Pakistan – a country was created with divine blessings and intervention. It has been lucky as well as unlucky in many ways. Loss of founding father in second year of its creation was its biggest loss. Quaid e Azam was a towering personality and his departure created a leadership vacuum. In the absence of sound leadership and a strong foundation which could have only been provided by Quaid e Azam, Pakistan lost its track. It was gradually overpowered by feudal lords. These were same feudal lords about whom Abul Kalam Azad had said in his book, “once Congress of India prior to partition announced that it would bring land reforms in joint India, feudal lords of areas which now form Pakistan rallied to create another state which would not have this problem”. It implied that their objective of creating Pakistan wasn’t La Elaha Illallah.
Till today feudal lords of Pakistan are ruling the roost. They dominate politics, they believe in power of money, they have vested interests and they treat rest of Pakistanis as their Muzaraeen (workers on their lands). Virtually they ruled the country from day one. Mian Nawaz Sharif was first scion of an industrialist family who rose to power. His first government was good, second bad and third worst, in my reckoning due to his gradual overpowering by same feudal lords. Being an industrialist at the beginning he became worst than feudal lords.
Another important aspect relates to repeated play of geopolitics in the region. The US fought finale of Cold War as well as GWOT in neighbourhood of Pakistan. It is said that the quadrant formed by Peshawar & Kabul in the North and Quetta & Kandahar in the South has remained disturbed for last two centuries. Such an instability adversely affected neighbouring regions of Pakistan. Prevalence of prolonged conflict adversely impacted evolution of society as well as institutions of Pakistan. Ibn Khaldun had given a 5 staged evolution of a civil society which comprised, Consolidation, Tyranny, Prosperity, Satisfaction and Success. Smooth evolution of a civil society as well as institutions was only possible incase there were no interventions. Worst intervention could be of a war or a conflict.
Examples of Afghanistan and neighbouring regions of Pakistan could be cited to substantiate this point. Afghanistan was one of the most modern, prosperous and forward looking countries of the region in mid of 20th Century. In the South Asia, first aviation aircraft had landed in Kabul. Perpetual conflict had put the evolution of Afghanistan as a state in reverse cycle. Similarly Quetta and Peshawar were known as dying cities of Pakistan. Once there is an issue of survival, well-to-do families abandon the cities as well as countries for safer places. Same happened with all the regions which saw perpetual state of conflict. Consequently, Kabul, Peshawar and Quetta lost their original high gentry, intelligentsia and institutions besides material losses.
In the repeated play of geopolitics there were military rulers ruling the country. It was a win-win situation for the main antagonist ie the US as well as rulers in Pakistan. Pakistan was doled with easy money. Thanks to splendid strategic location of Pakistan but there is no free lunch. TV Paul has said that Pakistan was suffering from “strategic curse“. In his view due to superior strategic location Pakistan every now and then got easy money so the people of Pakistan lacked motivation to work hard. While Pakistan enjoyed much higher stature in global politics due to its relevance to the US but in the process Pakistan lost in wealth, infrastructure, human life and most seriously its national character.
Accumulatively, in Pakistan; evolution of civil society got into reverse gear, national institutions ceased to grow or degenerated, a new breed of opportunists, sycophants, corrupt, exploiters and parvenus were produced. These negative attributes began to be incentivised as merit got crushed. Humans were greedy by nature and they always focused on their benefit. People started to shy away from genuine hard work and fair play because those were less incentivised than malpractices. Shame and guilt; two key attributes for fair running of a society disappeared. Comparison of Australian society and that of Pakistan could be amazing. Cricket players in Australia cheated on cricket field and whole of the nation condemned it. The players cried on TV and begged for forgiveness. Contrastingly, in Pakistan huge looting and plunder is being condoned by public at large. Corruption is being seen as a higher virtue rather than condemning.
The real battle that Pakistan needs to fight is to retrieve our National character. We were not like this five decades ago. Corrupt were looked down upon. Ladies and teachers were respected. Education was higher priority for parents, guilt and shame were prevailing in society, there were respectable professions, parents used to inculcate higher virtues in children, religious scholars were serving Islam and politics were much cleaner. Today school, home and mosque – three grooming institutions for a child are dysfunctional. Without getting into a blame game, it is felt that the whole societal decay has been consequence of a prolonged conflict and inapt leadership of all kind.
I support PM Imran Khan in this battle which is meant for future of our generations. The right has to prevail in this country rather than the wrong which is the case as of now. We have to revert to morality, integrity, self-esteem and good virtues. Unless corrupt is looked down upon corruption will not cease. Once corrupt is respected by the society they will be motivated to do it more. These are defining moments of our beloved motherland. Let’s condemn all bad virtues even if these are committed by our loved ones. Let’s stand with those who want to retrieve our national pride, honour, dignity and character. If we fail in these defining moments then we will be condemned to be ruled by the corrupt. Allah may help Pakistan and people of Pakistan. Allah may bless us realisation and wisdom to follow true teachings of Islam, Quaid e Azam and Allama Muhammad Iqbal.