2019 – the year of speculation, the MIG of Abhinadhan, the fall of the democratic god, Fizzled Fazlu, exploding trains, and still, Imran.
As I again write this, my continuing traditional new year blog, I am amazed at my own fickleness and that of the world around me. We are again enslaved by the biggest hooligan we know, Time! Who defines it and who sets the pace? Many can argue. As we are now, just a clock can make us believe that we can become the master of our own destinies just because it’s the turn of the year; 2020 it is.
Let us talk about the year that has just run away from us, 2019. I call it the year when the ‘stock market of speculation’ finally took away from us the one sure unknown, our destinies. We now follow not our destinies but rather react to what media speculates they will be. This is now beyond ‘my God’ and ‘your God’. It is now about one god, the god of media and speculation.
I start 2020 with the hope that I am left to my own volition as I contemplate how to swing the gender debate which started with the all powerful Eve swaying Adam and landing us in this mess
There is no dearth of speculators. You and I have joined the band-wagon. The passing year has seen Kashmir annexed by the largest democracy in the world while annexing the right to be called Indian. Not that nobody saw this coming. The writing has been on the wall only to be brought to fore since Modi, Trump, and now you know who in the United Kingdom.
Though the world as we are was distracted by mentions of data attacks and revival of the Cold War at the hands of none other than the portrayed, still, the ogre in chief, Vladimir Putin. Not knowing that we brought it on ourselves when we stood by and let Julian Assange be arrested and fell into the reprieve of having defeated the so-called Islamic State.
Some of my friends have gone so far as to start believing that peace in Afghanistan has been achieved just because some colleague of ours has now been elected twice in succession within the confines of his palace in Kabul. Well, on the other hand, the blessed symbol of Catholicism and France has been burnt and brought down the city of lovers with it.
All over the world as we know it the “weather” has by far done more damage than any and all the “terrorists” of this world could ever dream off. It still could not assuage Xi’s troubles in Hong Kong. Hong Kong protest is what happens and will happen when awareness meets poverty of opportunity. Land and belonging have dominated the discourse rather than humanity and earth.
Which brings me back to Pakistan, the land of the ‘pure and plenty’. Not that we have had either purity or aplenty on any platform. It stays the year of Imran. For different reasons than 2018, though! He is losing on so many grounds that he should realize that in a football ground the “wicket” is all over. Jokes aside, he started strong with the support of what I still consider one of the best air powers in the world—Pakistan Air Force—the downing of the Mig.
Thank God they don’t have an army chief. To be or not to be, army chief in Pakistan, that has been the question. If I was Bajwa, I would have long resigned and gone the way of Jimmy Carter. God knows he has enough opportunity. A safer Pakistan emerged in 2019 if you believe the statistics. Alongside a cowardly government also showed its inability to deal with common economic woes. Instead of striking at the root with the goodwill it carried, it chose to dither with the old guard and the IMF.
Charming the US of A and the committee of nations gone astray—the UN—came to naught! There is good news though, the fizzled out ‘Fazlu’ and the courting of the Sikhs in Kartarpur. Don’t bring out the firecrackers yet, for exploding trains run by Sheeda Talli—our dear Sheikh Rasheed of Pindi—really left a sour taste in the mouth—more so than the cigars he once smoked and the bottoms he once pinched.
Skills to make money are outstripping both land and people and the skills to create better lives. This was the Pakistan of 2019. I start 2020 with the hope that I am left to my own volition as I contemplate how to swing the gender debate which started with the all-powerful Eve swaying Adam and landing us in this mess. Introspection, friends, is not a habit we have incubated. Blessings and love for 2020.
Amer Zafar Durrani is an acknowledged development expert who is presently involved in renewable energy and community-driven development; transport and logistics, trade facilitation, and connectivity. He has worked with World Bank Group for 17 years. He also launched IdeaGist Pakistan- bringing the world’s largest virtual incubator to Pakistan’s growing incubation and innovation entrepreneurial ecosystem. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.