By Ayesha Villalobos
Pakistan was shaped and created by visionaries who have the courage to challenge history and managed to shake it vigorously. The partition of 1947 had unified the people regardless of ethnicity, the ideology of a nation for Muslims created a sense of shared destiny, while observer around the world are incredulous about this unusual creation, called The Islamic Republic of Pakistan .The existence of an Islamic state while the idea of Pakistan was still budding was a surprising achievement. Pakistan was also the earliest postcolonial state that broke into two. At present, Pakistan has been transformed from living memory into a crumbling nation, uncertain of its future. The founding fathers of this nation who created Pakistan would be disgusted by what it has turned out to be.
Atif Qureshi takes his readers back to the future and challenges the present. His candid and polemic exposition of the root cause of Pakistan’s present dilemma was astounding and detailed elaborating the pressure between the idea and reality and destiny. The idea of a Muslim statehood. The creation of Pakistan as an Islamic state, an articulation of faith, and a Manifest Destiny of the Ummah. Qureshi appealed to the senses of every Pakistani with emotional overload and sometimes as if scornful at the same time disdainful of what this Islamic statehood had become. Pakistan's inability to live up to its founders' ideals, and the nation suffered because of collective sins, dilution of Islamic identity among every Muslims and Pakistan is being tested in a way that she has never been tested before. This book is a wake – up call, The Land of the Pure has gone dark. But Pakistan is not dead. The time is NOW to take a stand and bring about change, pervades the theme of the book.
Pakistan Manifest Destiny is written from the Authors’ personal point of view , emanated from his orientation, personal experience from Pakistan’s’ living history, socio-political dynamics, and Pakistan’s external engagement/foreign policy and internal affairs . Composed of 20 Chapters, the author had successfully expressed and watchfully managed to present and narrate Pakistan’s past and present turmoil. He discussed vital issues,from education, Liberty, Property, Incentives, law, Money, Infrastructure, Employment, Defence, healthcare, population, Corruption, Trade, Credit, Poverty, Environment, Constitutionalism and Foreign Aid. He presented his facts with brevity and convictions, though at times he is very critical but treated all the important subjects with logic and rationale.
People globally wereoften caught in bewilderment. Pakistan is a state of absurdity: Its emergence as a nuclear power with a deteriorating educational system, Population explosion, brisk urbanization and economic failure .A strong military competent of strategic and tactical battleground innovations that has encountered calculated retreat in three wars in the past. A citadel of Islam that was caught in a quagmire, stuck between Islamic rivalries. A failing state with a powerful army. An impenetrable bastion that is determined to change the status quo, an ally in the war on terror (?). However, the supreme challenge is entrenched in the very idea of fulfilling its Manifest Destiny that have been sold out together with its identity and integrity to the Western powers, deviating from the real ideology from which it was created.
Qureshi articulated without flaws that Socialism, Communism, Imperialism, and Capitalism is not the answer to the nations sufferings, it is only through ISLAM, by abiding in its precepts from whom the Holy Prophet, the founding fathers and which the Holy Qur’an admonished to every believer, that it is only through genuine obedience, “Faith in Allah, faith in each other, and faith in their manifest destiny, with hope and determination that Pakistan can solve all its problems.”
His futuristic analysis (chapter 18 “On Foreign Aid”) draws round a scope of circumstances for its future and that of its fatal liaison with the United States of America. The author seek to evaluate and to prove that Pakistan’s marriage with US is describe as “iatrogenic” (a medical term which means), illnesses brought on by the treatment of the problems that beset the nation. According to Qureshi,”this dependence (by Pakistan to US) is often voluntary and often there is no military coercion involved.Quiete simply, it temporarily suits the interests of the leaders on both sides “ and “By systematically lavishing aid and protection, powerful nations can compel others to surrender their inherent independence and become indentured to a pseudo-colonial master”.
Qureshi shares his vision for Pakistan (Chapter 19 “My Vision”) he expounded it with so much optimism, overwhelming hopes and with resolute sincerity.”One day, and one day soon, the people of Pakistan will gather around under a common purpose .Striving in a manner that exemplifies all that is best in the spirit of mankind, we will achieve that great destiny that cynics have called a delusion. We will achieve that great destiny that inspired our visionary founders, but which only few of us dare to dream of anymore.”
The last chapter; A Call to Action here Qureshi presented a very powerful points, derived from introspections and written straight from the heart of A Pakistani, aspiring to inculcate, promote and awaken the comatose stage of every Pakistani, on how they have been a silent spectator and victims all at the same time, while the country’s’ rulers advance its vested interests and how the country was being sold to US imperialist treating Pakistan as its loyal ally and submissive slave in South Asia, He also cited these words of Iqbal “ Why hast thou made me born in this country, the inhabitant of which is satisfied with being a slave ?”
Finally he stated that “We are the People of Pakistan. We are one people, and we are one nation. Our faith is Islam, our identity is Pakistani. Together we can begin a new era in our nation’s history. Together, we can overcome .We can come out of the long darkness and achieve wonders and glories beyond our wildest imaginations. We can heal our nation .We can fulfil our manifest destiny. And we will.”
A must read Book for every Pakistani and also to the curious- minds who are perplexed by this complex creation which is Pakistan.
Title: Pakistan Manifest Destiny
Author: Atif F Qureshi
Publisher:Epic Press Ltd (August 14, 2007)
Price: US $ 16.95
Pages: Paperback 236 pages
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches