14th August, 1947, the Muslims of the sub-continent sacrificed and fought for an independent state as their homeland. The homeland where they could live life on their on terms, in the comfort of their religion, culture, understanding, harmony and progress. The homeland where their coming generations would prosper into a nation of many attributes and many achievements. The homeland where there would be no suppression, oppression or tyranny. 63 years to the day that was the dream of Pakistan. And today… the dream remains unrealized.
Our nation has survived these 6 decades through a lot. Wars, natural disasters, man made disasters, break up of the nation, corrupt rulers, extremists, terrorism etc etc. And it all keeps coming and coming.
This last year has again been a tumultuous one in terms of the security situation, the terrorism, the corruption and the absolute lack of governance or infrastructure as a whole. The lack of a organized and effective system. The latest being the utter chaos and devastation being caused in the country because of the worst floods in it’s history. It is a disaster which is beyond the Asia Tsunami and the 2005 earthquake. The number of people displaced because of these floods are at a staggering 13.8 million, more then the combined total of people displaced in the tsunami, 2005 earthquake and the haiti earthquake.
The response to this has been very poor. It has in fact been embarrassing. The state of affairs is such that our President, whose duty was to be by the side of his nation during this extremely trying and testing period, decided to carry on with his trip to the UK and also making a stopover at Syria on his way back. That the nation was just recovering from the sad air crash disaster when the floods really got into their destructive gear was not enough for him to give even a minor thought towards caring for the nation enough to just make a symbolic gesture. To top that off our Prime Minister was either conned in Mianwali by a fake relief camp or it was a setup for ‘positive’ media coverage of the efforts of the federal government during this disaster. The idea of him having a ‘healing touch’ is a bit too much to take.
We’ve all been reading, watching about this on the news… I don’t want to get into all that and say what has already been said. The facts are known. The point is … till when can we keep on surviving year after year in this dysfunctional way and system. Things will come to a boil and absolute and utter chaos will be the result. We are far from the dream that was supposed to be our nation 63 years ago.
Markets are bad, unemployment is high (and the addition of 13.8 million people to that list in one go is not going to help matters), corruption is rampant. Security is also an issue. Lack of development another. The promise of a solution to the energy crisis and shortfall is nowhere to be seen. Target killings continue. Terrorism continues. Bombings continue. The overall morale of the country is down and out. In fact we are probably at rock bottom and perhaps even the most patriot Pakistanis will want to think about their future in a country which seems to be heading nowhere except failure. Till when can we survive like this? And its not just the people in power but also those who put them there. Are we doing our bit? Are we rising to the occasion and making our voices heard? Are we taking any steps to get a semblance of accountability from those who claim to be ‘leaders’ of our nation? Are we the privileged lot doing our part to help the not so privileged lot ? The answering is somewhere between no to not nearly enough for these questions.
The doomsday scenarios can be run over and over again in anyone’s head about what is happening and how it will end in lets say 10, 15 years time. There are multiple possibilities. But then again, catalysts are present in the current scenario to bring forth the unpredictable. I hope that doesn’t happen.
The steam will run out of the unattended engine of our nation soon if something good doesn’t happen. I don’t want to sound like the negative guy on our day of independence but this is the reality of it. This is the true situation. We need to face it. We need to do something about it. We need to understand that those who are in ‘power’ are actually working for the nation and thus should be held rightly accountable. One of the arms that needs to do its job but responsibly is the media. That is the best way to hold governments and establishments accountable for their actions and inactions. News is about news, current news, facts. Not about dramatizing events to make into some sort of sci-fi epic story to earn more advertising rupees.
The aftermath of the current disasters are still to come and we are standing at a very frail and significant juncture in our history. I hope that by some miracle we as a nation come out of its stronger. Our spirit is alive and strong, no one can deny that. For in the hour of need of such disasters I’ve always seen our people come together to try and help out in support of the effected populous. It happened when the northern areas were hit by the earthquake. It’s happening even now when the floods are doing there worst. There are relief camps (genuine) and donation camps (again genuine) set up through out Karachi by various groups and organizations. The need to help and do our bit is urgent. We need to pull together to come out of this crisis.
We also need to get the same spirit alive and working even when th ere is no natural disaster. When man made disasters and catastrophes are at the helm of things, we need this same spirit then as well. Let us make a pact to keep this spirit alive until the dream of Pakistan is truly realized.
Let’s not just sit and demand a change. Be the change, bring the revolution. Pakistan Zindabad.