Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
It really is a grueling task to write about Pakistan because there is never anything encouraging to discuss. It is always an angry mob shouting against ‘foreign hands, ‘corruption’ bomb attacks, which now has turned into a horrific Hollywood style shootout after the explosions. The situation has deteriorated to a new low because the list of targets has been expanded to include shrines, mosques, and yes, peaceful religious processions.
Worse, now, it is public lynching and execution without any trial, jury, and witnesses, judge, or, evidence. One, but not the only example of this mindset was on display recently when we witnessed humanity gored to death by the mobsters of Sialkot.
If that was not enough, then, there are protests in the country against power shortage, lack of food commodities (think flour, sugar, rice etc). To top all this, we see agitation and processions against America, facebook and Youtube (and Israel and India, of course) where people are going crazy with rage. And if this mayhem was not sufficient to make Pakistani supporters nauseous, we now have about 24 to 26% of the country under water because of record flooding in Pakistan.
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. I have tried hard, but can’t come up with any rational or logical explanation to fly there. Pakistanis living abroad 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 which was always abysmal has diminished altogether, thus, permanently depriving the country from tourism money helping its depressed economy.
Unfortunately, it is obvious that Pakistanis don’t even know about businesses 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, the population there is more concerned about fighting Americans, fighting each other, fighting imaginary threats, instead of developing a country which attracts visitors, business and tourists.
There are a lot of good people, both Pakistanis and non-Pakistanis 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, debt, inflation, and overall economic stagnation.
However, I believe that there is always hope, but, I also believe that at this point, only brutal honesty, seriousness, objectivity, and hard work will change Pakistan’s future. So, if Pakistanis want to continue on their current turbulent journey, they don’t have to change anything. However, if they want to live in peace, prosperity, and happiness, they will have to stop blaming America, Blackwater, Jews, Hindus, and yes, even Zardari. Instead, Pakistan will have to work together, not against each other to turn misery into fortune. Remember, Pakistan’s problems did not begin with Zardari’s arrival and Pakistan’s fortunes are not going to change when Zardari is gone.