Sometimes I see Pakistanis celebrating the achievements of other so-called fellow Pakistanis on a global platform. A few recent examples include Sadiq Khan becoming Mayor of London, boxer Amir Khan getting global attention and so on. When I see such news, critique side of me sees Pakistanis celebrating achievements of some foreign nationals, born or raised in a foreign country, who happen to be from a Pakistani descent which they seem to acknowledge a little bit sometimes and sometimes not. I would be highly surprised if boxer Amir Khan, mayor Sadiq Khan or any such person officially or unofficially represents Pakistan on these global platforms. They are British nationals, that’s what their identity is and that’s what they are proud of.
Now let me generalize the discussion a bit and make the point that I really want to convey. I see four categories of people whose achievements we do celebrate:
1) Born/raised in a foreign country but happen to be from Pakistani descent
I already talked about this category. While there is probably nothing wrong in feeling good about it but we should be clear that they are not really Pakistanis and Pakistan probably has nothing to do (in a good/bad way) with their achievements.
2) Born/raised in Pakistan, achieve something through a global platform and leave
Now we are talking about kind of first category of people whom either we fail as a nation or they fail us as individuals. If I extrapolate, this actually looks to me as a drainage of brightest minds of country. We as a nation could not provide them a local platform and when they had option, they prefer to leave and never contribute back really.
3) Born/raised in Pakistan, achieve something through a global platform and stays
These are kind of people where our real heroes category starts. We as a nation could not provide them a local platform to shine and get recognized but they decided to pay back to motherland where they were born and raised. And this is something to be appreciated especially when they had option to leave and make their own life and supposedly a better one in some ways.
4) Born/raised in Pakistan, achieve something through a local platform and stays
This is my favorite category and that’s where I want to see our nation. Just imagine that everyone get a local platform and opportunities to rise and shine and they give back to society when time comes. This is where a nation really wins, build heroes and those heroes never disappoint.
Let’s forget about 1st category for the sake of discussion as that does not really matter. While there is nothing wrong to be happy about category 2nd kind of people but if this is still the preferred choice of individuals even after 70+ years of own country existence, I feel that we as a nation need to fix something here. It might be fine if we start in 2nd category but if we are not really progressing to higher categories over time, I have doubt that we will make our mark in this World as a successful nation.