Living in a pretend world

HYDERABAD: Being someone born and brought up abroad, I am — whenever in Pakistan — often told by my family not to speak English, not to wear fancy clothes, and not to take out my phone so that I am not known to be an outsider. Yet, whenever I go to the malls, or simply to just walk down the street, the perception of Pakistan being a Third-World and a dangerous country seems to drift away. The truth is we as citizens would rather ignore our country’s insecurities and problems rather than facing them. We wear designer outfits and shoes as if trying to prove to ourselves and others that we are not living in a country where half the country is below the poverty line. When it comes to being deluded, we Pakistanis are perfectionists, as we fail to see the dangers and challenges facing our country. Furthermore, the problem for the most part arises from the way our government tries to mask poverty in our country, by changing definitions and fudging statistics. Governments and economic planners try to present the naked as being dressed, the hungry as being well fed and the homeless as being sheltered.

Marwah Fazel

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2018.

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