Pakistani American Diaspora obsession with Politics Back Home

Pakistani American Diasporas are the group of first-generation Americans who migrated to the US on family or employer-sponsored green cards and later converted and settled as US citizens. This generation of Pakistani Americans is living a life of confusion. While they live in America, they are more worried about the politics back home. They argue and debate with each other for hours on Facebook, WhatsApp, Online forums or when they meet each other in person for a family get together events.

So what is this obsession, is there some kind of guilt that confronts them for deserting their homeland or if this is the only topic that connects them with their country of birth. How can debating for hours on WhatsApp groups and blog forums or trying to argue on whether Imran Khan, the cricketer turned politician and now the Prime Minister of Pakistan is the only best thing happened to that country in 70 years. Imran Khan’s Political Party, Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf aka PTI came into power last August after the party was able to win the highest number of National Assembly seats in the parliament to form a coalition government.

Since then these Pakistani American Diasporas have been celebrating and criticizing each and every move of the government. They do this by debating and arguing with each other on the WhatsApp groups and online Pakistani forums in a bid to try and prove each other wrong by sanctifying or demonizing the political party they support or hate.

During the initial phase of the PTI government coming into power, some enthusiastic Pakistani Diasporas supporting the government had also sent remittances for the “Dam Fund” publicized by Prime Minister Imran Khan in a bid to encourage the overseas Pakistanis to invest in Pakistan.

The recent hot topic trending for discussions on social media is the Pakistani Diasporas bonds released by the Pakistani Government. The group who is trying to promote the PTI government is hellbound on declaring it as Halal Interest-free investment by branding it as Sharia-compliant ‘Modarba” (Partnership Islamic investment) while the anti group is highlighting how this is an interest-based investment and less lucrative than investing in some other emerging markets like Argentina and India.

While Pakistani Diasporas live in the US, their hearts are in Pakistan. If you ask them as to why they do not move back to Pakistan if they are so bull on the development and prospects back home then expect sheepish responses and smiles. In reality, it’s pretty clear that they are fully vested in American society. They have kids who would never want to return back to an alien country, they and their spouses have lucrative six figures jobs, they own comfortable homes and drive luxury cars. To give up on any of it is a difficult choice and 99% of the time these diasporas will prefer to spend their lives in America opposed to going back home.

My advice to Pakistanis living overseas in America and around the world is that they should continue to support their country of origin both financially and by positively promoting it in their country of citizenship, however, they should give up on this Pakistani politics obsession. If they live here in the US then they should involve themselves in American communities and American issues and politics. Join neighborhood home associations or local township politics. There is a number of opportunities to get involved and make a difference in the lives of Pakistani and other Muslims in America.

Try to understand the implication of new tax laws or laws pertaining to schools and social issues. There is plenty going on in a society that will eventually impact our future Muslim generations in America.

There is nothing to be gained by spending hours on debating Pakistani politics or by taunting and ridiculing your friends on WhatsApp or others on Facebook or online forums. If you want to help Pakistan, then that help should be rendered irrespective of who is in charge of the government. There are plenty of avenues in terms of contributing financially to charities in Pakistan. Support education projects or fight hunger and illiteracy by pledging to support International Charity organizations who work on various projects inside Pakistan and other poor and underprivileged countries around the world.

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