We are the problem

Published: June 16, 2010
The writer is a freelance broadcast and  print journalist (george.fulton@tribune.com.pk)

The writer is a freelance broadcast and print journalist ([email protected])

Jinnah was like you and me. He was drawn from the professional classes. He received his higher education from abroad. He views were fairly liberal and progressive for a man of his time and his Urdu was horrendous. He also indulged in some distinctly haram vices. In other words, he was a fully paid up member of the English speaking elite. As I say, just like you and me. (Apologies to my readers who don’t consider themselves a part of the English elite. But this paper couldn’t exude more of an elitist demeanour if it wore an OGS [Old Grammarians Society] uniform whilst pontificating on Jean Paul Sartre and smoking a cigarette in Espresso.) However, that’s where the similarity ends.

Jinnah was aware of the enormous privileges that his wealth and education had placed upon him. He was conscious of the great responsibility that such privileges brought. It was his patriarchal duty to give back to his people. Despite his linguistic shortcomings, Jinnah was still a leader to his people. We are not. Nor have we been for a very long time. The English liberal ‘elite’ — and remember this was very much Jinnah’s social milieu — has abdicated all responsibility to govern in the past 60 years.

Despite enjoying similar levels of wealth and education, we no longer believe it is our duty as the brightest and most privileged in society to contribute to its development. Now it is our duty to get a foreign passport and our responsibility to land a job in a multinational abroad. Politically we are an irrelevance. This column and paper are inconsequential in fundamentally changing how this country is governed. We can sign up to Facebook petitions, write numerous blogs, and hold as many candlelit vigils as we like, but until we engage with our fellow countrymen we are just twisting in the wind.

But we don’t engage. The English language has created a linguistic Berlin Wall between us and the rest of the country. We remain cosseted inside our bubble. Not wishing to connect with the riff raff and bun kebabs on the other side of the bridge. Instead we have ceded political space to a reactionary, conservative, military, feudal and religious nexus. Tolerating this because, in turn, they have left us alone. They have allowed us freedoms that the rest of the country doesn’t have. Freedom to get obscenely wealthy. Freedom to party every weekend. Freedom to dress how we like. But these freedoms come at a price. And that price is our continued, complicit silence. A Faustian pact if ever there was one. It’s as if one day someone collectively told us, ‘We’ll let you do what you want, on condition that you leave the running of the country to us.’

There are some exceptions. Asma Jahanghir and Imran Khan have made valiant attempts to involve themselves with the national dialogue. But they are the exception, not the rule. In Karachi, we are especially politically apathetic and parochial. Here amongst the refined elite the word ‘party’ only stands for one thing — and it’s not prefaced with the word ‘political’.

But why should we change? The status quo is comfortable and has made us rich. But if we don’t, one day populist anger will turn on us. We can’t continue benefiting from this country whilst giving little in return. Just ask the white farmers in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

But we do contribute! We are the wealth and job creators, you may be shouting by now. If we were to leave this country would become another Afghanistan. Yes, you are right. But logical argument won’t protect you when the disparity between rich and poor becomes so great that a popular revolution is ignited. We need to contribute to the political debate. We need to get our hands dirty to create a fairer, more equitable and just society. To protect our own futures if for nothing else. And for that to happen we need to engage in the political process. And why not? As they say, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. At the moment we are most definitely part of the problem.

Published in the Express Tribune, June 16th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (86)

  • Amaar
    Jun 16, 2010 - 1:43AM

    Agreed. Obscurantism can only be combated if people with a conscience stand up to it.Recommend

  • Jun 16, 2010 - 2:40AM

    Sadly, no one wants to believe that they are part of the problem rather than the solution. Recommend

  • Gulraiz Khan
    Jun 16, 2010 - 5:25AM

    The article, in no uncertain terms, hits the nail on its head. One thing, it could’ve added, is why this article comes now when, for decades, this “arrangement” was not a problem. The situation has turned into a pressure cooker because the lid has been placed – you can not simply run away as easily as you did pre-the-fateful-9/11. Now that we have to make this home, there is no option but to make it liveable. And that, as the author points out, will require some cleaning. We don’t require optimism or pessimism – we need meliorism, belief that the world can be made better by our human effort!Recommend

  • Jun 16, 2010 - 8:27AM

    Never thought I’d see Asma Jahangir and Imran Khan together in the same sentence! Nice one, George…off you go then…I’ll vote for you. :) Recommend

  • Fasih Ali Khan
    Jun 16, 2010 - 9:26AM

    **As they say, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.**

    Excellent Article. It’s cent percent Correct. Mr. George Fulton We, The All Pakistan Muslim League led by President Ex. Pervaiz Musharraf and Youth Following Mr. Zaid Hamid are on the track you’ve just described here. We certainly need to take Initiatives. Great Read.Recommend

  • Sher A. Khan
    Jun 16, 2010 - 9:30AM

    Notice the silence! George Fulton has held up the mirror, and it is not a pleasant sight. The elitism is not part of the modern world based on rationality and merit. The elite is “smart” and has the “solution”, they just do not have time. They are waiting on miracles, a messiah, not from amongst them, as he/she will become a rival, but from foreign lands. That explains the fascination with Zaid Hamid and his fashionista followers.Mullah Omer, OBL and their merry men.
    The elitist are just feudals without land, a layman moulvi without a following.

    The youngsters are the hope, and there is a long way to go.Either we will bring justice to this tragic country of ours, or the world will put us out of our misery.Recommend

  • Jun 16, 2010 - 9:45AM

    Standing ovation. I feel in today’s world there is hegemony that education creates. In development studies more importance is given to economics (wealth) and less to social reform practices. We are in an ironical time. How many of us are also going towards social sciences? We are just a blind herd I suppose.Recommend

  • Aamer
    Jun 16, 2010 - 9:50AM

    We are used to looking at the world through our lenses. Someone has to hold a mirror up to us and we have to realise the anger building up across society, one which cannot see an end to its despondency, will explode one day to our chagrin. Who will capitalise on that? What are our values? Are we waiting for a storming of the Bastille? What, then, is the way forward? Some might say Khilafat: its history is not so stellar despite our romantic yearnings for it. Recommend

  • Topak Khan
    Jun 16, 2010 - 10:16AM

    the All Pakistan Muslim league and followers of MR. Zahid , yea exactly george wrote this article for you people

  • Jun 16, 2010 - 10:42AM

    Yes, you, the English speaking elites, are the problem. We have been freed from the British but we are still under the rule of English, the language, attitude and culture. Unless Pakistanis start to think in the national and regional languages, we would have people like you lecturing us on how to wear our socks.

    Mugabe serves you right.Recommend

  • Anas N Butt
    Jun 16, 2010 - 10:44AM

    good piece george but you missed out a very important factor. the “wealth and job creators” refuse to pay taxes. with very few exceptions our elite likes to funnel their cash out of the country or try and not pay taxes. that should be the starting point.Recommend

  • Rashid Shahzad
    Jun 16, 2010 - 11:37AM

    Nice article and shows the true face of the class.
    As they say, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Recommend

  • Jun 16, 2010 - 11:44AM

    Someone above remarked that Mr. Zaid Hamid is already doing what George wants people to do. This is not correct. About Zaid Hamid the following passage from Hoodbhoy’s article is worth reading:

    “[Zaid]Hamid, a self-proclaimed jihadist who claims to have fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan, builds specifically on the insecurity of the youth, enthralling college students who pack auditoriums to listen to him. Millions more watch him on television, as he lashes out against Pakistan’s corrupt rulers and other ‘traitors’. Hamid promises that those who betrayed the nation’s honour by joining the US-led ‘war on terror’ will hang from lampposts in Islamabad. In his promised Islamic utopia, speedy Taliban-style justice will replace the clumsy and corrupt courts established by the British. Just as Adolf Hitler dwelt on Germany’s ‘wounded honour’ in his famous beer-hall oratory in Munich (where he promised that Germany would conquer the world), Hamid calls for the Pakistan Army to go to war against India and liberate Kashmir, Palestine, Chechnya and Afghanistan. One day, he says, inshallah, Pakistan’s flag shall fly from Delhi’s Red Fort. The students applaud wildly.”Recommend

  • fasi zaka
    Jun 16, 2010 - 11:46AM

    brilliantly written.Recommend

  • Assad Khan
    Jun 16, 2010 - 11:47AM

    I hate to point this out but the only way Imran Khan has attempted to bridge the divide is by becoming a right wing idiot. Recommend

  • wisi
    Jun 16, 2010 - 12:07PM

    George this elite is direction less and aim less they will come out to achieve their goal but at the moment they don’t have any thing to achieve no targets

    may be its not a challenging situation for them Recommend

  • Sharif lone
    Jun 16, 2010 - 12:09PM

    With all due respect, I may add that i respect Jinnah for his honesty and leadership qualities. But like religion we should not treat him like a ‘holy cow’. He was rich and, never did he ever mention the plight of the poor. Unlike Nehru with ‘gharibi Dur karo’, Jinnah made friends only with big landlords. like mamndot, Daultanas etc and never bothered to meet middle class people. He never told Muslims, how he plans to cope with poverty , disease and hunger. Having a homeland is not the only thing people wanted.
    Also he was a dictator. He behaved like a viceroy. Once he dismissed a minister, with asking the then Prime minister, Liaqat Al.
    Yes, a good man but a man with many faults.Recommend

  • Mansoor Khalid
    Jun 16, 2010 - 12:23PM

    We are the problem and no doubt ONLY WE are the solution. No third person will come with a Holy Solution. This is our mess. We created it and its we who must clean it. Things are developing in the right direction. The refusal of ill-constructed religious doctrines points to the fact that we as a nation are growing mature by the day.Recommend

  • Fahd Mahmood Khan
    Jun 16, 2010 - 12:49PM

    The divide between life as we know it in the cities, in our comfort zones of coffee shops and designer shops, is so far from the reality of Pakistan that its no wonder that our perception of life in Pakistan is so distorted. Frankly, we’re a nation of psuedo-intellectuals and coffee shop analysts. The best we can do is rant and rave and the worst is that we can mope, unwilling to be the change we want to see in others. Our disconnect is getting greater and greater as we continually become entrenched in our mundane lives of sitcoms, parties and ‘hanging out’. Reading back what ive written, Ive successfully taken on the role of what i’ve just written as the ‘Pakistani’. May Allah help us all!
    P.S. George its great to see how youve taken on being a Pakistani.. proud to have you amongst us… dont know if you would want to reciprocate it!Recommend

  • Anjum
    Jun 16, 2010 - 1:08PM

    you know the sad or rather tragic part is that almost all the English elite one gets to meet don’t even believe that the people deserve a say in politics. You hear them say that the common man is not educated or intelligent enough to even vote sensibly. Most of these elite support english speaking dictators and not democratically elected parties. “politicians are dirty; common man is an idiot”, thats what they say.

    So it is not just a matter being lazy or apathetic and not doing their duty to the country, they genuinely believe that Pakistanis deserve no matter.

    And Imran khan, Pulease!! I was one of the screaming teen fans when he was a cricketer, but now? the man is a taliban supporter, wants public hangings and islamic punishments… he has lost her mind.

    And Asma Jehangir… I love herRecommend

  • Uzma
    Jun 16, 2010 - 1:59PM

    Wonderful article!
    Most elites believe that the general public is stupid and not sensible enough to make the right choice and yet most of them support a person like Pervez Musharraf. and Why would anybody be surprised to see Asma Jahangir and Imran Khan mention in the same sentence. BOTH have worked more honestly towards the welfare of the people of the country than enemy one else. Imran Khan could have stopped at Shoukat Khanum Hospital but he Did Not. He decided to take a more active part in solving the problems of the people. Take all the politicians that you have in the country today, and HONESTY think of ONE PERSON who you think is GENUINELY there for the sake of the people and you will have the answer in your hearts .Imran Khan is there for the people not for the elite , not for the modernists , not for the Taliban but for the People. Whether he is successful or not HE IS DOING HIS PART.Recommend

  • Wasi Faka
    Jun 16, 2010 - 2:13PM


  • Zunaira Malik
    Jun 16, 2010 - 3:02PM

    The article is a very true piee of writing. As head on as it may be, the “English elite” is by choice ignorant and it shall prevail despite articleas and realities like ones narrated here.Recommend

  • Jun 16, 2010 - 3:36PM

    Brilliantly written Recommend

  • Jun 16, 2010 - 3:42PM

    Brilliant piece indeed.
    But those who engaged with the people and come down to their level as ZAB and his daughter, is not forgiven yet by his class. They criticize them for family politics but do not appreciate their approach to the common people. As Late Dr. Feroze once in his article “why people love Bhutto?” analysed that and a few days earlier NFP also has an excellent article “We shall overrun” on the same issue…
    Good Work George, Fasi and NFPRecommend

  • Mobin
    Jun 16, 2010 - 3:47PM

    It is wrong to think Jinnah was what he was because of his social class. And once again it is wrong to associate the whole movement to one man. Jinnah was one of the later contributers to the movement no matter how influential he was in the end. Surrounding him were men who took more pride in their beards than suits. He was the Aitizaz Ahsen of the Pakistan Movement, but let’s not forget the Athar Minillahs and Ali Ahmed Kurds without whom Jinnah would have stayed in London. And as far as the moral duty to rule is concerned, don’t you think that’s a compromise to the very ethics of democracy. I agree, the elite class plays an important role in creating jobs, but in the end it has done more to harm Pakistan than to give back to it. There is no use of a leader the population can’t associate with. This country will not prosper until it finally realizes that businessmen don’t make great leaders. Recommend

  • Waqas
    Jun 16, 2010 - 3:48PM

    Kudos George,
    You’ve taken the words out of so many people’s mouth,yet these words would not have come out as we are conformists. I will not only praise your great article but take this moment to vow to contribute back. Otherwise, your great article will be wasted. Audience, please do something no matter how small in scale it is. Clean your street, or help an orphan how to read/write… just start implementation, why wait?


  • BINA
    Jun 16, 2010 - 4:02PM

    Its a treat to read this article…realy realy thought provoking
    Thanks George for Wake up call… a big fat thanksRecommend

  • Umer Zubair Awan
    Jun 16, 2010 - 4:17PM

    Dear George Fulton ,I love you.
    We need people like you in politics .
    I request you to do some field research in Karachi poor areas and ask them what they want from rich class.Recommend

  • butt
    Jun 16, 2010 - 4:29PM

    “A Faustian pact …missing JI

    brilliant! :)Recommend

  • mahine
    Jun 16, 2010 - 4:29PM

    For starters it would be a KGS Uniform. OGS is an alumni society for old Grammarians and we don’t wear uniforms. Secondly i have a question – are you a Pakistani or even born and brought up in Pakistan? If not you really don’t have a right to speak about ‘Us!’And just like your article on Dubai – this one is as full of cliches and misnomers.Recommend

  • Fahad Asad
    Jun 16, 2010 - 4:31PM

    George you are a good man! I like the way you use ‘we’ every time you refer to us Pakistanis, even though you may be referring to the more affluent English speaking elite.

    I admire your ability to see the things in perhaps much better perspective then some of these so called English speaking elite who unfortunately live in a delusional bubble! They are born and brought up in Pakistan but they actually believe they are from New York or London. They speak (in an American accent of course) and think in English and are proud of the fact that they can’t even read, let alone write, in Urdu (clearly a very cultured language of the masses). They pretend to never have seen a Pakistani Drama or Movie (they would also deny knowing anyone even from Bollywood). Musically, they have ears only for U2 or Pink Floyd and they would show no reaction if you mention names like Vital Signs, Junoon, Abid Parveen or even Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. They probably follow NBA or English premier league and have no knowledge of cricket. Their aim in life is to join a foreign college and move abroad even if that means emigrating to Antarctica or any country with similar sub-zero temperatures (if you know what I mean) – any thing to change the beautiful green passport.

    Although I may have gone a bit overboard with my stereo typing but such people do exist, I have personally met such poor souls. Having lived a few years in Europe, I know that whatever iota of such tendencies I had, were washed away when I faced the real world there. No matter how American/English you may feel, the fact remains that we are Pakistani forever. Even the third generation Pakistanis living in the US or UK are well still Pakistani. So we have to put our foot down and stand up for this country which to be honest is still the best bet as far as we are concerned. The most privileged Pakistanis are the Pakistanis living in Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad rather than the Pakistanis living in London, New York or Sydney. So it is about time, we stop living in our little comfy bubbles and become part of the main stream and address the real life issues facing this nation.Recommend

  • Wajahat Afaq
    Jun 16, 2010 - 4:38PM

    WOW George what a views amazing article. Recommend

  • nadiya
    Jun 16, 2010 - 5:06PM

    good God.You hit it right!! well written.Recommend

  • zubair
    Jun 16, 2010 - 5:06PM

    @Mahine, thanks for the clarification but why does one has to be a Pakistani to pointout our mistakes. I am not a grammarian but my daughter was and I had close interaction with the CROWD and totally agree with George’s observations.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jun 16, 2010 - 5:08PM

    Interesting article. I agree with the observation that the distance the ‘elite’ class maintains from politics and social concerns seems to be apathy. On the other hand I’d challenge people who’ve entirely agreed with the article to step into politics. Get your hands dirty. Do you know what you’ll face? Mind numbing corruption, lies, illegalities that we are yet to comprehend. That’s what the so-called ‘idiot common man’ has to master to take part in politics. Are you ready to be one of them to bring about the change? The problem is the current flowing against you (read:corruption) is too strong to be countered with education and good will.Recommend

  • Jun 16, 2010 - 6:23PM

    by Fasih Ali Khan:

    “Excellent Article. It’s cent percent Correct. Mr. George Fulton We, The All Pakistan Muslim League led by President Ex. Pervaiz Musharraf and Youth Following Mr. Zaid Hamid are on the track you’ve just described here. We certainly need to take Initiatives. Great Read.”

    omg omg omg omg! hahahahahahahahahaha! Recommend

  • Nauman M
    Jun 16, 2010 - 6:50PM

    True that. nailed. but not going to happen. the comfort zone is just too blissful. its the ‘Hazaaroon saal nargis’ situation. it’d be a while before we have another M.A JinnahRecommend

  • Hassan Khan
    Jun 16, 2010 - 7:20PM

    Agreed but people are too scared to be part of our dirty politics. we are only thinking of ourselves.Recommend

  • Khushbakht
    Jun 16, 2010 - 11:03PM

    a sad reality…greatly putRecommend

  • LPJ
    Jun 16, 2010 - 11:50PM

    Agree with you George! Many Pakistanis spend their whole life oblivious of this fact.Recommend

  • sarah shaikh
    Jun 16, 2010 - 11:57PM

    brilliant! what i love is that you’ve been around for a bit an have your fingers on the pulse ;)Recommend

  • Jun 17, 2010 - 12:03AM

    Right you are, George! As a 17 year old ready to choose which career path to go for, I have had phases where I’ve thought of getting into politics. But the thing that scares me and my entire generation is the thought of competing against corrupt politicians. The thing is: they have too strong a grip on the unaware awaam!

    Sure, it can be argued that it is our responsibility to stand up. I’ll go ahead and do that by voting for Imran Khan for now. :)Recommend

  • Salma Ahmad
    Jun 17, 2010 - 12:04AM

    I agree!Recommend

  • Jun 17, 2010 - 12:07AM

    I’d like to add to my previous comment:

    We can also be a part of the solution by spreading awareness through the media (both online and off), voting for the right person (read: Imran Khan) and being a good human being in our personal and professional lives! :DRecommend

  • kjjee
    Jun 17, 2010 - 4:23AM

    Your comment ” We can sign up to Facebook petitions, write numerous blogs, and hold as many candlelit vigils as we like, but until we engage with our fellow countrymen we are just twisting in the wind. **But we don’t engage.**” is SPOT ON!

    I believe more of us should become active in pursuing the cause of ‘rectifying pakistan’ more media/tv exposure should be used by us to raise voices & concerns..
    BUT definatley not the way how Ibrar ul Haq & Jawad Ahmed recently engaged in a slinging match on air.Recommend

  • ali
    Jun 17, 2010 - 5:05AM

    speak for yourself george!Recommend

  • Tippu
    Jun 17, 2010 - 8:13AM

    Well said George. Sad bit is, folks like Asma and Imran will never get elected because we are indeed the problem.
    And yet, the power of one can change the whole game plan. As aptly demonstrated by the great Quaid e azam. Do we keep waiting for a true leader or do we all become the change?Recommend

  • Nabia A
    Jun 17, 2010 - 9:22AM

    an eye opener for people whose eyes are closed. Amazing piece of writing.Recommend

  • Rbea Amin
    Jun 17, 2010 - 9:36AM

    “The English language has created a linguistic Berlin Wall between us and the rest of the country. We remain cosseted inside our bubble. Not wishing to connect with the riff raff and bun kebabs on the other side of the bridge.”

    Sadly; this indeed is the REAL Us!! Hypocrites By Choice!

    “A Faustian pact if ever there was one.” – The devil has us ALL!

    Well Written.Recommend

  • Stranger
    Jun 17, 2010 - 9:42AM

    Good article but Imran Khan and Asma Jhangeer are not exemplary. Imran Khan has never condemned any Taliban action and Asma Jhangeer only speaks when a TTP member is killed by our forces and try to protect TTP leaders. Moreover when our Supreme Court takes action against corruption she speaks against the court.

    I think they are US paid agents. Recommend

  • Stranger
    Jun 17, 2010 - 9:58AM

    The basic problem of our country is rule of law. We(including me) don’t follow any law and we don’t pay our taxes. Our Sugar Mills makes explicit collusion and even then our agency/government unable to arrest them. We take advantage of the needy one. Unlike other countries we have tranport mafia.

    Our society is build on wrong norms. If we want to prosper then the whole norms have to be changed.Recommend

  • samina
    Jun 17, 2010 - 11:02AM

    um laay hay tufan say kashti nikal kar is muluk ko rakhna maeray bachu samhal kar Quaid-e-e Azam did his best for us it is now our duty to do something . english language is a must for us all if we want to suceed look at India even their rickshaw wala can speak better english than our politicians and they are the next super power of asia they banned fudelism soon after their independence and have educated their masses we need education first.and we need to hang all the politician in the national assemblyRecommend

  • Anjum Hameed
    Jun 17, 2010 - 11:47AM

    Imran Khan?????…you feeling ok???…I didnt think hypocrisy was a favoured ‘golden’ principle…George, your article is itself elitist…hope you have had it translated into Urdu so that those ‘others’ may also understand…hmmmmm…’divide and rule’…an old British policy… Recommend

  • Imran
    Jun 17, 2010 - 12:12PM

    Brilliantly written.. George I appreciate each word that you have written.Recommend

  • Sabyn
    Jun 17, 2010 - 4:31PM

    I dont know which world the author is living in but for all practical purposes it is still the whiskey drinking, horse loving, uncaring people running the country. Oh yeah, but after Benazir, their English might not be so good….Thats ok though as their heavily accented Urdu is still terrible. Recommend

  • Sara Akbar
    Jun 17, 2010 - 4:35PM

    You remind me of my Urdu teacher, Sir Mohyuddin in Middle School. All I’d like to say is that raising a voice in this country is of no great use, because clearly this qoum is a dunday ki qoum. You need to practically ‘show’ what you believe, enforce it, and hence make others conform to those beliefs. Yes, raising a voice is at least a baby step- but what we need right now is a major push. So pat yourself for taking that baby step and try working towards that push.Recommend

  • Freedom'n'Justice
    Jun 17, 2010 - 6:10PM

    George correct me if I am wrong but when you came to Pakistan in “George ka Pakistan” you were supposed to live as a ordinary Pakistani? So what happened, being a ORDINARY Pakistani is a shame so you decided to identify yourself as an ELITE cause you sure were part of no British Aristocracy.
    There are several things you have got completely wrong for starters It would have been nice if you would have done a bit more research about Jinnah before comparing him to the elites of Pakistan (Current and Previous) so blatantly. Jinnah made his fortunes himself it was not his fathers money that enabled him to practice law and achieve success. Even his worst detractors accepts this fact.
    Jinnah had integrity, he had passion. Yes he use to deliver his speeches in english to an audience which did not even had marginal understanding of the language, yet all believed in him. Do you think it is because of his impeccable mastery of the language or was it his integrity and leadership which all those people believed in.
    Tariq Ali have got one thing right about Pakistan and that is the attitude of the elite of this country. They have been living in a bubble which enables them to see no further then their own bellies. The irony is 3% of elite are driving the rest of 97% to oblivion.
    Elitism is mindset which by defaults makes one immune from understanding, it breeds indifference of others sufferings. The feeling of entitlement is a by product of Narcism which is all too rampant in the elite. Elitism, Plutocracy and Fascism all three exists in Pakistani society and it is very hard to make the difference any more. Pakistan have turned into a modern day tragedy.
    I find your comparison of Jinnah with visionless aristocratic/plutocratic class of Pakistan more then offensive, you have got it all wrong. Taliban are a symptom of a disease which breeds inequality and injustice, we may be able to beat them but as long as the disease of elitism exists in Pakistani society it will be manifesting in one form or another but the elite thinks its none of their concerned. Recommend

  • George Fulton
    Jun 17, 2010 - 7:43PM

    @ Freedom n Justice. Let me correct you on a few points. Jinnah made enormous amounts of money as one of the most sought after lawyers in the subcontinent. But he came from the elite. His father was a wealthy businessman who was able to afford to send his son to England to study at the turn of the century. They were rich, ok. Please could you read a biography of Jinnah before you rant away. You also completely missed the point i was making in my article. Jinnah did have integrity. He did have leadership. That is my point. WHy was this refined, elite man, a product of a western education, able to create a country whilst subsequent generations have all but ignored the political sphere.

    Secondly, yes i did live and meet many Pakistanis from all walk of life whilst doing GKP. But it would be extremely disingenuous of me to compare myself to an ordinary Pakistani. I earn far more that $2 dollars a day. I never go hungry. I can read and write and have a good college degree. I think and rationalise in English. It is only fair therefore to describe myself as apart of the English elite in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Freedom'n'Justice
    Jun 18, 2010 - 12:25AM

    Thanks for personally replying to our comments, much appreciated.
    If I go by your definition then I am a elite as well, but as I stated in my previous post ELITISM is a mind set. My dear friend and it seems you suffer from the same thing, but at least you do understand a thing or two about responsibility. Your GKP was a real inspiration for many including me, at a time when I was pursuing a higher degree in your home country, watching a GORA trying to be a average Pakistani. But now it seems you have decided to identify your self as an elite for all the wrong reasons. Its the mind set I am against not the person. As for Jinnah he stopped considering him self an elite long before he lead Muslim League.
    All I can say is wishful thinking on your part trying to inspire elite with stories of Jinnah, most of them can not write more then few lines about the man, if we are lucky. Poverty is rampant, over a dozen people have committed suicide in last two days, and it did not even register on the radars of ELITES.Recommend

  • Imran Hussain
    Jun 18, 2010 - 1:04AM

    We need few more “GORAS” like George to wake up this nation and help us see the problem, and also help us find the solution.

    Because we are such an innocnet and naive nation that can not even wipe our ass without the help from WEST:-).

    Thank you very much George for making this country your home, marrying our sister and the most important thing getting your hand dirty in solving our problems.Recommend

  • Sajid
    Jun 18, 2010 - 5:04AM

    Lots of compliments again in the comments, but very few solutions, read this article, clap and just leave? what do we need to do? the upper and upper middle class should come out and help out their fellow poor brothers and sisters, may be we should make a forum for each town, where the wealthy contribute for the health, education and food of poor people of near by localities, that’d be a great start, every man and woman that we help will reduce the number of people who can fall a prey to terrorists and be used in wrong activities, that’d be a head start to making our society a peaceful one, what about Defence people helping out people of Lyari, Machar colony etc. and North Nazimabad helping orangi town and new karachi poor localities? similarly in other cities..Recommend

  • Ali
    Jun 19, 2010 - 3:34AM

    Unfortunately I am an ahmedhi whose contriutions will not matter.Recommend

  • Rida Khan
    Jun 19, 2010 - 7:35AM

    The only thing i would ask from you George is to build a cross cultural communication. People like you can do this. Pakistanis are suffereing big time when it comes down to Global communication. Trust me, it is this lack of communication that has made us Culturally divided kids to rebel against the immoral and unethical mindset of the Pakistani society. Yes you may be given a good status in Pakistan, though i wonder why, since we hate ‘Am-ri-cans’ and ‘Goras’ so much.

    Really, it would be better to build a cross cultural communication than getting your hands dirty with politics. It is the elders, including yourself who have given us kids a world which is filled with conflicts. The thing is, are you willing to work with us?

    99.95% of you don’t. But hey, it’s our time, it is perhaps better for you to either work with us or remain silent the whole way. Sorry for being harsh to you, i do not mean to offend you, but i find this a bit hypocritical of my elders.

    My friend, you may as well be too late. But hey, thannks for being honest and speaking the truth.Recommend

  • Mehreen
    Jun 19, 2010 - 1:09PM

    That was a brilliant piece of writing!Recommend

  • Sameera
    Jun 20, 2010 - 4:04AM

    Couldn’t resist repeating what almost everyone else has already said – great article, you’ve really hit the nail on the head. I dearly wish that the parents among this English-elite in our country will some day realize that most of them have actually got most of their own education and privileges right here from Pakistan. They are who they are because of Pakistan. Sure, things are really bad and getting worse, but the answer is not to brainwash their kids into thinking that their parents’ approval lies in getting on a flight with a student visa right after A-levels and never coming back!! Recommend

  • Noreen
    Jun 20, 2010 - 6:50PM

    This article is really some thing which all so called ‘educated Pakistanis’ need to consider. There is such great apathy that no one wants to think or even talk about solution to problems that the country faces. Thats a great pity in itself. If the educated elite in the nation are not ready to do basic things like paying taxes, giving charity, and reducing their hedonistic lifestyles, then one cannot expect much from them, despite the fact that they have the greatest responsibility. Hopefully we shall seee more of such articles and media programmes on such issues in the public debate in future.Recommend

  • Haroon
    Jun 20, 2010 - 8:53PM

    By going through the users’ comments I believe some or may be most of you have not understood the article at all.

    George talks about writing blogs and signing up petitions on FB… well I would love to see him involving practically in our politics, otherwise he marked himself in this article.

    I totally disagree with the concept that ELITE CLASS, I intentionally omitted word English from it as that has nothing to do with the solution, it is only an inferiority complex signal, can take us out from the unstability warp. In fact I think this is the root of the problem. When we start to think equally, we will solve our problems, period!Recommend

  • Rabbiya
    Jun 21, 2010 - 8:53PM

    Brilliant article – very relevant and astute. It’ll definetly be making my rounds to send to other people.Recommend

  • Ray
    Jun 21, 2010 - 10:41PM

    Great thought provoking article for a good cause.
    However revolution or contribution can be made several ways and being rich is nothing wrong as long as you use wealth to benefit others as well.
    For instance Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have shown that being filthy rich can be gloriously fashionable and humanitarian.
    In subcontinental cult based politics it is difficult for any one to come to the top unless you get to Chavez or Bhutto or Mujib level of engagement with the masses. I am not sure that is the best path for the elite because none of the aforementioned despots perhaps really mean well at all for the people they professed to care for. In our case as soon as factories and school were nationalized labor lost jobs and their children stayed uneducated to this day.
    However, I fault the lingu freaks for failing to bring out any original ideas to transform the society? Why couldn’t we even make a decent scissor or soccer ball that is world class that we started to make long ago.? Hence our elite has not only failed to offer any resistance on the political scene but they have committed intellectual and business atam hatya as well.Recommend

  • Fatima Saleem
    Jun 22, 2010 - 1:18AM

    Supurb article! spot on!
    however,what do u mean by engaging in the political process? Do u mean participating in the general elections?
    The fraudulent & devilish election traditions of Pakistan cannot allow educated, visionary leaders to come forward. Perfect example is what Imran Khan is facing in the recent by-elections. I am unable to think of a solution.Recommend

  • Nadir
    Jun 23, 2010 - 1:39PM

    Bloody brilliant! All I can say…Recommend

  • Jun 23, 2010 - 3:38PM

    Come and organize another PTI,Recommend

  • Whistler
    Jun 23, 2010 - 10:55PM

    Its not the English language thats the problem Goerge ! Its us ! We are the problem. The main reason for disparity between the elite and the poor is the unequitable distribution of wealth. Knowing how to speak the English language is not just a cultural thing anymore, its a global necessity ! The English Language now ( i.e. in the 21st Century), more than ever before is not just a language that is restricted to the west, infact it has now developed into a truly global language. A nation not knowing how to speak it, is a nation confining itself to isolation.

    For most of your article, however, I must say that you’re absolutely right and that I share your views !Recommend

  • Asma
    Jun 24, 2010 - 12:22PM

    Very rightly pointed by Mr George.We have to rely on the previliged to bridge the gap among the different sects of society and not vice versaRecommend

  • Asma
    Jun 24, 2010 - 12:24PM

    Rightly said. Jinnah was one of the elite but he knew how to bridge the gap among different sects. Today the previliged are too busy in other activitiesRecommend

  • amena khan
    Jun 27, 2010 - 4:26AM

    nuff said! Recommend

  • m
    Jun 27, 2010 - 3:59PM

    look up the dictionary before attributing words such as “valiant” to hypocrisy laden half wit ex cricketers. the problem with endorsing ‘well at least his heart is in the right place’ is that we allow ourselves to lower our expectations of what is required of a leader.Recommend

  • Jahanzaib Haque
    Jun 27, 2010 - 7:26PM

    @M Please reframe your comment to tackle the issue and not the writer. Best regards (Web Editor)Recommend

  • Jul 8, 2010 - 12:20AM

    I agree with you. Keep writting and stay blessed!


  • Ammara gul mustafa
    Jul 12, 2010 - 9:57PM

    This is a brillient quote!

    John Fitzgerald Kennedy

    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.”

    terrorists attacks, bomob lasts killing of innocents every now and then…this is exatly the case here in our country, the suppressed have adopted the way of voilence it seems!Recommend

  • JD
    Aug 12, 2010 - 6:46AM

    And if we the elitest do take action what are we going to do? Turn this country on its head by introducing Western values for the masses? That is not going to happen because the majority of the population are not for pro-Western values. If we want to live like they do in the West, running away is the only available option. If we do want to stay back and make our country better, we have to obide by our cultural values. Can you the elitest live without Fez-ing on weekends or smoking in Espresso? Can you live without drinking a bottle of JD imported from Thailand at your friends poker parties? Ask yourself these questions.Recommend

  • SKM
    Aug 12, 2010 - 8:35PM

    I am not sure what the author of the article expects the educated elite to do. They cannot help re-direct policy in the country because they don’t enjoy popular support. And what exactly are they expected to do if not impose values that do not align with mainstream Pakistani society. Either way, the educated elite is a dying class that feels its role is gradually being replaced by the nouveau riche.

    I think the millions of folk living abroad, but of Pakistani descent, are also responsible for Pakistan’s future. Aspiring policy makers who wish to represent the educated elite should try and mobilize Pakistan’s intelligentsia living overseas. Perhaps extending voting rights to such groups would at least help bolster and harvest the educated vote of Pakistan. Recommend

  • Faraz Butt
    Aug 13, 2010 - 3:52AM

    The harsh reality no one wants to accept!Recommend

  • Faraz Butt
    Aug 13, 2010 - 4:00AM

    @JD: listen to your self. These values you talk about, do they identify you? The writer does not say to westernize Pakistan, but through our educational expertise try bringing about a change. How did Mao revolutionize China? by showing commitment and creating awareness.Is it that hard? What ever Imran Khan does in his private time is his own matter, but does he let it interfere with his struggle for what is right. No. Snap out of it!Recommend

  • tania saleem
    Aug 25, 2010 - 8:41PM

    what a refreshing read. Have to say you’ve come a long way from the gibberish on dubai. Good work!Recommend

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