PAKISTAN AND PAKISTANIS…AT A CROSS ROADS

     

Dear Pakistani friends living in Pakistan and abroad,

Pakistan is facing one of the most serious political crises in her sixty years of existence. We are curious how Pakistanis living all over the world think and feel about the past, present and future of their motherland. We are sending you some questions as a part of the survey. We would appreciate your cooperation and we promise to send you the feedback of the survey after its completion. Please ask your friends and family members to complete this questionnaire.

                                      Thank you

Dr. Khalid Sohail Toronto, Canada
Dr. Anwar Nasim Islamabad, Pakistan

Respondent

Name (optional)            Malik Jahanzeb

Age                               29 years

Place of Birth                                   Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Place of present residence            Toronto, Canada

Profession                                       Computer Engineer

Ethnic and Religious Background  Muslim

Email address and phone number (optional)

          malikjahanzeb@yahoo.com

QUESTIONS

1. What do you think are the three main problems Pakistan and Pakistanis are facing these days?

- Inability to reconcile modern global values (moral, social and economical) with traditional and religious values (the great confusion)

- Inertia of a society whose ways are based on old and regressive ideas are compared to rest of the world (feudalism, fanaticism etc.)

- Lack of vision among powerful groups in what needs to be done to bring Pakistan out of the current state

2. What is your primary and secondary identity?

Ethnic [pathan, sindhi, Balochi, Punjabi or…] (Pothohari Punjabi )

National…Pakistani, Indian (Pakistani/North Indian)

Religious/Secular….Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Humanist (Ex-Muslim/Agnostic/Rationalist)

3. Do you think creating Pakistan was a wise idea in 1947?

To me, answering this question is not possible because it involves knowledge of a possibility that never materialized (a post colonial joint India). But this question is not as important as the question where the newly created Pakistan should go?

4. Do you believe in two-nation theory?

Not in any ideal sense.

5. Why do you think Pakistan has low rates in literacy?

Pakistani society for the most part works in ancient ways in which it is very difficult to foresee the vital role of education in modern world for common man. This is why, there is always skepticism about investing in modern education  from the level of an individual up to federal government.

6. Why do you think Pakistan has poor ratings in human rights for women and minorities?

- Traditionally women have been exploited by men for obvious reasons. Islam, while uplifting women’s status a little bit, has put a hard cap on women’s further liberation by specifying her role and putting her behind veil.

- Islamic extremism would be responsible for religious human rights while human rights in general are bad because of our ancient exploitive social fabric.

7. Why do you think there is a wide gulf between the rich and the poor in Pakistan?

Pakistani society has been working on a model of exploitation for the last thousand years, the top perpetrators being Mughals, English and now local power elements. These top elements empower yet smaller exploiters to sustain their existence. In view of this evolution, Pakistani society makes perfect sense where a common man is exploited because he does not have the political consciousness to help him get rid of the status quo.

8. What is your prediction of the future of Pakistan and Pakistanis?

It depends on the course the nation takes. If they start adopting modernity in the real sense, at the cost of their religion and tradition, they can very quickly join the highway towards prosperity and stability.

9. If you had all the powers in the world how would you solve the problems of Pakistan and Pakistanis?

- Invest heavily in education

- Reform society of old evils (e.g. abolish feudalism)

- Uphold law and order

- Better relations with India and diffuse Pakistan’s silly demands over Kashmir

10.  What can Pakistanis living abroad do for Pakistan?

- Help education financially and intellectually

- Form political movements to leverage privileged position they enjoy in making their voice heard and bring neglected issues into spotlight

11. What do you think about the relationship of Pakistan with India, China, Russia, England and America?

Pakistan and India must improve relationships, this is indispensable

We should remain good friend with China and exploit the industrial edge they have to get something similar for us

[I am not aware of the significance of Pakistan’s relations with Russia ]

America and England should be given a little cold shoulder as these are the powers which are best at exploiting us and we are best suited to be exploited by them.

 

12. Which group (religious parties/ army/ secular political parties) has served Pakistan and Pakistanis the most in Pakistan’s history?

Probably People’s Party in the sense that it has taken a secular and anti obscurantist stand.

13. What kind of political system do you consider the best for the future of Pakistan and Pakistanis?

Libral democracy with an end to feudalism

14. How can we raise social and political awareness in Pakistanis?

- Media is doing good, it should be empowered.

- Education is the slow but ultimate means to eradicate these problems.

- Mainstream education curricula must ensure that good students the nation produces are also enlightened ones in the global sense. Currently being enlightened in Pakistan means being a shrewd Wahabi.

- There should be creative work in arts and literature to start the trickle down effect of ideas

 

Note…After writing your detailed answers please send me my email
welcome@drsohail.com
or mail it to my address
Dr. Khalid Sohail
Creative Psychotherapy Clinic
213 Byron St South Whitby
Ontario Canada L1N4P7

welcome@drsohail.com