Over the years the cementing factors binding the people of Pakistan have been losing their adhesiveness. This has not been happening without reasons that are good enough to tear people apart. Poor governance, absence of political reforms, inequitable progress, absence of justice, oppression of the poor farmer and the worker by the feudal lords and the businessmen respectively, absence of merit, the non provision of equal opportunities to each Pakistani and, above all, the denial of quality education to a vast majority of Pakistanis are only some of the reasons that come to mind instantly as aspects responsible for the fractures that we see in our national structure.
At any given time there have been cries complaining of exploitation from one or another part of the country. If assessed dispassionately the cries have mostly been justified. Only seldom have they been manipulated cries meant to foment trouble of one kind or another. So what have we done, or are doing, to rid this great nation of reasons that bring about such cries of foul play. Nothing in concrete terms yet although it is past the high water mark to take this aspect seriously.
Since our last generation and the one that is now phasing out had lived under a colonial power they were used to being governed as slaves, or a little better than that. The change of the colour of the skin of the masters on 14 August, 1947, did not make much difference to that generation and they accepted the new local masters with the same slavish mentality. Just having an independent country and a flag that they could call their own was good enough to have the adrenaline going. Their unflinching loyalty and patriotism to Pakistan was admirable and enviable. It is not those generations but those of them that ruled the new country in their name that let Pakistan down and are responsible for the mess that we are in presently.
The blind faith, loyalty and patriotism of the last and the presently phasing out generation has now been overtaken by the questioning mind of the younger generation that is far more educated. This new generation of Pakistanis has traveled a lot, has interacted with the world in person and on the internet, is far more informed and has access to mass communications that their ancestors could never dream of which has opened them to demand and expect for themselves and their country all the right things. Things have changed and it is time to realize this and move with the currents of time. This new generation of Pakistanis and the ones that live abroad and yearn to return to Pakistan are our major resource that must be tapped.
It is now time for those who wield the reins of the destiny of this country to return to the drawing board and redraw the contours of the future of this hapless nation so that it starts getting counted as a progressive and civilized country that has released its brakes on development and is now on its way to achieving what it should have achieved decades ago. There is no alternative to doing all this and there is also no time left to defer this action in terms of time. The permanent solution to terrorism and militancy also lies here more than in the actual battlefield. It is correct to say that the ongoing anarchy caused by an extreme degree of terrorism and militancy of sorts has to be tackled but it would also not be wrong to say that the actual fight against backwardness, militancy, anarchy, terrorism and all other aspects threatening Pakistan’s well being lies in national progress and national prosperity that translates itself into bringing about betterment in the lives of the ordinary citizens.
A country in which there are daily demonstrations against the lack of such a basic modern day amenity like electricity, a country where factories and even small businesses are being closed down due to the absence of electricity, a country in which the poorest of the poor has to travel for days and live in rented accommodation on borrowed money to try and obtain justice and so many other such well known adverse aspects can only bring about hopelessness in a nation. In fact the nationhood of such countries becomes threatened from within in the absence of a reasonable life for its citizens. This is exactly what Pakistan is experiencing today.
Is it not thought provoking that someone like Barrack Obama could think of becoming the President of the world’s most powerful nation, the USA and was actually voted into office? This is where the strength of USA lies. A country that is tolerant enough to absorb as its citizens people from every culture and nationality of the world and then allow them to one day ascend to the mighty office of the President of the USA. We in Pakistan cannot even tolerate a man from the neighbouring district within the country. What a pitiable situation. Wake up Pakistan before we become a nation divided in fiefdoms governed by local warlords. Strengthening Pakistan is the only guard against this from happening. Unbridled provincial autonomy and local governance is now inevitable to strengthen and cement Pakistan.