By Noman Wazir.
Sometimes it is very hard to write but the other times it feels like ‘something nameless’ is forcing you to write. This is the situation of each and every writer throughout the human civilization. However, in Pakistan one doesn’t have to ponder over the issues, because the policy makers are there to highlight it and then put it into the back burner. The writers in Pakistan are unintentionally or intentionally just flow with the flow. They are not even trying to alter the tide of the sorry state of affairs.
The recent event of leaks of letter, in which the former Premier is directing the ambassador to expedite the process of granting visas to US officials, is a new politically motivated outmaneuvering. The issues which are challenging the very existence of humans on this land of the pure are- as usually- now suddenly evaporated from the national priorities and the media frenzy has taken over the stage.
The Panama case and the ‘new Memogate scandal’ resolution will not solve the problems of Pakistan as was the former Memogate scandal. However, the intellectuals in Pakistan do not comprehend the very simple fact. They are busy with the same vigor to act in idiosyncratic ways. Might be they are paid to do so, as is highlighted in the book ‘Militant media in Pakistan’, published by the Pakistan Institute for Peace studies. In this book they referred to the renowned columnists which wrote through pseudonyms in the Al-Amin Trust (formerly known as Al-Rashid Trust) whose notorious publication is Zarb-e-Momin. The most striking names among the list includes Javed Choudhry (Pen-Name Yasir Mohammad Khan) and Orya Maqbool Jan.
One may wonder what our writers and intellectuals should do then. The answer is simple; they don’t have to sell their minds. However, it is very difficult in a state like Pakistan; where every individual in their capacity is selling out his/her mind. The lawyers are playing with the judicial system by acquitting the criminals for financial gains. The bureaucracy is extracting the power and privileges on the expense of the common man. When they are confronted that why they are after self service and not serving the people, which has been instructed by the moral and legal codes. They retort without any regret or shame, ‘’we’ve earned that through our untiring efforts’’.
The political leadership is selling slogans, while the military junta is playing with the emotions of the people. Furthermore, the military junta and political leadership are actively participating in a zero sum game with one another. They are busy in undermining each other, ergo glorification of their own agendas. In all of this, the ultimate loser is the common man. Whenever, they are confronted that why they are hell bent on destroying everything. They will ironically respond that we are here to serve the public. However, it is not the case so; they are cleverly manipulating the emotions of their subjects through the shrewd slogans and Machiavellian tactics. These tactics are the creation of the minds of some people with huge brains. Unfortunately, they are employing it for the gains of the few with utmost disregard for the society in general.
Now, the point here is that why all the blame has to be put on the ‘professional intellectuals’, when they are treading on the same path as the rest of the society. To cut it short, they are the people that guide their nation in the right direction rather than following the herd. What makes them different and earned them the prestigious position as of the scholars or intellectuals is nothing but their efforts to clear the confusion of the people instead of making them even more confused.
The core issue in Pakistan is of national integration. The discourse of ‘unity with diversity or monolithic unity’ is the fundamental issue which has to be at the forefront. The Baloch, Sindhis, Pashtuns and Seraikis are vying hard to get their rightful share in the federation. Some of the Balochs have taken up arms whilst the rest of the nationalities are reluctant extremists. If due heed has not been paid, then the situation will exacerbate in the days to come. Therefore, it is the job of the intellectuals to focus on it and bring forth the solution to it.
To me in the context of Pakistan, if one wants to bring true reformation, then the Panamagate, Memogate or New Memogate will not serve the purpose but the reining of establishment will. Moreover, the diversity should be accommodated and recognized. The true federation with maximum provincial autonomy will be a step toward the peace and prosperity.
The writer is a socio-political analyst from Fata. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org