Aman Ali Aamir
Geographically Pakistan is located in such a place where it has links with almost all important countries of South Asia, including China, India, Iran, Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics. It is not possible to open any link with central Asian republics without Pakistan. Pakistan’s strategic significance and importance cannot be denied because of the fierce war on terror in Afghanistan and in some parts of Pakistan’s tribal agencies. Pakistan is also a front ally of US in the war on terror and Pakistan army and ISI is trying its best to eliminate this global threat since 2000. 9/11 has changed the history of the world altogether and Pakistan also got a severe effect of this incident directly or indirectly. Being a developing country Pakistan is struggling in various fields. It has shown resilience since its early creation 1947 probably because of its hostile neighboring particularly India, which has never skipped a chance to bring harm to its rivalry Pakistan. Pakistan has always maintained minimum deterrence force to balance out the threat. Some of the other major internal problems are poverty, illiteracy, terrorism & extremism, inflation, inadequacy in energy and food availability and political instability. This all makes a combine effect to put our country’s economy on down ward slide movement. What is worse is that democracy has been working like one leg break since the very creation and still we have not settled it with a well thought-out democratic process. Whatever has been done can be undone, we need to find out a remedy. Pakistan being an underdeveloped country looks forward for international favor in order to come out of the present circumstances not created of its own.
One of the stark challenges that Pakistan faces is deep rooted poverty which really is a breeding ground for any evil activity. It is almost a shocking revelation that every third Pakistani is leading life under poverty line. About 58.8 million out of 180 million people (Sustainable Development Policy Institute report) of our country are living sub human life, and what is even worse that it is escalating day by day. The condition is sputtering and slipping out of our fingers. Among the four provinces of Pakistan Baluchistan and KPK are the most poor provinces but probably the crime rate in these provinces has hence touched its zenith. Some of the human and natural disasters have already affected the country starting from the incident of 9/11, then earth quake 2005 and then the flood of 2010 and 2011 simultaneously. All these have turned asunder the social fabric of the developing country. The last flood of 2011 was so severe and havoc that the world called it mother of all disasters. Since then our economic growth is at low level. Today our GDP touches 3.68% which is very shocking; as a result of such a slow economic growth rate people even do not have one square meal in a day to eat and are suffering from huge hunger. A person suffering from all these evils is easily available for any type of perpetration, crime and a terrorist attack.
Our forefathers got the independence solely on the basis of Islam. The greater stress and focus of the great religion is citadel knowledge and intellect. A human being is not a human in proper sense unless he is well educated. Qur’an says “”Are those who have knowledge equal to those who do not have knowledge?!”(39:9).” Education makes man a right thinker. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) has emphasized on education in various places, he said “Wisdom is the lost property of the believer, he should take it even if finds it in the mouth of a mushrik.” Whenever I look at the education system and syllabus of our country, my heart weeps and my eyes get filled by tears. Such a bizarre and old system. Countries have swept forward adopting the brand new system and we are still stuck to this old system where we value marks more than the actual talent of students. Whosoever gets good marks in spite the fact how do he gets it is encouraged and appreciated. This attitude normally butchers the skill and talent of other students. This must not be ultimate gauge to judge the talent of students. The pathetic situation is that even then the government is not paying any interest to improve the education system. HEC one of the prime regulator which was producing hundreds of PhDs each year is now facing fiscal deficit and is now in Frankenstein situation, fighting a harsh battle for her own existence against the government of Pakistan. Literacy rate hardly touches 34%. Clash of ignorance is much more powerful disease than the clash of civilization. To conduct referendum and to hold elections in such a country where more than half people of its total population do not know how to write their names, is grossly injustice and unfair. Elections and referendum are necessary but not sufficient. An uneducated person can be easily misled by unscrupulous leaders using the power of money, but it’s almost impossible to mislead an educated person. Education plays a critical and key role to take any state to transformation; whatever the risk is involved education is paramount.
The other reason Pakistan is struggling is the complex ethnic and sectarian partition across the country. This complex ethnic and sectarian partition is one of the main reason that why democracy has always failed to exist. The new wave of sectarian cleansing has once again shaken the socio-economic fabric of the country. Over 98% people of Pakistan are Muslims believe in one creator, bounded by a firm bond of Kalima e Shahada La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah. If I have to summarize the fundamental teachings of the greater religion, the crux would be to serve the humanity, pursue peace and sense universal brotherhood. This indeed is the core philosophy of Islam and center of gravity of Islamic teaching lies in humanity. There should not and must not be any division or discrepancies on the true philosophy of Islam, Since there was no division during the time of prophet Muhammad(pbuh), therefore the believers are expected not to be mislead on the basis of differences of opinions. I hate to admit there are people who are using exploiting the religion for political gains and bring bad name to the religion. Government must extend its hand to take due action in order to stop them doing so. It must ensure the sovereign equality of all religion according to the vision of the founder of the state Quaid-e-Azam , he said “ you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State…We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.” Following the footsteps of our great leader we can bring out the message of Islam in its true spirit. Preachers of Islam must step forward to play their role, too.
An incident happened in 9/11, this single event was hazardous enough to change the course of the globe generally and south Asia in particular. Pakistan too got some adverse effects because of the very incident and still struggling to find its way out of the mayhem and disorder. Terrorism is the menace for the whole world, there is no doubt. It need to be dealt holistically and must be eliminated whatever it costs. Pakistan with its limiting economic leverage is trying at his level best to eliminate it.
In conclusion the economic condition of Pakistan does not allow it to overcome all these mentioned problems. Being an important country, its stability is topmost that can play a critical role in global peace and prosperity. Instead of asking for DO-MORE, the international community must step forward to help out Pakistan by providing opportunities for open market access to the Pakistani community. Instead of targeting the already disappointed people who we need to change from within by exposing them to a diverse economy, opening health care and spreading education in those areas where terrorism and extremism is concentrated. Because targeting people only creates an upheaval and scourge, leaving the situation in jeopardy. We can never change them through force and coercion. Long term change can only be brought by winning the hearts and minds of the people.
The contributor is a student at COMSATS, Islamabad. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org