Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Without pride, nations fail

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Pakistanis are the most shameless nation on the planet earth! And let no man contest this statement for I make it with sound, unassailable reason.


We do not deserve to have a country. We should forever have remained slaves to be guided by men better than us. Men who could teach us the meaning of patriotism, self respect, sense of belonging to a land, and, above all, a sense of identity and pride in our nationhood. Men who could have taught us to forswear empty rhetoric and words high-sounding devoid of substance and sincerity. For this is all we have learned in our six decades and a half of sordid, sorry existence.

Everywhere you turn you hear men of straw proclaim loudly for the world to hear how much they love this country. On television (which is of no worth really), radio and the print medium, the harshness of public announcement of love of country jars the finer senses of anyone possessed of wisdom and perspicacity. But really, it takes less than these superior qualities to see the brazen mendacity of these avowals made for the consumption of the public. Yet we don’t recognise deceit even when we have an over-abundance of it and nothing moves us when we see something anti-nation occurring.

We have a new phenomenon that sickens me. It nauseates me even when I have never made any claims to patriotism and I am surprised why all these high-falutin, loud-mouthed, fork-tongued ‘patriots’ are not offended by it. This is the phenomenon of the new car registration plates that is quickly catching on at least in Lahore. I estimate there are several thousand such plates and counting.

The registration number on these plates is in Urdu. Above the number is a red strip which carries in Arabic script the words Al-Bakistan. I ask you! Al-Bakistan, indeed. The name of one’s country is sacred. If this sorry country was peopled by real patriots who had taught us the value of being a nation there would have been some condemnation of this shameful act of bastardising Pakistan’s name. But we have committed this act of high treason with impunity. We have committed it in public and we exhibit it without shame. I ask you if there is another country in the entire world whose citizens would so proudly commit this atrocity.

Not a single so-called patriot is offended. I have never seen a newspaper editorial or op-ed or heard from a TV watcher (I never, never watch TV) that a discussion to curb this reprehensible act of high treason has taken place. And what, I ask you, is it, if it is not treason of the highest order to bastardise, corrupt, disfigure the name of one’s own country? We are guilty of this treasonous crime without help from RAW, CIA and Mossad. After this, don’t anyone please tell me of the foreign hand trying to destroy this unfortunate country.

The cars are mostly expensive models and the fat-faced men (the pot-bellies being hidden) who drive them are clearly the uncultured yahoo types with whom you can never have a decent, logical exchange – the very types who make all that empty clangour about their ‘patriotism’. Every time I see such a registration plate I have wanted to talk to the owner to congratulate him on the creation of this new country of Bakistanis. But knowing where such an act would lead, discretion has always taken the better of me. So, let no man challenge my statement that we Bakistanis are the most shameless, unpatriotic mob of people who never deserved a country.


Postscript. In a fortnight’s time, Bakistani flags will go on sale to celebrate Partition. The flags will carry images of Mickey Mouse and Superman in the white space meant to signify the country’s maltreated and terrorised minorities. This disfigurement of the national flag has gone on unnoticed and unchecked for more than two decades. It will happen again this year and forever after. And we Bakistanis call ourselves patriots. Hot, putrid, foul-smelling air. That is what we are all full of.

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 12:00 AM,

54 Comments:

At July 16, 2013 at 5:17 PM, Blogger Raza said...

Whenever I see such number plates, I feel disgusted. We are making ourselves monkeys of Arabs.
Thanks for writing about this issue.

 
At July 16, 2013 at 9:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only that, you stand on the Mall and you will see big big cars with fat people sitting in them and no two are similar. It seems that no one want a number plate of official pattern that is, BTW, issued by the government with registration. Funny, no ironic, rather sad.

Jamshed

 
At July 16, 2013 at 9:59 PM, Anonymous Kamran Shafiq said...

Headline in the News today, "Action should be taken if my car violates traffic rules: Ch Nisar."

BTW, as per the rules, any number plate other than the one issued by the registration authority is against traffic rules.

 
At July 16, 2013 at 10:45 PM, Anonymous Saima Ashraf said...

Salman havent you heard those who speak in the accent and pronunciation of Indians? This is nothing but inferiority complex as a nation. A nation that is not proud of its belongings, heroes, assets, legacies....is just rubbish

 
At July 17, 2013 at 12:05 AM, Anonymous Haroon said...

Hear Hear ..

But Salman Sb why do you stop short of saying that the Pakistan experiment has failed and we should move on to different paradigms now.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame all around!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 4:24 PM, Blogger Nayyar Julian said...

What pride? Money is the pride these days. Who has more of it and how can it be exhibited. Sad.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 5:03 PM, Anonymous محمد ریاض شاہد said...

Agreed sir

 
At July 17, 2013 at 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I read such scary things I think we are doomed already. I don't know what is keeping my hope alive.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 7:57 PM, Anonymous Nadeem said...

They say, "We must accept finite disappointment but we must never lose infinite hope."

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even worst are those who have words PRESS, MNA, MPA, ARMY written on bumper on or instead of a number plate.

 
At July 18, 2013 at 8:04 AM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Haroon, Have you never heard of the people who are "vanished" by the security apparatus of this shameless country if they utter so much as a word against this non-existent state?

 
At July 18, 2013 at 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What else you expect when "A multi-billion rupee scam is brewing in the Punjab government where 850,000 people have not been delivered computerized number plates for their newly registered vehicles despite paying for them (News)."

 
At July 20, 2013 at 12:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Pakistani living in the middle east, what pains me most is that while most arabs think of Pakistanis as second rate citizens and turn us away from jobs because of our green passport, we can't stop kissing their feet. But this process has been going on at a government level from a long time - renaming Lyallpur to Faisalabad being the prime example. Each passing day, my faith in our people keeps going down.

 
At July 20, 2013 at 12:42 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

we are a shameless people without any sense of national identity and pride. Please, refer to Lyallpur by its real name only. I do. Except when booking a seat on government transport where it is necessary.

 
At July 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM, Anonymous Jehan Ara said...

Do you know some people keep different sets of number plates in their vehicles? They change them as required.

 
At July 23, 2013 at 2:50 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

No! Different sets of plates? That cannot possibly be true unless of course the owner is a criminal.

 
At July 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM, Blogger amitava sengupta said...

Stunning to read ! but still the prospects of a democratic Pakistan looks good ! it all goes to show that you can ventilate your wrath through such scathing lines ! i firmly believe the nation Pakistan will rise from within. we,Asiatics had ever since been sleeping giants of history.

 
At July 25, 2013 at 10:48 AM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Amitava, For a people as shameless and treasonous as these Pakis who bastardise the name of their own country, no words are too scathing!

 
At July 27, 2013 at 11:23 AM, Anonymous منافق ملا said...

یه جن عربیوں کی نقل میں' پاکستان کے ختنے کر کے" الباکستان' کی نمبر پلیٹس لگا رهے هیں، وهی عرب ان نو دولتیوں کو اپنے ملکوں میں ذلیل وخوار کرتے هیں. یه "الباکستانی" ایک بیمار، متعفن ، بدبودار ، گلی سڑی ، غلاظت سے بھری سوچ کے آئینه دار هیں

 
At July 30, 2013 at 12:47 PM, Blogger Burhan said...

We have named Lyalpur as Faisalabad for Faisal doing nothing but did nothing for a man who lost his country for helping Pakistan then in dire need. The man was HEH The NIzam of Hyderabad who sent all aid to Pakistan so that it survived those early bad days. We have named no city after his name. Lets lobby to name Abbotabad as Osmanabad on the great Nizam the seventh of Hyderabad. We can't be so ungrateful and at least do this much for an unsung hero of the Muslim world.

 
At July 31, 2013 at 1:19 PM, OpenID almughis514 said...

Word Pakistan is written & spoken in various Languages as per their alphabets / pronunciation and fonts. We are conversant with English and Urdu so commonly and repulsive to other languages.
As a matter of fact & principal Car number plates must be as per Government standard but we have a common trend of identifying with different types. So if any person has done it with the same intensions matters not -
Let's not be so touchy on such matters we have many others where we can feel ashamed of being a Nation & Pakistanis. For Example
a. Corruption & Highest corrupt is our President.
b. Drone Attacks.
c. Abbottabad case.
d. Unity, faith , Discipline
e. Treatment to women & Children.
f. Religious intolerance.
g. Aafia Siddiqui Case.
h. Ramond Davis Case.
i. Pakistan Citizens handed over to Other Nations for money.
j. & so on -- there is a long list.

Idea is not to fight the problem rather find solution - Brother as intellectual it is your duty to suggest the ways and means to clean this MUCK.

SHAHID G RATHORE

 
At July 31, 2013 at 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burhan is right. We must honor our heroes and Nizam was a true hero. There can be no two opinions about it. He gave 20 crores of that time 1947. Now it must be worth 200,000 crores easily if not more. A tola of gold was Rs. 25 or 30 calculate how much gold could have been purchased with that money. You can easily calculate its worth now. Besides by helping Pakistan he invited and invasion on himself and the day Qaed e Azam closed his eyes India attacked Hyderabad and took over.

 
At July 31, 2013 at 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's wrong with Bunjab?

 
At July 31, 2013 at 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what's wrong with Bunjab?

 
At July 31, 2013 at 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL. Nothing so serious. This will happen in any unreformed state that is crumbling.

 
At August 6, 2013 at 11:23 AM, Anonymous Ramla said...

We are still in search of identity, though not sure what ‘identity’ really means.

 
At August 7, 2013 at 1:06 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Burhan and Anonymous, this is another case of lack of pride. Abbott did something for Abbottabad: he bloody well founded it! the Nizam only grounded us in our begging habit. Establish a beggars' colony and call it Osmanabad.

 
At August 12, 2013 at 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taking a cricket bat to the windscreen of an 'Al Bakistan' license plated car is one of the rare forms of vigilantism I support.

 
At August 13, 2013 at 2:17 AM, Blogger Empror said...

Turning Pakistan into Al-bakistan in itself isnt anything wrong I guess, Since thats how you would call Pakistan in Arabic language. Same as German call their country Deutschland, Turkish call it Almanya, Pashtuns and other call it Aleman or similiar word, And others call it Germany.

But something is very wrong in this case, like why Al-Bakistan by a Pakistani himself? Identity crisis I feel. He has his own Punjabi language, then National Urdu, then official english , But still he is going for his religious language, that is Arabic.
Within all those languages and cultures, our own original identities are lost.

 
At August 20, 2013 at 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG! How people are interested in such stuff. And how do they ignore real issues.

 
At August 21, 2013 at 6:32 PM, Blogger Hammad Sharif said...

@Anonymous ... this is real stuff. This (as rightly pointed out by Salman Rashid) is reflective of a nation's nature, character, its DNA, and it is alarming how shallow we are. We have had enough of BS coming from Middle East and have paid a high price already.

@Emperor
Germans are Deutsch and they never call themselves German. They lost the war but have not succumbed to influence from England or America. they called her Deutschland before the war and afterwards. I want to call my country Pakistan, not Bakistan, not Bunjab, but Punjab. Meanings change when B replaces P.

 
At August 22, 2013 at 10:02 AM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Hammad Sharif, I thank you very much. You are the bright light on this page. You have done well to sort out the crap of the two you have mentioned. All I can say is that characters such as these are blighted, benighted and blind. May they be consigned to the land the dream of.

 
At September 1, 2013 at 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL: What’s with ‘Al-Bakistan’?

http://jang.com.pk/thenews/sep2013-weekly/nos-01-09-2013/she.htm#5

 
At September 16, 2013 at 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am watching this (Program on number plates) on TV. And I am thinking that you started this.

 
At September 16, 2013 at 6:14 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Dear Anonymous, Thank you for the info, but which channel, please?

 
At September 26, 2013 at 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG!

 
At September 29, 2013 at 10:54 AM, Blogger Zohare Haider said...

well written. I especially enjoyed the frustration and pity that you've managed to articulate, without mincing the bottom-line. Perhaps it's the ambition of the Al-Bakistani community to be subservient or pretend to be from 'middle earth' while in the homeland.

 
At October 1, 2013 at 10:30 PM, Blogger S A J Shirazi said...

I was reminded of this observation when I saw TV news where police are carrying operation against illegal number plates today (Oct 1).

 
At October 4, 2013 at 8:40 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Sir Ji, mark my words: this is sham checking only. It will end in a day or two and everyone will carry on with Al-Bakistan plates.

 
At November 10, 2013 at 1:42 PM, Anonymous Asif Ali said...

A stupid way to write an article for a cause. They way you stated topic and hatred towards your own country is shameful. Fancy number plates have an act and specific rules, if someone didn't follow, its the responsibility of a law enforcement authority to stop him and make him pay fine, And trust me i have seen a lot people paying those fines in Lahore.
SO please stop spreading hatred with such articles and come up with solutions.

 
At November 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see pain hidden in your words Salman. But you know people hide their inequalities behind these number plates, some add government color and pattern it to protect themselves from cops who could stop them without any reasons.

 
At November 13, 2013 at 4:24 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Anonymous, It is indeed a matter of inadequacy and inequality - more of the former. If people were only happy with themselves, we would not see this rubbish.

 
At February 8, 2014 at 4:26 PM, Blogger karachikhatmal said...

Hello Sir

A couple of points. I have been writing a story on this, and while the Arab-loving is a true phenomenon, this liscene plate mania extends to other cultures, including EU and UK number plates. I think this is another example of subcontis absorbing other cultures, not always for the best reasons.

What intrigues me is why Pakistan becomes Bakistan but Punjab never becomes Bunjab...

 
At February 8, 2014 at 4:27 PM, Blogger karachikhatmal said...

Hello Sir

A couple of points. I have been writing a story on this, and while the Arab-loving is a true phenomenon, this liscene plate mania extends to other cultures, including EU and UK number plates. I think this is another example of subcontis absorbing other cultures, not always for the best reasons.

What intrigues me is why Pakistan becomes Al-Bakistan but Punjab never becomes Bunjab...

 
At February 8, 2014 at 6:14 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

I saw a single Al-Bunjab plate. No more. But this is shameless. We cannot call it absorption of another culture. It is base, shameful,.

 
At February 8, 2014 at 11:00 PM, Blogger Memoona Saqlain Rizvi said...

Can't agree more Salman Sb. Just to add to it the abaya fever n parda hype, arabic names n a blind irrational love for ajva date n a lot lot more.
But you have made us very proud of our land, its history n culture. You can consider us as silver linings amidst these Bakistanis:))

 
At February 9, 2014 at 6:00 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Memoona, your little note gives me immense pleasure and pride. It's good to know that I have not just been barking up a very wrong tree and that there are good folks listening. We are slaves. Proud slaves of the Brits, then the Americans and now of the Arabs.

 
At April 28, 2014 at 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salman,

You are right. Pakistani's worship the Baddu from KSA and when they hear them converse think that they are reciting the Holy Quran. These guys "Bray" not pray and so on.The Saudi influence is killing us and recently we have been "Gifted" yes "Gifted" 1.5 Billion Dollars for our loyalty. What else can I say. I am sure the founder of the nation would be turning in his grave.

The people of Pakistan deserve better.

Shame on us.

Sohail

Ashburn, VA

qureshis30@hotmail.com

 
At April 29, 2014 at 10:02 AM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Sohail, the worst is that Punjabis are the most shameless of all. These number plates are only in use in Punjab. Nowhere else. Punjahis should be ashamed of themselves.

 
At May 3, 2014 at 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THESE NUMBER PLATES ARE VERY NICE /.......
ARABS ARE BEST ARABS ARE BEST
ARABS ARE BEST ARABS ARE BEST ARABS ARE BEST ARABS ARE BEST ARABS ARE BEST ARABS ARE BEST ARABS ARE BEST ARABS ARE BEST

 
At May 3, 2014 at 10:18 PM, Blogger Abdul Basit said...

u secular why dnt u mention that British style number plate ..? and i am muslim imy quran is in Arabic and Allah loves Arabic Language and we also love Arabic Language u idiot

 
At October 4, 2014 at 3:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salman, you are probably over reacting. Cars sold in Dubai have the name of country printed on the number plate. So this is a way for the owners to hint that they have a "foreign" and "imported" car. This is good old human tendency of showing off. I don't think Pakistani's are fantasizing about any purported Arab ancestry. So rest easy.

 
At December 3, 2014 at 3:20 AM, Blogger Administrator said...

Pakistan we are right to become more Arab. Arabs and Islam brought civilization to Pakistan without it we would still be Hindu and in ignorance. We need to emulated our Arab brothers who are strong in deen and wealthy to become like them.

 

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Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

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