PAKISTAN AND PAKISTANIS…AT A CROSS ROADS

 

 

Respondent:                                          Rafiq Sultan
Age                                                           65
Place of birth                                         Gurdaspur, India
Present residence                                Toronto, Canada
Ethnic/Religious Background           Pakistani/Traditional Muslim
Email/Phone #                                       416-285-5991

 

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

Bad governance - Law and Order – Corruption  

Unconstitutional and unlawful rulers have set a bad and illegal example.  One man's decision to participate in super powers war game has brutalized the society.  Corruption has become so rampant that every one wish to be rich overnight consequently morality is totally down the drain.  The law is for the rich and connected hence poor feel alienated and society in general is polarized.  Apparently a perfect ground for civil war unless constitutional supremacy is not established. 

2. What is your primary and secondary identity?

 

I migrated from East Punjab to West Punjab in 1947. Feel comfortable calling myself Pakistani and now Canadian.

 

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

 

I feel it was a blunder on the part of Indian Muslim leadership.  Perhaps they were carried away or unknowingly were used in the bigger game plan of that time.  The creation of Pakistan was ill planned.  Muslim League had no constitution of its own and no shadow government.  It took 30 years to draft first constitution of Pakistan.  Vested interest brought in Objective Resolution and the country was derailed in her infancy.

Basically I feel division was a total FAILURE on the part of the British government who were the rulers of India.  This factor is never properly highlighted or researched.  British are responsible for uprooting millions and massive killings of each other by Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. They were the rulers and it was their responsibility to make sure a peaceful transition. 

 

4. Do you believe in two nation theory?

 

No.  A dividing theory on the basis of religion is totally absurd.  Religion has never been a force to create a country.  Beside Pakistan the only other country created on religious grounds is Israel and both these countries miserably failed in bringing peace to their citizens.  Religion was purposely used to disorient Muslims.  Muslims of India accepted two nations theory only because Muslims were taught to look for their roots some where else.  After living over thousand years in India they were still behaving like fresh arrivals basically an identity crisis. 

 

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

 

Naturally the ruling class is not interested to educate masses.  They are not fools to share their control, power, wealth and jobs with other Pakistanis so a low literacy rate suits them.  So far we do not see any conscious investment in this area from any government.

 

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

 

There is no check on religious extremism.  Islamization has further divided the society.  Also 9/11 has played a major role in Muslim fundamentalism as war against terror seems to be war against Muslims.  Any brutality against women and minorities go unchecked because of mulllahs’ fear.  Mullah's Islam negates any rights for women since they know an educated woman will not tolerate their primitive version of religion.  Mullahs know that a 50% population of educated women hand in hand with other tolerant masses will eliminate mullahs completely.

 

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

 

This phenomenon is evident even on country level world wide.  Poor are never given a chance to step on the ladder of knowledge because if they will learn they will stand for their rights and it does not suit the ruling classes.  Things can still be revolutionized if a genuine leadership emerges at the grass root level.  Education circles can be created and free evening part time classes may be established in the slum areas to begin with.  Now e day education is specialized and expensive.  Poor has the problem to meet both ends how can they arrange a good education for their children hence the gap will further widen.

 

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

 

It appears the world powers of the day do not wish to see a strong Pakistan.  They will try to further divide this country.  A democratic rule may halt the process for the time being.  If we are successful in establishing institutions in Pakistan and some how rule of law takes place we may avoid hitting the rock.  We have to change the rules of the game.  It is necessary to set up provincial autonomy as soon as possible and decentralize police and cut the size of military. 

 

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

 

First of all I will establish rule of law and hopefully corruption will automatically disappear.  I will make sure that elections take place every five years and governments become accountable to people.  I will go for peace treaty with our neighbours and work for self reliance.  No aids, no import of armaments.  Emphasis on education at grass root level.  Complete ban on religious fanaticism and spreading hatred against other sects and religions.  Compulsory regular education will be necessary for any mullahs willing to preach in mosques. 

 

10. What can Pakistanis living abroad do for Pakistan?

 

I feel overseas Pakistanis may help in forming opinions.  They are in a better position to highlight merits and demerits of any potential project.  A THINK TANK of overseas Pakistanis can present recommendations on policy making.  They can fight fundamentalism thru emails, essays and writing books on various topics of interest.  They are definitely in a better position to say wrong to the wrong principles.

 

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

 

Foreign policy of Pakistan should reflect the aspirations of the Pakistanis.  No indoor ad hoc decisions on these matters should be allowed.  Policy formulation should be discussed in the parliament and parliamentary committees should recommend their findings and on the basis of these recommendations an honourable foreign policy should be adopted.  Number one emphasis should be on friendly and peaceful relations with our neighbours and regional countries.  We should stop once and for all taking dictations on these matters from any foreign country.  A sovereign independent Pakistan is the need of the day.

 

12. Which group has served Pakistan the most in Pakistan's history?

 

Military dictatorship has ruled the country most of the time in its small history.  In fact both military dictatorship and civilian rule has done no good to Pakistan and Pakistanis.  Their hidden agendas have damaged Pakistan.  We were travelling in a tunnel and only now we hope to see some light on the other end.

 

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

 

Every Pakistani should stand up and participate in the political system.  It is our collective responsibility to uphold the constitution, parliamentary democracy and rule of law.  If we will become unconcerned and reluctant surely some vested interest will take advantage.  We need elections every five years and a democratic parliament.

 

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

 

Media can play a powerful role.  A crash course be given to all teachers initially up to grade 5 province wise highlighting value of human life, education, discipline, civil rights, fighting poverty, participation in local politics, games, deenyaat, training and above all forcing young girls to join in or initiate separate programs for them. etc. etc.

 

 

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