I’ve been feeling emotional about these seventy-five years of Pakistan on 14th August, 2022, this year. In another twenty-five years, we would make a century! I know it hasn’t done as well as it should have; But we need to understand that India was lucky having its’ founding fathers there to establish its fledgling self, right from the beginning. This gave it a strong base. In Pakistan’s case, we lost our Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the very first year. Iqbal – the visionary, had already passed away, in 1938. So, there was a dearth of good leaders, and Liaqat Ali Khan also got killed.
As far as resources were concerned, the Pakistan’s section of the Indo-Pak Sub-continent, wasn’t a very prosperous one either, so we had to start from scratch. Literally. On top of it, thanks to our mishandlings, we lost East Pakistan within twenty-five years, of its’ existence. Naturally, we have not started well.
All said and done, I feel that in Pakistan, we function well as individuals, collectively we have a lot to learn. Our teamwork is lacking. This is why, when we get down to something, we really do it well. Yet, collectively running organizations etc. isn’t a good aspect of us. Thank God, we have a strong army which keeps are borders secure, and manages to bail us out of crises.
Excellent handling of Covid19:
It was amazing how Pakistan handled the Covid19 challenge. We came out the best in the region, and the world, with the least number of deaths. It was amazing. I’m truly impressed by how well each aspect was handled with so much responsibility. You will find many other landmarks in which Pakistan has done very well; for instance, the NADRA documentation of each Pakistani citizen. With its’ humungous population, it is amazing how well and authentically these have been documented.
Luckily, our country is blessed with a great climate and land which has a bit of everything in it. Some of the highest mountain peaks are in Pakistan, and we have beaches and the Arabian Sea at its South. The temperatures, are also good for plantation.
The people are among the most hospitable and welcoming.
The foods are just amazing.
We talk about simplicity, and love extravagance, and showing off! This you see in lifestyle, clothes and foods, too. We often talk about having ‘daal, saag,’ (legumes and spinach) but you will see plenty more dishes present, along with these two.’
Three major handicaps:
Judiciary, police and explosive population growth, are our biggest hurdles. The Justice system has been lacking, and due to it, there is too much corruption. The police is also corrupt or inefficient, in fact they need to be removed, altogether! Both of them should be, at least the country will be richer for it, (the country would be richer, without giving them their pays!)
Due to the above scenario, most organizations’ work without scruples. Yet, surprisingly, some do work well.
To make matters worse, the population. It is like the elephant in the room, about which I’ve written here. If this isn’t controlled in time, it will literally destroy us.
Awesome, (yes, I’m being sarcastic!)
‘How is this country running?’ you may ask.
Literally, on love.
Love for country:
There are those who love this country, and are working day and night for it. Many have given their lives willingly, for it. Many others are standing in line to do so. Yes, they are there.
People like Edhi have lived and thrived in this country. It is because there is an inner goodness present in most Pakistanis. That is what is keeping this country going.
In my charity work, I see it on a daily basis. People come out of the unknown, sending funds to my account because they see me feeding the poor every day. They want to do it too. We do projects together to help people in need.
There is so much good happening in this country that you would get shocked. There are full organizations thriving on this element of Pakistanis. The charity work is humungous. When Covid19 struck, we dished out foods and rations to people free of cost. Groups of people went to homes of people, to give them food items.
Being there for you:
A few years ago, the father of Mr. Ali’s wife passed away. They lived upstairs, as my tenants. They had recently moved from Karachi, and didn’t knew anyone locally. They were shocked at how much our community facilitated them. All the neighbors brought food to their home. The area office, sent water tanker, chairs for the guests. One retired navy officer, came to bathe the dead body, and they provided ambulance, coffin and commute to the graveyard too. They also gave space in the graveyard. Mr. Ali was very surprised.
I wasn’t. I had experienced, similar help from our community and army and air force, when my husband and father passed away.
So, when you need help, you are given help from total strangers. That is the kind of people Pakistanis are. In the same way, when anyone finds out someone has Covid19, they send food and fruit to the house. They will find out in how many ways they can help you.
Pakistanis are kind and helpful:
I’ve driven my car all over the country, Karachi, Sargodha, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and in-between. I’ve been confident that if my car broke down, there would be someone who will help me. (I am talking of a time, before the mobile phone, also.) I taught in schools and colleges for many years. In the staff room, we teachers, often praised the help we receive on the roads, when one gets a tire puncture or engine failure. People don’t hesitate to jump in and take over the whole rescue process.
Pakistan is believed to be among the most charitable countries in the world, I found this in The News,
…. the Stanford Social Innovation Review reported that when it comes to charitable giving, Pakistan is a generous country, and it contributes more than one per cent of its Gross Domestic Product to charity.
Another study conducted by Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy shows that Pakistanis give around Rs240 billion (more than $2 billion) annually to charity. -International The News.
I know, it is much more than this, because when Pakistanis give, they aren’t interested in documentation, or for taxation purposes. They give without any record. They do it as a sadqa – primarily for Allah.
I’m also doing my own bit of philanthropic work, and people just hand me not asking for a receipt or anything. Of course, I have my own documentation, and every donation is fully noted.
So, what is Pakistan today?
It is a beautiful country, made up of beautiful hospitable people. Check out my recent trip to Skardu here and here, as an example. I’ve travelled through the length and breadth of this land. It is crucial to love it, and whatever you do, don’t do anything that would harm your country. Always do your best for your country. Remember, every little bit of work, takes it further to prosperity.
Plans for future:
It has got to be with:
- Total replenishment of judicial system.
- Make the police at par with the army.
- Rest of organizations must work properly.
- Aggressive population control.
- Extreme punctuality at all levels.
- Use vote responsibly.
- Focus on export of goods.
- Education and health sectors must get much higher allocation of country’s budget.
- Green Pakistan.
- Rain water conservation compulsory in every building and house.
- Use of wind power.
- Solar energy.
What we can do individually:
Remember, you and I, can do something about each of the above. For instance,
(1.) If judiciary isn’t just at the moment, can’t we be just, in our own lives, and dealings with others? Right now we have a powerful tool in our hands. The tool of social media. Influencers, can use this responsibly, and make a big difference.
(2) Can’t we follow the law, as we move on the roads, and other places.
(3) We work in offices, lets make sure that work is done well by you and me, at least.
(4) We can do family planning in our own family size! Also influence those around us regarding family planning, especially the workers in our homes and offices. If you own an establishment, offer better facilities for those with fewer children.
(5) Become an example of punctuality, at home, and events we have.
(6.) Choose honest leaders.
(7) Realize that we have a lot of work to do in export sector, and do what we can.
(8) Try to help in education and health sector in any way.
(9) Green Pakistan where everyone plants trees in their communities, and grow vegetables and flowers on roof tops and gardens.
(10) Rain water conservation on every house and building.
Power of social media.
Personally, I believe that responsible use of social media by popular bloggers and influencers, can make a huge difference in the country. We have this force, living inside and outside the country. They are already making a difference in the society, by forming a pressure group to make changes in laws and society. Intelligent, responsible and mature handling of this powerful tool in our hands, can definitely make waves. 🙂
Best quote by Jimmy Engineer:
An artist who has dedicated his life to painting the struggles of Muslims coming from India during partition. (More about him in this blog on him, here. ) I’ve heard him often say, ‘Each Pakistani should do his own work to the best of his ability.’ It is very simple.
Yes, that is all that is needed. Let’s devote our life and time to give our best. We can do it in our homes, work places and in our communities.
No one can stop us from doing good things, the results will be obvious. Lets work hard and fill ourselves with hope for our future.
Happy 75th birthday Pakistan, may you live always! 😊