“Have you applied for an Australian Immigration?”, “Move to Canada for the sake of your kids”, “Settle in UK, Pakistan is not going to get you anywhere!”, “Move to Middle East and make tax-free big bucks”; Something a young professional, a young couple or a young family gets asked quite frequently these days. No doubt, the longevity of Pakistan’s ‘crisis’ like situation and the absence of work opportunities have made these questions tempting and there are genuine cases of the need for a move abroad, but before such a decision is made we must make sure that our priorities sorted out well and expectations managed accordingly. Remember! You gain a few things by losing a few. Make sure the gains you envisage with such a move outweighs the losses incurred.
People who choose to stay in Pakistan despite the lack of job opportunities, the never-ending load shedding, lack of basic necessities are not committing a crime. They love their children just as much as you do. They care about their kids just like you. It’s just that maybe they want their kids to spend more time with their grandparents, to frequently experience cousins’ get-togethers during holidays, to celebrate festivals just like they did – Yes, at the cost of something for sure but something they value less than the company of grandparents, cousins and the freedom to celebrate the festivals – basically a connection with their homeland.
This blog is not intended to doubt or judge anyone’s decision of moving abroad – in fact it is meant for exactly the opposite. We should stop doubting or judging anyone for moving or not moving abroad. You leave behind a whole lot when you move abroad. Your family, close relations, friends to start with but it doesn’t end there. You leave behind your culture, language, food as well. You leave behind meat distribution on Eid, you leave behind the sound of Azaan, you leave behind Paan shops at every corner, you leave behind story telling by your kids’ grandparents, you leave behind decorating house on Independence Day and you’ll most likely leave behind late-night sittings with siblings munching on anything available at that time. We need to make sure that we think it through well enough if we would like our kids to get a shot at relatively better education opportunities at the cost of grandparent’s company and a load-shedding free home at the cost of joy of bringing in and photographing sacrificial animal on Eid.
There is no doubt that every decision you make, comes along its pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages. If I take myself as an example, I spent my whole life in my “own” land (always being a first-class citizen). Studied here, earned my bread and butter here, still enjoying a good reasonable lifestyle here, negating the fact that only “sifarish” functions in somewhat dysfunctional society of ours, denying the fact that there is no good quality education here. Many of you would agree (and many wont) but in my view what works best is sheer hard work, dedication and determination. No matter where on earth you land, hardwork yields positive results. One big reason, in fact the biggest is the law and order situation in our country, our home that compels many to go abroad and take benefit of a bomb-free, terrorism free environment. But are you really sure “malkul maut” can’t book a seat and fly abroad? So death is destined and you can’t run away from it.
Despite mentioning all these points, a better life style and kids are ultimately main factors for most of the moves abroad. We should spend some time in ensuring we get this ‘better’ sorted out correctly before making such a decision. We should not lose sight of a number of intangibles, subjective things that play an important role in your children brought up in the glare of some of the more obvious, objective ones. We should make every effort to give our kids the best of opportunities even if it involves changing a few things we hold dear but then down the line as we get old and they grow up, we should be ready to accept them changed as well.
A Proud Pakistani
Blogger at Marcom