When I was small we used to decorate our house with Pakistan flags on Independence Day and watch the flag hoisting ceremony on television with a sense of pride. As I grew up and learnt that we belonged to a sect that had been declared as non-Muslims by the constitution of the country I became disillusioned. I learnt that people from my community were persecuted, jailed and even murdered. My father was an honest and highly skilled officer of the Army but was not promoted because of his religious beliefs.

Three years ago we moved to Dubai for a better life for our son. I’ve taught him to answer ‘Pakistan’ when someone asks him where he’s from. He knows that his grandmothers live in Islamabad. He knows what the flag of Pakistan looks like and that the language spoken there is Urdu. But that’s about all. He was only 8 months old when we moved here so he doesn’t remember anything.

It makes me very sad to say this, but my husband and I both don’t feel any patriotism towards our country. If we had the opportunity to get the citizenship of another country we would take it. Anything for a better life for our son.

2013-01-31 11.11.59

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