The population of the world is merely divided into two categories, those who believe in what others tell them and those who experience everything by themselves. There’s always something good in the bad ones and something bad in the good ones, but it’s all the matter of perspectives. In the fast moving materialistic world, media and journalism play an important role in manipulating the standpoint of people. Within minutes, you can manipulate the minds of common people and change their perspectives. Unfortunately, from the past two decades, the majority of the media and journalist groups are portraying the false image of Pakistan. As a result, the ones who don’t even know where Pakistan stands are afraid of Pakistanis, and for that, hats off to media! But yet there are the people who don’t believe in the stereotypes, they want to experience things by themselves. An Australian Journalist Stan Grant describes Pakistan as his second home after visiting. Shocked to hear that? Well, you shouldn’t be.
Stan Grant is a Wiradjuri (a group of indigenous people of Australian aboriginals that were united by a common language, strong ties of kinship and survived as skilled hunters) from Griffith, New South Wales. He has been working for CNN since 2000. Also, he is the ambassador of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation. He was on the assignment to cover the conflict zones when he entered Pakistan. He also covered the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan. But when he entered Pakistan, it was totally a different experience for him. He explains Pakistan, as a nation, stuck in the middle of radical Islamic extremism and democratic government. He saw the life and turbulence everywhere, that he became fond of.
According to Grant, Pakistan once being the part of India has faced more terrorist attacks than Afghanistan and Iraq combined, yet it’s the land open for all.
It was deeply evocative-the smells and the sights and the sounds, but at the same time, exotic and distant, remote and also turbulent,” the strange experience Grant had during his stay in Pakistan.
Stan Grant saw the smile on the face of innocent children in the north. He saw them playing cricket and loving Shane Warne and Steve Waugh as their heroes. But for an assignment, he was brought to terrorists by a Pakistani general. He had been among the terrorists, he smiled at the boys but they looked back at him with hatred in their eyes. Their innocence had been stolen. They had been brainwashed by the terrorist groups. There was no hope left in them. They are not carrying bombs, they are the bombs themselves.
For all of that, Pakistan is not to be blamed, our humanity is to be questioned. When Stan returned to Australia, he wrote his story that reconnected him with the people he met in Pakistan. According to him, he has arrived at the right place to be able to tell the right story that matters now.
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