Citizens, yet aliens

When you are filling out any kind of form related to a US visa or some kind of immigration benefit inside the United States, you are referred to as an “alien”

The allusion is not to equate you with those creatures we saw in Star Trek, but rather to categorise you as a non-citizen

American aliens cannot vote, cannot run for office, cannot decide over issues of policy and polity, cannot be a member of the US legislature, cannot serve as a member of jury during a court trial, or enjoy a host of other rights and duties that are only meant for American citizens

While both Pakistan and the United States suffer from xenophobia, in the United States, people from all cultures and countries exist and the locals have become accustomed to living and working side by side with people other than the Aryan and African races respectively

In Pakistan, on the other hand, it is not a common sight to run into some African or some blue-eyed blonde

An African or a white blonde would register as an alien on the streets of Pakistan more vividly than for an Arab or an Asian to be viewed as an alien walking around American malls

Yet, it is the Pakistanis who would see the aliens decide over the fate of their economy, the prices of the products, the structure of their government, the budgetary nuances of their national treasury, the psyche of their armed forces, the nature and limits of the weapons in the hands of those armed forces

It was the aliens who made our marriage with jihad in the heavens of DC and Langley and then told us to undo that affair and harbour hatred for it

Most disturbingly, Pakistanis have witnessed that the aliens have more power than a Pakistani citizen to decide who would be the ruler of their country and how that ruler would govern

Americans have lived with aliens for decades, yet they are not allowed to play a role in their political, economic, defence and other affairs

Pakistanis have not seen aliens much, except for those few I used to see during childhood in Peshawar when they would take pictures around Qissa Khwani, yet, we have allowed them to make decisions over our fate

People haven’t seen aliens as they show in horror movies, yet people are fascinated with them

In Pakistan, we haven’t seen many aliens (foreigners), yet, we are fascinated with them

I have written about this issue before also, that in Pakistan, there is more respect and value of those people who have returned from abroad, especially the United States

Foreign education, foreign money, foreign credit cards, foreign anything has more value than anything local

On my street in Islamabad, almost every house can be overheard talking to their children in English

Try going to any store and you’d spot families talking to their children in English

I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of anything more sickening, disgusting, and irritating

The current petrol price hike and other inflationary nightmares that this nation has endured in the last 9 to 10 months have foreign fingerprints

I do not mean to entertain any conspiracy theory here but the conditions imposed by the IMF and other global bodies that have caused these hardships for the people of Pakistan are written by aliens and executed by local half citizens

I call them half citizens because they are also aliens enjoying a luxurious lifestyle in foreign lands except for their passports that still are green in colour and have text on the cover that reads The Islamic Republic Of Pakistan

In the movie Training Day, the end scene has a wounded Denzel Washington hurling insults at people of a certain neighborhood

He says, “I am the man up in this piece… I am the police… I run shit here… You just live here

” The people of Pakistan just live in Pakistan

That’s all the citizenship they got

Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2023

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Date:24-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link