Thanks to Tambi Dude who emailed this link:
Ten days before he was assassinated in January, my father, Salman Taseer, sent out a tweet about an Indian rocket that had come down over the Bay of Bengal: "Why does India make fools of themselves messing in space technology? Stick 2 bollywood my advice."
My father was the governor of Punjab, Pakistan's largest province, and his tweet, with its taunt at India's misfortune, would have delighted his many thousands of followers. It fed straight into Pakistan's unhealthy obsession with India, the country from which it was carved in 1947.
My grandparents were born in what's today called India. They migrated with their children to Pakistan. In hindsight, it wasn't a smart move.
Pakistan's existential confusion made itself apparent in the political turmoil of the decades after partition. The state failed to perform a single legal transfer of power; coups were commonplace. And yet, in 1980, my father would still have felt that the partition had not been a mistake, for one critical reason: India, for all its democracy and pluralism, was an economic disaster.
That's strange to read because all my life Pakistan has been deteriorating relative to India but before 1980 quite a few people would go to Pakistan for work. I've met many in Canada who once worked in Karachi -- the largest city in Pakistan with a view of the Indian ocean.
The reversal in the fortunes of the two countries—India's sudden prosperity and cultural power, seen next to the calamity of Muhammad Iqbal's unrealized utopia—is what explains the bitterness of my father's tweet just days before he died. It captures the rage of being forced to reject a culture of which you feel effortlessly a part—a culture that Pakistanis, via Bollywood, experience daily in their homes.
I can't remember a single Pakistani movie but I know the story lines of hundreds of Indian filims. Pakistan never had a unified culture. It was based on the foundation of a decrepit religion and that it seems is all they have. "We are Muslims, therefore we're awesome!"