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Pakistan has turned its birth day into a black day. Just to spite India over Kashmir

Pakistanis don’t accept their Indian roots, and prefer being Chinese, Arabs or Turks. Yet it’s India that lives in all our thoughts and actions.

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Pakistan finally managed to give a ‘befitting reply’ to India’s recent decision to abrogate Article 370 stripping Kashmir of its special status – it has decided to observe India’s Independence Day as ‘Black Day’. Such is the seriousness of the Pakistani state towards its ‘Kashmir cause’ that it doesn’t mind calling its day of birth a ‘black day’.

For the uninitiated, 15 August 1947 is the day Pakistan became a sovereign state after the Indian Independence Act came into force with the Partition. Pakistan’s commemorative stamps launched a year later were also dated 15 August.

Not that we ever saw India’s Independence Day being celebrated with fervour in Pakistan. The motorbikes without silencers and pressure horns are the hallmarks of Pakistan’s Independence Day and music only for our own ears. Ask any teenager about 14 August and you will be told that Jinnah won Pakistan so that they could ride their motorbikes silencer-free, freely.

Also read: Kashmir Banega Pakistan: A dream sold to brainwash us since childhood now lies in tatters

An identity crisis

The reasons behind Pakistan choosing 14 August as its Independence Day might be technical, but 72 years on, the only thing that matters is that the date has nothing to do with India.

After all, what business do we have with India?

And herein lies the dilemma of Pakistan’s identity crisis. We don’t want to accept our Indian roots. If history states the opposite, then be clear that us being part of those roots is a consequence of our greatness. Or at least that is what Pakistan’s parallel history has taught us in schools.

In Pakistan history begins from where we start reading.

So, never think that Pakistan has an ancestral bond with India. If there ever were a question of what came first – chicken or egg – Pakistan came first and this should settle the debate, once and for all.

Also read: This is the one thing that Imran Khan, opposition & the religious clerics in Pakistan love

Indian love

For a country that keeps saying it doesn’t care, we seem to care a lot about our neighbour. Still. Wonder why that is and where this sentiment comes from. We are constantly competing with India, even if much of this competition is in our head. For instance, after the nuclear tests in 1998, then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said that someone else (India) would be No. 7 on the list of nuclear powers while Pakistan is No. 6. History be damned. India’s 1974 Pokhran test be ignored.

When former President Asif Ali Zardari quoted his slain wife Benazir Bhutto to say that “there is little of Indian in every Pakistani and a little of Pakistani in every Indian” on 22 November 2008, no one bought his idea, which became evident from what happened in Mumbai four days later, embarrassing the civilian set up in Islamabad.

Whatever we do, we make sure to turn around and ask, “India, are you watching us?” Be it Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, or Friendship Day, we keep Indians in our thoughts. But still they are not a part of our family tree.

Also read: From Jinnah’s family to Nawaz Sharif: Pakistan thinks everyone is a foreign agent

We take all, but one

We are told we don’t have Indian roots – similar to how the entire country is on a mission to tell the Pashtuns that their lineage isn’t Afghan.

So, where do we belong? By force, we belong to the Arab; they are our brethren by virtue of religious association. We are walking, breathing Arabs. We also belong to the Chinese by default, we are told. They are not just our friends but more – we are told blood is thicker than water.

The Chinese promised us a vibrant nightlife through an ‘economic corridor’ (the CPEC), and we offered them biryani in return. We were told our Chinese neighbours will make biryani with Shan masala and then feed the same to us in our homes. So far, the Chinese biryani remains a dream.

For a couple of years between 2012 and 2015, we felt close to the Turks as well. The influx of Turkish soap operas made all the men feel like Sultans and women fashionably straight out of the famous series Ishq-e-Mamnoon.

We belong to anyone and anywhere – except India and the Indians. Borders be damned. That’s why we also like to call our neighbouring country “Endia”.

Seventy-two years on, how do we define Pakistani identity? In stories, cauldrons are traditionally used by witches to mix things together to create magic potions. Pakistan is like that cauldron. We are adding Arab and Chinese to our identity mix just to disentangle ourselves from the subcontinent’s past and create a magical new identity. All this to achieve one goal. That we are not them.

The author is a freelance journalist from Pakistan. Her Twitter handle is @nailainayat. Views are personal.

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  1. Pakistanis don’t accept their Indian roots, and prefer being Chinese, Arabs or Turks.

    It is time they also reject Indian land they are in , From Afghanistan to borders of Inia, and and move to China, Arabia or Turkey.. So they will be happy & we will be happy.

  2. ”The Pakistani society at various points seems inhumanely conservative. In the view of most of the world perhaps it is religion that defines our lives. However, there is one thing that supersedes religious values, ethics, morality, and justice – it is culture. It is a culture that has been thrust upon us since generations upon generations, a thought process that has been ingrained into our very souls. It is the culture of the Hindu. Not that this particular culture has everything bad in it, it comes with thousands of years of wisdom and it has been evolving over the centuries, but it doesn’t merit these values to supersede our faith nor should they.” DAWN

  3. 1. Many responses have been aired after PM Narendra led NDA government’s decision regarding abrogation of Articles 35A & 370 of our Constitution. However, fact is that Pakistani establishment, its politicians and its political parties and the fundamentalists-led society in Pakistan-all of them cannot survive without a reference being made to Kashmir issue, as all of them are obsessed with Kashmir. 2. To express a view that to solve the Kashmir issue and to end violence in the Kashmir valley, people of Kashmir should be allowed to decide their political future, is perfectly okay. But my question is very simple: can anyone assure our government that terrorists, with support of the Pakistani military establishment and its intelligence unit ISI, would not overpower ordinary people of Kashmir, and impose their own rule by use of violent means? 3. Therefore, I think if we wish to create atmosphere of peace in the Kashmir valley, we have no other option but to eliminate Pakistan funded terror. 4. I continue to hold a view that with slightest opportunity made available to militants from Pakistan to destabilize ordinary citizens’ life in the Kashmir valley, poor Kashmiris will be driven out of their homes by the militants, and these Kashmiris will be compelled to seek shelter in Jammu or further South. 5. Hence, I believe that it is for politicians, separatists & people of the Kashmir valley to decide what they wish to do: To wholeheartedly support our Army to so that terrorism is wiped out from Kashmir or to join those who provide support to terrorists and get marginalized at the hands of terrorists and terrorists’ supporters.

  4. Here in Bangladesh, on the other flank of India, we have our share of morons, though they are probably not as numerous as their maghrebi brethren. Their history of Bangladesh begins with the invasion by Bakhtyar Khilji, the preceding Hindu and Budhist rulers are forgotten in selective amnesia. They hate Sheikh Mujib, the architect of the nation, but claim Bangladesh owes her existence to Jinnah because he created Pakistan in the first place. They fantasize Arabs, Turks and Iranians being their ancestors. The geographical isolation from the Middle East is an issue, they realize that, so they perform mental gymnastics over vast stretch of interveing India to identify with the Pakistanis. Little do they understand that their western ‘cousins’ look down upon them as dark-skinned, vertically-challenged, lesser Muslims. May be, a few generation down the line, their progeny would be able to reconnect with reality and feel pride in their actual heritage.

  5. You keep saying `we’. I think a urine test will reveal your true identity to be an Indian. And Pakistanis celebrated their independence day yesterday.

  6. Taali toh dono haath se bajti hai. India and Pakistan share so much, not least their problems of poverty and underdevelopment, it is a monumental tragedy that we remain so far apart, just a short distance from war. Whatever issues the governments have, the reservoir of goodwill amongst ordinary citizens, which magically has still not emptied out, needs to be replenished from time to time. I am very happy that work on the Kartarpur Corridor has not – yet – stopped. We need to create points of contact between people on both sides that are not hostage to tension between the two governments.

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