Time to make a decision

This Article was published in
The Frontier Post (November 28, 2009)

Sahibzada Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri

Lack of democracy, unending spate of dictatorships, rampancy of corruption, extremism, absence of political institutions, weak judiciary, feudalism and unhindered foreign interference are all a horrible realities that plague today’s Pakistan. The people of this nation claim to be patriotic when the opposite is true. Patriotism means to resist oppression, not to embrace it. It is right to question the authority of our leaders. When we are challenged simply because we want to know the truth, it goes without saying, something is not right.

Democracy means government by the people. A form of government in which, the power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them through their elected representatives. At this point in time, I am sure there are many who do not feel we are a democracy. It is my opinion that Pakistan has become a nation of lethargic people.

More interested in cricket, movies, music and gossips, the Pakistani society has no idea what goes on in politics. Our constitutional rights have been (and are being) slowly chiseled away. Yes, there are those who claim they are angry and want to see a difference. Yet, they stay seated in their chairs, watching dramatic news paying no attention to the political prison being built around them.

Dictatorship means absolute, imperious, or overbearing power or control. Do you think it is correct for a nation to be ruled by one person? Do you feel one person should be able to decide whether you live or die simply by a wave of his hand? Should anyone be allowed to have such power over the sovereignty of any nation? Then why we allow such dictatorial governments again and again, which play havoc with our collective destiny.

We, as a nation, no longer have a backbone, by that I mean our own identity, culture, language, traditions, education and social values. How childish our elders and politicians have become. Our society, on the whole, is behaving like kindergarten children in a sandbox.

Corruption is: moral perversion, depravity, perversion of integrity. Unfortunately, we have corruption in all walks of life. Our political system, executive, education system, police, health system, even the so called religious groups are all plagued by corruption. The menace of corruption is prevalent everywhere.

Money is quite a temptation for most people. Not too many will turn their backs on a few extra (or many extra) rupees or dollars. Money motivates people much more than any thing else.

When a person, or group of people, goes overboard in their socio-religious thoughts and political views, this state can be defined as extremism. With so many people putting on "blinders" thinking they are safer by not seeing, it is important for some to be pushy. But, we do not need to be violent when challenging the views of others. Neither do we need hateful attitudes. The accommodation of one another’s views, exercise of tolerance and acceptance of diversity are characteristic of a civilized society.

Our judicial branch of government is in total chaos. Our court system is overloaded with cases whose number continues t increase by the day. We have crooked police officers, judges, federal, provincial and district governments, lawyers, clerks; the list goes on and on. If this branch of bureaucracy were to be halted, think of all the people without a job. Have you ever thought just how useless many of these professions are? Does true justice actually exist in our country?

Now, our rupee is quickly slipping into oblivion. Rich spend too much buying items they do not need and complain that they do not have enough to pay their Zakaat. Huge houses are not a necessity. Gold and Diamond watches are not a necessity. The rich believe that these things are status symbols and elevate them to a new breed of privileged people. They oblige by purchasing them by ignoring the fact that extra money spent on the poor and in welfare-oriented projects could deal a severe blow to the scourge of terrorism and extremism.

Foreign interference in our domestic affairs is now a known fact. Unfortunately our so-called political elite has chosen to prostrate itself before the foreign powers for the sake of their vested interests. How can we sit back and allow such situation to g from bad to worse? Pakistan is supposed to be a family. Would you let a stranger enter your home telling you how to eat, drink, sleep and function in your house? Of course not! Then why do we, as Pakistani citizens, support this type of domination?

The Pakistan’s citizenry enjoys staying asleep. They feel if they keep their eyes closed, ears shut, and mouths silent, this will grant them safety. We are being invaded by foreign armies willing to take our rights away. The terrorists we should fight are right under your noses. When will we wake up and smell the crap they place in our face? Make a decision.

The writer is a PhD candidate at an Australian University