Know Thy Soil’s Worth!

Those who, have gone away from their homeland towards developed kingdoms, among strangers and strange behaviours, find themselves quite deserted and forlorn in an isolated situation. Insecurity and uncertainty surrounds; wherever they go, certainly these Pakistani citizens immigrated to US, UK, Canada, Europe, Middle East and other countries in order to earn their livelihood. Whereas their kith and kin envy those blessed ones who have succeeded somehow in getting the permit of paradise, no matter at what cost. But the price paid by these overseas Pakistanis, is beyond the imagination of their fellow beings. What is lost during this journey, what’s left behind, what’s going to happen, all these lurking facts have profound impact on these souls and choke their hearts with apprehensions. Despite living in western society overwhelmed by occidental demeanor, Asians want to remain eastern by adopting oriental life style plus attitude. They always try to convince their kids to become true Muslims and patriotic Pakistani; but how come their off springs can adopt it without having any idea or notion. New generation brought up in western ambiance cannot change their mind set all of a sudden. How can they understand eastern values that their parents try to inculcate by confronting with them on ideology and religious conviction. That results in rebellious nature among youngsters who, don’t want their elders to impose restriction upon them as this young blood cannot be dictated or forced. Being citizens of such a state where they could get rescue by making a single phone call, they leave their parents in helpless state that they remain unable in restraining their children’s activities, just feel themselves mere guardian to their children who are assets of government for they receive scholarship over each child.

In a strange feeling of déjà vu, these elders remember the time when they had left parents in gloominess who, did not want to be parted with their beloved son/daughter. But this ‘son’ left alone his dear ones as he had to make his fortune in the “land of opportunity”, initially worked hard from dish washing to gas station, striving and bearing loneliness this dejected one weaved innumerable dreams. He used to send a part of his income to his loved ones along with a letter and few parcels, everyone received this at home with varied emotions but mother always wetted this piece of letter with her somber tears; perhaps she needed nothing except her son’s gleaming face in front of her eyes.

After some years this ‘son’ who, is now also father of grown ups; wants them to be patriotic. He doesn’t allow his daughter’s friendship with boys or inviting them at home, he simply can’t tolerate the hangouts of his young children, their visits of casino fret him and haunt him to great extent as he can’t see them indulging in prohibited activities, so what, he himself had enjoyed the same stuff in his youth. But despite all this, unable he is to curtail them as he can’t scold or misbehave according to foreign laws. This individual sees in front of his helpless eyes; marriage of his beloved daughter with an American/British, his son converting into a DJ or group singer instead of an engineer or an IT expert.

At length, finds himself empty handed because neither could he revert nor change the destiny. This is not the dilemma of one person rather anguish of many who in quest for dollars/pounds make compromises at heavy costs and suffer afterwards. Illegal immigration, deprived many of their lives and valuables, lots of people in search of better life proceed towards developed countries irrespective the way they are adopting, crying for moon only they want to fulfill their desire by hook or by crook, this leads towards calamity and sufferings afterwards. Craving for such an expedition they take the risk to travel in launches or even in the oil containers of ships that unload only the dead bodies of theses aspirants after reaching the destination. Several counterfeits are extorting money from these naives by exploiting their wish to go abroad.

After the incident of 9/11, numerous amendments have been made in immigration laws and getting visa is no more an easy task. Apart from these factors, a major problem is that of identity, as overseas Pakistanis are supposed to be terrorists, the responsibility of any mishap anywhere is laid on their shoulders without any investigation. Electronic and print media in these countries portray a horrific picture of Muslim world. They have to face discrimination, bias and bigotry on different grounds, executive posts are not for Muslims or immigrants rather they are bound to do add jobs in stores as sales boys/girls, in restaurants or coffee shops as waiters/waitresses, in hospitals as ward boys/nurses, despite having valuable degrees. While in their motherland this kind of jobs would definitely be a stigma to them where they feel reluctant even doing their own trivial domestic duties. Even skilled persons and professional degree holders are compelled to drive a cab and sweep the floor.

During their obsessive rush towards immigration, individuals invest a lot in terms of money, time, energy and resources and often all these efforts end in smoke. Human traffickers play a vital role during the whole course as they provide them with fake passports which result in an endless struggle and misery, these illegal immigrants have to play hide and seek game with foreign police and agencies and manage to get an escape every now and then. Many Pakistani citizens have been deported from different countries persistently, during last few years. Those who survived, being alleged in different cases were put behind the bars and some were sentenced to death. This grim picture is getting dark by every changing moment.

Despite this, youngsters are ready always; to go abroad, dreaming every night foreign skyscrapers, thinking about western lifestyle, they condemn their current existence, as Pakistani; raising slogans like ‘foreign visa is better than a degree’ brooding over social system and raising such rebellious questions “what have we achieved here? What can we do in this land of disappointment? Hardly we get any opportunity over here, we can’t excel, want to go abroad, and we can’t take it any more”, quite familiar echoes that we often hear from our surroundings.

Most of the hearts start beating vehemently and blood goes on accelerating at the name of US even when the devastating acts of this land are an open secret, while they are shedding blood of innocents, encroaching upon the rights of preys in occupied territories; in the name of phoney war against terrorism.

Qualified students after getting degrees from local institutes and availing the resources of their government prefer to serve foreigners. Specialist in the field of medicine and technology leave their nation in wilderness, as they have to brighten their future in a developed country, whereas their own countrymen are desperately in need. How easily we let them go in another state, on the contrary government should put a check on these skilled people and should retain them from going, by increasing their status, salaries and facilities as well. Recently Japan has set rules regarding their officials working out of the country, as permission from government is essential to them. Then why can’t we curtail this open export of brainy persons while we are badly in need of such skilled, educated and innovative lot who can redress the infrastructure of current system. Still this is the land of opportunity who think it to be a land of compulsion. How far we go away from our roots but sooner or later have to return towards our origin. We can’t survive by cutting our ties from blood relations and from our own soil; rather we would only languish in an ultimate solitude and agony.

Just like as:

“If a plant is uprooted from its original soil

And is transplanted to another place,

It will not flourish rather would be withered soon”.

Emma Alam