Sixty years of solitude

by Mohammad Ali Mahar, USA
February 22nd, 2009
Courtesy and Thanks:

Situation in Pakistan keeps one reminding of the story of Macondo, the town around which the most famous literary works of Garcia Marquez, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” revolves.

One compares Pakistan with the town and gets amazed at the similarities. A town, surrounded by the sea and a swamp (of enemies, in the case of Pakistan), is eternally at war with itself.

When one reads, in the novel, of a place on earth where offspring of the most powerful family are perpetually involved in rape, plunder and incest with impunity; where the sons of the most distinguished family, with distinction marks on their foreheads, are sought and target killed; where half-baked revolutionaries abound, one can not help but think of Pakistan – the only place on the globe with all the ingredients comprising Garcia Marquez’s magnum opus.

One realizes the similarities and then laments: Colonel Aureliano Buendias of our Macondo have not yet realized the fruitlessness of their 32 unnecessary wars even after 60 years.

Even at the time when they can see the dust storm blowing so strongly it threatens to destroy the foundations of the town established by our version of Jose Arcadio Buendias some sixty years ago, tongues of our revolutionaries — ‘visionaries’ of ‘strategic depths’ — don’t tire of spitting fire.

Is Pakistan.a country perpetually under curse just like Macondo? Consider this.

Why is it so that:

– If a war breaks out tomorrow between India and Pakistan, none of the countries in the neighborhood can be relied to help Pakistan the way they did in 1965?

– Whenever there is an incident of terrorism anywhere in the world, it is always Pakistan who is the usual suspect?

– Teams refuse to play Cricket in Pakistan — ICC cancelling Champions Trophy in Pakistan being the latest example?

– When a vote comes before the UN Security Council against Pakistan, no one, not even China, opposes it?

What else is solitude?

Poland refuses to receive a delegation of Pakistani parliamentarians led by the Chairman, Senate! India refuses entry to Pakistani human rights activists, led by Asma Jehangir! Even Afghanistan refuses to receive a Pakistani minister!

Initially, it was the individual Pakistani passport holder who was singled out at the foreign airport. Now it is the whole nation that has become a pariah.

Armies of the enemies surround the national borders from outside – just like Macondo was surrounded by a swamp and the sea — while, inside, the nation receives thrashing at the hands of likes of ‘patriots’ Mehsood and Maulvi Omar.

One watches in utter disbelief when Colonel Aureliano Buendias appear on national media and support those very enemies who are knocking at their doorsteps in their cities, destroying schools and killing their children everyday through bomb blasts and terrorism. And one can not believe one’s eyes when one sees journalists praising those enemies’ patriotism.

When airlines refuse to fly to its airports, when sports teams refuse to play on Pakistani grounds, when friends refuse to help, how else could solitude be described?

And, if it is solitude, haven’t we earned it?

It took Macondo one hundred years to disappear from the face of the earth. The state of the affairs in the Islamic Republic being as it is, do we even need the card reading women to tell us the future of our Macondo?
Courtesy and Thanks:

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