Pak Affairs

The Pakistan I knew

It was blast on Twitter !!!! One of the friends on Twitter OmerWaraich coined idea “The Pakistan I knew” : describing and sketching the beautiful side of Pakistan; Pakistan before all bomb blasts and target killings, and Af-Pak Boarder wars, Talbanisation and killing of innocent people. When Pakistan was so beautiful, when media did not have grasp over the innocent minds, when religion was not exploited the way it is being now a days. When there were no inflation, and no whining over actions of political governments. When no law enforcement agencies were on hit list of extremist elements; when worshipers in mosques didn’t had fear of suicide bombers who kill these innocent people. Where there was no flood of traffic. When politics was not dirty game of power. When there was less corruption; and every profession including journalism was respected.

Every Pakistan cherish the time that was truly the age of peace, love, tranquility, harmony and approbation. Where blood was thicker than water, where values were more important than anything on this earth. Where offering prayers in congregations was true Islam. Where human beings were safe. Where everyone in neighborhood used to acquaint each other. Where humanity was Religion. Where Shalwar Qameez and Duppatta was culture, where Tangas used to run on roads and water hoses were built on every second street for these horses so they could quench their thrust. Where hospitality was foremost service, where everyone was so kind and considerate to share every morsel with deserving and poor. When it was honor to get published in Urdu and English newspapers. Few daily newspapers in Urdu and English were published and those were considered reliable and trusted.

Where beautiful songs of Naheed Akhtar, Musarat Nazeer, Noor Jahan, Nayyara Noor were sung. Several others were famous singers besides Mehndi Hasan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Aziz Mian Qwaal. Then POP music came to Pakistan when Vital Signs “Dil Dil Pakistan, Jaan Jaan Pakistan” started running into blood of youth. Janoon and Awaz became trend setters. Nazia Hasan, Jacky, and several other on list to make Pakistan a music loving country. “Hava Hava” and “main ne tumhari gagar se kabhi paani peya tha” were wedding songs. Indian film Industry used to plagiarized Pakistani music. It was the age when Indians had better opportunities in Pakistan.

When 9 PM Khabarnaama (News Bulletin) was more important then anything else, male members of families used to put curfew during that News Bulletin. When our TV ads were the best copy written and produced. Pakistani dramas and TV shows like “Dhoop Chaon”, Waris, Kalyaan, Fifty Fifty, Studio Dhai, Neelam Gher, Kakub Khawaja ka dasterkhwan, Chacha ji were widely watched programs. People still buy DVDs for these programs to recall those wonderful moments. Entertainment was decent and everyone had equal access to it. Popular characters like Qabacha, Javada Lubher, Havaldaar and many more were quoted and their dialogues were tag-lines for several years and still are. Pakistani Movies were so beautiful story lined and produced; despite several weaknesses e.g. having no match of standard slim and zero-figured heroines. heroines were obese and heroes were vigilante depicting Punjabi Culture.

When traditions were followed, norms were respected and laws were meant to abide by. Everyone feared “Thus jamataan pass direct havaldaar”, and “Patvari” was respected post. Saving electricity and water was social responsibility. Azaan was respected, and listening music during Azaan was strictly prohibited. Jumma and Eid prayers were essential part of life to socialize and to solve the problems Mosque was sacred place. Everyone used to drink milk from “sabeel”; Shi’ite or other wealthy people used to install during month of Muharram. Everyone shared the happiness of Hindus, Christians and other religions. Holi, Christmas, Easter were equally joyous as of Eids. There were no Sunnis, No Shi’ite, No Hindus, No Christians and No Muslims, there were no Pakhtoons, No Punjabis, No Muhajars and Balouchs.  We had nationalism, these all religions, creeds, sects and provinces were there but sense of nationalism was stronger element than any sect, religion or caste. They were only Pakistanis. Who were ready to fight for the security of Pakistan. On playing Our National anthem “Pak Sir Zameen Shad Baad” everyone used to stand erected in respect, and the manifestation of unity and will to give ourselves to Allah when every head bowed down with ending sentence “Saaya-e-Khudaya-e-Zuljalal”. Everyone regardless of religion, cast, creed used to respect National Flag. 14th August, 6th September were celebrated with national character.  On 14th August (Independence day) kids used to have competitions for decorating jhandyaan (paper flags) in streets with their peers.

Pakistani culture and food is so rich. And what Pakistan we knew had everything was equally available to every single citizen of Pakistan. Wide variety of Jewelry and dresses, khusas, Peshawari Chaplas, Ajraks, sindhi topyaan,. When everyone from family used to eat food squatting on floor, where every dish was placed on Destarkhwan.

Joint Family system was the beauty of Pakistani culture. Kids grew up under the tight scrutiny of grand parents. Daadi Ammaa Daadi Ammaa, cheechoon cheechoon chacha, akar bakar bambay bo and so many others were the childhood rhymes. They didn’t grow up using internet and modern technology but by reading Umroo Ayyar, Imran Series, Phool or Kalyaan and Jinno peryaon ki kahanyaan. Naani used to be the only Alaah deen ka chiragh ka jin who used to present everything we children wished. Cricket, Hockey, staappu, guli Danda, pithu gol garm, ludo, carrum, chuppan chuppai, neeli pari peeli pari were the games kids used to play. Every Class in school used to have photographs of Quaid-eAzam and Illama Iqbal. And martyrs of 1965 and 1972 wars.

I was having goose bumps while i was recalling the old good days of Pakistan. Being emotional i cried over one tweet from someone about the curfew in Karachi. Somebody said one day i woke up as Muslim and slept in same evening as non-Muslim. Zia regime and his addresses on TV were nightmares.

There were several million things to talk about and told about when i heard that #ThePakistanIknew was trending in several cities of the world. We spoke of our age, millions out there a generation back had their stories to share and one more generation back stories about partition and pains were missed. Because they truly know the worth of Pakistan.

Somebody just shook me and said forget past and start realizing how ugly our present is. I heard my voice coming from far lands of wonders where Alice had lost; requesting “let me live for few hours in this beautiful land of love, peace and tranquility”. I actually had re-lived my whole life of Pakistan. I was overwhelmed that rest of the world can see the best side of Pakistan too. But suddenly i realized my tweets capacity for the day was exhausted or i was banned for promoting too much of #ThePakistanIknew. No matter even if i have been blocked temporarily or banned permanently; I cherished my Pakistan. And i would always love Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabaad.


About the author

Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times


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  • I was one of the people who wrote of several memories on this trending topic today. It was amazing. So many people thinking about the good old days in Pakistan. It made me wonder; if the same topic was to trend after ten years, do you think today’s generation would have similar memories to post on twitter?

  • Well you have forgotten to mention the legendary Squash players like Jansher and Jehangir Khan because we in India used to feel in awe of these world beaters when we had none except in badminton. But then the Mullahs funded from Saudi arabia who in turn takes orders from USA took over.

    • i have forgotten so many others things too.. but thanks for reminding about Jahangeer and Jahanzaib.. Pakistan has produced legends in every field of life… scientists, sportsmen, doctors, players, actors, designers, scholars, wali Allahs.. and what not.. u name and Pakistan is blessed

  • Being an Indian , it is not always necessary to say bad words about Pakistan!jokes part….in my imagination(imagination,since i never visited Pakistan), it is a great place with full of colours.Surrounded with mighty Himalayas and Hindukush at north and Sindhu river at south(Indus)..Pakistan is country with true colours.

    Now a days colours are fading due to terrorism,and misconception.People need to understand their culture,need to love their land.These are more important than religion.Humanity must be the religion for every human.

    I have lot of friends in Pakistan, and know they are true friends.I wish I could visit Lahore to meet the person I Love!

    I have learned from my elders, how was Lahore before partition.A city known as golden city of Punjab, with people of all religions.I wish the days could be brought back so that I can visit Lahore without any fear even if I am a Kulin Hindu Brahmin…

    God Bless Pakistan…:)

    Love from India.