Pakistan-The Rowdy Realm of Recalcitrants

  •                     Pakistan-The Rowdy Realm of Recalcitrants

       A little over 7 decades ago Pakistan was declared an independent state on august the 14th 1947. A new, independent country meant new policies, new laws, new challenges, new milestones, new endeavors, new dreams, and new opportunities. The world, as Shakespeare had put it, was our oyster. With Quaid-e-Azam M.A. Jinnah as the captain of our ship we were sailing in the right direction. Within a year of coming into being Pakistan had become a member of the United Nation. Even though Pakistan was facing calamities the parallel of which according to the Quaid were not known to any country. Despite that Pakistan’s performance was reasonably better because of the Quaid.

       Unfortunately for Pakistan though, on 11th of September 1948, M.A. Jinnah left the world of mortals behind forever, and this is where the decline of Pakistan started. Jinnah’s’ was an urbane intelligent towering personality. A mind like his is born once in a century. Needless to say his untimely departure was a major setback. Without him Pakistan was like a plane plummeting to the ground. Pakistan has since been stuck in a morass. The Quaid’s demise was followed by a number of historic events, the assassination of Liaquat Ali khan, the Indo-Pak war of 1965, the separation of the western wing of Pakistan and the formation of an independent Bangladesh in ’71, the implementation of three different martial laws by three different Army Generals, the Kargil war of ’99 and much more. The constitution of ’56, ’62 and ‘73 were articulated. All of the stated events had serious repercussions.

       The Pakistan that we know today is an overcrowded, overshadowed country, stuck amidst a stormy sea with no horizon in sight, no way out and the chances of the sun shining on us are ever so slim, in short in a state of total chaos. Pakistan is an internally destabilized country with problems ranging from illiteracy and poverty to corruption and a very severe energy crisis.

       Literacy rate of Pakistan has met with a gradual state of decline. It has the second highest out of school population (approximately 5.1 million). The most recent stats indicate a 2% drop in the overall literacy rate falling from 60% to 58%. Several factors are responsible for declining rate of education. Education for boys is preferred for boys over girls. This gender disparity is to some extent responsible for unbalancing the equilibrium. It is most often seen in rural areas and poor households where education is viewed as a luxury girls are not deemed worthy of. According to a survey of UNESCO primary and secondary school enrollment for girls stands at 60% and 32% while for boys it is 84% and 46%. The youth literacy rate survey indicates that while male literacy rate stands at 79% the female literacy rate stands at 61%, it has obviously gone down since then. Since the field of education falls under the domain of the federal ministry, our respective governments, like always, did not fail to disappoint us by playing their due role in sending us further down the abyss. The constitution of Pakistan clearly obligates the government under section 25A to provide free education to people of ages 5-16 "The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such a manner as may be determined by law". To fulfill this purpose government schools were setup throughout Pakistan where rich and poor were to be treated alike with same standard of education for all. Though the schools created, no improvements were implemented upon. The curriculum eventually became outdated. This created a gap between the education provided by the private sector and that provided by the government sector that widened and strengthened as time went by. A lack of check and balance system encouraged the spirit of absenteeism among the teachers of the government schools. The absence of teacher meant no students and this thus led to the formation of ghost schools. The premises where the sound of education used to echo have mostly gone barren and are now an excellent place for the cattle to graze and relax. Instead of being viewed as the way to better brighter future education is viewed as a business by the private schooling system. With their fee structures rocketing towards the sun faster than Apollo 11, the poor are left with only two options either to not educate their children at all or to opt for the disfavored education system that’s more redundant than the first radio that came into being.

       Poverty is another issue that Pakistan faces on an embarrassingly huge scale. An expected 40% of our population lives below the poverty line. The poor stricken families unable to abort their fates are forced to live in dirt, the conditions highly unhygienic for any form of being to live in. An entire family is made to live in one room. Different surveys conducted over the years if plotted in a graph show an increase. From an estimated 17.2% in the fiscal year 2007-2008 to a big growling unhealthy 40%, the journey of poverty was unwavering in demeanor killing many of starvation and leaving many wounded with malnutrition and infectious diseases. Poverty and illiteracy are probably the only two reasons why Pakistan can’t seem to rid itself of the delight that is polio. While it is undeniably fun to limp around for life it is making us face quite a few problems on an international level. Pakistan is a nest of polio and a whole bunch of other communicable diseases which feast on the poor mainly because health is a commodity they cannot afford and because they conditions they live in are dire, a combination diseases tend to thrive in. The rich keep getting richer and the poor are getting poorer by the second forming an unbridgeable gap between the two. A gap that creates two parallel worlds that tend to exist at the same time each one completely oblivious of the others state. Causes of poverty are several, our unemployment charts continue to head for the moon, there is a severe lack of direct foreign investment, the technology used in our country is mostly, if not always, ridiculously outdated, low per capita income, low national income. Illiteracy and poverty are interconnected and exhibit a relationship of direct proportionality; a rise in one will result in rise in the other consequently. The growing rate of poverty has adversely effected Pakistan on several levels, it has effected the health of the entire nation on a mass scale with disease like polio, TB, malaria and dengue, cancer and HIV are constantly on the rise. Sadly, Pakistan is among the remaining three countries who haven’t been able to eradicate polio because of which any internationally travelling Pakistani is required to produce a health certificate stating he/she is free from any form of infectious diseases and that the person does not pose a threat to the natives of the country he plans on travelling to. 

       Economy of Pakistan seems to be in a forever waning state. The economy crisis that Pakistan faces today is bigger than it was ever before. Instead of investing and encouraging to invest, the politicians have drawn endlessly from Pakistan leaving behind a country in a dreadful state. Reduced to skin and bones, if elucidated in hominid jargon. Every infant borne in this country is under a debt of approximately 100,000 rupees. Such is the travesty. Our economy is largely agro based, greater than 70% so to speak. However the growing poverty graph has adversely effected our economy too because the farmers are not able to afford any new machinery and are forced to rely on whatever form of machinery is available at their disposal. Pakistan’s circular debt has soared to an all-time high of 1,155 billion rupees. If Pakistan is to continue down the same path it is expected to meet the same fate as Greece, in the next 10 years. It is however a little unlikely for Pakistan to go bankrupt owing to its geostrategic location. Bankruptcy in Pakistan will have a domino effect on the countries lying in the vicinity.

       A phone call that threatened to send Pakistan spiraling down to stone-age was the very occasion where Pakistan was to deal with and unknowingly get involved with terrorism on accounts of international interference for the first time. Pakistan had dealt with international interference in the past but on a smaller scale. The advent of the 21st century and the occurrence of 9/11 brought Pakistan down to its knees. Pakistan’s reluctance to help the U.S was preceded by the fact that we were a developing nation and the U.S was a superpower. Regardless of the choice we made, war was at our doorstep and the fate of Pakistan for the next few years had been sealed. Pakistan conceded to the U.S. and our future went downhill then onwards. As the U.S army continued to bomb Afghanistan, the Taliban fled the area and made effective use of the unattended border between Pakistan and Afghanistan (the Durand line) which served as an open invitation for the Taliban to invade our country and continue their unruly, unholy, heinous practices here in Pakistan where the mountainous terrain provided them the perfect location to remain in hiding. Constant international interference and funding’s of the Taliban strengthened their net and they kept coming out in scores each group under a different name, a different leader but the same aim-the destabilization of Pakistan. Pakistan has since bled endlessly. Many proxy wars have been fought. Many precious lives have been lost. Pakistan has fought vehemently and with valor and continues to fight even today.   

       Pakistan unfortunately has literally a very dark future, owing to the horrendous energy crisis we blessed people face today. With no gas in the pipelines and no electricity in the cables hanging overheard we seem to be headed nowhere. With the energy shortfall we face today a new born is more likely to experience darkness before he gets to witness the gift of tesla-the Alternating current cycle that makes everything around us illuminate. This shortfall has driven people out of work, factories have been closed shut, workers have been sent home with no promise of tomorrow and investors have been thoroughly discouraged. As this crisis continues to get worse, anything relevant suffers the same fate. It follows the ripple effect where a stone thrown in a water body creates waves because water molecules disrupt each other as the motion moves outwards.

       Pakistan was once an emerging country, far better than the likes of UAE, Turkey etc. Somewhere down the road we went astray and haven’t been able to find our way back since. Despite all that’s been said, in the middle of all the chaos Pakistan has managed produced heroes the examples of which cannot be found anywhere in the world. Jinnah once said “there is no power on earth that can undo Pakistan”. We are still a boisterous, lively nation with raw talent in abundance that still needs to be discovered. The world is still our playground. All we need is a few right steps in the right direction and voila!

    Submitted by: Syed Shah Rukh Ali

    Class: M.Sc Mass Communication

    CMS: 23271