My friend Rubab told me about an incident in Pakistan where the alumni of a famous private school were being honored by the US Ambassador in Pakistan. When the turn came for a young man named Samad – who studies law at Harvard Law School – he walked past the US Ambassador and went to the microphone and declared he refuses to receive the award from the lady.. it was an act of defiance. He gave his reasons and stood up for himself and his country. I think irrespective of where we live.. it is a very impressive sense of convictions that Samad showed and should be respected. Rubab has agreed to share that article with drishtikone.. so, thanks to her. She discusses her talk with Samad over the phone.
Some individuals change destiny of nations, some redesign the future, some rehabilitate economy, some strengthen but few are those who rebuild image of a nation. Samad Khurram is the one who revived in real terms what has been the Bhuttoism-meaning strong Pakistani nationalism. His one act restored Pakistan’s image which has been mutilated by those who claimed to be patriots but for US visas, American scholarships for their children sold national interests. He set a model for the entire nation. He fired no bullet, did not raise any hatred-loaded slogan but simply registered his protest in a civil manner convincing people of the world that he belonged to a self respected nation. Bravo we need more people like you.
His phone was continuously engaged; I tried several times and always had a reply the number you have dialed is on another call. He called me back as we knew each other for last few months. He along with his friends has been moderating Emergency in Pakistan group, where they use to email to hundreds of people to activate against the unstable position in Pakistan. He has been playing his vital role in making people politically active through his emails and his blogs. Few days back he told me he is coming to Pakistan to attend Long March. He plans to keep lawyers movement alive till judges are restored and Pakistan gets rid of dictatorship.
Samad Khurram was so humble when told he has become a celebrity and being treated as National hero and everyone is discussing Samad Khurram. After appreciating his attempt to get his protest registered; my first question to him was, “was this deliberate attempt you made in front of US Ambassador?” He told me he was about to boycott ceremony organized to honor Roots School alumina, but “I would get nothing if I do not attend that ceremony, I thought I must attend and get my protest registered in a way that should be noticed all over the world” he added, “I had grudge over the murders of our innocent people in Mohmand agency and unprovoked American violation of Pakistani airspace, we cant be shameless anymore to bear these immoral acts against our countrymen, some one has to take initiative”
Despite the fact his career can be on stake due to this nationalistic gesture, even then he made his presence on occasion and rebuked the U.S. ambassador in the full glare of the media where he knew Ambassador’s activities would be covered by national and international media. He had courage to refuse for his great satisfaction, as an individual he proved he is the youth of Pakistan. While reading responses on blogs about Samad Khurram I concluded that everyone has adored him in Pakistan because this gesture was the voice of their hearts.
A Christian school teacher from Hafizabad Fabula Mariam has applauded his nationalistic gesture as “what Pakistani government is afraid to do so far, Samad Khurram has done and snubbed the U.S. Ambassador in the Pakistani capital for the cowardly U.S. attack against our military on the border with Afghanistan.
Whole Pakistan is surviving in an environment of conspiracy theories and we can not avoid the fact that we have started interpreting heroic deeds as self interests, we evaluate events negatively, measure the integrities of our politicians, and appreciate or depreciate in accordance with the messages received through media; eventually we prove to be wrong. Because what we receive are filtered versions. Even for him several people might have been thinking that he finagled the situation for long term interests to join politics may be. A complete article is needed to address this issue however I was curious about his integrity and loyalties towards Pakistan; he showed so I asked him” did you expect this kind of response from people of Pakistan and even media over your action?” He replied, “Never, He said, “I want to first contend myself that I have protested against malicious act of US, I am first accountable to myself, but now this has been highlighted by national and international media, I can focus on more making my position clear as Pakistani youth who is hurt over the unbearable loss of innocent civilians and army men” He added, “We can not see our people dying, for the sake of an unconstitutional President”
Whole hall was shocked to witness a Harvard student Samad Khurram’s refusal to accept the award that could have added worth to his profile. Samad, a student of law at Harvard University, was in Islamabad to receive a shield of Achievement from Anne Patterson, the U.S. Ambassador.This incident happened at the National Arts Gallery by a privately owned Pakistani school Roots. The school had invited 188 of its alumina students who received scholarships to study at various American colleges and universities. Parents of the students were present. “The American ambassador, responding to the protest of the student, said America has deep regrets on the incident. She said America is proud to have him (Samad Khurram) in USA for study, adding, “The only way to remove the misunderstanding is to exchange ideas and views.”
My friend Sadaf Arshad who works for SAFMA said” we are peace lovers but still can not allow anyone to invade our country and he has shown his patriotism” though she was bit skeptical over being among so many conspiracy theories. A shopkeeper in Sialkoat commented as “I aspire a day when our corrupt
Political leaders coming from a corrupt system can have only an ounce of a moral value and strong character that Samad Khurram has shown, Pakistan can become the greatest country on the face of this earth. A housewife Mariam Shahzad from Lahore said she would want her boys to behave like Samad. A renowned columnist Irfan Siddiqui said we should take his step as nationalistic one and appreciate him. A student from Gift University said that we would want to see a ripple action what he has started we will keep it alive till a productive change.
He told me he is receiving calls around the globe and international media is also interviewing him. He added that youth should be more courageous to culminate in a prosperous Pakistan.
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