His Excellency Mr. Zarooni,

Thank you very much for taking the trouble to write about us. Let me start with a friendly advice to kindly read the letter again that you think I have written. At the top of it, I have put the disclaimer in big, bold, underlined letters that it was received on WhatsApp and the writer is anonymous. You might have to take someone’s help to understand it, may be from one of your staff members that might be a Pakistani.

Having said that let me also reiterate that the said letter might not have been written by me, but I’m in complete agreement with the contents. Had I have written it, I would have left the cuss words to your royal imagination rather than putting in the text. Although, we Punjabis have a habit of being a bit more explicit while communicating. You don’t want to know Punjabi cuss words I’m sure.

I understand you are shocked to see that Pakistanis can react to the treatment given by your royal highnesses. I know it is a rude surprise for the Gulfis to see Pakistanis expressing their disgust on how their country is treated by those who use the rhetoric of ‘friendship’ and ‘brotherhood’ but act like masters. But that’s how the world changes, sir. Slavery had to go. So did Apartheid. Suffrage had to become adult with equal status of women. It might all be Greek to you. We understand. But trust me, there would be a time when even you in the Gulf would realise that all humans are equal.

In your piece of writing, you alluded to millions of Pakistanis living in GCC. Thank you for realising that our people are building your cities and helping you out in almost all chores that you can’t do by yourself. Yes many of us have ‘prospered’ there but only after contributing handsomely to your economy and social life. And guess what, our people who are helping you with all this, are not being treated like half humans even. You owe them a lot before you threaten them of consequences. A little reminder here would be useful; the quota of Pakistani workers in your country is much lesser than for those from India and even Bangladesh.

Talking about our politicians investing in UAE that you cited, you might realise that even they have INVESTED in your infrastructure and real estate. If you want, you can say no to their investment and send them back home. We won’t mind. If you want our workers to send back, we would know your hollow rhetoric of ‘brotherhood’ while being petty.

You are visibly irked by the reaction our Interior Minister rightly shared with media, who you said had ‘nothing to do with nation’s foreign policy’. No sir, each and every one of us has everything to do with OUR foreign policy. Its YOU who have NOTHING TO DO with how we respond to other countries trying to bully us, or what our sovereign Parliament decides, or how our elected ministers respond to the humiliations hurled by the representatives of other countries.

You reminded us of UAE’s help to Pakistan in the wake of floods, earthquakes etc as well as in the areas of health and education. We thank you very much for being generous at times of need. We value your concern for our problems of education and health care. But we are more concerned about how you have funded extremist and terrorist organisations like LeJ, ASWJ etc as well as funnelling unstoppable money into extremist factories, i.e. Madrassas. We can’t forgive anyone who supports insurgency in Balochistan either by money or by other means. And it is too difficult to miss your footprint in our country especially in Balochistan.

You said your rulers have ‘always strived to help Pakistan in their time of need’, well thank you but that has never been a free lunch that you had offered us. We have been helping you with your defence since 1960s. We donated you our head of ISI who started working with you immediately after his retirement. We would not normally allow any of our spy chiefs had it been any other country. We hope you would learn to be grateful.

You also wrote that you failed to understand if Pakistanis ‘have so much malice against UAE than [sic] why most of the prominent Pakistanis have invested heavily in UAE’. You are really at loss to understand the difference between malice and upholding one’s self-respect. We have no malice whatsoever for the states who treat us like their slaves. But yes, we do have a right to retaliate and react to their disdain. That’s exactly what we are doing. Try to deal with it however it is difficult we understand. But it’s never too late to learn civility.

Once again, our politicians and serving officials if have invested – I repeat, INVESTED – in your country, it is two-way relationship. On your allusion to the investment made by a sitting minister and a former minister from PPP, we are not interested, sir. If you don’t want their investment, throw them out. Majority of Pakistani people have anyway no access to your luxurious amenities nor do they have any interest in keeping the pleasures of this tiny and disconnected elite. Thanks, but no thanks.

These threatening reminders from you about Pakistani investors, especially from Pakistan’s ruling party, reflect much on you and your hollow rhetoric of ‘all weather friendship’ or ‘brotherly relationship’. Try to think, might be a little difficult but not impossible. You insist to ask questions, you are most welcome. But your questions are mostly directed to the elite and political leaders from PMLN and PPP who have invested in UAE or to PTI that went to UAE to collect funds. So what are the questions again? Are you saying, because these party leaders have personal interests attached to UAE, they must listen to you and not their own people? You are mistaken Mr. Zarooni. We are a nation of 180 million people who are vigilant on how their rulers act. If any of them would act against the interests of the people, they would be thrown out. We are not a monarchy like your country where individuals could make decisions based on their own personal interests forgetting about the nation.

UAE provides quality of life to the people of Pakistan you said? No sir, you provide an opportunity to many Pakistanis to take care of YOUR quality of life. And those Pakistanis enjoying quality of life in UAE afford the same quality even in Pakistan. The millions of Pakistanis, you wonder, would be perturbed seeing their country reacting to your rudeness. Think again. They might very well be relieved to see that at last their country is rising up against your arrogance.

You think because many Pakistanis are using UAE as second home, your country gets the right to meddle in our internal affairs. Sorry sir, our people are living, much more comfortably so with their fundamental rights and self-respect intact, throughout the globe. That does not give any country a right to dictate my country how we should behave in international relations. NRO you say, was signed in UAE. So? Should we give you some special rights for having hosted this notorious agreement? Better try to know what NRO is.

Once again, you have misread, which is quite expected of you by the way, that the said note for Mr. Gargash was written by me. The author of that letter is anonymous as explained earlier; I have just put it on my blog for wider readership. I know the language used in that letter for Mr. Gargash was ‘below dignity’, but his statement which the letter responds to is much below any lowest standards of dignity and basic principles of diplomacy.

You remind me that your country was not Pakistan ‘where abusing and making fun of your leadership is norm of the day’. “This is UAE” you say. Of course Mr. Zarooni, UAE can’t be Pakistan. Pakistan is a proud democracy with an ethnically and religiously diverse populace. We elect our governments and enjoy all the rights to criticise and poke fun at them if we want. Just like the rest of civilised world. You are UAE, can’t be Pakistan.

You say contempt of one of you means insult of all of you. Likewise Mr. Zarooni. It would be difficult for you to believe but the reality is that we are equal human beings and not your slaves. Our state might be getting cash from you but there is a quid pro quo. Quite an expensive one. We have been sacrificing our precious soldiers offering defence for your borders. If your Minister can be contemptuous and threatening for our country, rest assure you will have it from every child of Pakistan. Be ready for it if you want to enjoy the freedom to threaten my country.

Before you demand any apology from us just for being sensitive to our own self-respect, we – the Pakistani people – demand an apology from your government and your arrogant minister to apologise for the language used against my country and for threatening us.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Marvi Sirmed

An ordinary citizen of Pakistan (not Al-Bakistan, please make a strong note)

Area 14/8