Saturday, September 4, 2010

A noble gesture lost for personal glory

At this time of distress for Pakistan, the sympathy can be felt the world over. All countries have come forwards to share their grief and donate as much as they can in any form to help the poor people of rural Pakistan, who are facing the wrath of unexpected flash floods from Pakistan’s north to down south. In fact it is the entire length of Pakistan astride the Indus River that has been affected. And we are grateful to the world community for showing such a swift response to alleviate the sufferings of the flood victims.

Of all such noble gestures, NASDAQ was one of its own kinds. The giant screen in Time Square of New York is the hub of stock exchange news and it flashes news and shares round the clock and people take it as a routine to check up whenever they are a round as it is “there” with its shares related news all the time.

Feeling for the flood victims of Pakistan, recently NASDAQ offered a one hour time, i.e. from 5-6 pm (the peak activity time) to Pakistan Embassy to air a relief donation message. Mind you this is the first time in NASDAQ’s history to offer a free air time for anything other than business and shares. Even the Haiti disaster was not offered such a noble gesture. NASDAQ estimated that Pakistan could get at least a million dollar from this offer.

And you know what our Embassy did? And whatever they did shocked the NASDAQ and the people looking at the screen. The onlookers found two people in the foreground with the Pakistani flag in the background with a message “Welcome to New York from the Consulate General of Pakistan – MR R S A Babar Hashmi” – rather than a flood relief donation message whatsoever. While people on the street could not get the wisdom of NASDAQ for showing such a message, as they were unaware of NASDAQ’s nobility, the NASDAQ quickly withdrew the message from the screen and resumed its normal business related news. NASDAQ must have thought of having been fool to let the Pakistan Embassy waste its one hour’s air time. Couldn’t any sane person in the Pakistan Embassy take this offer seriously?

This incident involves two Pakistani diplomats Babar Hashmi and Amer who sacrificed a noble offer for their personal glory, thus sacrificing the woes of millions of flood hit Pakistani looking for help to go back and rebuilt their demolished and washed away houses. This indecent act calls for immediate recalling of these two envoys and putting them to trial by an anti terrorist court as their act falls under social terrorism, defamation of the good name of the country and subversion of a cause.

Unfortunately, no action seems to have been initiated against these two diplomats who are enjoying all diplomatic privileges due to their country and still did not have the iota of respect for the sufferings their fellow countrymen are facing and braving. Those ordinary Pakistanis who are contributing from their own pockets to help the flood victims are far more respectful than these two who are comfortable nested in New York with complete disregard to the woes of the country which handpicked them from many and sent to USA – a coveted foreign assignment for which every member of foreign office vies for.


S A J Shirazi said...

This happens when you kill 'the merit.'

Jalal HB said...

I partially agree - these are all from the coveted foreign service of CSS class. All those who are in the top merit list go to foreign service. And if this is what the toppers deliver, I pity the rest of the services.