By: Arun Kumar Shrivastav
The very mention of Pakistan brings up the image of a country infested with religious fanatics, fundamentalists, terrorists where state actors such as ISI and Pakistan military provide support to these non-state entities. No prime minister in Pakistan has ever completed a full five-year term. That’s the kind of political instability in this country of 22 crore people.
Home to the second-largest Muslim population in the world, Pakistan has been a glaring example of anarchy and mismanagement. It’s such a hopeless case that no country in the world wants to be its friend except China that would like to use Pakistan against India.
The greatest irony with Pakistan is that it’s not what it has been made out to be. Contrary to lawlessness, anarchy, and chaos, Pakistan is an extremely beautiful country. The four provinces – Balochistan, Kyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh – are home to people of distinct ethnicities, a beautiful tapestry of Punjabi, Sindhi, Pathans, and tribal population.
In terms of geography, Pakistan is blessed with snow-clad mountains, deserts, plains, oceans, and rivers. From doctors to taxi drivers, Pakistanis are known for their commitments and courteous behaviour overseas. Average Pakistanis are as much loved and respected for their selfless worldview throughout the world as people from any other country.
Then, why do they behave so irrationally back at home in Pakistan? Why forced conversion of minorities in Pakistan is not a national shame?
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran is facing a no-trust motion in national assembly and it will be taken up on March 28. The cricketing legend is nervous as his equilibrium with the Pakistan army is changing against him. He is using foul language against the opposition leaders. He is nervous as he is not confident that he will be able to tide over the crisis.
When Imran Khan assumed office as Pakistan’s prime minister in 2018, there was a great deal of optimism in the air both in India and Pakistan. Clearing the distrust between the two countries on Kashmir, famous Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi had said that Pakistan is not able to govern its four states, leave alone wanting to govern Kashmir. He said Pakistan doesn’t want Kashmir but it wants Kashmiris to be treated fairly. To the surprise of many of us, Afridi got away with such remarks and nothing whatsoever happened to him. People who believe in heart-to-heart and frank talks rejoiced at Afridi’s remarks. But those who have watched Pakistan over the decades know opinions are made in the evening over drinks and changed in the morning when sobriety takes over. Or the opinions that form during the day are given a wicked twist later the same night.
That’s neither new nor a Pakistan-exclusive phenomenon. Integrity is a blessing. Either you have it or you don’t have it. There can’t be half measures here.
Early this week, when Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Pakistan, the country was hosting an OIC conference that made uncharitable references to Kashmir. To the Indian establishment, it was another example of Pakistan lacking sincerity and integrity. And, these attributes can’t be bought from the market, not even from the Chinese markets.
Today, Pakistan Prime Minister is the victim of his political friends lacking integrity. Who is responsible for this? Before Imran Khan became Prime Minister of Pakistan, he had more fans and friends in India than anywhere else. Today, his flight is unlikely to land in India. Who is responsible for this?
To be fair with the Pakistan Prime Minister, let’s not judge him by the baggage of blunders that Pakistan carries. To his credit, there are two cancers hospitals in Pakistan and the third one is likely to be ready next year. As the CEO of these cost-intensive projects, he must know that “beg, borrow, or steal” shows resilience. Can he use this time-tested management formula to get his country out of the financial crisis that it finds itself in today?
The point is what he will do even if he manages to save his government and continues to be in power. Will he denounce the conversion of minorities and bring in a system where all are treated equally? Will he say he doesn’t want any terror infrastructure to exist in his beautiful country and live to live up to his words?
If he doesn’t do so, how will he assure India and its billion-plus people that Pakistan means business? Why is Imran Khan ashamed of asking India for a billion-dollar loan to tide over its financial crisis? Sri Lanka has already asked for it and the island nation is getting all the possible help from India.
Imran Khan needs to watch a few Bollywood movies featuring veteran script-writer and actor Kadar Khan. The Pakistan Prime Minister doesn’t need to impress the world with his eloquence. He needs to show his people that he can use his ‘class’ to get a deal for his people. Last time, when somebody had questioned his ‘class’ Imran Khan had sued him for a million-dollar. Today, his class is an obstacle in finding a solution for the poverty and anarchy that prevails in Pakistan. The country needs a practical prime minister who can tell his people to fry fritters and sell them for a living instead of consuming opium and waging a Jihad in Kashmir or Afghanistan.
If he does so, there can be a second coming for him. (IPA Service)