Wednesday 2 March 2011

Farewell George - a real Pakistani

George Fulton, a great friend of Pakistan and a man with whom I had the pleasure of spending some time in Karachi, is leaving the country for good after nine years. He became a household name in Pakistan in 2005 after starring in the reality TV show George ka Pakistan, in which he was given three months to become a real Pakistani. Amazingly he did it and so impressed were viewers that they voted overwhelmingly that he should be given Pakistani citizenship. The government concurred and George became one of the very few goras to become a Pakistani citizen.
Now he is leaving. In a well-considered article he has written for the Express Tribune newspaper he explains why: "Pakistan, you are on a precipice. A wafer-thin sliver is all that stands between you and becoming a failed state. A state that was the culmination of a search for a ‘Muslim space’ by the wealthy Muslims of Northern India has ended up, as MJ Akbar recently pointed out, becoming “one of the most violent nations on earth, not because Hindus were killing Muslims but because Muslims were killings Muslims”.
A sad day for Pakistan. Let's hope that one day he feels he and his family can return in safety.

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