Pakistan-India relations crumble faster than the cookie and everybody knows that tectonic shifts have nothing on these South-Asian frenemies. The past two weeks have been particularly testing, with the media selling war hysteria like hot cakes and hate mongering public pumping their fists in the air without understanding the drastic repercussions. Celebrities have chosen to take sides in this pandemonium, rationality has been barbarically thrown out the window and the peace-loving common man has been left to see all of this unfold in shock and bewilderment.
Amidst all the uproar, one Pakistani woman decided to set the record straight and remind people from both ends about what’s really at stake with a verbose open letter.
Alizay Jaffer is an Islamabad-based tree-hugger, trying to save the world from haters and harsh climate, one conversation at a time.
Like many others, Alizay Jaffer was frustrated by the recent set of events and chose to pen down her thoughts on the matter.
“There are people on either side who want war. That is their opinion; that is their notion of patriotism; that is their nationalism. BUT there are people on either side who want peace; those who feel that patriotism does not mean war, but instead that no more people should die. That is the side of history I’d like to be on.”
Sharing a powerful letter on her Facebook, Alizay used a very tell-tale tone to talk about the not-so-many differences we have with our neighbors.
“It’s very strange, this affinity with India”
“Like siblings, we retaliate to each other’s provocations. Ultimately, we both share the label of being impulsive and emotional in our responses to one another – ‘Look at what you’re doing in Kashmir’ ‘Hah, look at what you’re doing in Balochistan’; ‘You attacked us first in Uri’ ‘Have you forgotten about Kargil’?; ‘You started it!’ ‘No! You started it!’
Alizay’s words resonate deeply with everyone because of her sheer neutrality and the ability to look on the flip-side of the India-Pakistan crisis.
“Like orphaned trust fund babies, we feel entitled yet have no idea how to cope. They neither acknowledge nor respond to Muslims being massacred for eating beef in Gujrat, for instance, and we? We turn a blind eye to Christians and Hindus being physically assaulted for eating before Iftar in Ramzan.”
The letter progressed to talk about what matters the most and that being the relevance of this particular event in the higher scheme of things which made everyone wonder at their own myopic views.
“I suppose what I’m trying to say is, in 20 years’ time, Uri will be just another event in the text books. It will be labeled as yet another period in our collective histories when our ‘cold war’ with India almost turned into ‘hot war’. It will be just another opportunity for me to pick on my Indian friends or vice versa. It will be just another event our older uncles will discuss when they try to feel better about Pakistan’s failures and convince themselves that partition was the best thing that could’ve happened for us and that, without India, ‘we’re better off’.”
Indian publications were quick to pick up on this heartfelt message of peace and the open letter meant predominantly for her country-folk instead went viral in India.
The Status Update itself has also been shared over 2500 times with over 7000 likes from people all over Pakistan and India, proving that the message of peace is all that matters in the end.
The heart-warming comments are testament to that fact:
While speaking to MangoBaaz, Alizay says, ” I’m neither a journalist nor a social commentator, nor an expert of any sort. I just wanted to express my opinion that there is good and bad on both sides and unfortunately, at times of heightened tension we forget to focus on the good and get busy pointing fingers. It’s a utopic and naive view but it’s mine, and nothing bad can come from peace and love.”
And as she very eloquently puts in that very open letter:
“In 20 years’ time, if you look away from the textbooks, and turn to your ancient scriptures or your holy books, it won’t take you long to see that since time immemorial, there is only one message they are trying to convey, only one message we should be paying attention to; and that message is Love.”
Read the full post here.