When will we wake from this deep and intoxicating sleep? When will the people of the land of the pure draw the line? Surely, there has to be a limit and beyond all doubt, there always is. When Rosa Parks refused to give her seat to a white man, her personal decision changed the lives of the entire black community in the United States of America. Her one action ignited a revolution that left its imprint on American history. This showcases that there is always a tipping point, a point beyond which people find it unbearable to live in a constant state of tribulation and injustice.
Pakistan, unfortunately, has reached that tipping point.
Our leadership is culpable for many of the injustices that plague our society, but it would be wrong to stockpile the entire burden on their shoulders. The responsibility for the present state of affairs falls on every one of us, in our capacity as citizens of this nation.
As noted by Martin Luther King, ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter’. Silence is a virtue that backfires on some occasions, especially in relation to public policy. As long as the citizens’ don’t engage in active dialogue, the country will remain mired in birthright politics and the iron hand of the military establishment. All too often, people only write of how deep a hole our country has fallen into. Such writing only adds to the confusion that has enveloped us and does little to actually find a solution to the quagmire. Barack Obama was elected on the promise of change, a strategy that should be endorsed by our own political parties.
To say that we cannot reverse the wrongs in our short history is to underestimate the unique quality of the human spirit. High economic growth rates can within less than a generation, alter the fortunes of an entire nation. China’s transformation from a largely agricultural nation to an economic powerhouse serves as a potent example. Herein, lies a lesson or two for our beleaguered masses, poor souls who have lost all hope of being citizens of a nation that thrives on anything but extremism.
So, there is hope. Light only comes after the darkest days and a great leader only surfaces when the nation direly needs his guidance. Maybe, there is one amongst us, capable of awakening 180 million souls to their true destiny, of building a nation that prides itself on its development and engendering a situation where Pakistan becomes the greatest nation on the face of the Earth. This begs the question: where is this grand savior and molder of our nation’s destiny? The question remains unanswered for now.
School of Foreign Service in Qata