It will soon be a year since the earthquake struck our northern lands. Much has been said about the devastation caused by the disaster and even more has been said about the inefficiency of our government. Articles pertaining to both these things have found their way time and again on the front pages of newspapers and equal coverage has been given to these issues in the media.
However, amidst all this negativity, one major positive aspect has been ignored. No one has really come up and celebrated the spirit shown by the whole Pakistani nation. This spirit was something that rose out of nowhere. In fact, many people in the past have doubted the ability of this nation to rise in the time of need and devastation, and yet, when the earthquake struck, it woke up the nationalistic spirit within our society that had been dormant.
From thousands of volunteers working day and night at the PAF Air Base to hundreds of groups going to the north to help in the rehabilitation of the survivors, our people, especially the youth did more than what was expected of them. People who had observed our society for many years were overwhelmed with this sudden national unity and the were forced to applaud the wonderful effort of our people.
It is true that a lot more could have been done had the government and the respective agencies been efficient. It is also true that a lot of funds went missing and it is also true that a significant amount of supplies for the earthquake survivors found there way into the markets. But these actions aren’t representative of the average Pakistani. In fact, it may well be correct to say that the government and the agencies are not clear representatives of our people!
I felt proud to hear an elderly person tell me that the effort he had seen by the Pakistani youth had reminded him of the war effort in 1965 and the unity shown by the people freshened his memories of the unity that the Pakistani people had shown at the time of independence. i felt proud because my generation had done something parallel to the great feats that those before us had accomplished.
As I know look in the past at that day of reckoning, I realize that even though the earthquakes destroyed the homes of our brothers and sisters, it woke up the sleeping giant that had been within us for a long time. And i believe that along with expressing sorrow over what happened a year ago, we must also celebrate the spirit that this nation showed after that day of reckoning
Uzair M. Younis SY-L