There are nations who are created for various reasons . From ethnicities to linguistics to fiefdoms or convenience . But there are only a few nations created for ideology. Pakistan is the only one in the Islamic world.
Our ideology is based on Islamic Principals or let me say the principals set forth by the life of our Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) . This was clearly the vision in the Pakistan Resolution and it was made emboldened in the constitution of the country.
Those who decided to choose Pakistan as their future abode . Did it on these basis. Now many non Muslims aspired from the same philosophy and chose to stay or side with Pakistan because they knew that if the nation is going to be based on the principals of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) . Their rights would be adequately safeguarded which was a difficult possibility in the newly independent Indian state in our neighborhood which was oozing with the spirit of Hindutva at that time. Not necessary wrong for them as they were one of the oldest civilizations of the world and were being ruled for more than six centuries by outsiders. For them it was back into their own form of ideology after centuries. Many felt that this might not be very suitable for them to live in and decided to leave. Many didn’t knowing the resource limitations the new state of Pakistan had.
I was born 30 years after Pakistan came into existence. The struggles of the nation I know if through historians . How the young nation was stomped all over by the issue of being righteousness or not after came into existence? How the young nation was halved into two for various reasons? How as a nation we have practically limped towards evolution? This piece is not another documentation of the history and yet we need to know the past for reasoning with the future.
I am not born to a rich family. I am from a family who has seen struggles, who has seen traveling via buses, who has seen times where your parents cannot afford to buy you a new uniform every year, who has seen skipping doctors visits due to financial constraints, who has seen your parents struggling with days when to decide to what to cook. Yet Allah was kind to us that we had managed to have a roof on our head and our parents managed to send us to a decent school. We still live under the same one roof and foresee to be under the same . I come from a family where my father struggled to pay off for my mother’s expenses incurred due to her cancer treatment and when she died he was badly indebted. I need to tell the readers this because they must know that what I am about to pen down which I see can contribute to change the thought process for the nation that I am from amongst them and have seen the pain and infact know the pain of being deprived.
Today I see many around us talk about morality whilst I do not doubt their intention. I know for sure that they may never know the same. Like I may never know the struggles of many but I would try to do today is that I share a dream where every one can with their self belief can be on the right path. My motto today is not make you billionaires in terms of money but multi billionaires in terms of your believes for our dear nation Pakistan. I promised my dying mother that I would reach a role where I would become someone where she would be proud to know that her son has achieved or die trying. For me , though all the rest is important my family, my job and my surroundings . But for me that one promise of my dying mother was key.
Now I belief that either we rise as a nation or we fall as one. I belief that unless many amongst you rise together with me or amongst you. We may become individual success stories but may never become a successful nation. I envisage that we do not limp to our evolution is a great nation but run towards it with confidence.
I see a lot of despair , confusion and uncertainty around us. I don’t worry about it much as being a student of history I know that all great nations went through the same before they reached a point where they are today. Including USA , UK , Spain, France, China etc etc. Each of them saw their highs through various visionary leaders who came after them coming into being in order to steer them to prosperity and each of them saw their mud being reddened by the blood of both patriots and tyrants.
I belief that every man has a right to live and has a right to have a property. I belief that if there is an equal system across where a nation who is known as a motherland love each of its sons and daughters and create equal opportunities for all them to have these rights can ensure a nation which would be contend in what it desires to achieve. I feel that who so ever stands between the mother land and its children to achieve these rights are either corrected or marginalized as no single individual in my view is born with a privilege to have a form of supra domination on the society but has to be seen equally to have access to every right a mother land presents.
These could be education, jobs, health care , justice , freedom , businesses and life. Now I am not at all saying that those who prosper should be marginalized but the nation has to ensure that each of its citizen born gets access to these fundamental rights and let the best excel only to see their posterity each time standing in the same line or access to these rights. In my view this is critical to create harmony in the nation where every feels equal and may rise as a nation. We have seen that the world has seen many revolutions in the past as a struggle between those who have all and those have nothing. Now I would not like mention any of those here as I do not want to be seen as a fan , a critic or an aspirant of any such revolutions. I belief that every nation has to carve out its own future and its own revolutions .
I get perturbed to see the chaos we go through today. Despair and Disbelief has taken its toll. We see today a struggle between extremes. Nature has its way to balance it self in my opinion like we see what Global warming presents to us. Similarly, I think that nature is trying to create a similar balance in Pakistan today. It is because that the nation came into existence for a different purpose and motive than what we see today. We today see a struggle between haves and have not’s in the country. We see a struggle between extremes views of religions or political thinking and many more. I feel that such exists today because there is a imbalance which has been created as a direct result of selfish individuals or as an aftermath of non action of our leadership. I feel that like when your body is in pain and need medication or other wise see extreme conditions like Cancer develop. There is a significant vacuum existing in the nation right now which only us the true Pakistanis can over come.
I belief that in order to correct a problem. We first need to accept that there is one and recognize the same. Thanks to intertwined society due to the gifts of technology . One get a lot of chance to exchange and obtain views from various sections of societies. I feel that its not too late in the day to get us back on track and let our motherland a chance to give equal access to rights to all its sons and daughters. I feel that still we have a chance to find a balance between political astuteness and religion to give a workable ideological state which successfully runs as part of the international community instead of being an out cast . I feel that we need to create the corrective actions.
I am trying to put such a document today which becomes a hand book for Pakistanis to carve out a nation in line with religion and aspiration of our founders . I recommend today what we need to correct from the perspective of politics and from the view of an enlightened religious Pakistani .
I feel that we would need to answer three basic questions to put our nation in a balanced track where motherland give equal rights to its children .
1) What are the five Pillars needed for a balanced society today?
2) 9 R’s to put Pakistan back on track?
Now I cant do it for you . But what show you the problem and hint at what I belief is the solution for a better enlightened , moderate and a prosperous Pakistan.
What I want as a Pakistani today to put my nation back on track?
When I look around today than what I see a complex situation which needs complex measures to resolve. I feel that before we commence on a journey to create a great nation. We would need to instill as a nation the following five to guide us to the right path :
By achieving these five we can build a spirit which would be over and above the same reasons which has divided us a nation based on the lines of ethnicity , religion and sects. Since dire times need dire measures . For us to embark on a journey ; we would need to unite and that is only possible if we adhere to the five basics in us as Pakistanis . Otherwise , the next journey can be difficult.
We would need to take oath as Pakistanis now that in order to remove the inequalities amongst us . We would need to change a lot of things which we see around us and if need be it may include improving the constitution in its current form as when it was created in 1973 . It was done by the same lot which caused the break up of the nation in 1971 and in my view they tainted the document to strengthen their control over the masses. Though every one talks about the 180 million Pakistanis. I wonder when based on Islamic Principles why only certain class and segment come back in power again and again. We see that 90% of those who represent us are part of the 2% Pakistanis . Why common Pakistani like you and me don’t come into power? So in a nut shell we would need to go to any lengths to amend the mistakes which we do today as a nation or has occurred in the past.
Since what I propose would mean some stark measures . It has to be on the basis of a strong foundation and unity amongst us in order for us to bring that kind of change.
For me Nationalism is defined simply in the sense that when surrounded by irrespective of what may be the situation . Your feel of patriotism thrives. Those nations who have shown this behavior has survived and hence grown. If I look around myself . I see all of us living in a very fragmented society where people are from various provinces or areas or languages or religions. I would not say that I am an angel myself who has not thought in these lines. But if I think of Pakistan than try to analyze the problem. This becomes clear that this kind of divisions amongst our society has been the bane of the reasons for all.
Now what I say is just not an argument because this thought has many an impact on various decisions that we take on daily basis as human beings and our leaders are not above of which as they do the same . From deciding on the foreign policy or on who to give jobs or where to spend most of the national exchequer. This lack of nationalism has given us half of the nation of the original one which was created in 1947. We may like or not but our Bengali brothers were complaining of the same prejudices for many years before they decided to part their ways unfortunately.
We see some similar sentiments currently and trust me its becoming a menace of which none of us is insulated from as this is seeing people revolting against the motherland for no mistake of its own and we see now blood being spilled in the various corners of the country.
I would say that if we adhere to a few basics and we take an oath amongst our selves that we would stick to these lines of thinking. I feel that we can put the nation as a society on the right path.
a) Pakistani First
The sentiment is totally gone isn’t it. We have gotten so much embroiled in the small turfs that we have created around our selves. We and that inclusive of myself are so proud to associate to our language based origin that we totally forget the impact of which on our national identity.
Now I am not saying that it is not human to do so. Lets take example of our neighbor i.e. India where you could see the ethnic divide between the north and the south Indians. Between the Punjabis and the Bengalis or the Biharis or Marathas. But great nations do not let this intervene and so much so that when it comes to Indianism . All of them are Indians first. On the contrary on our other border. With so many ethnicities living in Iran and still they are all united under one flag. But then look at Afghanistan . They are fighting the war between being a Pashtun or a Hazara and have killed so many thousands of each other to gain power but yet to no avail.
The question is that whether we want to be known as the Indian example or the Afghan example both the nations touching our borders that is why being used as an example. Now because of the prejudice towards each other ethnic background. We ignore merit . We ensure that if there are jobs we get some one hired who belong to our area , bradari or tribe. Ignoring the fact that we might be saying no to some one who could be talented.
The private sector has means to do such screening. But the public sector ends up hiring people on such prejudices and see what happens that all are state institutions are crumbling under the weight of our wrong choices. Not only that we are depriving the motherland to give the opportunity to the right candidate but in these times of global competition. Not getting the right candidate who is on merit on the job. We are suffering in terms of turn around, efficiency and results. This is prevail ant every where unfortunately from the grounds up and is costing our nation dearly. This has to cease if we want to grow as a nation. As not only this is against the vision of our Holy Prophet PBUH but also the vision of our Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
b) Rise above your language barrier
I must say that any language which is spoken in any part of the country is important as part of our cultural identity but then we need to converge somewhere. Preferably, all Pakistanis should know about each of the language and culture associated with it. But then there are real life limitations. We can see this globally as well. That English has in a way taken over as world’s local language.
Pakistan’s one of the first dilemma were language riots as our Bengali brothers were not happy with Urdu as the only national language. We could have been accommodative since they were a sizeable majority and historically Bangla language has roots in history. But no , we had to take a position on which . In my opinion it was one the reasons the seeds of hatred were sown.
Forget, about history if you can. Come to the future. Language is being used for discrimination only . That is negatively. I would not mind if I am given the cultural mix on media for me to pick and choose . But I see that instead language is a reason where many may or may not get jobs. Now globally English is a must and a pre-requisite to get a job. But locally in many national departments in Pakistan this is creating much division amongst us Pakistanis. As not knowing any major regional language is seen as a disadvantage .
If we need to rise as Pakistanis . This kind of division has to cease. Till the time we amicably agree on something. We should evaluate each other on our mother tongue. Even English should not be a criteria in my view . Though this piece is ironically in English. Since most of our Pakistanis who are very talented but are coming from rural areas cannot speak English . English which has become a sign of dominance in the country should also be thought of as good to have skill or on job based requirement.
If we can get ahead of this one challenge that next time when we meet someone who is a Pakistani and treat him on merit but not on base of the language that he or she can speak in. Trust me we can be heading in the right direction.
c) Your religion is your personal domain
Can we care to agree with less with me on this ? I doubt. We can see that the religion division amongst us as Muslims is ripping us apart globally. Now I may not be able to control things beyond our borders where this is already a thriving issue. But can try to at least nip in the bud amongst my own people first.
I take a very simplistic view of the same. My religion is my matter with God. If someone is doing something wrong . Than God would take into account of the same in after life. I am no one to judge anyone as more a Muslim or less based on his / her action or sects or other beliefs. God has given us direction via Quran. He has set forth the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and that’s it . There is a reason we call day of Qiamat as judgment day. Means simply God has given us knowledge and opportunity to follow the right and as well the wrong path. God has given us a brain to choose . Its our own choice. If we make a wrong one today. Then the day of judgment would take care of it.
Means lets mind our own business. There is enough material around to guide people. If some one choose to take it or not. We should worry about our own character and doings. If we all agree on this than we would be in a much better situation for serving our country.
Now every religion we have in Pakistan belief in God in one form or another. We must respect that . We must not forget that Non Muslim Pakistanis have contributed a lot to this nation through health and education services to the least. We must respect their believes . Many religions existed here even before Pakistan came into existence and we should respect that .
The vigilante mentality which is growing in our country in my view creates half the problems. I am not saying that we should close our eyes for the wrong doings in the country. But ironic isn’t it that we ignore people getting murdered , getting raped or dying of hunger but we worry more about if someone has been a good Muslim or a bad?
The day in my view we start thinking in these lines. We can create more national unity amongst us .
This one word in my opinion defines our religion. At every step and moment at the inception of our religion or the formative years. Our Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) demonstrated this with his character and taught his followers the same.
Look at this from this angle. When you fast. You sacrifice of the hunger and thirst. When you fulfill any pillar of the religion. The same happens . At every step the religion teaches us about it. Our Holy Prophet Muhammad PBUH when spreading the religion had to bear with it in terms of relations, his home, money and even so much so put his own life in danger to sacrifice for God. Unless one does not in my view you cannot create association with what ever cause you would like to follow . Sacrifice builds association and adherence to the same.
Now its not easy all the time. And we do see it on day to basis in our lives where we are not even ready to sacrifice minor things to live on with our worldly abode and life style. The day we think that life is finite and hereafter is key inclusive of judgment day and what legacy you leave for your self when you die. The conclusions become clearer.
Many years ago someone asked me that what legacy would I like to leave after I die. I gave a list of my aspirations. But then I realized that like everything has a cost . So does achieving your dreams have . Sacrifice is only this all is possible. I may not be the best example but we have so many examples around us in recent times where people have risen above their own self interest and sacrificed to try to give us a better world. People like Mother Teresa and Maulana Abdul Sattar Edhi. Sometimes if I wonder with the collapsing systems that we have in our sub continent . If we did not have these type of individuals what would have happened ?
Their lives are all about sacrifice where they stopped short of getting personal or political glory after what they gave to the mankind .
The day as we decide as Pakistanis that sacrifice is a must to have . Not only that we fulfill the terms of our religion but we also end up giving us all a better Pakistan.
a) Don’t steal . Don’t cheat
We know that our government does nothing with our given tax money. So that is why we don’t pay taxes. We say that since we are being ripped off by energy supply companies . Its our right to steal electricity or gas . Some say that since it has become too expensive . Its alright to sell a little underweight . Lets get some extra marks by just overlooking during an exam since every one is doing it or its fine to take something under the table. No one would know or cares; infact every one does it than why should I be left behind . After all we also have families. Many such examples would exist around us . Amongst our friends, maybe our relatives or maybe people we know. I feel that we are becoming slowly and gradually a morally corrupt nation.
Lets not forget the actual criminalized stealing which we see every day where people are deprived of their valuables at the hands of those who have either given up on their lives. Either have taken stealing and looting as a short cut or have become victims of circumstances.
Trust me a whole book can be written on this attitude of us as Pakistani society. But I would like to keep it at the minimum.
Our religion first of all has severely shown disdain towards these types of act and has mentioned that those doing the same would have a straight ticket to hell. I do tell every one that we must study closely the formative years of Islam and especially the life of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) before he was bestowed with prophet hood by God. What was he known as amongst his tribe and Arabs? Sadiq or Ameen. Means truthful and honest. Now many amongst us are Muslims. We say that this is an ideological Islamic state. We say that for us Quran and life of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is supreme.
If that is the case ; if that is all true than where is your true spirit. Dear people of Pakistan . The thousands of Arabs followed in the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) foot steps because of the character he presented to the nation at the time. It was this time of steadfastness which gave impetus to his message and credibility to his work in spreading the word of God. These two characterizes i.e. Sadiq and Ameen were his fundamentals. Why we today we forget the same ? We spend more time in following his post Prophet hood characteristics but many amongst us ignore these two. Its may be out of ignorance we do or may be out of convenience. I feel that whilst we follow the guidelines of our religion. We must have a strong character . If we have a strong character than we would not be afraid of getting swayed by worldly matters and minor trifle issues would have no sense for us.
We would only be than able to rise above our selves and our differences. Now lets not forget that Zakaat is also form of a tax which God has made compulsory to pay to the rulers of the time and it’s the job of the rulers to spend it wisely. Now if we decide that we do not pay because of the corrupt nature of our rulers. We must fulfill our religions responsibility and leave them to be answered to God. By not paying taxes , by stealing. We are harming who but nonetheless our motherland. The rulers do not get effected by the same. The bearing of stealing on taxes , on resources etc have an indirect or direct bearing on the poor masses of the nation as this contributes to the inflation of the country as the motherland is not able to make its end meets.
This in return creates that type of differences and divide amongst us where poor becomes poorer and rich becomes richer. A point comes when the poor would decide that the gap has become big enough and would take matters in their own hands. Like in French Revolution. The cost of which was that only rulers got effected but even educated masses got impacted because the revolting poor saw them as enemy. Maybe rightfully so as God gave them the power and knowledge and they didn’t do much to get them their rights.
We need to ensure that we stop Stealing off and Cheating off the motherland. When you do not pay your dues to the society . You do not damage your politicians whom you may hate but you are damaging the motherland.
Do your bid and we must all that our tax payers are minimum ironically. Accordingly as per some scholars. Your tax is not only your national but religious responsibility as well. If we all decide to do things the right way . Than why would there be a need to pay bribes which is also a hell bound sin in the first place equal to taking it and that too is mentioned in Holy Quran.
So lets make a promise as a nation that we do it right . Now right path is the most difficult . But remember a thousand mile journey starts with one step.
b) Merit comes first
Now just imagine . Would you be comfortable if you are flying in an aircraft . Your aircraft gets in the middle of a storm . Who would you be comfortable with the pilot who was inducted through some reference or the best man for the job who was not accompanying because that some one on the reference wanted to visit the destination of the flight. Now its all in the hands of God if god forbidden you get into such a situation. But then who would you be comfortable in risking your life with ? Same goes would you be okay to get operated upon by some one who failed in his or her class and get one in ten right. Or you would expect the best.
When you would expect the best for yourself than why would we or lets say should we expect anything less for our motherland. I know that these are competitive times. But had we allowed merit settle in across the country and not through back door approaches. Our nation might have been run by the best of the best and we could have been an Asian Tiger as well. No but we would hire under guise of quota system . Sometimes lesser eligible people. We would hire someone from our area or our language. We would hire someone who can get us more money under the table. Forgetting that the wrong doctor you may hire might end up killing some one . That wrong Engineering might end up destroying that multi billion aircraft. The wrong policeman might not be able to stop criminal activities, let alone catch them and would have a direct bearing on our society.
Have we ever wondered that why our Private sectors has fared much better than the government sector though we are in the same environment. Its mainly due to merit. Now there would be some nepotism there as well. But in a capitalistic world if people are hired out of merit in such challenging times. We have seen such organizations collapsing as well. Ever wondered why some big brands got bankrupt and some left Pakistan? In a larger view its all what you can deliver. Whilst a person on lesser merit might get you some where. The guy on merit would definitely get you somewhere.
Now we may have all faced these kind of prejudices in our lives or facing it. But lets promise ourselves that when we get the chance we would ignore these and give a chance to merit. I personally want to running a team of people who can get me my job done to grow. Why should I expect or say we expect anything less for my motherland?
c) Support down trodden
We are lucky to live in the country which pays one of the highest amount of charities in the world. But then again we see that the disparity is increasing by the day as many are pushed to live below the abject poverty level every day.
Whilst I may easily blame the state and the concerned politicians for this kind of misfortune. We must not forget that in some cases it becomes our responsibility as well.
If we have embolden the spirit of sacrifice in our selves than we should not have any limitations to support Pakistanis who are struggling. But like a Chinese Philosopher said that better than feeding the fish . Teach as to how to catch the fish. We must all take out time to support our brethren to get them up to speed in terms of skills and knowledge . If a laborer and our farmer is educated not only that they can produce efficient results but at the same time they can give better lives to their dependents like saving some money they might get from efficient skill based results and in return education for their children.
Now imagine a society where jobs and opportunities are on merit . Motherland opens its doors for everyone equally. You may end up pulling as many people as possible above their poverty line. As the world turns the next corner. Its one of the main reasons that our down trodden poor people who are already challenged in terms of education are becoming a good hunting ground for terrorists and criminal elements.
I am sure that if all of us adopt one such individual in our lives and ensure to pull them above the poverty line by development of skill and guidance . We can do start a bigger process of change in our society.
If I can have one wish for the whole humanity . I would ask for this one word from God. I am sure this one word in its true meaning would solve a lot of issues and infact heal the issues which we face today in the world.
As days goes by. Our capability to kill each other increases whilst our capability to each other diminish. Sometimes I feel that we choose to ignore to be tolerant when it comes to impose your domination on your opponents or enemies. Now the problem is with every day due to our tendencies to react to each other and vice versa . The back log of animosity keeps on getting bigger and bigger. The only way I feel that we can ensure that this back log do not increase is if we bring some tolerance in our minds.
I wonder why we choose to ignore this key trait of our religion. Sometimes I feel that our cultural or tribal tendencies take over our mental sentiment and comes out as religion. I think our Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has set enough examples to demonstrate the basis of a tolerant society.
I am sure instead of wasting our energies on issues arising out of in-tolerance. If we find a way to co-exist than we can add a lot of good to the humanity and our nation especially. Its ironic to see the crimes which comes out of intolerance. People getting killed due to revenge and women from opposite clans getting raped and many other heinous crimes shows the mental sickness we are going through on the whole.
We can heal it together and only together. People who have better control on their lives can demonstrate and lead of this . People like you and me and those who are reading this piece.
a) I hear you but you hear me too
The spirit of freedom of speech and opinion is fast eroding in our society . Or may be we got an over dose of which a few years ago when media got privileges from the government and we may be in an corrective or alignment process in terms of tolerance as a nation.
But we saw what we did to people including high level ranking government officials when they try to voice their opinions against certain beliefs. I sometimes wonder if asking some one to shut up would reinforce your opinion or it would just make it worse. We have example of a country like Iraq where Saddam kept the local population under scrutiny for decades but see what happened when he was removed out of the equation. The voices he tried to shut have emerged and unfortunately in a much more bloody manner.
We are all humans and we all have our limitations. Again we have individual brains . Right! We have individual opinions. There can be no collective opinion in all the times if its there its either ideal or maybe there is a dictatorship. Now if you need to change that opinion . You must debate. But then debate means to say and hear both. It cant be one way only then debate becomes a dictation. After all listening to each other’s point of view only. You may be able to counter the arguments . Its then only you would be able to change the opinions or maybe not or maybe you might end up changing your opinion about a specific issue.
The whole idea is that we cant restraint in the world of today from stating their opinion. Now if the society is matured enough and some one is just ranting then the society would it self reject such individuals. We have become an extreme society where we would like to shut up our opposing thought in all sections of society.
The level of this has become so much intriguing that now people resort to violence or other criminal means to shut the opponent out. If you don’t agree with each other . Fine go and punch a wall if you need to. But you cannot do otherwise. Who knows that by a dialogue you create a new opinion for each one of your self?
We see that during election times best friends become enemies for not listening to each others opinion or infact imposing upon each other. The result is that those who get elected would not even bother if you are no more friends or in need of one. As for them you may just be a voter. This kind of trait is across the country and ironically slowly we are becoming an armed society where people in many cases don’t bother to debate and are trigger happy.
We need to bear in mind that healthy societies debate and tolerate and so shall we learn to do the same. With so much social media around. It can be either used for self destruct or self development . Its your choice.
b) My different sect doesn’t mean that I am your enemy
Hate aggravates animosity and that’s what is being faced by the Muslim Ummah today or let me say that this has been the case for many centuries. Different sects fighting amongst each other giving room for our detractors to take advantage of us in various forms. Unfortunate but true.
What we see today is no different as what it was in the 8th Century and onwards . But I feel strongly that it has to stop. We must all remember that either we rise as one or fall as one. Especially , in Pakistan we cant fight proxy wars for others. We must stand united and tolerate each other’s religious opinions and rituals.
The hate mongers need people to swell their ranks and that all . Ask your self that what would you achieve as a nation if you kill or get rid of your opposite belief. I feel that this kind of sentiment is purposely kept afloat to keep their shops running . Otherwise , who would care. People with restricted knowledge or oversight of history has made sure that confuse tribal or personal issues between themselves and have given it the face of their religion views. We must and I say we must be flexible to tolerate each others opinion .
Like I mentioned in this piece earlier that Debate with the mindset that its only limited to discussion if one has the appetite for only should be done or lived with. I have a lot of friends from various communities and sects and religions. For me their belief is the matter between them and God. For me critical is whether they are good human beings and I know for sure no one is perfect. Infact you get to learn other opinions and weight it with yours which infact reinforces your belief in many forms. Again we must not forget that religion is a matter between God and individuals.
At the time of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) there were so many non Muslims living peacefully and had equal rights for practice, life and wealth. This is exactly the society that Prophet Muhammad envisaged for us under guidance from God. The idea was to win over them by kindness and affection and not by sword. If some one has a different opinion. He or She doesn’t become your enemy.
If you see half the problems we face is Muslim Ummah is because of which and we have killed more between each other than our opponents in many years. I fear that Pakistan which has shown much more tolerance towards sectarianism though many groups emerged to reinforce their thoughts and some times at the point of gun. We may fearfully get sucked into the regional conflict. We must stand united against which. And unity must not be amongst the Muslims only but amongst all faiths living in the country on the basis of being Pakistanis only.
c) Spirit of that if Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) can forgive ; so can I
We have all grown with the famous event when one of the ladies living in Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) neighborhood who used to throw garbage at him. One day when she didn’t our Prophet when to enquire upon her health. This is the character our prophet has taught us.
Abu Sufyan one of the biggest enemies of the Prophet when at the time of victory of Makkah was given protection though he unleashed so much terror on Muslims at that time so much so was involved in the conspiracy to murder our Holy Prophet PBUH. There are many examples. But what we should learn from this if Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) the dearest human being of God and the last of all messengers can forgive his enemies so who are we? We are mere mortals . I am sure when we die and when the judgment day comes . I am sure we would be asked about our in action when it came to the spirit of forgiveness.
Now lets look around ourselves. Tribes fighting each other for decades for some thing which happened many years ago. Even in politics ; our own politicians keeping their own grudge against each other and attacking each other’s character and persecuting when alternatively coming in power which keeps on revolving the nation in a circle. What does this all achieve? Nothing.
The spirit of forgiveness is key. Lets take the example of South Africa. For the many years of apartheid . The truth and reconciliation commissions brought two polar communities together. Spirit of revenge can only bring bitterness in you which gives room for negativity and which in return creates chaos in your mind and in case you are a person in power. Chaos in your community.
So since we are Islamic Ideological state than how come we choose to follow teachings of Quran and our Holy Prophet (PBUH) selectively. All I want is which ever religion you may follow. All give solutions and denounce revenge. I am sure no religion of the world would tell you to go against peace. Infact Islam’s means peace and the chaos in the Muslim Ummah is far from peace.
We have the best religion in the world. Some most hard working people comprise our ranks. Why cant we use our energies positively? Forget what other nations did to you. Learn from Japan. I am sure after the Atomic Bomb hitting them ; they could have been life long enemies of USA. But they embraced the change and moved ahead. Look at Germany ; they practically fought a war with every one in Europe and USA but they acknowledged to move ahead. Forgive and Forget should be the strategy.
Ironic, that those are outside Islam follow our principals whilst we choose to ignore them selectively. We must learn to follow the policy of forgiveness as led by our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) & our religion. We would have to heal as a nation to move ahead . Otherwise, I don’t think we need an enemy to obliterate us.
I once was speaking to one my colleagues who happens to be from another religion and infact from another country. He asked me that how you guys manage to all go into Rukkoo and Sajdah at one go. His view was that its such a beautiful sight when even if you are in thousands or hundred of thousands. All of you Muslims go into prostration at one go. My comment to him was its nothing but a good synchronization . His view was that who tells them to do the various steps in the prayers. I never thought about that in the past. But when I thought about in eventually; its nothing but Discipline.
Prayer which is the cornerstone of our religion becomes supreme when its done in Jamaat or in a group. Not only does this ritual encourages to prostrate in front of God but also creates discipline amongst the community . That is the reason why Prayers in a group is given more reward in front of God. If I interpret it that God has liked all activities which they do in a Group or Jamaat. Means Muslims are given higher rewards for discipline.
Now again I would bring forth the point of view that we are an Islamic ideological state. Discipline is the corner stone of our prayers and religion. As without discipline ; five times prayers each day it would be possible. Now many of us don’t have it . But then its all about discipline.
Living near Teen Talwar Karachi . The famous quotes of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah are inscribed i.e. “ Unity , Faith & Discipline ” . Even the founder of the nation has stressed on the same. We see that in our religion that the initial battles or ghazwas which Muslims fought were won mainly due to discipline. We have an example of the Battle of Ahud where orders of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were not followed to stand guard at the mountain of Ahud and the ranks over there proceeded breaking the orders to recover opponent warrior’s belongings. That act in the history is one example that we almost paid dearly for this break in discipline where our Holy Prophet (PBUH) got injured. Clearly an example if Discipline is broken than we are all at a loss. Our religion has even specified to as well.
Still , we take liberties with the notion of Discipline . A community whose paradigm is based on Discipline looks like challenging every day when it comes to it. Historically, when we showed Discipline in our ranks. We were victorious . Whenever we broke the same ; we paid costly and are still paying for it now a days.
We are seen in a chaos when walking out of the Friday prayers. We are in a chaos right before opening the fast and so on. Our actions today are clearly in contravention to our teachings and the basis of our religion. If we some how ensure the same. We can do wonders as I belief as without which we still do decent. If we bring some amongst us. Then sky is the limits.
a) Stand in that line
Significance of standing in that line is so much that it shows the beauty in any community . I have always like all of you wondered that the same people who look like a horde at Pakistani airports when returning from abroad are seen maintaining the same line when the moment they land abroad. Is there something in the air which pollutes the mind when you land in Pakistan ? or is there something else.
I did an experiment many years ago. One late night when people were just hopping the red light in front of the Police van parked at the corner who were oblivious maybe because of being tired or may be just don’t care . Speaking to my friend told him that we are like a herd and it takes just one to start it all. I decided not to hop the light. The moment I stopped everyone who were behind and to my sides also stopped and patiently awaited for the light to go green.
Similarly in Pakistan it would just take a few to start following rules and others would be compelled to follow the same. Whilst at the same time there is a dearth of laws and its imposition which also may aggravate the behavior but then again some one has to start somewhere.
If we start following laws our selves. Than we leave no room for those people who thrive on breaking these rules. The middlemen has no room in such a world . The room for those who await for you to break the laws is no more there. At the same time the state has to ensure as well that as to who break the laws have no room for wriggling out of it.
The chaos we see on our roads where there is no respect for a lane . The chaos we see everywhere shows the disparate mentality we as a nation has developed towards law. But at the same time take someone from the rural area or the same people who break these laws get sent abroad. Knowing that they would be persecuted and deported . The opportunity cost of which is so big that the same lot of people start following the law under duress , under threat or may be out of respect.
If we can do this abroad why not on our own motherland ? We can always wait for the next one to start. Or we can start it at our selves. The choice is yours . But we must know the next time when we stand in that line and wait for our turn. Not only we are demonstrating us as a nation which is at an international level but showing our self discipline. Otherwise as you are , you would be treated. As that sometimes happens to all of us. Doesn’t it . We don’t have a right to complain about it.
b) Let Justice Prevail and let us follow the law
A few years ago. The whole nation came out on the glimmer of hope that finally they are getting a chance to get a society where justice would reign supreme. Without going into details whether the outcome was successful or not. That movement showed the hunger for justice in the society.
The question is that even business activity also would be improved if the stake holders are sure of getting justice if in case of any litigation and that their funds are guaranteed via a thorough judicial system. But then cases in millions outstanding in the courts show it otherwise.
Anyways the above is a state level discussion. But what can be done at the individual level. We have seen that honest and as we say people with clean background are afraid to go to the justice system and prefer to settle outside or worse just let it go. This shows clearly that the masses have no belief in the system at all. If you go to any judicial complex apart from the Supreme Courts. It shows dismal state of attention by the country’s rulers . Justice does not only mean to get equal judicial laws to the masses but enable the same.
We see that powerful people get absolved of their cases even murder and get VIP treatment in the jails whilst the poor masses of the nation are treated as animals without respect for their rights. Whilst we cannot do judicial reforms at our level but we can make our standards so high as well as expectations. We can enforce on our legislators that whilst we can bring behavioral changes at our level. They have to ensure that we get justice as a society at any cost. They have to ensure that whilst they sit in the parliaments . They have to be vanguards of the rights of the judiciary. We at our level have to be forceful about which.
Meanwhile, the civil society can play a significant role. We have seen that in some high profile murders recently ; the society stepped out and forced the judiciary and the police to take action against the perpetrators . We as civil society should not back any one with criminal cases against any one . Let judiciary decide innocence and if found guilty no such individuals should be backed by any one irrespective of political orientation. We on the otherwise seen in some cases glorifying some .
We as a society have to ensure these standards whilst we choose our legislators. Further, we have to ensure the behavior in our day to day lives whilst we are at home, in our area we live in or at the work place. If we respect the rule of law, ensure implementation and in fact facilitate it . We would be able to trigger a positive culture for our nation.
I feel half the conflicts of the country ; we see that people are not getting justice because of which they have decided to take matters in their own hands. Whilst the state is responsible to enforce . Its our responsibility to demand it and enforce it all levels. Then only we ensure that if people feel that outcome of conflicts are justifiably handled. Many animosities existing in our society can be reduced.
I think there is dearth of which in our society. Hoping that we can stand up as a society or lets say civil society for it. Anytime we see something wrong happening . We use all tools at our disposals like social media, protests and via media ensure that to use all resources to get the affectees justice. There are many individuals called NGO’s who do it in our country. We should not need an NGO to get us our rights. It’s a responsibility of all of us.
c) Consistency in belief is key
Last and most important is that if we have set our principals and standards. We have to ensure that we remain loyal to our belief. We have to ensure that such behaviors become cognitive and becomes part of our unconscious behavior. We have to ensure that what we belief is also actioned.
It is key that we adhere to what is beneficial for our nation. It is key that we stick to what our religion teaches us. If I recollect the right word for this. The word Perseverance come to my mind. All the great leaders in the world have demonstrated the same. Right path is not easy and is full of obstacles. Consistency of the thought process is key to deliver.
We are a nation which has been tainted by all what can go wrong in a society and has happened over many decades. It would not go away easily. All those individuals who belief that the above suggestions are right. Would have to adhere to these Pakistanis, belief in it and ensure that we deliver the same.
What we need to understand is that we have to leave a good Pakistan for our posterity. Most of those reading this would be starting their youth or through it. We need a generation to turn the tide as a nation before we all die. So that our coming generations can be living proudly in our own country . I am sure not every one can leave . So lets dig it and reclaim our nation , the rights of our motherland .
9 R’s to put Pakistan back on track?
When I see around myself people dying of hunger , committing crime or becoming mental patients. I don’t blame them at all. If I am the leader of my country ; its my responsibility to ensure that I give equal opportunity to each and every one living in this motherland . Its my responsibility as the chosen leader that if my people don’t have access to various amenities of life. Than I have no right to avail them as well. Its my duty to ensure that all and I mean all irrespective of caste , creed and religion get access to their fundamental rights.
I am sure most of our countrymen would not have read the constitution of the country. Whilst to bring a change in the nation’s fate where you look at ground realities to keep pace with the world . One must know the constitution of the country. Now it might not be perfect but then as a nation in cohesion we may choose to improve the document in a democratic manner.
Our constitution under Fundamental Rights right through from Article 8 till Article 40 has ensured our rights as the Citizen of Pakistan. The sad part is that our rulers in the past has referred to the articles only suiting to their requirements to justify their power. Whilst we only hear of reference to some power ensuring articles. We seldom here reference to the articles pertaining to your and my rights . I insist that all Pakistanis should know these or at least have read them. As everything else is around it in my view.
I belief that unless you do not recognize the problem . You cannot correct the problem. I belief if you do not address the fundamentals. You cannot correct the strata of whatever you would want to do in your life. After much thought I think that if are rulers address some basics and commit that any cost these are supreme and that they would design their strategy only around these fundamentals if they are sincere to reform the nation.
Whilst there is a lifetime to do politics but if our leadership decides that they are ready to sacrifice politics over addressing the issues of the nation than I can assure that they would not only add a lot of impetus to the longetivity of the nation but perhaps in their own political careers as well.
I have tried to encompass a few but I am sure that if we all agree than we must irrespective of which political group we may belong to have to enforce on our leadership that the following are the must to have if they need your support or votes in the future. Together , we can influence change and the thought process only. Nations are built not by individuals but by people. Changing the fate of the nation is cohesive effort and can never be an individual stride. We all are accountable for our deeds in front of God and similarly we are all responsible to ensure that as we would do within that we guide our nation in the right direction. Otherwise if God forbidden we face further deterioration than our posterity would definitely rue us and say that why we did not do anything to give them a prosperous future. Again, if we do not rise as a nation then remember we may fall as one.
1- Revive the economic growth and making Pakistan an Investor haven
2- Rebuild the republic & national pride
3- Restore rule of Law & its efficient delivery through justice
4- Resolve to decentralize power to give access to Grass root level
5- Renounce all acts or law threatening interprovincial harmony
6- Re impose the will of state or across the board accountability
7- Rid the nation of extremism and weapons
8- Regime of merit and only merit in the nation.
9- Reform on emergency basis health and education sectors
1- Revive the economic growth and making Pakistan an Investor haven
The biggest challenge any nation could be face is declining GDP, increasing inflation and increasing joblessness . This gets augmented with the law and order situation of the country where local or foreign investors out of fear of security of their investments and than the return on which are hesitant to invest in their own country. There could be many reasons behind this lack of interest in to invest in the Pakistani economy where there are so many new options for the investors in the emerging markets. You have to create a niche, policy and a system to ensure that the money keeps on flowing in and adequately invested and utilized for the development of the motherland.
Its critical for our leadership that they would have to take tough decisions to ensure that this key factor is addressed and is continuously fed by so that your economy can remain on track. If your economy is sustaining and when there are less job less people around. Means there is a lesser opportunity for terrorists or criminal gangs to recruit on basis of poverty. Also, at the same time needless to say that when every one sees an opportunity to grow and I must repeat that “Every body” than the sentiment of the nation is always in the right direction and nations only grow from there.
Now you cannot just design a detailed economic policy by ignoring the key pillars to augment the same. . Key pillars like a sound and independent justice system, merit, law and order , resources and most importantly engagement globally with your future business partners. Our leadership sometimes are may be good in just being businessmen and not necessary statesmen. Reason why the only money we see mainly flowing in the country is only in the form of aid. The private sector which manages to bring investments in the country and that too mainly where their corporate global offices feel than only you see money flowing in the nation. Ironically, the biggest savior for the nation in the last many years has been foreign remittances . Sad for a nation which has so much to offer the world .
We have one of the best geographical locations, resources and manpower and still the incompetency of our leadership has kept this nation deprived of growth.
If the leadership vows that they would judge investment decisions on merit for the nation not just because of where they personally get the most benefit out of it. Than only we may grow as a nation. The current leadership which is in the country. No doubt is business minded but what they ignored for some time is that they cannot correct it by taking the issues by the horn and that too mainly the issue of religious extremism which would desist investors any day to come to our motherland.
Karachi bleeds and our leadership both central and provincial play games instead of taking to the tasks the real culprits to put the back bone of the country back on its feet. People are happy that their own cities are safe whilst Karachi burn. What they don’t realize is that if Karachi do not get back on its feet. What ever they may do at the center the importance of Karachi due to its port do not diminish . Even I feel if even Gawadar is developed completely. Karachi’s significance due to the political issues surrounding Gawadar would ever be depleted.
So I hope that instead of playing regional politics card that I would only invest where I gain and get votes type of mentality cannot survive in terms of a bigger picture to develop Pakistan .
2- Rebuild the republic & national pride
If we have not realized but lets not forget that the full name of our country is Islamic Republic of Pakistan . Means that for always this country was meant to safe guard everyone’s rights unequivocally as motherland. It was always meant to become home of all those who wanted to break away from British imperialism and at the same time did not want to stay under Hindu capitalism. The idea behind Pakistan was to create a welfare state for its people . Like earlier mentioned in my piece that the idea was to give every one access equally to the fruits the motherland was to bear and equally the distress.
But what we saw later was ironic that slowly feudal mindset which was to fade away in collaboration of the establishment of the country took strong clutch on the nation and we saw that whilst they were bigger partners to benefit from the trifles of success; the poor and down trodden were left to bear with the distress in form of taxes, in form of hardships and even in form of their lives.
Now what I am saying is nothing exceptional because the thinking was always there when we saw that in 1971 onwards ; the Prime Minister of that time under guise of nationalization tried to rationalize the so called 22 large families of the country . The idea was good to an extend to break the grip but unfortunately he stopped short at that only and infact gifted this nation ten times more in terms of strong families. The feudal class of the nation has remained un challenged all this while and one reason why the poor living in the rural Pakistan could not bear the fruit of education and the hardwork which they do . Though Pakistan is one of the best agricultural based economy . Yet the real people who till the lands are struggling in day to day live. Infact some live in slavery under the same feudals though in contravention of the constitution of Pakistan .
Similarly the laborers of the country bear the same fate and with every passing day seeing their rights diminishing . The minimum wage disparity to the riches the industrialists accumulate is nothing short of frustrating. All the hard work which the farmers and laborers demonstrate one thing that whilst those who put their blood and sweat in developing the nation do not have equal access to the benefits of which the motherland offers. On the contrary if the nation is in distress the onus of that hardship is passed on to them.
Clear inequality. Clearly what a Republic is not supposed to be. They have been deprived from equal opportunities to grow whilst the rich accumulates their wealth abroad. Now I am not at all against people getting richer as earlier mentioned. But at the same time I want equal opportunity for all as per my religion’s teachings and that of the constitution. None of which is being adhered to unfortunately.
We have seen many politicians now and then try to play the card of laborers and farmers but I always wonder how can they bring that change as they have the same class in their ranks and files and infact fight elections on the basis of their monetary support. I wonder how come a sincere change could ever happen in Pakistan.
Due to the selfish similar lot . They have created a nation which is distraught and nothing more though with all the limitations what they offer to the world community is inspiring. But these have succeeded in creating the disbelief to retain the stranglehold on the people.
We can see every one in this nation a walking talking Merchants of Doom. We would need to wake up to the fact especially our generation and also the younger lot that they would have set standards that any party which do not support the upheaval of the poor farmers and laborers. Any party which support feudalism . Any party which do not belief in giving equal rights to the people . They should not vote or support such parties or groups.
At the same time. We should belief in our selves and should feel elated of what we achieve every day as a nation. Have we ever thought that with all the constraints and the issues which we face every day as a nation . Still our economy has never been in negative growth. Its because of the people who work hard and deliver for the nation not on the basis of those who loot it and take their monies abroad.
If we see that in our own surroundings and even in our families . We should rise to denounce such people and convince them to stop looting and plundering the nation. The problem is today we all wait for someone else to do it. I have done it my level but if we can get every one or even half of us stepping to people who loot and plunder including our parents, our brothers, our uncles or our friends . Than only we have the right to expect others for not doing it and than only we should expect good of the republic.
3- Restore rule of Law & its efficient delivery through justice
Over 2 million Pakistanis await to get justice in the country today. Do we think honestly that every Pakistani has an equal access to the judicial system? Do we seriously think that every Pakistani has access to law equally ? Do you really think that every one gets an honest or sincere prosecution?
While I look around my self the system which we have. I see that it would not get improved by changing the top man in the judiciary. The problem in my view starts at the grass root level. From the time of committing a crime , to the time of the possibility of getting arrested , to the time of at all getting charged , to the time of being fairly investigated and then prosecuted in the court of law. And last the possibility of getting punished at least if not physically availing it. End to end in my view the whole cycle is tainted and not credible. You may never get justice of the above and more over even if justice is delivered than if there is not integrity of the system than no one would ever belief that he or she ever got justice.
There are parties who take votes by using slogans of justice in the masses and nothing more. But what is ironic to see that whilst we ensure justice at the top echelons of the system ; we have totally ignored the grass root judiciary. More over we have shut our eyes out on the Police Reforms.
I would like to vote for that party or leader who promises me that when in power would ensure that he or she would form a committee at all the levels and get each and every one in our judiciary and police re vetted ; in order to weed out any criminal element if it has manage to infest the core of the system . Ensure that justice is delivered on terms of being innocent or not . Just not on the basis of who we are related to. This has created the feel in the nation and it can be seen in the streets of a country which is highly weaponized where people knowing the high cost of going to the courts without a guarantee that even if they do would never live to see justice delivered have started to take matters in their own hands.
As a motherland ; it’s the duty of the republic to ensure that every one is equally treated otherwise ; you may never get the trust of the people . Means no ownership of the motherland in return. Means no progress simply.
4- Resolve to decentralize power to give access to Grass root level
Delegation and accountability is fast becoming a proven model globally. A lot of large global corporate some of whom the GDP is larger than many countries have proved that by following the rule of empowerment. They have been able to deliver successfully . If the corporate empires can grow where stakes are higher since no federal reserve is backing it up than why nations cannot deliver based on the same basis.
We are a nation of over 180 million people that makes us one of top ten nations of the world by population. We are growing in terms of population by the day. Our rulers would have to stop thinking in terms of absolute power and would have focus on getting the job done.
We talk about democracies globally . We refer to them to keep power in the center. But none of them tried at the minuscule level. The local bodies set up which was proposed and infact implemented under not entirely a democratic government gave us a lot of focus on needs of common masses where legislators were supposed to focus on legislations not on just developing the civic amenities of their constituencies. Now some even do that. I only also see my area MNA or MPA only during time of elections but the area councilor was always accessible and was sitting in my area not in the assembly in the capital or otherwise. Though being a little resourceful it looks like a challenge for me . I am sure that people with lesser resources or connections it would be a daunting task.
All the more reason that the local bodies form of government is expedited on urgent basis so that our MNA’s and MPA’s can focus on strategic level issues like developing policy or legislature . Also, this way that as the feudals and industrialists would be finite in numbers eventually . All and sundry would have a chance for getting elected.
At the same time. I feel that we should have more provinces and constituencies on administrative basis so that execution of authority pertaining to law and order as well as other reforms are overseen properly and executed. I know that many people out there do not like the idea of more provinces. But if for a moment as earlier mentioned in this piece if we remove the hood of ethnicity from our heads and think on basis of merit than more provinces would make a lot of sense.
5- Renounce all acts or law threatening interprovincial harmony
“ The bigger province get all the share from the kitty” is the sentiment which you hear all around . One key reasons where there is so much distrust between each of the provinces. The prove of which is that keeping this in view each province has chosen a party which is aligned to the respective ethnic sentiment . At least we see that apart from in Baluchistan which is in its own form walking on thin ice. Though a nationalist has been elected.
Lets take the example of dams and that too especially of Kalabagh dam. We all know that how desperately we need a dam right now. But since there is a lot of distrust and a sentiment of in equal distribution of resources. The two provinces of Sind and KPK are not ready to support the province because they think that they have to loose and nothing to gain. Without realizing that the dearth of electricity effects and infact is effecting every one equally.
Now their mistrust is not fully wrong as well. As we can the semblance of which in some contexts but we would need to accept as well that Punjab is one of the largest provinces and is the custodian of the bread basket of the nation up to a significant proportion. But nevertheless the sentiment exists. In Baluchistan ; this has taken an extreme turn and rightfully so in many instances . But this is exactly what we need to resolve.
Unless we have a national government which has significant presence across the country. Trust on that one party to ensure that rights of every one are given is a little challenging . We saw that in these elections ; the ruling party at the center managed to get minuscule seats in each of the provinces which is as good as nothing.
So what do we do. I know that such a Ministry was created a few years ago. A lot of onus lies on it as well but then again the individual would be part of the government and trust would be an issue. So we should form a national level committee graced equally by all provinces , major political parties and advised by intellects and experts to find solution to National level issues. In my view an urgent requirement. Before the harmony between provinces further deteriorate due to the split mandate each of the parties have gotten in the last election. Infact all of the parties more look like regional parties now.
I would strongly urge all the readers to ensure not only that in their day to day lives but at the same time if had to coerce their supported parties to do anything less than creating interprovincial harmony and don’t support any such statements or actions even if taken by their respective parties . In fact denounce them so that they are discouraged and avoid towing such lines in the future.
At the same time I feel smaller provinces can address this type of issue ; as well as if required certain constitutional reforms which though have kicked in under 18th amendment but still more is required as the sentiment still exists . Clearly meaning that it needs attention. Infact urgent attention.
6- Re impose the will of state or across the board accountability
The writ of the state ensures implementation of the laws and guarantees a peaceful society . If the nation mischief mongers find out that whatever you might do. You would not be touched than this just encourages chaotic behaviors in the society. The concept of chain of command and execution of authority is important. So much so that people think several times before hopping red light at the traffic signals. A basic or a very basic barometer of the attitude of any society.
Now these principals do apply equivocally . The republic’s writ has to be ensured at all times. But at the same time when law of the land gives authority to those who are to execute it and ensure delivery. Infact take responsibility to deliver have to be kept under a system keeping a check and balance on their performance. Whilst I am a great supporter of empowerment but at the same time in my view delegation do not come with out accountability. Simple you want authority ; you have to be accountable and punished if found out of line.
After all the motherland do not hold any one at a gun point to assume public offices. People choose as some like authority, some need fame and some are sincere for the role. Unfortunately in our country most of those who come into power and they think by default that they are going to become millionaires if not billionaires. Reason why people pay bribes in millions to get the right positions, postings and roles. Now when some one would pay out of the teeth to assume a position. Obviously since this money is not going to national exchequer . Those individuals would like to recover their investments and that too at premiums. Also, it’s the case that there are more mouths to feed subsequently. Now how come in a system which is based on these unfortunate norms would you expect any accountability. It cannot exist because if it is for one than it is for any one.
Now the biggest proof of my argument is that we all know that we have the highest level of corruption in our country. Honestly, how many corrupt people have been sent to jail recently. We only hear about criminal cases but no one talks about corruption. There is no system to keep a check and balance. Infact I would not be surprised that the head of National Accountability Bureau would have paid through the teeth to get this position as it gives a significant leverage to extort from those who are corrupt and to control a role to hit on your opponents and provide protection to your henchmen.
Its that these issues do not only exist at the top. Its across the board. The concept of self accountability is non existent. I feel that sometimes people in our country do not break the laws either because they do not know how to or maybe there are too much a coward to do so. A teacher would decide to vanish from a public school and give private tuitions. A doctor would not report to the office but call patients at his private clinic. A bureaucrat would guide or assist people to rip off the nation. There is no sense of morality . The society is crumbling under this by the day.
Why people break these laws without fear because they know that there is no one watching and even if some one is . They can pay their way out and getting indicted for the same is a far off possibility. Whilst the nation has to build a system by creating grass root level accountability bureau or oversight committees . At the same time; we should voluntarily instill in our selves the spirit to think before we take a step against the republic and how it would effect it. By choosing to steal electricity or taxes is the same. This is not only against the law but our religion as well. I am sure we may save ourselves from punishment in this world but I am sure you cannot bribe any one in after life . So always remember if no one is watching God is watching before you decide to do that wrong thing.
At the same time the government has to create the writ across the board which does not mean that law is only for the citizens of the republic but it is for them as well.
7- Rid the nation of extremism and weapons
Extremism has hit our nation as an endemic and terrorists are eating away this nation as parasites. I cannot explain this in a more resentful manner. I see that every day we loose a few Pakistanis if not dozens at the hands of all types or terrorism. Let be religious, social, political or otherwise. We have unfortunately become a nation with very little patience level. With extremism in our approach at all levels.
The negative energy, the failure of the state to safeguard its writ etc etc has contributed to it significantly . At the same time. Our past policies of creating militias has also been one of the key reasons for the turmoil we see today. The failure of our diplomatic policy has given rise to non state players to create and implement their own policy at the behest of the gun. Now the quintessential question is that how they have become so much established . This needs a lot of soul searching as a nation.
We don’t need to known or recognized as a nation who produce terrorists globally. We should be known for our doctors, engineers, bankers, laborers, scientists and businessmen. Unfortunately , we are being seen as a big exporter of terrorists globally. Where ever there is an incident . One pray and hope that the aggressor if not from our country. One out of two times our prayers are accepted. Our past policies; our logic of being the big brother has resulted in all of this.
By doing that we forgot one essential fact that the best defence is the best offence. We should have made our selves strong financially first and gained enough clout globally like our neighbor so that we had a lot of diplomatic leverage. The only reason I see people giving us diplomatic impetus now a days is nothing more than the fact that we have the guns or the way to the guns. Imagine if Pakistan was where current day Australia or New Zealand is . Do you think anyone would have even bothered? It’s the geographical proximity and being a border line state between the Muslim and Non Muslim state which gives us some leverage and nothing more.
No one worries if our factories are shut for a day . No index would be effected globally by an iota. Unlike when there are shut downs in China or India. This tells us a about the stark reality of life that we have slipped into being an extremist nation. The reason is that we have forgotten totally the concept of the republic and that the nation is critical . The rest would follow. But we all have taken it the other way around.
Our rulers who have finally realized and have embarked on cleaning the mess created for the last few decades and precisely right during the Afghan War but I hope that they see it through. At the same time I don’t just say that religious terrorism should be addressed but any other type of which tribal or political etc. These decisions has to come with prejudice from our leadership and supported by every one.
Unless and until we don’t address this. We cannot see investment coming into our nation . Till that time we cannot address our economic woes and get our nation out of the thick. We should be remembered as a nation of technocrats not terrorists. Simple!
8- Regime of merit and only merit in the nation.
Merit is key to success for any society . If you need to get the best out of the resources . You need to assign the best people to the job. Only then you may only deliver to the plan. The lack of merit has deprived Pakistan from a much more prosperous future. Now all I want to suggest that equal rights for everyone in the motherland to access the job opportunities.
Now it does not at all means that we continue doing what the quota system under its guise has given us. The quota system as I understand was a stop gap arrangement and had to be backed by efforts top bring up to speed the areas where they could not meet the facilities available in the urban centers. Instead the quota system has been utilized all these years as the alternate which should not have been there in the first place. Moreover, this system has been so much politicized that if any one tries to eradicate has to face stiff resistance.
Ironically , the rural area representatives have been in power for many years and yet you would see that their own areas lag behind and they have done nothing to bring it up to speed and hence the regime of quota system continued. The result is that what we see today in form of law and order situation, crumbling infrastructure and civic amenities and non delivery of efficient services to the civilians. Now in some areas the impact of which is higher though provision of resources is also key . But then wherever there are. They are being inefficiently utilized if survive the onset of corruption.
We have to ensure merit in our daily lives. The leadership of the country has to ensure the system . When appointing head of departments, when appointing ministers or getting recruitment done. The political appointments all these years have just augmented the problem of the nation as not necessarily we hire the best people for the job.
If only all hiring after cleansing of the various departments as suggested earlier is done via merit committees and such a moratorium applies for the next few years of hiring how difficult or tedious it might be. This has to be implemented so that we get the right people on the job as the chaos needs some good minds to resolve the issue. We do have some of the best people in the world who have demonstrated their prowess globally in all the fields, let it be corporate sector, health and education sector or even in the fields of science. When these people can excel amongst global competition why not within.
By ensuring merit; we can put a check on Brain drain which is taking our best talent abroad . If those who are on merit believe that they can serve the nation by remaining on their motherland and has an equal chance to grow without prejudice and nepotism. I wonder why would they need the nation. We need these brains to stay back and develop the country. Its still not too late. The government at one level can strengthen the regime of merit right away and at the same time create opportunities for those who have went abroad to come back and serve the nation hand in hand .
Till the time regime of merit is not ensured. We cannot ensure a prosperous and a progressive Pakistan.
9- Reform on emergency basis health and education sectors
If a republic cannot provide a chance to live and a chance to educate . In either ways its depriving its citizens of their basic and fundamental rights. Where at the same place . Life has to be assured through means of peace keeping. At the same time the well being of all its citizens is a key requirement of the republic.
Our own leaders choose to get treated abroad for even minor issues and so their children where they do not ever go to the governmental hospitals knowing the appalling conditions over there inclusive of hygiene and otherwise. At the same time the doctors are non existent in most of the time as they tend to their private practices. Many of the good doctors decide to go abroad.
Now the condition as we know is much worse in our rural centers where there own qualified local doctors don’t go back to serve. Because of money or may be due to lack of facilities and they also head for urban centers. I can well imagine if the government facilities in major cities are withering away. What would be happening in rural areas.
Same goes for the educational institutions . Where government schools are nothing just but formality and in some cases in the rural areas are being used for stables and for autaaq . Unfortunately , the students who depend on government schools are deprived of their chance to get equal and quality educations where those studying in private sectors get.
This system in itself creates discrimination where it unnecessary give an unfair advantage to some one studying in a private school where maybe the child in the government school may be much better but having no access to right tools and technology to educate.
Same way , we have created a parallel world of private hospitals and its ironic to see that our government officers them selves to prominent private hospitals instead of government ones in case of health concerns knowing the chaos there being partially responsible for the same.
Just across the border in India . Medical tourism has started where people are globally travelling to India to get treatment. Similarily their education system is also attracting international students to land there . With their government institutions known more than their private ones. If India with same type of challenges like we do have can do it. Why cant we? It’s a matter of will and commitment and patriotism.
Unfortunately, we live in a country where for our personal gains . We would damage our state institutions . I have been in my life witness to incidents where government machinery was sabotaged so that people avail more expensive treatments in private clinics. Those who can afford do it but those who cant die a miserable death.
A motherlands promise is to ensure equal access to everyone. I am not against private ventures. But these two standards and in case of education Madressah system being a third one. Straight away has created three classes of different mind sets in the country. Then there is this elitist class. When a nation needs every opportunity to unite . At the school level when a child’s mind is being developed; we are running four parallel systems in the country in terms of education. No wonder there is so much polarity in our society .
The government instead of closing down private ventures as a easy way out in both education and health care should invest on immediate basis by money, resources and time to alleviate the government institutions to nothing less than standards that they start sending their own kids to these schools and start getting their own treatment in these hospitals.
It’s a promise of the motherland to its children . Those sitting in power has no choice but to ensure that this promise is delivered.