Freedom, thrill, family, smartness, and girls.
[By Tehman Lall, a Lahore-based MBA student; picture by Khantipol.]
This is the second article in the Proud, Powerful and Pak series.
The complete freedom
Contrary to its international reputation as a paradise for military dictators where people are urged to vote in rigged elections, Pakistan is remarkably free in many other ways. Driving in the highways, avenues and streets is an eye opener. There are no clear and strict driving restrictions. Everyone is the hero of his life. Do what you will, how and when you will.
The edgy thrill
Is Benazir Bhutto striking a deal with the army? Will mullahs throw stones at women participating in the Lahore marathon? Has Musharraf asked Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to resign? Are judges going on strike? Did Tourism Minister Nilofar Bakhtiar really hug and kiss her parachute instructor in France? Is ISI backing the Taliban? The unexpectedness and 'dynamic' element of the political and social scene in the country makes it rather exciting to live in such a news-making place.
The family values
There is a true feeling of brotherhood which gives a sense of security in the society. In spite of growing westernization, a sense of family and community continue to survive in the dense middle-lower class localities, neighborhoods and townships all over Pakistan. Households tend to help each other and there is always an element of trust and affiliation in these localities.
The smart people
Who says Pakistan is dumb? The place is famous for the corrupt and negative ingenuity of its leaders. There is an abundance of crooked-minded folks who can’t be accused of any lack in creativity. Many of our rich and powerful seem to be using a good share of their intelligence for their own ends and causes. (That is why they are rich and powerful!) This proves we are not brainless after all.
The Veiled People
Perhaps one of the more appealing aspects of our country is its world-renowned female beauty. Who can deny their elevated sense of culture, dress, pragmatism and yes, the 'hard-to-get' games they love to play!
[Pakistanis from all walks of life are invited to share what they believe are the five best things about their country. You too must be a part of this. Send your favourites to firstname.lastname@example.org.]