A recent United Nations Report on World Happiness has ranked Pakistan to be a country happier than our neighbours. There is every reason for us to be sceptical about this finding. How can this be true?
The country is facing an insurgency and many social and economic issues. We have millions of people living below the poverty line. Our media is constantly highlighting unpleasant facts. How can we be happy?
I mulled the UN report to conclude that it is largely correct. My experience reflects the same.
About 20 years ago, I was part of a five-member team selected from Pakistan. Other countries from the South Asian region were also in the same programme. The other members of the team had the professional background and were of the same age as myself.
To make us a cohesive team, we were all housed in the same hotel to work on a joint presentation. Each Pakistani was a member of a separate team. I think that, as individuals, the Pakistani team members were colourful, lively and full of fun. On the day of the presentation, it again struck me that the presentations made by the Pakistanis were delivered with a touch of humour compared to the others.
Over the years, these observations have become a strong belief. Perhaps most Pakistanis handle pressures of life and its pains well. We forgive and forget such episodes and move on.
I am now curious about finding out which province in our blessed country is the happiest, which city is the happiest, which rural areas are the happiest, etc.
Altaf Noor Ali