Genie in the bottle | Pakistan Today

Genie in the bottle

  • Or out?

Which one of the two came first? The hen, or the egg?

Whereas we can argue days in, and out in attempts to find an answer to this riddle, the fact remains that whichever comes first in the line gives birth to the second one. If the hen comes first, it lays the egg; if it is the egg, comes out of it the chicken.

Drawing an analogy to the aforementioned reality comes a society; be it any in the world. Is it a leader that creates a nation? Or is it the nation that brings forth the visionary leadership? Similar to the hen-egg case, irrespective of who comes first, it is a reality that the former will give birth to the latter.

In wake of our longing dream, still a dream by the way, of emerging as a civilised democracy in the world, the nation must, and should always come first as it holds the power to vote in, or out the aspirant political leadership. The nation’s thought, and behaviour, however, is moulded to a great extent (if not all) by the very political leadership it braces to vote for.

A leader is merely a mirror in which a nation sees its own reflection, and vice versa; whether they like it or not at the end of the day.

With the second consecutive democratic transition in the country, democracy in general, and democratic values in particular, apparently, are on an all-time decline, courtesy their very self-proclaimed flagbearers. It is not the government, or the opposition that is in peril at present, rather it is the very idea of democracy, jeopardised by the ones who vow/ed to protect it. In light of rather unfortunate events that unfolded in recent days, at least this seems to be the case.

From the country-wide lockdown by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) over the Supreme Court’s decision absolving Aasia Bibi of the allegations against her, to the developments occurring in parliamentary sessions over the past week or so, all are a proof of our moral, and ethical decline as a nation. And this decline is not exclusive to one section of the society, rather appears to be rampant across the board; the nation, the political parties (whether government or opposition), religious parties, and factions, so on and so forth. Ironically, what was once exclusive to the roads yesterday, now seems to have taken over even the most honorable house in the country i.e. the parliament.

Apparently the genie of extremism, and terrorism on the loose that took a toll to go back in the bottle, once again is out of containment, as many would look at the current situation

The immoral, and unethical words, followed by equally disturbing acts whereas are a problem, however, the even bigger problem lies in the fact that how comfortable, and used-to have we gotten to such unacceptable behaviour. Even the dictatorial regimes had some discipline, and civilised conduct to offer! This is not an attempt to justify them though, but a wakeup call for us all.

While our nation has been experiencing a nose dive with respect to ethics, morality, and civic sense, so is our political and religious leadership. A morally, and ethically corrupt nation can only give birth to corrupt leadership(s), and from such leadership(s) the same lesson goes down the generations of the nation that elects them.

After all, what goes around comes around!

What today’s government has faced in the form of TLP’s country-wide protest, is the same fire that it used to fuel yesterday as opposition. What was wrong then, is wrong today; and what is wrong today, was definitely wrong then as well. Let us make no mistakes about that.

It is astonishingly unfortunate to the core to see that not only have we acquired a comfort level with words, and acts of immorality, but the limits we go to in justifying the wrongs. Nothing can justify the wrong, just like nothing can un-do the right.

The conduct of our respectable parliamentarians in the past few weeks has been a cause of dismay to the nation. A house which is meant to hear the issues of the public, and to address the haplessness of the common man by devising appropriate solutions through law making, has recently been a picture of mere blame-game, and a wrestling ring even to go a step ahead. With the country suffering on several fronts, there is no shortage of problems, and issues that need parliament’s attention, and parliamentarians to act. But to the disappointment further adding to the misery of the nation, the parliamentarians representing both, the government and the opposition, have more important things on their agenda than the country, and the nation.

PM Khan vowed to protect the public’s money by ensuring that it will only be spent for the good of the people, his team thinks otherwise; perhaps. Being the visionaries of Naya Pakistan, the government must wake up, and act in an appropriate manner rather than comparing itself with the opposition on the old lines. The public bears the burden of each session of the parliament, it must be put to good use. Rest assured otherwise, the old lines are bound to meet the old destinations.

If it all has to come down to a combination of reasons that is responsible for such undesirable, and extreme behaviours, it is simply illiteracy, and intolerance. The 2-I combination has rotten us to our core. It not only has kept us at a good hands distance from ethics, and morality, but also has been the primary cause of violent extremism in the country. Rest, we all are very well aware of how it has made the country suffer, and does till date. The solution lies in imparting quality education, both worldly, and religious to the masses; as only that can help us overcome the undesired conduct.

Apparently the genie of extremism, and terrorism on the loose that took a toll to go back in the bottle, once again is out of containment, as many would look at the current situation. This time, it has taken to the streets rather than mountains.

While we have secured commendable successes against terrorism on the military front, courtesy the armed forces of Pakistan, we have immensely lagged in confronting the root-causes of the same. Perhaps, a better implementation of NAP (National Action Plan) would have contributed to a more soothing picture. Failure to do so is certainly to be blamed for prevailing circumstances.

But as they say, “better late than never”.

The new government must address the root-causes in time, before the genie runs rampant all across the country once again causing sever carnage to the cause of a peaceful, progressive, and prosperous Pakistan. For only that can account for a permanent solution to the overwhelming problem.