In Retrospect: The Year 2013

 


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 Here’s to everyone who made 2013 a success. To all my fellow countrymen and women, congratulations! 2013 has gone down as one golden chapter in our history and we have been a part of it.

No, I have not forgotten how the floods caught us off guard once again, causing massive loss of life, livelihood and property. I have not forgotten the attacks on the All Saints Church or the Abu Talib Imambargah. I have not forgotten scores of other suicide attacks, targeted killings and kidnappings or the attack on the Ziarat residence of our Founding Father. And I have not forgotten how armed men mercilessly shot down nine foreign tourists in one of the most scenic locations of the world.

But as much as it sounds like all demons were simultaneously let loose on this Land of the Pure and though it was one dark cumulonimbus that overshadowed us the entire year, there was a silver lining to it. It is hard to see for those who have been direct victims of the storm, but there was. And as ironic as it may sound, that silver lining is actually a sign of stability, no matter how nascent. Of course, you must have guessed what I am referring to. But if you haven’t, I speak of the first peaceful democratic transition in the history of Pakistan.


But as much as it sounds like all demons were simultaneously let loose on this Land of the Pure and though it was one dark cumulonimbus that overshadowed us the entire year, there was a silver lining to it.


It isn’t very often that you see people gathered on the same platform, working towards the same end, except in times of crises. I have seen larger gatherings on funerals than weddings, with the participants lamenting the nature of the event that had brought them together. “What a pity!” they say, “We should’ve met in better times”, they say.

And yet, here it is. This uniquely fortunate event stands out among a host of other, painfully tragic ones. I have no hesitation in saying that our ancestors were the ones who lived through the torment of the darkness and we were the ones who lived to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Unjust as it may seem, time has administered absolute justice in giving each generation its fair share of good and bad events. If their journey was drenched in darkness, ours is drenched in blood.

When people campaigned in hundreds and thousands under one political figure they deemed the embodiment of all principles just and fair, it was not about bringing that one man to power. The troubles they took to join in every demonstration, rally and walk, weren’t meant to convince anybody of their loyalty. Their enthusiasm wasn’t targeted towards generating empathy for the worth of their cause and their going out and voting on that historic 11th of May, was not a shout-out to the world that we, as a nation, are alive. It was a realization, an assurance, and a declaration to the Self that I am alive, that I have a voice, and that I can matter and I will. No wonder, then, that we felt elated as soon as our vote went down the ballot. It was power, the like of which, we had never felt before.


11th May 2013 may not have put everything in order, but it has set in a motion a chain of events that eventually will.


It is foolish to expect rain to descend in a single splash. It always comes down one drop at a time. 11th May 2013 may not have put everything in order, but it has set in a motion a chain of events that eventually will. Of course, we need to keep fuelling it along the way. And we need to demonstrate a passion and a singularity of purpose, the like of which, has never been demonstrated before.

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