The country that colonised half the world backs out of the European Union over fears of imperialism, the most pompous democracy in the world elects a television reality star and Brangelina is no more. 2016 has been a terrible year for the world, except for Pakistan.
2016 has been a glorious year for Pakistan, just like every other year has been since 1947. The Land of the Pure has enjoyed a 70-year day in the sun. The kind of sun that burns your skin and exhausts you but for the sake of the metaphor we still enjoy it!
2016 finally saw a successful transition of power in Pakistan. One chief took over from another chief without any chiefs calling for a recount or shouting dhandlee.
Arshad Khan proved all the six-year-olds at chai stands all over Pakistan have something to aspire towards. What has a chaiwala ever done in India?
We are quite surprised that Nawaz Sharif is still in power.
We are also surprised that Imran Khan is still single.
2016 saw a decline in violence in Pakistan. Thousands of people died but it is thousands less than have been dying each year – so that must be a cause to celebrate.
MQM’s grip over Karachi was loosened and employment opportunities were offered to all other militant organisations to fill up that vacuum in Karachi. Political victory and creation of jobs – double win!
In 2016, Pakistan finally showed India we will not back down from a challenge. They may have nuclear weapons but we will give them a muhn tor jawab if they nuke us – by banning their movies from playing in our cinemas. With one master stroke, the government managed to revive the struggling pirated DVD market in Pakistan.
We managed to put Pakistan on the map by successfully organising a domestic T20 competition with stars from all over the world and filled stadiums…in the UAE! The moment Pakistanis have been waiting for finally came true when cricket fans all over the country were able to see their favourite stars…on television.
Justice was also served to the people of Pakistan when a poor retired person with an ailing mother was finally acquitted – much like in the movie Veer Zara, the powerless ex-commando and ex-President was able to gain justice by fighting against the odds.
The rule of law was upheld in Pakistan, when a murderer was hanged and there were absolutely no protests. I get my news from the media and if there was nothing on the media then I know for sure that nothing happened.
We also showed the world we have no social stratification. Pakistan is a socialist utopia where even the most humble of chaiwalas, provided he looks beautiful, can get famous. Arshad Khan has proved that all the six-year-olds at chai stands all over Pakistan have something to aspire towards. What has a chaiwala ever done in India?
We would have had hundreds of other beautiful street vendors too, if thousands of Afghan refugees had not decided to go back to Afghanistan of their own accord without any coercion whatsoever. We hosted them as one of our own without discriminating against them at all and assimilating them completely and yet the Afghan government is involved in ensuring that Pakistan is not able to retain the number one Test cricket ranking in the world.
Talking about good looking people, Fawad Afzal Khan and Ali Zafar also decided that there is no place like home and shunned Bollywood to return to Pakistan. India may send a satellite to Mars but we have Fawad Afzal Khan now, so really who’s winning?
The CPEC is also showing the world that Pakistan means serious business. Serious Chinese business. Other countries have seen that everything has a price in Pakistan and they are all bidding now. If we can let a Qatari prince hunt bustards then why not let Vladmir Putin hunt bears in Pakistan too?
A Pakistani even managed to release a YouTube video with millions of hits. Guess who that was. Hah, you only learn about the achievements of non-Muslims, see? We’re talking Angel by Taher Shah!
2016 showed Pakistanis can do anything. We dominated headlines around the world. Don’t worry about what those headlines actually say.
Do not let negativity bring you down. By being positive we can ensure 2017 is even better for Pakistan and Pakistanis!
If there is a soundtrack which is perfect for life in Pakistan it is the song “Always look on the bright side of life” from Monty Python’s Life of Brian.