By Havi Zayed

Though members were always barred from promoting any political party or displaying or bringing any of their ethnic or religious divisions into the framework of not just the Pakistan Nationalist Association but all other organizations there was no real article that banned such behavior with the threat of expulsion from the movement. There is now such a rule even within the Pakistan Nationalist Association.

The Pakistan Nationalist Association’s purpose is to promote unity amongst Pakistanis. Until we keep seeing ourselves as separate entities rather than only and only as Pakistanis we are only causing issues for ourselves and our country. No comment that is even mildly insulting to any member of any ethnic or religious group in Pakistan will be tolerated even as a joke.

The habit of dividing ourselves further and further has allowed political parties to use and pitch us against ourselves. In the end it is the very land our forefathers sacrificed their lives for that suffers.

Our ultimate loyalty is to the Pakistani motherland, not to a political party, not to our religious sect and neither to our ethnic identity all of which must be abandoned and forgotten for the best interest of the Pakistani State. One approach to help abandon this tradition of dividing ourselves further and further is that our future generations, our children must not even be told which ethnic group they belong to and taught at least five languages spoken within the borders of Pakistan to ensure that they only see themselves as Pakistanis. We on a basic level must not tell anyone which ethnic group or religious sect we belong to, if someone asks our members must tell them “I do not divide myself unnecessarily for I am not a traitor to my land. I am a Pakistani only and that is only the identity that matters.”

This is the only way for progress.No developed country, no people, no race in the world allows itself to fall to such pathetic divisions. We cannot let our perceived differences control our mindsets.

Supporting Political Parties on PNA platform strictly forbidden

No one can stop our members from voting as that is a constitutional right of every individual. However extreme loyalty or support for any political party that borders almost to the extent of the Love our members have for their country is unacceptable. There is no ban on supporting the parties. Supporting them too much and being incapable of hearing criticism for them is a problem. The fact is there are corrupt enemies of the Pakistani people in every political party and they have hijacked our land.

In fact it is the over loyalty to these political parties and ethnic identities that has led to much of the violence in Karachi and causes even further divisions. The party leaders have young foolish men who are slaves to the parties and blindly support them to kill other Pakistanis. This leads to an explosive ethnic atmosphere.

The ideal behind these rules

The ideal of these newly introduced rules is to forge unity and reiterate our older point. There is absolutely nothing that our members can be more loyal to or love more than their country. If they hold anything above the divinity of the Pakistani state or even close to it this movement is not for them.The movement was formed for those that understood their responsibility to their motherland and did something about it.

It is a grave insult to ask anyone his or her ethnic identity and is equivalent to putting something before Pakistan. Its shameful that people seem to do so with no regret. Members who have shared this information as a non consequential piece of information must now remember Article 13 before they venture into such ridiculous divisions. This rule exists only for the benefit of Pakistan.

By Flora Xavier

As usual every time I head to Lahore from Toronto I make sure I dedicate some if not all my time to social work. This time I decided to volunteer for a new organization that was just setting up camp and use my past experience with humanitarian organizations to help them register and get the process going of at least starting up a charity. They had already bought their first office on Mall Road and started construction work on their first school in a rural area of Punjab.

At this time I fell into a nasty issue of transportation. My mother who migrated to Canada two years ago as well would not let me travel to any place in Pakistan alone in a Riksha or Taxi so I had to contact all my old friends for help. Unfortunately everyone was very busy with work or studies or if like me with social work.

In a few days I was losing hope and was going to rent a car when a chance meeting with a friend’s friend solved the problem. We visited a restaurant and she invited a small group of her own friends with her too, some I knew, some I didn’t. At dinner I asked about rental car companies in Lahore. Another friend asked me why I needed to rent a car and as I talked about my issue one of the guys on the table offered to pick me up from my Gulberg house and drop me at Mall road. I was reluctant at first but he seemed like a nice guy and my best friend on the table was encouraging of the idea so I agreed.

There! The transport problem was solved by a gentleman who agreed to pick me up from Gulberg and drop me at Mall road and then drop me back for a few days. Problem was I made the mistake of thinking it was an act of kindness.

The first two days went okay. We talked a little and he would drop me as promised. He asked me quite a few questions and we learned a little more about each other since we met at the restaurant. Quite normal but on the third day he started opening up and flirting. At one point he asked me if I had a boyfriend. That’s weird but I just told him to concentrate on the road. It was like treating him like a driver but what else could I do?

But I should have guessed what was going on in the guy’s head when he offered to take up the noble task of transporting me. There’s a girl in the car. Man oh man! What a perfect opportunity. I mean she’s from Canada right? Perfect. She’ll be an easy catch.

That’s the mindset anyway. On the seventh day when he was dropping me home he began to show off.

“Do you like racing?” he asked.

“Not a real fan of it. Why? Am I missing the Formula 1? I heard it was going on.” I asked innocently.

“No, no I mean like real racing. We guys always have them on the New airport road.”

I sighed. How stupid of me.

He looked at me “I can do a 360 degrees spin right here. I can even teach you. And you know you won’t have the same chance in Canada.”

I sighed at his grinning face “No, you were going to drop me. That was the plan. Remember? No distractions please. I came here to meet family and do some social work.”

That over thankfully a few minutes later he told me there was a brilliant place for Chaat.

I insisted on the NO but for a person who hasn’t tasted Chaat in Lahore for 1 year and 4 months the idea was appealing.

He finally managed to convince me by saying he would also call my best friend (my restaurant best friend was his friend too) My friend lived across the corner from Shadman road, the place we were at the time and I felt a little relieved that she would be there too so I agreed.

All this time he kept increasing the speed and taking hard turns just to show off his skill. That continued till he crashed into a bush when avoiding a car taking blind turn.

He went out to inspect the car. He was in the mind of just leaving but a police man had been standing right across the corner and he came over.

They argued for approximately 15 minutes while I clutched my head in frustration. The cop’s first observation was that two unmarried adults were in a car together and he started yelling while my gentleman friend argued back in colourful language. At one point the cop said he would have to take us both to jail. A more sweet talking man who happened to be a bystander somehow got involved and tried to cool both the cop and the gentleman. A small group of about ten people had gathered while the cop shouted Haraam over and over again. The bystander was the only one who calmed things down rather than take them a level further.

Finally when the cop was going to write a report Mr gentleman took out his wallet took him a little to my side of the car to avoid the small group of bystanders and said “I am a powerful person and if you write a report you will get into trouble. Keep 2000 Rupees and forget this ever happened. Here.” At that moment the cop forgot his good Muslim talk, his job and justice for his 2000 Rupees. I on the other hand had had enough and got out of the car to get a Rikhsha and went home as people stared.

I came home and cried for a few minutes which I had been doing in the car too. Then I just lay on my bed and thought how we are going down as a society because of our attitude. We have accepted corruption as a daily part of our lives.  We have time for everything else but helping out own people. We use every opportunity to flirt, cheat and deceive. We live our lives in disregard for the 120 Million people of Pakistan who are living in poverty while we live our lives in richness. I just thought when if ever will thing’s change for the better and how they can change if Pakistanis themselves are not willing to change them. After all the middle and upper classes are the ones that can help the poorer ones are they not?

Can small groups of Nationalists change the way things are being run across our country or are we too weak to bring any real change to the country and if so why?

I just lay there and dreamed of a corruption free society, a secular Pakistan where tolerance was promoted as a quality, a Pakistan that was prosperous and united where rules and regulations were implemented and followed.

I wonder when this dream will be fulfilled.

Written By Fazl Qureshi*

Edited by Havi Zayed

There has been frustration because many of the Nationalist Organizations are completely disorganized when it is about knowing about their own numbers and their own people. There are sometimes no real records available of members.

A recent meeting of the All Pakistan Nationalist Movement has changed this however. All the largest organizations have agreed that they will put together their resources and conduct a survey with no bias and find the exact number of their members. The numbers of each organization will also be added up finally to give the total number of Nationalists.

This means that a tally of each and every Nationalist is going to take place with all organizations participating. The Pakistan Nationalist Association has already formed a Box at its location and provided a small form for members to put their details into, which they will put into the box. The PNA will then create a database of each and every one of its members with each chapter head responsible for organizing his own chapter. Once all the results have come they will be checked by figures all over and by the “United Statistics Board” which includes even those who are not from inside the PNA to make sure there is no organizational bias. Once the results are confirmed they will be added up with the other organizations and it will be checked which members are in two organizations and the same time so they are not counted. Then these results will be collected and will give the exact number of Nationalists.

Many Nationalists have had a positive reaction to this move. Shehzad Riwayat praised the move as a breakthrough and said it would help in finding the exact number. He also said it was sensible for all the organizations to make a members database of all its members and said that his private group Shehzad Riwayat’s Patriots would help any organization in help needed to create and maintain this database.

Mansur Elahi has said it is a major breakthrough that is going to create major opportunity to “study and analyze” ourselves and understand “where we are today as compared to where we were yesterday.” Sabir Zafar the Chapter head for PNA’s Saudi Arabia Chapter has also welcomed the initiative while Samir Hayat claims that it is a Revolutionary change to see the Organizations working together like this. A similar reaction has been seen by the general mass of Nationalists who believe they are now heading in the right direction.

It must be remembered that in early 2007 a half-hearted attempt at finding the exact number which accumulated in a joint initiative by the Pakistan Nationalist Association and Pakistan Patriotic Front had produced disappointing results and missed out completely on new members who did not have official membership status. It specially caused difficulty with the other organizations who were in confident about being left out of the process.

It is hoped this attempt will result in better results.

*Some parts of this piece were later added by Havi Zayed.