By Raja G Mujtaba

It is the leaders that make the nations and stand for their ideals wherever it be. Leaders have to set the national priorities, take pride in its history, culture and the people. They should make the people stand tall in front of the world comity.

Mr. Jinnah is known to have created a nation, altered the geography and created a state. Once he was convinced that Pakistan has to be achieved, then he adhered to its values and gave it an identity through his personality; all with his self-discipline, pride and code of conduct. His colleagues in this struggle all followed his lead and never let him down.

Today, all the national leaders if they are fit to be called as such, have forgotten or put aside the national identity and pride that was developed very painstakingly by the founding fathers based on the tradition of Quran and Sunnah. Without exception, all are busy in establishing themselves as above all, some even trying to demonize the founding fathers. The irony is that their respective followers not only let them do so but further boost them on that path of self-glory and sycophancy.

It is so hurting when people get divided into small fortresses of parties to defend their ideals blindly, they are not prepared to listen to any logic or be a detached observers and commentators of events; on the contrary they label the person who raises the questions as anti-democracy, ant-party or pro military rule. Some even go to the extent of giving their lives for them. When societies become so blind or short sighted, that is the time when they fall apart as a divided house.

When the society gets polarized to such an extent, the onus shifts on to the civil society who are otherwise neutral to stand up and not let the leadership take the bit in their teeth, like a horse that sets its jaw against the bit and cannot be controlled, the citizens have to come with a whip to reign in these leaders to keep them on track no matter who they are and if we do not then they get out of control where they only watch their self-interests and nothing else.

The previous tenures of both Benazir and Nawaz Sharif are glaring examples of such happenings; their supporters gave them blank cheques to do what they felt like, the net result was complete national loss. In the last five years term, Asif Ali Zardari beat all records and today the country is in complete mess.

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In the last elections, people were promised change both by PTI and PML-N; initially the PTI was leading then towards the closing days of the elections, PTI graph plummeted why? The allegations raised against PTI and its supporters were that they had become rogue and rowdy. Seeing the educated bunch behaving like that certainly did hurt the people at large and the voters drifted away from PTI. They had no option but to vote PML-N and they did. The element of rigging cannot be ruled out but the voter’s dejection was a major factor. This rogue and rowdy behavior is getting even more stronger with PTI and if they do not apply corrections, soon they would be part of history. Hanain Akhtar, former MD of Heavy Mechanical complex says, “I voted PTI in last elections but now am thoroughly disappointed.”

People had high hopes on PTI but by importing all the turncoats of PML-Q PTI also lost its claim of clean leadership. Not one from PML Q won any seat, they were the ones whom people had rejected why did Imran Khan let them in PTI leaves a big question mark. This brought a big divide within PTI, old workers got disillusioned and started to leave the party, those who stood in bad times or sacrificed were not awarded tickets, there is an open talk going on that tickets were sold. If PTI also had to sell the tickets, then what difference remained between PML-N and PTI?

Today there are no intellectuals in the parties, only commercial thinkers. If this is how politics is to be managed then Pakistan is a corporate body and not a state. The political leaders have been turned into demi gods, their followers and supporters are not prepared to listen a word against them; how pathetic it is. This is true for all parties across the board.

When political parties do not care for the national sentiments and welfare of the people, then the people look towards other options. Munazza Khoso says, “The army is the only entity that is keeping the country intact. They have their shortcomings but I am willing to stand with them because of two reasons. Number one, they make the necessary sacrifices whenever it’s demanded of them and number two, we don’t really have much of a choice.”

When all the four of Khulfai Rashideen had made themselves open to criticism then how come these pygmies of today are way above that they cannot be questioned?

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Recently both Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif went on foreign trips, former to the UK and later to China. Though both were not dressed in Pakistan’s national dress; Imran Khan was received by Prince Charles who was dressed normal but Imran Khan was dressed more English than the English and his body language was also not reflecting any shade of a statesman. When this issue was raised on facebook, as expected his supporters and loyalists displayed their typical behavior for which they are now best known. Whereas Nawaz Sharif, who was in China, gave a complete sober look and was far more composed throughout the visit. This is not my opinion but a general observation of the neutrals.

It is about time that political leaders must rise above self and put the state and the people above them only then can they serve the people and the country. If their supporters would not allow them to be questioned then we all are doomed and this country does not belong to anyone party or individual. It belongs to all of us, all those who have their complete stakes within Pakistan. Those who have chosen to have their stakes elsewhere have not much to lose in here.

To breed the spirit of nationalism, the onus lies on the leadership but then how can they in the absence of ideological foundations? Today every party only pays lip service to the founding fathers otherwise don’t give much value to what they said or did. They only harp on their self-projection even if it costs the national unity. Every party must base its politics on the vision of the founding fathers of Pakistan; they must derive the strength from Quran and Sunnah like the first four Caliphs. Those leaders who are trying to raise their stature higher than those of the founding fathers are in fact doing a great disservice to Pakistan. People and the followers must reject such leadership, if not then Pakistan would be a house of cards.

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Once I was talking to some American friends and questioned them that they do not allow any social freedom to their leaders where as they indulge in all sorts of activities themselves. The answer was very simple; they all said that the leaders have to lead the country and we can’t take chances there thus we can’t have bad leaders.

If both Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif did not adhere to the national dress during their overseas trips, they have only proved that we have no national code and this is how the down fall of the nations start.

Going back in history, turban and qullah was a respected dress code of the Muslims of the sub-continent, Sindhis and Balochies would wear large turbans those were replaced by the British by skull caps; instead they made the doormen at hotels etc to wear turbans over qullahs and sherwanis. Later we also made that as a feature and saw those who served us in this dress.

Today certain dresses have become universal but then lets leave them to be our daily working dresses and not a state attire, wearing of shalwar and long shirts at work make the worker unsafe hence not recommended.

A political leader of any level becomes a public property more so the ones at the national level. Therefore it becomes imperative on them to fulfill aspirations of the nation, project the national culture and values. When the political leaders refrain from doing so, the nation looses the direction.

Narinder Singh Bhandari, a spiritualist says, “Narinder has found all Leaders to conform to the Movement of Time . . . deceit, double-talk, and divisive-ness . . . rather than practice Virtues Culture, and Righteousness!”

To conclude, nations draw their pride from their leaders who in turn draw it from their culture, history and traditions. This is the bottom line, if not followed or displayed by the leadership, then never expect any national pride and cohesion at any time.