“Allah does not change the condition of people unless first they change themselves.”  (Al-Qura’an, Surah Al-Raad). The challenge of time is clear that the new educated and creative generation of the young Pakistanis should take initiatives to clean the filthy political mess and evolve new public institutions, new political systems to set-in a new culture of change and development to facilitate ANEW BEGINNING – ANEW FUTURE.

By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

In a knowledge drive global culture of change and human development, progressive nations enthusiastically search for new ideas, people, talents, creative plans and innovative methods to reconstruct the old and obsolete, and rebuild rotten systems and infrastructures with new zeal and ambitions for a new and better future. It is the future that most economically and industrialized competitive nations are geared to imagine and actualize in their national perceptions and economic and political strategic priorities. Alas, Pakistan was victimized by its own egomaniac military and political elite to derail its economic and political advancements for the best of its people.  This traumatic chapter of the history of Pakistan has not been addressed in its proper context.  All the time, the so called hourly paid thinkers and political activists sideline the real problems facing the nation. Many could well be bought and bribed by the foreigners to camouflage the truth. For almost half of the century, the Generals and their by-products:  Bhuttos- Zardaris-Sharifs and Chaudrais have contributed nothing positive to advance the progressive change and development goals of the nation. Economic developments, open trades and social emancipation take shape where creativity and freedom of thoughts and actions are welcomed. As a result, the society develops.  No intelligent businessman would ever invest in a society governed by military Generals or fake political figures pretending to be the political masters. Nations and freedom are articulated and enhanced not by the Generals but rational thinkers, intellectuals and dedicated political leaders, Pakistan had none since Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali died. The educated generations look for new opportunities to encompass economic and political development, motivation and leadership role models. None is there to assist and encourage the ambitious new generations of Pakistanis to pursue an integrated promising future.

Rationally speaking, Pakistan is destabilized and dehumanized by its own wicked and ignorant Generals and their operative so called politicians who lacked understanding of the ideology of the Muslim nation.  The culture, intellect and values these military and political elite follow are foreign to the genius of the people of Pakistan. They were all born out of the British colonial culture. We define ideology and concepts to give clear meaning and purpose for understanding and role-play, discarding the abstract assumptions to vital topics of human interest and values. Pakistan appears to have its ennobling enemies within itself and daily death tolls and societal destruction provide ample data to think of the growing despotism and politically geared domestic madness to undo the foundation of its existence. Recently, Allama Mohammad Iqbal’s 133 birthday was celebrated across the nation. Dr. Mohmmad Iqbal, the poet and philosopher of the East, was not just an imminent scholar but a visionary leader and political reformer of the Muslim nation that had lost sense of political direction, and moral and intellectual identity and lived under the continued subjugation of British imperialism. His vision for the rebirth of the Muslim Ummah was not subjective but an objective movement and a passionate goal of political freedom for the confused Muslims of the colonial India into an Islamic State of Pakistan. Those celebrating the Iqbal’s birthday, were they conscious of what Iqbal had envisioned of the Muslim people and their freedom from the colonial rule vis-à-vis what Pakistan is today?  Not sure, if majority of those involved in the festive activities knew who Iqbal was and what his mission was for the future of the Muslims in British occupied India. Imagine, if Mohmamad Ali Jinnah and Iqbal were alive today, would they have identified themselves as nationals of the contemporary Pakistan? Objectively, there is nothing common between the Pakistan of today, and what those leaders had envisioned to free the believing people from the yoke of Hindu-dominated colonial India operating under the British sovereignty.

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Alarming rates of domestic and foreign generated bloody conflicts –the “war on terrorism” have sucked up the resources of the poverty stricken nation for change and development goals. The military leaders and the politicians are ignorant of the consequences of such catastrophic engagements. The nation lives in great discord under corrupt political governance as it slipped away from its original roots of the ideological THINKING to encounter the emerging political challenges of the contemporary 21st century world. Islam, the real lifeline and identity of the Muslims, has been denied its rightful place in the working of institutions and governance of Pakistan. If Islam is not the point of reference for the Muslims, then what else would be relevant and rational to make sense for the existence of the nation? Another major setback seems to be that after the death of Sheikh Abu ul Alla Moudoodi, Pakistani political institutions failed to produce an Islamic thinker and visionary to assume the leadership role. Emerging conflicts expose divergent challenges that Pakistan appears incapable to deal with.

The “war on terrorism” is a planned menace to human growth and survival. The US led war will consume all the wealth and resources of the Muslim people and instigate reactionary extremism and sectarian killings within the Muslims and make them redundant for any useful role in global affairs. Realism points out that once again the entire Christian world has been united to pursue the Crusade against Islam. The wars on terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan are the net result of this strategic plan. Across the Muslim world, there is no Sultan Salahudeen to challenge and defeat the Western crusaders. All the contemporary rulers across the Muslim world are subservient to the American and European political masters. If the Muslim rulers failed to grasp this overwhelming fact of the global politics, it is their mental sickness and absurdity. Those thinking people of the Muslim world questioning the rationality of the “war on terrorism” are dubbed as “Islamists”, insurgent fighting against the Western interests and “terrorists.”

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A decade earlier, Pakistan was identified as a “failed state.” After the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan was sought as a “friend” and “partner” in fighting the US led war. According to the US strategic plan, Pakistan is now the most dangerous country hatching terrorism. In the process, Pakistani nation has been victimized by the foreign mercenaries, causing daily bloodbaths of innocent civilian population engulfed with sectarian violence, destroyed businesses and trades and installing corrupt political elite to wage war against their own people.  The US bought and bribed the Pakistan Generals and politicians to achieve this strategic goal. Pakistan lives on borrowed money and foreign aid as it owes some $70 billions to the World Bank. Its economy is underdeveloped, its masses live in primitive ways devoid of modern luxuries and most often deprived of the basic human needs and amenities of life. No nation has ever developed its economy based on borrowed money and foreign scheme of things to their culture and values. Nobody can justifiably explain where these loans of $70 billion dollars were spent in the interest of Pakistani nation and their development priorities. Few corrupt rulers have encroached the rights and freedom of the people and Pakistan survives under neo-colonialism. After more than 63 years of freedom from the British colonial rule, Pakistanis continue to be an impoverished nation always wanting foreign aid for its meager survival. One major factor which made defining impact was the role of intelligent and visionary leadership and development of public institutions to build the nation’s capacity in economic and politics to further the goals of change and development. Pakistani society has not produced any proactive visionary leaders to lead the nation into the 21st century.

The nation appears at moral and intellectuals crossroads. Prevalent corruption has darkened the insights of the thinking people. Even some of the most educated and intelligent ones cannot THINK out of the box. Whereas, able and educated Pakistanis look for escape from reality and are rushing to migrate to foreign lands. Consequently, Pakistan is run by ignorant, corrupt and cruel people who have nothing common in thoughts and values with the Muslim masses. Was this the meaning and purpose of the Pakistan’s ideology dear to Iqbal and Jinnah? Out of its life span since the independence, more than forty years were stolen by the military Generals and the remaining time is exploited by the military generated politicians and the feudal lords, all owing allegiance to the foreign masters. General Musharaf was rewarded for his loyalty to the US policies and practices by killing thousands of fellow Pakistanis  and transforming others as reactionary “terrorists” to enrich the US databank and lives happily in a $1.4 million mansion in London under 24/7 security extended by the British Government. With stolen wealth from Pakistan, dead Benazir Bhutto family and Zardari own many splendid palaces in Dubai, Paris, UK and Switzerland. The current rulers of the PPP Zardari-Bhutto gang are the wrong people, with wrong thinking, wrong policies actively following the US led agenda to dismantle Pakistan. The on-going “war on terrorism” is the means to achieve that goal. Most in the political governance are corrupt and uneducated people. Had Iqbal and Jinnah lived so long, would they have liked to identify themselves with these liars and indicted criminals as Pakistani nationals?

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Islam is a divine force of human UNITY, not division and destruction. It unites the diverse humanity as One People-Ummah, whereas, the non-believers divide, exploit and kill the mankind. Visionary thinkers and reformers are always few to forbid the evil and invite the people towards goodness.  Often true benefactors of mankind are wrongfully identified and labelled as “insurgents” and “terrorists” but they are always determined in their pursuit of revulsion against the evil and wickedness. Wicked people deceive nobody except themselves.  Zardari-Bhuttos, Sharifs and the Generals are the dead entries of the past, not the leaders to carve a new future. Pakistan NEEDS change and visionary leadership to rebuild its national foundation, lost capacity of national freedom, economic and social developments, its freedom from foreign coercion and exploitation and to have a sustainable future of its own. Future belongs to the people, not to the indicted criminals. The nation has been dubbed into a box and appears unable to get rid of the corrupt Generals, Bhuttos-Zardarsi-Sharifs and so many others sucking out the energies and socio-economic lifelines of the nation. Legal judgments would not change the mindset and behaviors of the criminals. Rotten things stink and they must be washed away. Allah has promised to change the conditions of the besieged people to favorable future if they wanted a change and are actively engaged to make it happen: “Allah does not change the condition of people unless first they change themselves.”  (Al-Qura’an, Surah Al-Raad). The challenge of time is clear that the new educated and creative generation of the young Pakistanis should take initiatives to clean the filthy political mess and evolve new public institutions, new political systems to set-in a new culture of change and development to facilitate ANEW BEGINNING – ANEW FUTURE.