It was early November last year; I was on my way to Islamabad’s diplomatic enclave for my US Visa interview. I came across a long queue, full of religious men and women, long beards and Hijab to rock stars and aspiring youth. Women reciting Holy Quranic verses and I could hear ‘good luck in Urdu, i.e., Inshallah Hojaega”.
But ironically, I read range of papers writing that majority of Pakistanis hate America!!! For me it is difficult to see, who hates and why, all my friends who hate America, they love to be in America. When I see McDonalds, American lifestyle, jeans, music, movies, Pakistani are deeply hooked. Deeply religious people along with their families are usually found at McDonalds; even KFCs Iftar meal was deeply supported by religious consumers.
Anyways, coming back from Islamabad, I got my visa, selected to represent Pakistan in US- Department of State International Visitors Leadership Program ‘IVLP’, I am glad I was one of the few lucky ones to be offered. This was a complete exposure trip and I got to see East Coast to Southern Biblical belt to Mormon Land in Utah to all the way to Seattle North West of US.
Trip enlightened me to experience US first hand; there are so many positives beside American foreign policy. I found Americans friendly, hard working, diverse yet united, amazingly autonomous at grass root level, a place where non governmental organizations and charity play an important role. On the one side, one may finds wealth but on the other side capitalistic foul plays and systematic oppression is also evident.
I came across an interesting interview on New York Times web, Pakistani rock star Ali Azmat to Noori showing hatred for America, but singing in American style. Blaming everything on US, fueled with conservative apologetics rhetoric and they deny condemning Taliban.
Even one of the largest religious party’s leader's grand daughter lives in US and grandpa is running Anti American campaign.
Only one word comes in my mind “Hypocrite”.
Most of the rich families, running hate America campaign, but their kids are at US universities, most of them speak English and their vacation destination is again US.
I came across an interesting article in Washington Post and Daily Dawn, it argues that elites are mainly running the Anti American campaign in Pakistan, their survival is in Pakistan, most of them mint money through corruption, tax evasion etc. Poor struggles for piece of bread and only the middle class struggles hard and looks for safer avenues to continue life.Everyone urges US to woo middle class for serious change in the country, largely affecting the reigon.
Within Pakistan, unless we have common goals benefiting all, the country will always teeter at the brink of disaster.