This year Pakistan celebrated 64 years of independence and unfortunately as a nation it is at its lowest ebb in its entire history.
Today the country is being pulled apart at its seams, internal strife is rampant, economic growth is dismal and the spirit of unity or “one nation” is all but gone. Pakistanis are worse off as regards to security, basic utilities such as electricity and water and above all an impartial judicial and a strong law enforcement system.
Is our current predicament due to our inexperienced leaders, corrupt bureaucracy, immature political system, presence of the feudal system, or what? Every time it boils down to lack of “leadership” and “vision” to turn our country around and to put it on a sustainable growth path. Like any other country, company or institution, in order to progress it must have strong sincere leadership, a clear powerful vision and an impactful hard hitting economic roadmap.
Why can’t we get dedicated and committed leaders who would take this country to new heights? Leader’s with Vision? Remember nothing significant can be achieved if one does not have a Vision or direction or goals to strive towards.
Most classic example of setting a vision and delivering it was the one set by our own Allama Iqbal. It was his vision of an independent Muslim state that inspired Quaid-e-Azam to work for the creation of Pakistan.
Iqbal was the first person to articulate what would later be known as the ‘Two-Nation Theory’.
Today we need to set a similar daunting vision about what we want to achieve in our future, agree on a set of key strategies and put resources to help deliver them. Only then will our citizens have a distinct possibility of a bright future.
Some may argue that the issue is not in having a vision as we already have many, for example Planning Commission 2030 Vision, Cotton Vision 2015, etc, but in implementing the existing visions. To me the only potent vision is the one owned by the chief executive or prime minister (PM) of the country. Having a different vision document per ministry will not help. The country needs one comprehensive vision which will then taper down to ministries, institutions and the bureaucracy.
PM must own this Vision, share its goals publicly, ie with all citizens, bureaucracy, institutions and corporate sectors and make his team accountable for its delivery. The vision must clearly define goals to be delivered by the end of this decade as well as short-terms goals to ensure that we are progressing towards the overall vision. PM must share, on national television, the progress towards these milestones every quarter. Without a vision, Pakistan will continue to be a nation lost on the high seas with a very high chance of scuttling and being labeled a failed state.
The writer works in the corporate sector and is active on various business forums and trade bodies
Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2012.