Sixty-four years of failure?

Published: August 13, 2011

The writer is consulting editor, The Friday Times

Imagine a country where 55 per cent of people have no access to sanitation services and where half the population is deprived of clean drinking water, takes pride in deadly nuclear warheads and diverts all energies to protect them! Nothing defines the continued paranoia and insecurity of a state than its nuclear capability above everything else. The truth is that Pakistan’s post-colonial state has exhibited one permanent trait: its utter failure to serve public interest.

The good news on this Independence Day is that the federal government has finally initiated reforms to integrate the people of federally administered tribal areas (Fata) in mainstream Pakistan. It took 64 years for this to happen. However, ‘citizenship’ remains denied to several communities in the country. The people of Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and in several parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochsitan lack full citizenship rights under the Constitution. Similarly, religious minorities face exclusion and in some cases suffer brazen persecution.

Mourning the state of Pakistan is also a cliché. Each year, August 14 generates a plethora of empty rhetoric by the ruling classes and corresponding cynicism by the shrinking intelligentsia. Civilian and military rulers have had their share in creating the mess, which has led to the construction of global myths such as ‘failed’, ‘failing’, and ‘imploding’ state. In all fairness, Pakistan’s resilient people, their kinship networks and their social capital have allowed life to go on. We need to introspect if the Pakistan Project has delivered for the ‘common’ man in whose name all politics is engineered and policies are drafted.

It is also a matter of record that Jinnah did not want a theocratic state and his repeated pronouncements between 1947-48 confirm this. From the 1949 Objectives Resolution to the takeover of several districts by the Taliban in 2009, religious and sectarian ideologies have acquired immense power. The state has conveniently exploited religious passions and its alliance with Saudia Arabia since the 1970s has led to acceptability of a pernicious ideology, which undermines the essential pluralism of South Asian Islam.

In 2011, Pakistan appears to be a country battling for its survival. There are omnipotent non-state actors operating in every nook and corner of the country threatening to annihilate the state. Our armed forces are engaged in yet another damaging war as a frontline ally of the United States. The civilian institutions are weak and in dire need of reform; and basic services such as security are not available to most. Democracy remains as fragile as ever; and there are daily predictions of how the current democratic dispensation will not last for long.

All the recipes for reform and change are well known. There is no dearth of well-written policy frameworks but the creaky state machinery and the capture of top institutions by powerful vested interests hamper any progress. There is simply no alternative to strengthening Pakistan’s democratic institutions and letting the system cleanse itself over time. We need to formally say goodbye to all military-technocratic solutions for they have failed to deliver in the past decades. The young population of Pakistan wants to participate in national affairs. Pakistan needs to prioritise economic growth, human development and social justice as the national agenda. Only civilians can achieve the objectives of resetting our national priorities and changing the direction of a paranoid national security state towards a progressive and prosperous Pakistan. One can only hope that they rise to the challenge.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (73)

  • Danyal Rizvi
    Aug 13, 2011 - 8:33PM

    I wish to repeat something that I recently said in one of my blogs which read “In my opinion, “Makeen” say “Makaan” hota hai. And undoubtedly, makeen bohat bad haal hein. Therefore, I wish that instead of merely waning flags and then wrapping them away after the ordeal or glorifying our patriots whose (heroic) actions no longer seem to be reflected in our present, I would be most delighted to see large numbers making a pledge to help the poor hapless majority of our country if we love and value the makaan (Pakistan) so much!

    In the end, I wish to quote a couplet by Faiz Ahmed Faiz sb:

    “Ab Jo Bhee Chaho Chaan Karo, Ab Jitnay Chaho Dosh Dharo, Nadiya Tu Wohee Hai Nao Wohee, Ab Tum Hi Kaho Kya Kara Yeh, Yeh Ghao Kaisay Bharna Hai

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  • asif
    Aug 13, 2011 - 8:49PM

    Raza, are you are the new liberal prophet of gloom and doom ? The flooding last year would have broken spirit of many a people and yet Pakistanis have demonstrated a large reservoir of resilience, generosity and stoicism. I have been hearing these dire predictions all my life and yet life goes on …. Wish there was a revolution that will alter the psyche of the our people but unfortunately people of sub-continent do not possess such passions or sense of self so I hope for incremental improvement. Things will get better.Recommend

  • Syed
    Aug 13, 2011 - 9:13PM

    ‎14th August – our 64th Independence Day on my mind – please dont say anything about what we have achieved and what not. You have the whole year to say whatever. Just let us celebrate and enjoy this day of independence!

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  • Maher Elahi
    Aug 13, 2011 - 9:33PM

    Pakistani nation will certainly rise to the challenge one day as an ugly spot in the upcoming and rapidly developing South East Asia is going to be a sorry sight. How ever it will require binding with its own splendid heritage, stopping seeking inspiration from retrogressive models like Saudia.
    I am afraid here the support of Jinnah Sahib and his excrepts from his will be least helpful. It should not be forgotten that he was the one who used religion to create a country meant for muslims of India as a seperate nation. It is hard yet it requires a step beyod this to cleanse the mindsets. Pakistan is here to stay and sooner than later ought to choose the path leading towards better future.
    The author has very well debunked the myth of security state created by exploiters to be free in their activities contrary to the interest of people at large.

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  • Vicram Singh
    Aug 13, 2011 - 10:33PM

    Happy Independence Day.

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  • My Name is Khan
    Aug 13, 2011 - 11:31PM

    Great article Raza.

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  • Omair Shakil
    Aug 14, 2011 - 12:22AM

    Mr Rumi, 365 days of the year you can bemoan this country, but this one day let us celebrate. God knows we have so many things going against us, but lets all show some faith in the permanence of our infallible spirit and resilience.

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  • Asif Khan
    Aug 14, 2011 - 12:24AM

    @Syed: I wonder what independence you want to celebrate in which you have not seen the face of freedom, peace and prosperity since independence. The main reason behind struggle of Mohammad Ali Jinnah was to make a peaciful state so that Pakistanis could live a normal life. The better to say that Indians Muslims enjoy better freedom and peaciful life than Pakistanis living in Pakistan. There are ten suicide bombers accuring everyday in pakistan but in India……..?

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  • Stop Whining
    Aug 14, 2011 - 12:49AM

    Seriously, stop whining. Be thankful to allah swt who gave you a place of your own.
    I know of no such person who would write this on his country’s independence day.
    In the history of nations 6 decades is nothing and neither is it appropriate to compare it to another country that may well have made in a lot less.

    perhaps try to come up with solution/s , rally up the people and lead the way than to trash your mother land. Look around and see how many of us died not giving in to terrorists and still not giving up. Learn a thing or two and learn how to compose a new item and then come back.

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  • indi pindi shindi
    Aug 14, 2011 - 12:50AM

    @indi:
    What report are you talking about?

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  • TANOLI.
    Aug 14, 2011 - 12:52AM

    Azzadi mubarak hon puri qaum ko pakistan tu zinda rahay ga qiamat tak.

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  • faraz
    Aug 14, 2011 - 1:12AM

    It’s not the end of the world; nations pass through good and bad times. What we need is thorough introspection. We should shun all clichés, rhetorics, lies and myths about Pakistan and come out of the state of denial. We need critical thinking, rational analysis and flexibility of mind to put things in order.

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  • Aug 14, 2011 - 1:23AM

    “Mourning the state of Pakistan is also a cliché.” And 14th August is the best day to do it eh?

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  • Organization of Pure Profit
    Aug 14, 2011 - 1:26AM

    To all Pakistani’s out there: There is no Urdu Word for “Entrepreneurship”. We must Coin it, become Entrepreneurs and make money and share our money with the government so that we can advance Public and Private Life. Our Intelligence is too big for these small problems. Happiness is not the goal for my generation, it’s pure profit that is my generation’s goal.

    Learn from the Chinese yo?

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  • Aug 14, 2011 - 1:54AM

    64 years of surviving against all odds. 64 years of HOPE!

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  • doctor asad
    Aug 14, 2011 - 1:55AM

    @author! With due respect, you suffer from chronic depression that has reached pathologic limits. Please start medical treatment ASAP. I suggest Fluoxitine 25 mg daily with dose titration after 4 weeks.
    It is sad that you can not see any thing positive in your country. But do you see any thing positive at all in any other country or place? Recommend

  • Murad Alam
    Aug 14, 2011 - 1:56AM

    Our beloved Pakistan is bleeding to death and it is happening in front of our eyes.

    Human dignity, honour and truth is for sale ,…each and every Law is for sale.

    We have learned to milk Western nations with one hand and Arab nations with another , and then to “develop” poor masses with that money.

    We know the trickery and cunning techniques to build the most luxurious and expensive houses amidst poorest and ugliest slums of this world.

    Our university Students and Phds obtain degrees through rote and plagiarism.

    Our bogus yet selfish and politically appointed civil and military empoyees excel in corruption techniques.

    Despite Phds , we cannot even physically build reliable rechargeable batteries for our smuggled cell phones, cameras or fancy military gadgets.

    Deep down Pakistani elite don’t respect themselves or their country and they are addicted to money and luxurious lifestyles.

    Time will soon test abilities of our lofty claims.

    Let us see if our this facade will not crumble and if our inside is not completely rotten.

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  • MS - Mariya
    Aug 14, 2011 - 2:24AM

    @Author: so you seriously think that by blaming everyone in the article will help you sleep well at night? Or that you did your bit? So you don’t think that you are part of the problem? That majority of the population is like you… just complain…. go over how zia messed it up for us, how army is to be blamed, how XYZ stopped me from playing a positive role in the society, bla bla bla

    STOP IT RAZA..STOP IT..lets stop blaming everyone for our mistakes(not failures)…stop writing articles which point fingers on others…Why don’t you muster courage and write article about your failures? Tell us where you failed this country?

    Or Why don’t you write an article examining each problem you indicated above along with solutions? Ask people to join hands in getting the solution implemented. Oh wait..thats asking too much from you?

    I know many Pakistanis who are doing their bit to improve this country and the first step is to say out loud ‘ ITS NEVER TOO LATE’ Stop using negative words and act. I have said it before on this forum, countries like South Korea and Singapore managed to build them after devastating wars. Look at Sri Lanka, coming out fine after years of civil war.
    Disappointed to read the title of your article also..why didn’t you say ‘ Sixty-four years of mistakes’ OR ‘ Sixty-four years of no action’ OR ‘ Sixty-four years of silence’. Why the word failure? Are you using it for yourself? For your inactions?

    Anyway it’s Happy Independence day! We will inshala survive and flourish as a great nation. I love you Pakistan!!

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  • MS - Mariya
    Aug 14, 2011 - 2:25AM

    @faraz: well said! Glad to hear voice of pakistanis like you.Recommend

  • MS - Mariya
    Aug 14, 2011 - 2:26AM

    @Omair Shakil:
    Agree!, lets show faith and act.

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  • Observer3
    Aug 14, 2011 - 2:57AM

    @asif:
    Raza’s article is right on the spot and a neutral and intelligent analysis of the situation we are in. We have been hearing these warnings, true!!, but also true is the fact that slowly, we are falling deeper into the ditch everyday. I hope we don’t reach a point of no return! Democracy, education and significan reduction in the powers of military bureaucratic oligarchy is the only way out of this mess!!

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    Aug 14, 2011 - 2:57AM

    I am glad you have said that we KNOW what needs to be done. I do get distressed over constantly hearing how COMPLICATED our problems are and how they defy solutions.

    There has been and continues to be a huge amount of brain-drain. The life ambition of every young, bright man or woman seems to be to get the hell out and go to America (which is an irony of no small domensions!), and even take up menial jobs to start with but get the hell out anyway.

    And what to me is astonishing, coming from an “old” school, their parents are the one’s who encourage them! ‘Go to America my son (or daughter) and never come back’!

    I say this not without empirical evidence. I constantly get e-mail’s from parents asking if I can fix up their children in the World Bank and/or IMF! If I should dare to suggest that they go back and ‘serve’ their country, I am labelled as being unhelpful.

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    Aug 14, 2011 - 2:59AM

    @Organization of Pure Profit:

    have you any idea of the profit that people earn in Pakistan with its imperfect markets and poor regulatory framework?

    Only problem is that they are not entrepeneurs. They are rent-seekers.

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  • Mir Agha
    Aug 14, 2011 - 3:16AM

    The young you say what more say in national affairs having nothing in common with your narrow secularist ideology. They want a “real” Islamic system, whatever that means, certainly not the failed system we have now. More democracy equals more “Islamism”.

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  • Domlurian
    Aug 14, 2011 - 3:24AM

    Every year you pakistanis keep quoting the speech by jinnah where he says, according to you, that pakistan will not be a theocratic state – I believe it’s the Aug 11 1947 speech. And every year you get closer to the drain. Time is running out. Speeches made 64 years ago aren’t going to help you. It’s what you do today that will determine the future of your country.

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  • Mustafa
    Aug 14, 2011 - 3:27AM

    Why would any Pakistani is his right mind write something like this. Futhermore, why post it on our independence day. Hypocrite.

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  • My Name is Khan
    Aug 14, 2011 - 4:55AM

    @ Natasha – 64 years of surviving, YES. 64 years of hope, FOR WHOM? What hope is there for our Hindu and Christian brothers? What about for women? What about for Shias? What about for the people of G-B or the Baloch? I think their future in Pakistan is hopeless. That is a shame.

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  • Realist.
    Aug 14, 2011 - 5:05AM

    Is Pakistan the ONLY Country which faces these Problems ?
    HOW many DECADES did it take for Britain to correct itself ?
    USA faced civil war after how many years of its independence ?
    All the Nations in the world have been through this & we are no exception.
    & Pakistan is NOT a theocratic State, can’t you see the Difference between Saudi Arabia & Pakistan ?

    Pakistanis Will Make this country prosper!
    PAKISTAN WILL PROSPER!!
    Happy Independence Day to every Pakistani!
    PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!

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  • Aug 14, 2011 - 5:59AM

    writer appears to be a “prophet of doom”. good things are also happpening in pakistan. just come out of the inferiority complex

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  • faqir hamim
    Aug 14, 2011 - 6:51AM

    thanks for partially ruining my 14th of august, for no reason.

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  • Another Country lover -_-
    Aug 14, 2011 - 7:01AM

    OMG dude! You can demean and whine bout our country’s lack of development and whatsoever some other friggin’ day! Pakistan is a great country and it STILL has a lot of passionate soldiers who’d die for it! And Pakistan has its plus points as well. If you’d have lived away from Pakistan, then would you have probably understood what this country is!! I LOVE MY PAKISTAN REGARDLESS ANYTHING WHATSOEVER!! <3

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  • Realist.
    Aug 14, 2011 - 7:33AM

    64 years of surviving against all odds. 64 years of HOPE!

    GREAT LINE!
    Couldn’t have been better.
    Pakistan Zindabad!!

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  • Raza
    Aug 14, 2011 - 7:58AM

    Raza – thanks for this and many other eye openers. Apparently we all want to imagine this will all end – by itself. Independence of mind from certain elements in necessary to first understand independence itself. Either way, I love Pakistan – Jinnah’s Pakistan.

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  • Amjad Ali
    Aug 14, 2011 - 8:34AM

    @author! 64 years ago, when my great grand father arrived barefoot in Lahore after loosing his parents and three brothers, he had never thought, he will have to read this depressive piece from a leftist intellectual. I do not know how other families who migrated from east Punjab feel about Pakistan and 14th of August. But for me and my family, Pakistan is our soul and life and 14th of August is one day, we always want to be celebrate regardless. YOu should not at least insult us for one single day and save your depressive rheotic for the rest of 364 days.

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  • DareToDream
    Aug 14, 2011 - 8:40AM

    I believe every single day we dish the dirt on our corrupt politicians, our inefficient military, on ourselves, state of human rights and just propel negative air around the country. Well, this is the truth but mourning and whining won’t give us any results. Do you really think this country has NOTHING to celebrate? Maybe the independence we enjoy is not enough, but do you think it would have been any better had Pakistan not been there? I don’t think so. We could have been worse without this land, so at least give it its due credit.
    Yes, maybe, most probably or certainly we DO deserve all of this, we need a reality-check but, can’t we just let it go ONE DAY. This is our Independence Day. Let us dream, Let us hope, Let us Celebrate! There is nothing wrong in it.
    This country is deprived of it and its Youth needs it. You may call us emotional, which is true, but we are also Hopeless. Don’t kill the spirit of this day! Just this day. You have other 364 days for this.

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  • Aug 14, 2011 - 9:43AM

    Happy Independence Day to all Pakistani brothers . Hope this is the bottom my humble prayers for a peaceful ,prosperous and stable Pakistan

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  • Ayesha
    Aug 14, 2011 - 10:16AM

    @Raza..agreed but also consider that as a nation we have faced many challenges due to our geopolitical situation that other nations might not have even dreamt. And this is no lame excuse. All I’m asking is to cut some slack to Pakistan and show some RESPECT for all those who sacrificed for this country at least on this day. You have the rest of the year to whine about the sorry state of affairs terming it a ‘failed’ state to your heart’s content. Let them be happy for a single damned day!! Is it too much to ask??

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  • Mirza
    Aug 14, 2011 - 11:04AM

    Raza, a great advice to the nation on our independence day. Like a good medicine it tastes bitter but hopefully it would work for our own good.
    On this great day, we have to decide what our priorities are? Do we want to keep collecting hundreds of nuclear warheads or as you said “Pakistan needs to prioritize economic growth, human development and social justice as the national agenda”?
    Great article, I can understand some of the people who don’t want any advice on Independence Day and simply celebrate it. It is sometimes healthy to take a break from everyday problems and forget about them all.
    Thanks and regards,
    Mirza

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  • Truth Seeker
    Aug 14, 2011 - 11:05AM

    @asif:

    With this kind of (negative) incremental improvement, things are never going to improve.The tragedy with Pakistan is that most of the things are either deteriorating or not improving at all.
    Comparing mere act of survival of the masses of Pakistan due to their resilience, courage and steadfast attitude, provides the leadership with the licence to abdicate their responsibility.

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  • Ex Pakistani
    Aug 14, 2011 - 11:07AM

    @asif:
    you forgot billions in aid also.

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  • Nasrat Baloch
    Aug 14, 2011 - 11:26AM

    On the eve of this day(14th august) the ruling class of this country should honestly sit and revisit all the weakness, misdeeds and conspiracies they committed knowingly or otherwise. Without an honest, courageous and bold decision, this country now has a very dim chance to be steered out of the present crises.Mere rhetoric speeches on this day will not be suffice.I can see a fire has been ignited to a garbage dump very near to a largest fuel stock of the country yet I can see no Fire Brigade Vehicles coming but authorities sitting in conference room discussing how big is the fire and how large is the stock etc. For God sake be quick and put out the fire first.

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  • Nasrat Baloch
    Aug 14, 2011 - 11:53AM

    @Ayesha: As I read most of the comments above, one thing is clear here that this nation is not for change at all.Be pigeon and shut your eyes, dont even dare to highlight your failures, if you do , you a leftist evil, a “na shukra” and insane.person”.God helps those who help themselves”

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  • malik
    Aug 14, 2011 - 11:59AM

    Why don’t you write, for a change, about what we want to hear?

    Please write about…. we are a great nation, we are the center of universe, we have the greatest nuclear warheads, our army generals are the bestest, our t-shirts are the finest, our mangoes are the greatest, our Imran is the cleanest politician in the whole world, our way of life is the most ideal one, our men are the piousest, our newly launched satellite is the strongest etc etc

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  • Frank
    Aug 14, 2011 - 12:33PM

    Another inane article. The Express Tribune protects its weaker writers through heavy censorship. If the ET allowed free discussion in the manner of the liberal European papers it purports to emulate posters here would tear this Raza Rumi fellow to shreds.

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  • santhosh
    Aug 14, 2011 - 12:58PM

    Happy Independence day. I already tweeted to author abt Jinnah’[s failed policy, as a reply. You need to understand that Jinnah use this same communal forces to acheive his ends. But, when he tried in other direction, when he got pakistan, he himself had been sidelined by that same forces. So, no surprise in seeing pakistan in this state

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  • Nasrat Baloch
    Aug 14, 2011 - 1:02PM

    @Frank: Brother be brave and have the courage of listening others as well. This author is also a patriotic Pakistani, he has point whic you must agree but you have all the right to answer him through normal civilised means. why on earth we just tear people to shreds. Is this your rightist
    leaders told you to do only?
    l

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  • Omar R Quraishi
    Aug 14, 2011 - 1:13PM

    Frank — your mostly unsubstantiated comment is here on the comments board — that should tell you how much The Express Tribune ‘censors’ things

    Omar R Quraishi
    Editorial Pages Editor
    The Express TribuneRecommend

  • Mr. MRR
    Aug 14, 2011 - 1:21PM

    I am amazed, these kind writers are approved to publish non-sense article on the Independence Day. Mr. Raza don’t tell us where we are. we know perfectly where we are standing, and we are trying to get out from these situations. Do not demoralized the nation’s spirit. If you really wanna do something for us, do write for us spiritual articles like Allama Iqbal wrote for the nation at the time of disturbance that directed us to the success of our view ‘Pakistan’ and here we are standing in it and for your BAD INFO not as a failure nation ….as successive and loving nation.

    Whatever the media publish and other fools publish about Pakistan Or Whatever. I don’t care, I just know I Love my Pakistan, My Homeland. There are simply no comparison in the world between the breezing mornings of Pakistan and beautiful nights of Pakistan that we are spending with our friends, families, cousins, loved ones…………..

    Be Wise. Congrats Us this Day. We have a long journey to cope with temporary difficulties….those will be sorted soon. Insha Allah

    PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

    Peace.

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  • faraz
    Aug 14, 2011 - 2:15PM

    @Frank

    I sympathize with you, you grew up under Zia era

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  • BruteForce
    Aug 14, 2011 - 2:27PM

    Maulana Azad had long ago warned of this. He had predicted the decay of the state and the Eastern wing asking for Independence when Pakistan was being asked for by Jinnah.

    Jinnah ignored this man who had foreseen this sad state of affairs. I say only Jinnah is to blame- You cannot create a State based on the idea of division and expect it to run smoothly. Hindus and Muslims are, at the end of the day, Humans.

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  • G. Din
    Aug 14, 2011 - 2:47PM

    Every great journey begins with the first resolute step!
    Happy Independence Day, Pakistan!
    Whether you believe it or not, we Indians wish you well; it could never be otherwise!

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  • Aug 14, 2011 - 2:47PM

    Dear all: many thanks for the feedback. I love Pakistan; this is the only country I have. Perhaps, this makes people like me more worried as we want to live in a peaceful, democratic and free country. August 14th is not about empty rhetoric and rituals of waving the green and white flags. Too many dictators and civilian fascists have done that in the past.
    Instead, I see the Independence day as the moment to reflect and remind ourselves of where we are and where should we be headed.
    Time to choose a path and overcome all the problems, failures of the past.
    Ladies and Gentlemen, no gloom and doom; but serious, realistic assessment of our situation and how URGENTLY it needs to improve.
    Apologies to those who found this negative or “another whining” piece. I am bad at churning sugar coated versions of reality couched with meaningless terms.

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  • Faisal
    Aug 14, 2011 - 3:38PM

    It’s only 64y, we are a very young country, sustainable improvements take time…

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  • MS - Mariya
    Aug 14, 2011 - 4:12PM

    @Mr. MRR:
    Excellent! I am so glad to hear from the silent majority who love this country.

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  • Saad Durrani
    Aug 14, 2011 - 4:18PM

    If Raza called a spoon a spoon today, should it hurt? No. After all, we are in this mess collectively. Yes, some parts of it are off-the-mark but he is not whining, not complaining. He is telling us to be responsible. The country was not built in a day, you know.

    Like they say, “a harsh critic is one’s good friend.”

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  • MS - Mariya
    Aug 14, 2011 - 4:27PM

    @Nasrat Baloch: No one is claiming here that ‘all is well’. So don’t accuse this nation of shutting their eyes. Yes, God help those who help themselves…so since when is pointing fingers or whining become part of ‘HELP’. Sitting in an office, writing articles about how others have messed up this country is not ‘helping’.

    Dude we live in this country! We survive this country every day. Not sure if you work, but I am doing business in Pakistan. I fight injustice and corruption everyday; I fight harassment on every level in this society… so I don’t need some Raza to tell me about failures. His article only made me angry for giving up on this country.

    I would have appreciated an article saying how we have made mistakes but can turn things around like Korea, Sri lanka, Singapore…AND YES WE WILL PROSPER.Recommend

  • Nadir
    Aug 14, 2011 - 5:08PM

    Well Done Raza Rumi!!! Right on the money!!!

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  • patriotic and fundamentalist pakistani Muslim
    Aug 14, 2011 - 5:18PM

    Hear is the message from Dr Iqbal…..
    uroooj-e-adam khaki say anjum sehme jatay hain, ye tuta huwa tara kahin mah-e-kamil na bunjaye..

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  • Ramesh Jaipal
    Aug 14, 2011 - 5:53PM

    Nice blog…….and reminder for us that let us do some thing for our country
    Pakistan paida bad

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  • Frank
    Aug 14, 2011 - 6:12PM

    Omar Quereshi

    Frank — your mostly unsubstantiated
    comment is here on the comments board
    — that should tell you how much The
    Express Tribune ‘censors’ things

    I didn’t say what I wanted to say about Raza Rumi’s piece. I know from experience that that wouldn’t make it to the message board. You should try to learn from British newspapers like the Independent and the Guardian rather than your bosses at the New York Times. Though to be honest I have noticed that moderation here has been a lot lighter in the last few days.

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  • MS - Mariya
    Aug 14, 2011 - 6:44PM

    @Raza Rumi: Raza you are among few Pakistanis who can use their writings to inspire this nation. You can do it by telling this nation how America fought civil war and rebuilt. How they were divided over the issue of slavery. How Europe fought wars and later built a just society. How Singapore picked up the pieces and turned into the most hard working nation in Asia. All great nations have gone through difficult times but the ones who showed resilience and faith…survived. Please share with us stories of great leaders, scholars and most importantly great Sufi teachers. Remind us of Rumi teaching.

    Raza, have you read Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof? this book inspired many people to do good stuff. Can you write an article to inspire your nation?

    Few people now remember the true struggle of Pakistan. Remind this nation of why our ancestors sacrificed and most importantly HOW THEY DID IT!. Yes we fought and won independence from British & Indians. Now we need to fight and win the war against extremist & corruption. We are the same nation who against all odds created Pakistan. We will now inshala build the Pakistan our ancestors dreamed about.

    Regarding those who say that Raza was merely telling the truth…well every Pakistani knows the truth. We live and breath in this country.

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  • Ayesha
    Aug 14, 2011 - 7:31PM

    @Nasrat Baloch. Where did I say ‘close your eyes like pigeons’ and don’t hear the harsh reality? where did I say ‘don’t help us’? Stop reading between the lines what I haven’t written. As far as reality goes, common people like me live it and breathe it everyday. So don’t tell us what bitter truth is. All I was asking and I repeat again is to show RESPECT to all those millions who died and sacrificed for this country!! What is wrong with that? I didn’t say the author is a left, na shukra and insane?? Dude, you need to read clearly if you want an argument. I never questioned Raza’s patriotism, but on this day, I would have appreciated a more optimistic and a solution based article, with suggestion sans the repetitive discourse of who did what and why. Zia, army, politicians!! It has become more like a OCD for Pakistan now to repeat these names over and over again. If you want to help, then work and solve it, instead of telling what went wrong. Every sensible Pakistani know it!! And celebrating one single day doesn’t mean that people will forget all about the bitter truth. It kicks back the next day. And the advice to rethink our priorities should be for every day, not just for 14 August, hence my request to respect the happiness of those who wanna celebrate!! Apparently asking respect is also too much…

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  • Aug 14, 2011 - 8:32PM

    Many thanks to all those who have commented; and understood the message. Celebration must accompany a bit of reflection; and re-assessing where we went wrong. This allows us to move forward and not repeat the mistakes that have been committed in the past.

    Those who seem upset/angry/dismissive, I fully respect their right to disagree and express their views. Freedom of speech works both ways.

    One has to pay the price for speaking out these days!!
    Cheers and Pakistan Zindabad.

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  • Mastishhk
    Aug 14, 2011 - 11:43PM

    @ All Raza Rumi Bashers……We must thank the author for time and again reminding us about the hole that we are digging for ourselves.Even at the risk of being call an eternal pessimist the author keeps jolting us from our slumber.

    And no, Not everyone in Pakistan knows the truth, there are still many people suffering from the Ostrich Syndrome and chanting “All is Well”.
    Even the image in the mirror is considered a conspiracy. Pakistan today like a patient in ICU on a life-support system waiting for the Senior Surgeon to arrive !!!

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  • Observer
    Aug 15, 2011 - 1:26AM

    @Raza Rumi:

    “Apologies to those who found this negative or “another whining” piece. I am bad at churning sugar coated versions of reality couched with meaningless terms”

    Raza, there is no need to apologize to anyone for honest introspection and reflection with a view to acknowledge the wrongs of the past and chareter a new course going forward.

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  • My Name is Khan
    Aug 15, 2011 - 1:44AM

    @ Omar R Quraishi – brilliant sir although I have noticed that ET sometimes censors anti-Armed Forces comments. Our Armed Forces are the reason for a lot of our troubles. I understand that the ISI and Armed Forces have put a lot of pressure on journalists and made your lives very difficult. You are doing a very honorable job for the people of Pakistan but please let us commenters be more honest and brutal in calling our Armed Forces what they are – useless, money grabbing, and lacking in principles. Recommend

  • syed
    Aug 15, 2011 - 2:25AM

    @TANOLI.: pakistan to zinda rahega… par sawal hai ki koi pakistani bachega qayamat tak?

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  • BM
    Aug 15, 2011 - 2:31AM

    I was driving to the hospital today an hour before Iftar, being my usual cynical grouchy self. Wondering why we are celebrating, as the author put it, 64 years of failure. On the way I witnessed an episode that I thought should be shared.

    A car in front of me stopped at the numerous police check posts dotting the city roads. It was driven by a woman, with kids at the back. Without much fanfare, the kids opened the window, and handed a shopping bag full of fruits to the policemen, and silently drove off. This simple gesture touched me in many ways. First of all, I know that the police pickets get their iftar delivered to them, but they get salan and roti. So if was very thoughtful for them to package fruits. The second, and maybe more profound detail, was that the mother was instilling the values to her children that I had thought were long missing in our society.

    Though this was a simple incident, I feel it may not be isolated. And for a cynic like me, it brought a smile to my face. I just wanted to say, god bless that anonymous family for thinking of the needs of people who spend their time away from their families to protect us.

    I will remain a cynic, but maybe a little less now. There is always hope.

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  • Hasan Abidi
    Aug 15, 2011 - 2:44AM

    @ Mr. Omer Qureshi
    @ Mr. Frank

    Being one of the most avid contributors to Tribune’s blogosphere, alongwith that of all the other leading dailies of this country, I got no hesitation in acknowledging that ET is by far the most generous publication, in terms of tolerance , discussion room and flexibility to unconventional opinions, that tend to challenge the accepted norms, so to speak.

    So Mr. Frank, u couldnt b more off the mark in ur observation abt ET.

    If u google my name on ET search link, u wd b shocked to read some of my humble yet straightforward write ups.

    I can bet my dime on ET, that no other publication wd hv printed those lines, whether online or in print, and u can trust me because I hv been writing for publications for a darn long time now.

    So way to go ET……….Keep the flag up n flying !

    *Bura na maaniyay logon kee aib joyee ka
    Inhain tou din ka bhee saya dikhai daita hai*

    Hasan Abidi
    hasanwazir1@gmail.com

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  • Aug 15, 2011 - 3:36AM

    Mastishhk, BM, Observer, Nadir, Mirza and Saad Durrani: thanks for the comments.

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  • Observer3
    Aug 15, 2011 - 3:55AM

    @Raza Rumi: Raza, Brilliant and well said! We are thankful to you for writing such an insightful and true piece! Keep up the good work!

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  • Neha Khan
    Aug 15, 2011 - 1:51PM

    Good to read the comments here. Dissent is fine but most comments are about hope and positivity. Being a follower of Raza Rumi on Twitter as well, I find myself losing respect for him and others like him by the day. They enjoy the best of life in the country called Pakistan yet cannot stop whining about it. No, it is not the love of the masses that motivates them to talk so much negative about the country, it is what they think sells.

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  • Yasir Mehmood
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:47AM

    Q: 64 years of failure?
    Ans: Yes

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