‘Not ashamed’ of being a Pakistani

Most of my acquaintances would jeer at me if I say that ‘I’m proud to be a Pakistani.’ So, I have rather chosen a title that sounds more ironical, ‘I am not ashamed of being a Pakistani.’ Irony is the only thing that makes sense to us in a dangerously unstable country, currently facing its worst ever political, social and economic crisis. Thanks to our media that recklessly focuses only on crises, heedless of the fact that for selling their channels they are painting a somewhat inflated picture. The reckless reporting is doing us the biggest harm as it is diminishing our self esteem as a nation. Among the absolutely horror news, it’s very easy to overlook the reasons that make us feel proud as Pakistanis.

Yes, there still are many reasons, and they are no exaggerated textbook facts, just as:

~ Pakistan’s Karakoram Highway, the highest paved international road in the world, is the 9th Wonder of the World because of its high elevation and the unmanageable conditions in which it was constructed. The route of the Karakoram Highway traces one of the many paths of the ancient Silk Road, a fairy tale like travelers' dream route from Central Asia to the rest of the world.

~ Pakistan is truly the Rooftop of the World with the grand mountain ranges that holds 4 out of 14 highest peaks in the world. Pakistan’s K2 is the second highest mountain in the world and Nanga Parbat the ninth highest Peak in the World. In comparison to Everest, K2 is more remote and has more unpredictable weather. Naturally that makes it one of the world's most coveted prizes for top pro ski mountaineers.

~ Haleji Lake in Thatta is the Asia's largest bird sanctuary. It is an ideal refuge for wintering and home of thousands of birds and regarded as one of the most important wintering areas of migratory waterfowl in Eurasia. Haleji is a bird watcher's paradise. As many as 223 bird species have been recorded in the environs of Haleji Lake.

~ Thar Desert is the world's 9th largest desert, well known for its colorful culture rich in tradition, brilliantly hued costumes and enchanting folk music, dance and poetry. Its desert festivals, celebrated once a year during winters, are worth seeing. Due to the diversified habitat, the vegetation, human culture and animal life in this region is very rich in contrast to the other deserts of the world. About 23 species of lizard and 25 species of snakes are found here. The region is a haven for 141 species of migratory and resident birds of the desert. The beautiful resident Indian Peafowls can be seen sitting on Pipal trees in villages.

~ RaniKot, The Great Wall of Sindh is the world's largest fort with a circumference of about 26 km and striking similarity with the wall of China.

~ Indus Valley Civilization is spread over an area of some 1,260,000 km², making it the largest ancient civilization in the world. It is also one of the world's earliest urban civilizations, along with its contemporaries, Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. To date, over 1,052 cities and settlements have been found. Among the settlements were the major urban centres of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. The ancient Gandhāran city of Taxila is considered to be the earliest university and center of higher education in the world.

~ Sitting in the foothills of the Salt Range, Khewra Salt Mine is the second largest salt mine in the world and the oldest in the South Asia. Salt has been mined at Khewra since 320 BC following its discovery by Alexander's troops.

~ Gwader is said to be the world’s largest deep sea port - surrounded by around two-thirds of the world's oil reserves.

~ Pakistan is world's 9th largest English speaking country. Despite not being their mother language, almost 11% of Pakistanis speak English as an additional language. Our love and aptitude for languages is evident with the fact that over 300 dialects and languages are spoken in Pakistan today and each one is distinctly differently from the other. So, next time when you have hiccups while speaking English; just remind yourself of your multilingual achievements.

These are just a few examples; otherwise the list is long, as those of you who travel around Pakistan would know. The point is, don’t give up on Pakistan!


2245 hours

26 February 2012

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