The first thing you must know (and I am sure you do) about Hamza Ali Abbasi: the guy’s patriotic to the core. In an interview with Something Haute, he talked about what it means to be free and why, even in the midst of issues, Pakistanis have a reason to celebrate Independence Day.
Are we free? ”Unfortunately NO, we are not yet free. Physically we might be free but mentally we are slaves. However we do have a lot to celebrate. The great ideals that our forefathers had for Pakistan and an opportunity to make them a reality. The previous generation failed, so it’s the duty of this generation. God forbid if this generation fails, then the next one must try. At least we always have a chance, and that’s what we need to celebrate.”
What are the three things today that make you proud to be a Pakistani? ”All is not doom and gloom for Pakistan; we are a politically diverse nation, we refused to become a kingdom or a theocracy, we have a thriving political culture, you can call it political division, I call it political diversity.”
”Secondly, religious diversity. Yes we have our fair share of siyasi mullah and liberal hawks, but we have modern liberalism going side by side with religion in Pakistan. You have award shows, concerts and a thriving media and film industry on one hand and simultaneously you have the religious clergy and the conservative lot doing their bit. Slowly but surely, both liberalism and conservatism are co existing…side by side.”
Our politics is rotten to the core; politicians are vile, termites eating away at the country. How can you say ‘side by side’ when artistes are getting shot in broad daylight. There is no freedom for them. There is no security. ”But it will get better…..with time. What matters is today I can go out in the open and cuss out the PM, President and anyone in power….a luxury many country’s citizens don’t have. As far as being shot is concerned, everyone is a target…not just artists.”
What are we celebrating this year? ”What we must celebrate the most is that on 14th August 1947, we got the opportunity to realize a dream…all we have to do now is not let this opportunity go.”
Hamza Ali Abbasi doesn’t want Pakistanis to lose hope. ”69 yrs is nothing. It took Europe, USA, China and Japan hundreds of years, including many civil wars and two world wars to get where they are….so let’s not lose hope.”