Pakistan is over 60 years old. Distinguishing itself as an “Islamic State”; the country has now been recognized as a very divided nation at the brink of self-destruction. When I see Pakistan, I don’t see the Land of the Pure, nor do I see a Peaceful state; I see the complete opposite. The source(s) of unrest root from the high level of poverty, angry mother nature, unstable infrastructure (education, health care, economy), social disorder, corruption and political instability. These root issues have given birth to the rise of “extreme” interest groups taking control over regional chunks of the country. The clash of extremist groups have been responsible for the recent assassinations of Salman Taseer, Benazair Bhutto… Not to mention the many attacks on local bazaars, masjids, and schools. So who are these extremists? My opinion, the extremists lives within our domestic mentality.
I’ll take advise from Thomas Hobbes, and picture Pakistan as a conflicted family household. Each member of the household carries an obligation- including the family members who decided to “study-abroad”or work in a different country. Each member’s thoughts and ideas reflect the grand interest of the family. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s parents (leadership/government) have been facing on-going culture clashes… Through this culture clash, their priorities have been scattered. In the mean time, “outsiders” have managed to have an influence on the children because the parents don’t “have it together”.
In a situation like this, your local psychologist would probably blame the root of the distress on the parents; however, it doesn’t end their. If the parents fail to do their job, it is the responsibility of the children is to unite and take action… Although it will be tough, we are the last straw, the glimmer of hope.
So as children of a dysfunctional run house-hold, it is up to us to address the issues:
Our lack of proper education, has given rise to racism and class division. Our lack of cleanliness and organization has given rise to angry mother nature’s “collateral damage”. Our lack of proper investment has given rise to poorly run hospitals and a lazy job market. Our paranoia has suppressed our innovative spirit. In short, our lack of attention/action has caused the rise of “extreme” destructive conditions.
The domestic violence in our nation has shaken us all up. However, by encouraging and initiating group communication and awareness, we can be sure to over come much of this fear, and depression (caused by the internal conflict and violence)… Putting aside fear, we must understand that each one of us have the ability to make a difference.
Ways we can make a difference:
- Holding rallies such as the Rally Against Fear may help voice the issues. However, our efforts must continue beyond that. Voicing the issue is only one part of the solution. The second part of the solution involves grass-root organized efforts. These efforts start from each individual.
- Each individual must know that their existence matters. Each person holds the potential to make Pakistan better.
- We must make sure that each one of us explores our diverse talent(s) and are able to put that talent to use. Our skills and talents will help the country flourish.
- Living and studying abroad is fine. However, if we all care about the condition of our country, we must learn to re-invest our skills back into our homeland. It seems as though talent is running out of the country; not running into the country.
- We need better businessmen making better investments. The investments that are worth investing in are the investments that will help build a solid foundation for the nation. Investments: education, hospitals, research facilities.
- The only way to battle negative extreme behavior is to recruit members by providing them a brighter options. Before the crazy drugged up uncles (mobs) grab our children from the street, we must make sure that the children on the street see brighter and more reliable options.
If we could all learn to treat each other as equal family members that have the same amount of potential, we might be able to see progress quicker. This means, instead of treating the maid/servant of the household as a second class citizen; treat them with the same kind of respect you would treat your own blood relative. Before raising your hand on your spouse or child, realize that your hand should only be used to guide with grace and dignity, the kind of grace that would inspire a peaceful domino effect. Instead of labeling a Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Shia or Sunni as a Kaffer (disbeliever), learn to see them as your sibling in humanity. Learn to establish a real sense of sister/brother-hood.
I pray that our country, Pakistan, can have a better future, inshAllah.