Dubai Chalo Aftermath: Poem and Video

IRSHAD SALIM: I penned this poem (below) in the summer of 1973 or 1974 –after reading in the newspaper that several dozen Pakistanis had drowned in the Arabian Sea as their boat(s) capsized on way to Dubai. Many of their fellow countrymen were already in UAE and Saudi Arabia, and gainfully employed remitting back home Dirhams and Riyals.

Remittances over the decades have become a yearly billions+ revenue stream for Pakistan’s kitty. On micro level, remittances have been putting food on the expatriates’ household tables. Making a living out of these remittances continue. This is the good part.

The bad part is that these expats are patted when their households receive the remittance with a Thank You for carrying the burden.

Page 78 of Sometime Somewhere collection of poems

Urdu translation by Jamil Usman, NJ, USA

The ugly part is that when it’s time for the household to carry the burden (video below), some dump their moral responsibilities. I call this the downstream/downside of the remittance galore.

Khawaja Asif -notwithstanding his political chicanery and polemics, calls such a mindset ‘mitha mitha hup hup karwa karwa thoo thoo’. I haven’t been able to figure out what its equivalent is in the West.

We need a social safety net for such expat returnees. They are the wisdom class willing to die empty –they have been giving and not taking, as they have been abroad for years and docked their boat back home, not at sea!

We should not let the old man get into them. Our age-old and time-tested family value system is priceless, and several notches above many other assets the State and the Nation have. THIS value system has been, is, and will remain our non-negotiable ‘sovereign guarantee’, not a mercantile legal instrument to surrender.

Honorary contributors to DesPardes: Adil Khan, Ajaz Ahmed, Anwar Abbas, Arif Mirza, Aziz Ahmed, Bawar Tawfik, Dr. Razzak Ladha, Dr. Syed M. Ali, G. R. Baloch, Hasham Saddique, Jamil Usman, Jawed Ahmed, Ishaq Saqi, Khalid Sharif, Majid Ahmed, Masroor Ali, Md. Ahmed, Md. Najibullah, Mustafa Jivanjee, Nusrat Jamshed, Shahbaz Ali, Shahid Hamza, Shahid Nayeem, Shareer Alam, Syed Ali Ammaar Jafrey, Syed Hamza Gilani, Mushtaq Siddiqui, Shaheer Alam, Syed Hasan Javed, Syed M. Ali, Tahir Sohail, Usman Nazir