We live in strange times…….difficult times! Our eyes upward questioning, hoping, praying to the All Benevolent, All Knowing striving to be patient and yet impatient to see the end of despair, the end of anarchy shrouding our nation, our lives, our future. My eyes are amongst multitudes of others, when a sudden calm pervades my soul and it feels like God is talking to me, telling me the answer lies in front of me, all I need to do is look…….really look!

My grandmother was part of the generation, who lived the partition as opposed to us who just read it. She used to say that Pakistan was created on the 27th of Ramazan and God would protect it till the end of times, nothing could harm it and no one could undo it. Whether I believed in her rationale was beside the point, what struck me most was her unshakeable belief in Pakistan and its future. Over the years, I witnessed the same belief in innumerable individuals, young or old, educated or illiterate, their reasons differing, their belief same. It is that belief which of late has had a lot to bear, yet it has not shattered and God willing nor will it.

My reasons for this belief are simpler than most. I look at our history and I am left bewildered. It seems impossible that a country that has gone through so much in all of its 64 years of existence has managed to survive. Three wars, martial laws, refugee influx of immense proportions, sectarian violence, corruption, earthquakes, floods, coups, drone attacks, suicide bombers, poverty, feudal oppression the list is horrendously long and painfully recurrent. The past four years have put the other 60 to shame in reaching new heights of corruption, mismanagement and blatant political debauchery. PIA, Railways, Pakistan Steel Mills are all examples of how a corrupt government, inept management and nepotism can ruin industry after industry. Where a convicted Prime Minister sets an example of moral turpitude by refusing to resign, where lives are lost needlessly due to sheer negligence and lack of quality control, where the lust for power supersedes all other considerations, we are left wondering just how much can we take. Then the realisation strikes that our continued survival is nothing short of divine intervention, otherwise we haven’t left any stone unturned for our own extinction.

Yet, somehow life continues; small vibrant rays of hope break through the enshrouding gloom. An Oscar is awarded for a documentary depicting the sheer bravado and resilience of our women, a Pakistani surgeon lands a place in the Guinness book of world records, more than 50 of the world top awards are claimed by Pakistani students which is no wonder looking at individuals such as Karrar Hussain Jaffar, Arfa Karim, Ibrahim Shahid or Ali Moeen Nawazish, Pakistani Dr Umar Saif is amongst the 35 global top innovators under 35 published by the prestigious MIT Technology Review and even if I don’t quote excellence in various fields, it is our spirit that is indomitable; the common man on the street managing to survive despite mounting inflation, no electricity, no gas, no water is no common feat. That spirit is fuelled only by hope, by faith in the Almighty.

What seems to be missing from the equation is that the oppressors seem to be unaware of where their chosen paths are leading them. They revel in their greed, they rejoice in their opulence unaware of their doom, ignorant of their ruin. For one thing that is as sure as life and death, is that you shall reap what you sow and all of us today, witness to the shameless arrogance of these rulers, will live to see the day of their downfall. If you have the blood of countless men and women on your hands, the misery of a nation on you guilt, beware of the hand of God lest it strikes you, for strike you it shall.

    The writer is a freelance columnist based in the US.

    Email: markazeyaqeen@gmail.com