PAKISTAN AND PAK ISTANIS…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): Najeeb Kazmi
Age:  53
Place of Birth:     Pakistan
Place of present residence: Oakville, Canada
Profession:         Professional Engineer
Ethnic and Religious Background: Born in a Shia Muslim Punjabi family
Email address and phone number (optional):  nkazmi@cogeco.ca, 905-823-9060, Ext: 4359

QUESTIONS

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

a.     Lethal mix of religious & feudal mindset in the modalities of governance. Time to do new & bold law making. “Social” illiteracy is permeating the very core of our society. Land reforms are badly needed to curb the power of feudals, sardars & khawaneen.

b.    Lack of economic empowerment of Pakistani masses through participation & incentives. Faulty domestic economic policy, resulting in deep-rooted corruption at all levels of the society. 

c.     Pakistan does not operate like a federation. It appears to be a colony of Islamabad? Major aspects of Governance should be completely decentralized, except foreign relations & Finance.

 

2. What is your primary and secondary identity?

Ethnic:        Punjabi & Urdu (original identity was “Dogri”, that was lost after migration to Pakistan by my parents)

National:     Pakistani, Subject of the State of disputed territory of Jammu & Kashmir, Canadian

Religious:  Secular humanist

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

Every happening has to be seen in its historical perspective. Creation of Pakistan had more to do with empowering the underdogs and social / economical uplift of a community that was left battered and under-privileged due to acts of history, but the way it was done, the aftermath and the way Pakistan is struggling to find an appropriate model of governance left many questions un-answered. However, it would be over simplification and unwise to say that creation of Pakistan was not a wise idea.

 

4. Do you believe in two-nation theory?

Theoretically, I do not believe that the entity called “Muslim” is a separate nation

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

Already answered in Q-1a. In fact, Pakistan, as a nation has not done enough to break the chain of vested interest due to the menace of feudalism, unpatriotic and anti-people capitalists, power hungry army and bad bureaucracy. Low literacy rates are also the product of adherence to religious medievalism. This question is very loaded and explaining it in the right perspective needs more space.

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

How we treat women, is the product of a mindset that basically emanates from typical male dominance model perpetuated by the lethal mix of feudal and medieval literal interpretation of Islamic injunctions. As a first step we have to break the connection between governance and confusing outdated Islamic injunctions and after having done that, we have then to do bold new law making. This would be only the beginning, but who would most likely do it?

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

Wrong domestic & foreign policy. Lack of understanding of appropriate economy model and its link to uplift & education of the masses. Lack of economic empowerment of Pakistani masses through participation & incentives.

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

There is no crystal ball prediction deep into the future; however, it is true that Pakistan is heading towards a social & economic decline. If we correct the situation today, there is still a lot of hope for Pakistan & its people.

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

Already summarized above

10.     What can Pakistanis living abroad do for Pakistan?

Practically nothing would prove to be effective, in the long term, except striving to raise the conscious level of the people. That is the only weapon that can ensure a change. People have to bring the change themselves.

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

Pakistan has a very unrealistic foreign policy, which does not suit the aspirations of the Pakistani people. Due to perpetually wrong governance, foreign policy also is one of the very weak areas of the country that needs to be looked at. We had been busy, since our inception to serve the strategic & economic interests of a distant super power and in return unpopular regimes obtained license of legitimacy from them. We also let the floodgate of extremism open to rogue Muslim extremist countries, and in return what we got is some cheap oil. The heat of fallout is what we have just started to see.

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

MERI TAMEER MEIN MUZMIR HAI IK SOORAT KHARABI KI

Reminds me of an Indian song:

“Bharosa kar liya jis par ussi nein hum ko loota hai

Kahan tak naam ginwaein sabhi ney hum ko loota hai”

 

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

There is no ready-made system available for the country, in the world market. What we have to do is to tailor make an appropriate system to suit our aspirations, cultural & social sensitivities and needs. Generally the system should be democratic and our adherence to “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” should be guaranteed and implemented in letter & spirit. No war pacts should be signed & implemented and size of army should be reduced and its meddling in power should be made punishable, whatever the reason.

There should be complete accountability. To start with there should be land reforms and abolition of all forms of tax evasion by the wealthy nawabs, khawaneen and waderas. Money should be funneled towards education. General education including  “adult education” should be made mandatory and free. With effective tax system in place, there would be money available. Wastage of money on nuclear weapons programs of all sorts should be frozen & subsequently abolished.

Key question….who will do all this????  

How can we raise social and political awareness in Pakistanis?

To increase awareness among Pakistani masses, it is essential that the political elements center their politics on basic issues and do not be carried away by towering slogans and perceptions regarding nationalism, religion and global strategies.  To do mainstream politics, the political elements have to act mainstream, with a difference. Use of study circles, awareness propaganda, corner meetings, stage dramas and volunteerism is essential for success. There are a lot more things that are required to be done.

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