So you’ve just woken up and decided to take a note of things. You are the cool generation with gizmos and gadgets at your disposal, a million news channels, freedom of expression and the luxury of having an ‘opinion’. Hello new-age liberals, peace-lovers and critics of the Armed forces; I welcome you.

Does the PNS Mehran attack anger you? Of course it does. You are the ones shouting louder than the noise of gunfire and bomb blasts. You have an opinion on everything and you are standing by your conclusion that the Pakistan Armed forces are inept, incompetent and unable to defend. And lately, your argument has taken a newer flavor, something on the lines of ‘they can’t even defend their own base, let alone this country’.

Okay, I am going to hear you out. I will try to reason with you, but I cannot promise not to lose my temper. I cannot promise thinking from my brain and not from my heart. I cannot promise you any of this because of just one simple reason.

I reject you and your cool posse. You are not better than the soldier/sailor who loses his life in the line of duty. How can you even begin to criticise them? For what, I ask you? For toiling in the heat all day long while you sit away logged on to your Facebook accounts, throwing flurries and flurries of opinionated diarrhea that you just picked up from some stupid talk show hosted by channels having political alliances? Or for the fact that they spend months away from their families and loved ones, engaging in battle with the enemies of the State, not because of their hatred towards them or because they have an opinion, but because of the SIMPLE fact that the State requires them to do so, and they OBEY for the love of the land, and for the love of the country, while you hook up with an attractive female from your university and spend your time in a dimly lit café in Zamzama talking about how the Government is fucking the nation and how “REVOLUTION” is the need of the hour? Or maybe you’re just pissed because the soldier will always be fifty notches cooler than you because he bleeds on the battlefield like a true man, while you sit away in your comfortable car and your comfortable home on a full stomach THINKING that you have made it big in life and this is as high as anyone could go?

Lt. Yaser Abbas, born July 22, 1986, embraced Shahadat during the attack on PNS Mehran along with 10 other Naval personnel. Let us look back and see what you were up to when this happened. You obviously got an SMS from one of your cool friends who has the job of being the amateur news reporter. You ran and turned the TV on. You watched what was going on. And you cursed the Pakistan Navy and the Pakistan Army AND the Pakistan Air Force because THAT is what you have been doing ever since the Osama Bin Laden incident happened. You cursed them for being inept, for being incapable and for being disloyal to the interests of Pakistan. You cursed the whole institution over the mistakes made by a few members of the institution. The same institution that was the source of immense pride ever since you took your first step. Do not lie to yourself. Somewhere during your life, you have had dreams of joining the same institution that you so openly bash now.

I ask you one question. What do you have in answer to the lives that the institution loses in the name of protecting the country? What do you have that makes you better than the soldier/sailor of your own age group who goes to the battlefield to protect the country or die trying?

You may have a million arguments ready. You may have a thousand more accusations to throw. You may have historical incidents marking grave periods of darkness in Pakistan’s history, linked to the Pakistan Armed forces and you may bring up the recent influx of information on the Pakistan Army’s failures to protect the sovereignty of this country. But I have only one argument in return. We all need heroes. We all need heroes to believe in. And the boys who bleed on the battlefield or in the line of duty, just so you and I can go and waste our lives behind a computer screen in an air-conditioned room, will ALWAYS be my heroes.

I salute them; for having the courage to die for a cause.

I reject you; because you have NO CAUSE.

This goes out to all the soldiers and sailors who have lost their lives ever since Pakistan came into existence.

And for all you cool people, go ahead, throw more dirt. It’s freedom of speech. Enjoy it. That’s all you’ll ever do.


Usman Afzal Minhas, 23-May-2011, 1:15 am

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