For my first blog post in Unique Pakistan, I was constantly thinking about what to write. Scribbled ideas, brainstormed but nothing clicked. Thanks to my mom who made me clean my messed up cupboard where I noticed a treasured piece of memory that I have kept with great care and love. It’s a tale about honesty and fidelity of a person whom I met just once in my lifetime but he has left an irrevocable impression, which still inspires me. Later in the post I will be narrating the whole story but before that, let us have an overview of how honesty is an understatement when it comes to Pakistanis.
Mostly, the first lesson given to us by our parents is of honesty and our entire life revolves around the value of it. At home, institutes and companies, the emphasis is on conducting our jobs honestly and not to lie. But we can’t deny the fact that being honest and being a Pakistani doesn’t go along too well. I have heard people criticizing that its all what the media portrays or the Jews are behind it. Let’s face it, no media or Jew paid, pushed or brainwashed us to lie and show the world that we are a dis-honest nation. I do agree that maintaining the status of ones honesty is not a very easy task in this big bad world but then its not impossible as well. Holy Quran says,
‘’O you who believe fear Allah and be among those who are honest’’
So this verse made it clear that remaining honest is something that we could all do and there are many Pakistanis who are practicing the essence of this verse in their daily lives. I had the privilege of meeting one such Pakistani during my tour to Swat; this was before our government’s started claiming that only terrorists lived in that part of the region.Funny how they could believe and propagate such a joke.
I was going back to my car after shopping from a market there and I heard a man shouting “Ruko! Ruko!” (Stop! Stop!) very loudly. Flabbergasted, I turned around and saw a middle-aged local resident come running towards me. While catching his breath, he told me that I had forgotten to pick up my one rupee coin from his shop and left. He searched the whole area just to return back that one rupee coin. At that moment I was speechless by his honesty and integrity. I thanked him and tried to give him a tip for all his effort but he blatantly refused by saying: “Hum sirf apni bikri ka paisa layta hai.” (I only take money in return of my sold goods).
Once Prakash Almaeda quoted in his book,
“The greatest quality of Jinnah that was deeply and unfailingly remembered was his honesty.‘’
The above-mentioned incident always reminds me of this quote. It is very true to say that an honest heart produces honest actions. Still, the question that usually arises is that we all have seen unscrupulous people who have a growing tendency of making money and still they are prospering, no lightning bolt has yet struck them and they are not diagnosed with any fatal disease. On the other hand, a candid person is faced with all sorts of mishaps. From an argument point of view, yes this is what we see on the surface level but when an honest man appears between the fraudulent, he is like a comet who needs no money and no lies as his honesty is his fame.
Rahim Khan Khilgi, a Pakistani residing in Abu Dhabi and earning his living by driving a limousine, found a wallet containing 40,000 Dhs and credit cards. Common perception would be that he would have thanked God for being so kind and lived happily ever after with that money but that is not the case. He immediately handed over the wallet with its contents to a police officer and as a result of this act of, a cheque of 40,000 Dhs was presented to him. So honesty does pay, probably in the long run but the satisfaction you get is immeasurable.
Another tale of such candor occurred at Gilgit Serena Hotel where house cleaner Essa Khan found $50,000 in cash left behind by a Japanese NGO worker. The hotel staff managed to track down the guest and returned the money which was intended to fund a feasibility study into tourism projects in northern Pakistan. The hotel rewarded the cleaner Rs10,000.
In such devastating economic conditions, we should be very proud to have sincere people who are representing the real face of Pakistan that people don’t normally get to witness.
Pakistan is not a nation full of corrupt people. It may seem so because majority of the honest people are gone unnoticed so all we need to do is to appreciate them and make them come forward so they can serve country the way it deserves.
‘‘Honesty with ourselves if sought as a goal
Replenishes the soul to make us whole’’- Nikki Collins