How Long Will Pakistan’s Self-Proclaimed Saviours Continue To Embarrass Us?

Jinnah's Pakistan was carved out to be a progressive, multicultural, religiously tolerant, economically strong, scientific, confident and proud nation.

However, since as far back as Ayub Khan’s martial law, which sowed the seeds of an endless civil-military divide, and the self-inflicted decapitation of our Eastern wing in 1971, not to mention Bhutto’s hanging at the hands of another illegitimate regime, we seem to be constantly struggling for "self-respect".

In more recent memory, we were treated to a nail-biting contest of musical chairs between PPP and PML-N, each claiming much but failing to deliver Quaid's Pakistan. This was followed by another long dictatorship, which was ironically able to garner support from “fence-sitters” yet another time, including from the overseas diaspora. The dictator ruled under the guise of enlightened moderation and damaged the Constitution to no end. His decade-long rule then gave way to more turns between PPP and PML-N, each claiming much but ending up only accumulating massive debts for posterity.

And then came the “Messiah” with even grander promises and the support of all and sundry behind him. But now we have sugar cartel scams, petroleum hikes, grounding of national airlines in several destinations, railway accidents, loan disasters with the Middle East and a circus of police officials’ appointments.

But this is not the end of the list. We have promises of educational reforms, but the present environment of stifled debate and curtailment of opinions provides only the recipe for a robotic nation.

We got lucky with the Covid-19 disaster in many respects but there is no reason to overlook the threateningly vacillating decision-making during the entire crisis. Now, we are undecided about vaccinations and certainly incapable of producing our own.

On the foreign relations front, we have had the embarrassing OIC and Malaysian conferences U-turn, followed by the Saudi and UAE snub. Then we had to suffer the unilateral Indian takeover of Occupied Kashmir, while we prepared for an attack across the border.

Fast forward to just a day ago and we had to suffer the embarrassment of having one of PIA’s planes confiscated by Malaysia.

How many more embarrassments will the citizens of Pakistan have to put up with? We desperately need for the citizenry of this sacred homeland of ours to come together and wrest the right of governance away from self-proclaimed "saviours" and give it back to the people.

Maybe, the first step is simply to start voicing our thoughts and writing about them.

Prof. Mujtaba Quadri is Head of Nephrology at Maroof international Hospital, Islamabad.