All Sorts of Things

Random posts on all sorts of things designed to inform and provoke.

Pakistan: Use the Citizens’ Selfish Nature in Service of the Country

On February 16, 2013, over 60 Hazara Shias were killed when a bomb exploded in a crowded market in the western Pakistani city of Quetta. This was the second attack in as many months targeting the country’s Shia community – a bombing in January killed over 100 people.

Following this most recent incident, family members of the victims refused to bury the dead while large number of Pakistanis demonstrated against the government, the country’s security agencies and the unknown individuals who caused this carnage.

Politicians also followed the familiar pattern of condemning theses attacks while promising to catch the perpetrators. This, I guarantee, will never happen as the politicians will soon slink away to their fortified estates while twittering about their brave actions and setting up handovers for their children.

Indeed, these reactions have become so rote that they don’t carry any weight or have any discernable impact on the Pakistani society, which is buckling under a weight of insecurity, lack of opportunity and a general sense of destruction.

It would be easy for me to express my condolences to the Shia community while sharing the hope that Allah will ensure these criminals will be brought to justice. However, given that Pakistan seems to have no justice, that prayer may fall on deaf ears as even Allah seems to have washed His hands off that country.

One could also tell the same people who are now demanding protection from their government that their refusal to condemn the assassination of the governor of the country’s Punjab province virtually guaranteed that this kind of religious violence would end up on their doorstep.

Its undeniably true that this blame game will not bring the dead back to life or soothe the ache being felt by their loved ones. It will also not make any difference to the growing sense of insecurity being felt by every Pakistani – regardless of their ethnicity or religious affiliation.

Pakistanis never take the initiative on anything that doesn’t benefit them personally. Citizens of this South Asian country are notorious for ignoring all the rules and taking the shortest route, regardless of its impact on their fellow nationals – unless it’s a social issue that will get them on the front pages of newspapers or a meeting with a foreign political leader.

It, therefore, makes sense that in light of these horrific incidents and the deteriorating situation in the country, Pakistanis would pass the buck onto their corrupt political and religious leaders. If those leaders do not perform to their expectations, Pakistanis either shift their attention to another political and/or religious leader or go to a mosque and ask for the ultimate religious leader for some help.

I believe, however, that now is the time to take the inherent selfish nature of the regular Pakistani and turn it against the country’s leadership. This means expressing displeasure by more than just praying to Allah and crying for the news channels while attending rallies that sow more disunity.

For example, when President Zardari holds a rally to blow smoke up people’s dhotis, Pakistanis could simply refuse to attend that circus. Similarly, when a government official shows up with a camera crew to give a few cents to the family of the murdered victims, family members could simply refuse to meet with him.

Finally, every Pakistani should be armed with a weapon. It is quite obvious that in the absence of any legal authority, the only thing that will protect a law-abiding Pakistani from a domestic terrorist is if the former shoots the latter before he blows up the bomb.

I fully comprehend the solutions being recommended sound like a recipe for anarchy and chaos. However, anyone who believes that Pakistan is not already at that stage is clearly blind and Pakistan has no need for more blind people.

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This entry was posted on February 18, 2013 by in International Affairs and tagged , , , , , .
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