The rough treatment meted out to Pakistanis working in Gulf is no secret, for Pakistanis working there have for decades been forced to put up with regular insults, abuses and discrimination from their so called Arab Muslim brothers.
As for our government, it is simply too complacent to relieve our miseries.
Ironically there is very little that Pakistan has not done to earn Arab favor. We have gone so far as to place Pakistan at their disposal; we have offered our land to feed them; our army to defend them; our labor to build their infrastructure, at trifling salaries and in living conditions which a conscientious slave trader would have difficulty in accepting; we have offered our wildlife and fauna as a free range for their falcons; and God knows much else, some of which can never be mentioned.
If that were not enough, we named Faisalabad, Faisal Mosque, Faisal Avenue, Sharah-e-Faisal, Shah Faisal Colony, Faisal this and Faisal that, as further signs of our regard for them, and especially the richest of them, the Saudis. But so unrequited has been our love in this respect that not a single street or highway, to say nothing of a city, was named after the Quaid in any of these Western petrol stations of the Gulf.
Today we even offer to defend their lands for them because they themselves are simply too lazy to do that yet still we remain devoid of their respect!
The harrowing accounts on internet of the treatment meted out to Pakistanis by their Arab “brothers” in Bahrain during the civil unrest there, only disgusts a Pakistani further about why we are so poorly treated by our so called brothers.
According to an eyewitness in Manama, “the medical staff of a hospital, including doctors, took out bleeding Pakistanis from the ambulance as though animals, with hands tied behind their backs, and kicked and beat them,” only because they were Pakistanis. This was preceded by the killing of four Pakistani-origin members of the Bahraini police, while their Bahraini officers were left unmolested.
Sadly, these incidents received scant attention in our press, whereas intrusive questioning or a body search by a Western official of some Pakistani official at, say, Paris or Washington airports, raises a howl of protest. It may be part of human nature to hate the man you have hurt, but to hate a man before you hurt him, purely because he is a Pakistani by Arabs, amounts to xenophobia and racism.
Some will say such atrocities these days are the exception, and not the rule, in the Gulf, and explain it away by putting it down to the exceptional times and the historical changes that the Arab world is witnessing. But nature, though often hidden and sometimes overcome, is seldom extinguished and the truth is even before this unrest, which has died down now, the Gulf Arabs remained abusive towards Pakistanis.
In the near future, the shortage of jobs at home will ensure a continuous tickle of Pakistanis to the Gulf but the question remains; aren’t these people whom Islam teaches us, are our brothers?
Maybe it’s high time that develop our selves economically so strong enough; that our people no longer need to search for jobs abroad. Until we do that, Arabs will continue to bristle with prejudice when it comes to dealing with the poor people of Pakistan!
And always remember the oil in the Gulf will run out but the talent of the people of Pakistan is timeless. In due course Pakistan can be the envy of the world, if only we commit ourselves to the task!