It is never easy to write about Pakistan because there is never anything good, positive or even encouraging to discuss. It is always a bomb attack, which now has turned into a horrific Bombay style shoot out as we witnessed in Lahore, or a terrorist or terrorists trying to blow up something in the world connected to a training camp in Pakistan.
Then, there are protests in the country against power shortage, lack of food commodities (think flour, sugar etc). To top all this, we see agitation and processions against America, facebook and Youtube (and Israel and India) where people are raging and shouting angry slogans. I can go and on, but you get my point. Now, if this is the backdrop, how anyone can write glowingly about a peaceful and/or prosperous Pakistan? One has to write about Pakistan’s true picture.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that today’s Pakistan is one of the most dangerous places in the world, regardless of what yardstick we use to measure danger. It offers nothing to anyone who might be interested in visiting because of work or family related situation. Otherwise, can you think of anyone or any reason for people to travel to Pakistan? I have tried hard, but can’t come up with any rational or logical explanation to fly there. Those who have family ties are cutting back their annual travel plans. Those who travel to Pakistan for work prepare like they won’t come back. And leisure travel to Pakistan was almost never an options for foreigners, and therefore, there goes the tourism (and with that, a good source of income) option.
Perhaps the news that peace is almost always synonymous with economic vitality has not yet reached Pakistan. And it is obvious that Pakistanis don’t even know and realize that companies planning to expand beyond America (google, Microsoft, Oracle, Intel, Dell, HP, Apple, and the list goes on and on) have opted for two countries. For hardware and other production related supplies, corporations deal with China and for software and call centers, businesses establish branches in India. And for Pakistan it means lost opportunities – and by extension, loss of significant tax revenue, excellent job and training openings. But, if you look at Pakistan, they are more concerned about fighting Americans, fighting each other, fighting imaginary threats, instead of developing a country which attracts visitor, business and tourists.
On the contrary, people of Pakistan, sadly, live in a parallel universe, a universe created by mullahs and promoted by the so-called anchors on private television channels in Pakistan. Both mullahs and these so-called anchors take guidance from Pakistan army, which has its own agenda. Otherwise, mullah and these so-called anchors can change Pakistan’s future because they have tremendous reach and power over Pakistanis public, but mullahs and anchors are more sympatric to Osama then their own countrymen and this attitude prevents them from honestly looking up anything objectively. Thus, it is hard to believe, but it is true that despite horrific ground realities, Pakistanis believe that they are about to run over the Americans, Jews and Indians and after that, Pakistan will become what they believe was always Pakistan’s destiny – a global Islamic power with nuclear arms. Well, this denial and blindness to emerging internal threats has turned Pakistan into a global hub of terrorism and the country itself is a ticking time bomb.
But don’t tell this to Pakistanis as they are not willing to listen to anything logic based on facts. There is only way to get through to Pakistanis – speak and rage against the Americans and you are a hit, a hero and a celebrity, otherwise, you are just an agent working for the C.I.A. plain, and simple.
So, what is next for Pakistan given every day protests, terrorist attacks, shootouts with police, attack on religious institutions, visiting sporting teams, the GHQ, the police academy and F.I.A offices in Lahore, the bombing of Marriott in Islamabad, and other countless attacks? Nothing, yes, the answer is nothing because majority of Pakistanis refuse to believe that they are under attack by the Taliban. They believe and it is hard to accept for anyone with brains, but majority of the Pakistanis believe that a ‘foreign hand’ with aid from the Americans is behind al the trouble. Because the country has been in denial for so long about its failings that now when the fever is about to reach boiling point, it is simply not possible for Pakistanis to abandon what they were told and they believed ‘foreign hand’ behind every tragedy in Pakistan mantra and suddenly comes to terms with the reality of being targeted by Muslims taking on Muslims.
I know a lot of Pakistanis living abroad who believe that Pakistan is a lost cause and there is nothing that will change Pakistan’s course. They believe that living in denial and living on borrowed money has its limit and very soon, the country will explode, not because of external danger, but because of out of control population, out of control rhetoric, out of control debt, out of control inflation and joblessness and out of control angry public’s inability to stop and accept mistakes.