Where are we standing as a nation????

Why do certain states experience peace while others suffer from turmoil? Differentiating between nations and states, focusing on effective governance, balancing economic well-being with human development, and the qualities of great leaders are key factors in addressing this issue.


Why do certain states experience peace while others suffer from turmoil? It’s important to differentiate between nations and states. Nations refer to large groups with shared religious, ethnic, or identity-based characteristics, primarily concentrated in specific regions and often with a history of some level of autonomy. On the other hand, states are geographical units. Pakistani nationhood lies somewhere between the rock-solid nature of Japan and the tenuous state of Sudan. However, Pakistan, considering itself to possess a nationhood akin to Japan’s, has focused on demanding patriotism instead of fostering it through effective governance. The issue at hand is not just economic; it also encompasses social and cultural aspects. Currently, our primary concern revolves around basic survival, and other matters naturally appear less significant. While the pursuit of material well-being is crucial for a progressive society, it is equally important to strike a balance with human development.

Let’s reflect on the great leaders of recent times such as Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Quaid-i-Azam, Mahatma Gandhi, Abe Lincoln, FDR, Lenin, Churchill, de Gaulle, Mandela, Lee Kwan Yew, Ho Chi Minh, and Fidel Castro. What set them apart? They viewed themselves as serving a grander mission beyond personal gain. They understood that their actions and achievements would define them more than their words. They sought qualities like character, commitment, competence, and sincerity in their comrades, valuing loyalty as well as the opportunity to learn from others. They held themselves to high standards. Do our Pakistani leaders possess these qualities? Recalling Iqbal’s poem “Farman-e-Khuda” (God’s Command to His Angels) from his compilation “Bal-e-Jibril,” becomes relevant here.

Utho! Meri dunya ke ghareebon ko jaga do,

Kakh-e-umra ke dar-o-deewar hila do!

Recently, I came across a list ranking countries based on literacy rates, and naturally, I looked for Pakistan. The result didn’t come as a surprise; we ranked somewhere in the 150s worldwide. However, it was disheartening to see that numerous countries from the so-called Dark Continent fared better than us. Even war-torn and neglected nations like the Democratic Republic of Congo have made more progress in educating their people compared to Pakistan. Education, or rather the lack thereof, fuels many of our current problems. Dynastic politics thrives on an uninformed public opinion, and statistical evidence repeatedly highlights the correlation between illiteracy and unemployment. Additionally, a misguided youth resorts to violence when deprived of proper moral guidance. Instead of investing in skill development, they turn to negative influences like TikTok.

Surah 13, Verse 11 of the Quran states, “Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves.” (Al-Qur’an, Surah Ar-Ra’ad 13:11) The way out of this desolation exists, but it is hindered by the corruption and cynicism of predatory leaders and defenders who amass fortunes through the criminal abuse of public trust. Their victims, preoccupied with day-to-day survival, resign themselves to their fate. The confusion among our intelligentsia and the irresponsibility of our intellectuals further complicate matters. Not only the government but also major institutions and influential groups in our country have failed us: the government, political leaders and parties, the media, the educational and health systems, the civil services, the landed, business, and religious elites. Together, they have led us towards a failed state.

Read More: The Rise and Fall of PTI: A Tale of Broken Promises and Polarizing Politics

According to the initial findings of the seventh national and first-ever digital population census in 2023, the total population of Pakistan has reached 249,566,743 (249.566 million). Naeemuz Zafar, the Chief Census Commissioner and Chief Statistician of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), made this announcement. Unfortunately, there have been no efforts to educate the people of Pakistan about population control. In these times of skyrocketing inflation, it is becoming increasingly challenging for a single breadwinner to support a family of seven, leading to a rise in the number of suicide cases. Additionally, the census is not conducted regularly and is not utilized to allocate budgets and initiate projects effectively. Consequently, the common man in Pakistan is becoming more aggressive due to a lack of outlets to channel their frustrations. As a result, violent protests have become a common occurrence in Pakistani politics. Not too long ago, the average citizen had access to well-maintained public parks, cultural events like mushairas, and theaters and cinemas. However, these have become expensive and out of reach for the middle-class population. The burden of a monotonous routine, the need to earn a living, and heavy taxation have left the common man with no escape, resulting in an increase in crime rates. It is the government’s responsibility to provide recreational activities for the general public.

Governance involves commitment, competence, priorities, reform, resources, feedback, information, devolution, and ownership. Pakistan possesses all these elements in abundance, both in reality and potential. However, they need to be harnessed to combat the betrayal of power elites within the system. Mobilizing these resources is crucial to safeguarding our future generations. Unfortunately, the country is currently tearing itself apart. The political landscape is marked by unprecedented hostility and animosity, with the constant risk of a grave mistake being made. Even a momentary lapse in judgment could trigger a series of events that would irreparably damage the nation. In the words of the renowned American educator Abraham Flexner, we have a metaphorical sword of Damocles hanging over our country. He stated, “Nations have recently been led to borrow billions for war; no nation has ever borrowed largely for education. Probably, no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and civilization. We must make our choice; we cannot have both.”

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