Social Injustice II

Are we Pakistanis fair in our dealings with our friends?

Relationships like friendship are informal and communication is therefore more direct. However, I feel there’s too much formality in these relations in Pakistan, reducing the effectiveness of these relations. We are rarely direct and honest with friends. Friends generally don’t judge each other so the masks usually come off when they are around each other. In Pakistan however, that’s rarely the case, we keep our masks on even around friends. The conversations we have are generally shallow competitions of showing off who we know and what we own.

I feel that friends should be each other’s conscience and should ideally help each other become better people. Communication between friends, therefore, needs to be very open and honest. However, the reality of friendship in Pakistan is quite to the contrary. Generally, when we disagree with a friend’s thoughts or actions, instead of calling it out and suggesting improvements, we don’t say a word and make fun of our friends behind their backs. And friends who call that out are usually not appreciated for their honesty. We generally don’t invest the honesty needed in our relationships, nor do we get the true fruit of these beautiful relationships in reciprocation.

The biggest and most disturbing misconception in Pakistan is mistaking friendship for an intimate relationship. “Do you want to be friends with me?” is actually treated as a pick up line and is frequently used by guys on social media to approach random girls. This completely distorts the beautiful relationship and so often society mistakes genuine friends to be in a relationship; fiances and spouses frequently make a big deal about friends from the opposite sex. Majority of the people in Pakistan believe a man and a woman can never be just friends, there has to be more to it than just friendship.

Friendship is generally a very open relationship where we communicate openly about our views without having to be politically correct. We, in Pakistan, usually make too much effort to be politically correct even around friends, distorting the very basis of the relationship and severely reducing its effectiveness. We frequently see one-sided friendships that look more like host and parasite. Friendship in Pakistan can be summed up with explaining one common practice; when it comes to birthdays, we are probably the only nation on the planet that asks birthday boy/girl to give us a treat instead of treating them on their big day.