. Once I read, “When a killer takes revenge from someone who has imposed great worries to the killer family, he shoots only one bullet but when he despises that person he shoots all the round in the body of the victim.”
Back to the MQM, I, certainly know what is it with MQM during Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari regime, what were their motives or on whom orders they created a massacre in Karachi in 2007 against The Lawyer Movement under the chief justice of Pakistan vigilance. I think it’s not that difficult to figure out now.
Most of the book was discussed and revolved around the Taliban both Pakistani and Afghani, and there were a huge part missing of what Lieven, himself, thought about the Taliban’s. Hats off to Lieven who, somehow, deliberately tried every huthkanda (means) to defend the US activities in Afghanistan or Iraq or Pakistan or well, to be not specific, all over the fuckin world. And we all know who is supporting these Taliban’s both Afghani and Pakistani. The conspiracy is much bigger than we think it is. No matter what Lieven wrote, everything was true and a plain fact but according to his point of view and by those people who he interviewed but that didn’t mean that it was universally true. The last line of the book was,
Pakistan is stronger than it looks and will probably survive as a state; but if these patterns (falling economy) continue, it will not do so for ever.
Believe it or not, even if the Pakistani economy faces some kind of a black day where every sector either government or private obliterate and turned to ashes, Pakistan, my country, will still survive not because of its strong army or strength of its people to stand united under one flag but because we have one thing, the one on which this country is based on, which no other nation was ever built upon.
We may not be in the list of top developed countries, or ruled a whole subcontinent, have jobs or even have a mediocre literacy rate, our politicians are corrupt, our people are unfair and unjust, terrorism rules 365 days in one area or the other, poverty clouds are all over, sense and sensibility is impossible. Believe me we are stronger than we look because we are a hard and patriotic and naturally can sacrifice our life for this country with a smile across our lips and a middle finger pointing towards our enemies.
Once someone left me in trance and answerless when they asked me, “What does Pakistan mean to you?” I tried and tried hard to figure it out, to come up with a satisfying answer to myself but after thinking and over thinking, only one things come to mind, Home!