Pakistan’s ego

It’s a living, breathing entity of its own


Pakistan is not just a geographical entity. It has nearly 200 million people as its nation and most of them have a Pakistan living within them. It pulsates just like the living heart. The human beings have egos and their combined egos become the ego of Pakistan. As examples we can quote our successes and failures. When a person or a team is successful, such as a cricket match or an army team winning an international patrolling competition, we say Pakistan has won. When our team fails or someone does something to bring shame on himself however, it is said that Pakistan is a country where you send your mother-in-law or people are instructed by their governments to avoid going to Pakistan.

In the seven decades of the history of Pakistan, it has suffered many ignominies. It was subjected to several martial laws – which, of course, are undemocratic – but when there was an interlude between martial laws, the civilian government (not being sure how long they would last) indulged in massive corruption. Fearing that they may not get another chance, they looted the wealth of Pakistan with audacity, temerity and monumental shamelessness. It goes without saying that Pakistan’s ego was hurt. In fact, over the years, Pakistan was subjected to such torturous and debilitating wounds that the exuberance, dynamism and vibrancy found immediately after its independence have been replaced by ennui, frustration and discontent.

The loss of former East Pakistan and the resultant holding of over ninety thousand prisoners (including civilians) by India was a blow from which Pakistan has not recovered and, perhaps, never will. The inept leadership of the time (and I do not just mean General Yahya Khan but also the political leadership of West Pakistan) is suffering the miseries of hellfire in the hereafter, while the living are in a hell of a different kind.

It is a well known fact that those among the poorest of the poor still with integrity, honour and, of course, ego will not stoop to begging. They will perform menial duties in order to earn their bread and butter, so long as they do not have to accept a handout out of pity. Similarly, countries with integrity, honour and egos, will tighten their belts, reduce unproductive expenditure and manage their affairs within their own resources rather than asking for aid from other countries. This so called aid is nothing but handouts received from masters who expect service in return. In other words, the country becomes their servant and the servitude is rewarded by the master with alms in the garb of aid.

The rulers are thrust upon Pakistan by all sorts of underhand methods – such as rigging – before the polls, during the polls and after the polls. These so called leaders, whose ineptitude is monumental, spend a lot of money (their own as well as the party’s) for their election campaigns and necessary activities – including the bribing of officials. This expenditure has to be recovered with interest from public funds that go into their pockets instead of being spent on development. On top of that, these wealthy law makers either do not pay taxes or pay only a fraction of what they owe to the country. The lavish life style and the protocol of these VIPs (in this case: Very Inept Persons) adds to the frivolous expenses.

In order to show some development (so that they can get votes in the next election) they take their begging bowls to countries such as the United States, Great Britain, Saudi Arabia etc thereby giving them the authority to command Pakistan to “do more” against terrorism, or else be prepared to “get bombed into the stone age” Saudi Arabia wanted Pakistan to join it in bombing the Yemenis. Somehow, for a change, better sense prevailed – probably at the behest of COAS – and Pakistan did not join the gang of cut throats which is decimating the poorest nation in the Middle East. The incompetent pilots of the kingdoms and emirates have killed thousands of civilians including women and children. They are, in fact, doing to Yemen what the ISIS is doing to Syria and Iraq and the Taliban are doing to Afghanistan. They can, at best, be called ‘educated barbarians’.

The integrity and honour that is lacking in the rulers exists in Pakistan. The ordinary man has been made so busy in trying to earn enough to feed himself and his family that he does not have the opportunity or the time to come out in the streets in strength. Despite that protests and rallies are being held, albeit in lesser numbers.

During the tenure of former PM Shaukat Aziz, I personally counted twenty four vehicles of his entourage in Karachi – not counting the several motor cycles. Our present Prime Minister sacked the Superintendent of Police (SP), because on the journey from Murree to Islamabad, he erred and took the motorcade on a different route. However, no police officer has been sacked for not being able to solve the murders and rapes which occur in thousands every year.

Pakistan’s ego is also hurt when our leaders go to England and call on the traitor Altaf Hussain and even have photo sessions, thereby making him think that he can do whatever he pleases including making seditious speeches against Pakistan and Pak Army.

It is a pertinent question to ask, what has Pakistan done to earn the wounds inflicted upon its ego? The leaders should know that had it not been for Pakistan, they would not even have been elected as lambardars of their villages.

The nation wants the rulers to break their begging bowls and erase corruption, so that we can manage our affairs within our own resources. It is quite possible that when their conscience comes out of its coma, it may be too late.

The contributor is a freelance writer and a published author.