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What Gives You Hope For Pakistan’s Future? : ALL THINGS PAKISTAN
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What Gives You Hope For Pakistan’s Future?

Posted on March 23, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Society
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Adil Najam, Owais Mughal, Darwaish, Asma Mirza

In this, the final post in our series on Pakistan Day 2009, we want to look towards the future. Not on what the source of our concerns are, but on the source of our hopes.

The spirit of this post, as you will see, is best expressed in the great song by Mehdi Hasan – Yeh Watan tumhara Hai. We have written about this song before, but as Khan Sahib struggles for his life in a Karachi hospital today, this March 23rd is a good day to remember his song and remember him in all our prayers.

Each of the four editors of this blog asked ourselves the same question that we ask you: “On this Pakistan Day, what gives you hope for Pakistan’s future?”

Here are our answers. Do please share with us what your answers might be. (Those who want to talk about threats and concerns can do so in the last post; but, please, do respect the question that this post focuses on).

DARWAISH: The Lawyers Movement, emergence of a vibrant civil society and the awareness created in masses by media has given me new hope for a better future. I know we are not there yet and it’s just the beginning of a long road ahead but independent judiciary is the first step in right direction.

The ruling elite and others sitting in the corridors of power can no longer do whatever they want and get away with it. They will be exposed and that’s a very positive change. A transparent and fair public accountability process, which has been long absent from Pakistani society, can now hopefully be achieved through a combination of independent judiciary and media.

I also hope that now we will see extensive judicial reforms which are desperately needed, especially in the lower courts which deal with more than 90% of public issues.

ASMA MIRZA: When I compare general attitude of an average youth now with that of ten years ago, I totally get amazed at the change we went through. Ten years back the life of an average youth probably revolved around gaming, a bit of gossiping on media (read: films) and studies. That’s it.

Today things have taken a total turn. When I talk around with young people, the spirit they have for Pakistan – the hatred they have against evils that are killing us as a nation – makes me revive my thoughts of hope and respect in Pakistan’s future. It may be the media that is spreading the awareness but the willingness to ponder about things – about Pakistan’s future – is gratifying. This, more than anything else, gives me hope in Pakistan’s future.

Long live Pakistan ~ The land of beautiful people. Young saplings give me hope for Pakistan. This blood has got the potential and I feel happy that this blood knows their rights too. It is through this generation that I see Pakistan a better and progressive land in coming decades, Inshah Allah.

OWAIS MUGHAL: What gives me hope on this March 23rd are the women cricketers of Pakistan. Pakistan recenlty ended up at 6th position in the Womens’ Cricket World Cup but the ladies from Pakistan conquered much more than sixth position. They conquered the taboo of following their dreams, they conquered the no-no of coming from extreme rural background and competing against the best in the World.

I took special note of the places where these ladies came from. Some of these places have never been able to send a male player to Pakistan’s national team but these ladies have shown there is no limit to what one can achieve by aiming high and with dedication. One player of Pakistani women team came from Nankana Sahib in Punjab, one from a place as remote as Chaghi, Balochistan, 1 from Quetta, 3 from Abbotabad, 1 from Hyderabad, Sindh and 3 from Multan. Rest of the team came from Karachi and Lahore.

This was a truly a Pakistani team comprising of players from remote cities as well as mega cosmopolitans. My congratulations to Pakistani women cricket team on this birthday of Pakistan Resolution. You give us hope!

ADIL NAJAM: My response to this question is not much different from my colleagues, in that it is the people of Pakistan that give me hope as well as sustenance. There are many many manifestations of the hope they stir, here are just five examplars (representative, but not comprehensive):

So, this is what we think… your turn now.

61 comments posted

Comment Pages: « 8 7 6 5 4 [3] 2 1 » Show All

  1. Riaz Haq says:
    March 24th, 2009 12:14 pm

    I am hopeful that people of Pakistan, especially the young entrepreneurial and the professional classes, will continue to do their best to help extend the positive legacies of Musharraf-Aziz years. I believe it can be safely said that the communications revolution (accompanied by dramatic growth in the vociferous electronic and new media) as well as a significant enlargement of the middle class in Pakistan helped sow the seeds of the end of arbitrary actions by President Musharraf. In other words, Musharraf pulled a Gorbachev (a la perestroika that unleashed uncontrolled energies) by enabling powerful resistance to his arbitrary rule. Some of these changes that Musharraf brought are durable and I hope will make our rulers more accountable. There will still be abuse of power but the media spotlight will hopefully shine brightly on it to the detriment of the abusers. Eventually there will be real participatory democracy to serve all Pakistanis with appropriate checks and balances imposed by a much larger and more powerful and aware middle class essential for true democratic governance in Pakistan, or anywhere else.

    Please read more at: http://www.riazhaq.com/2008/12/pakistani-boom-amidst-doom-and-gloom.html

  2. Jusathot says:
    March 24th, 2009 12:05 pm

    Many countries rose to zenith because they got more out of their people. Pakistanis too have great potentials. They are a resilient and vibrant bunch that even under very adverse circumstances that could crush many do a lot more than merely survive! The restoration and renovation work in Pakistan will NOT be carried out by our ruling-elites

  3. -Farid says:
    March 24th, 2009 12:02 pm

    Undoubtedly the youth.

    When the earthquake hit Pakistan in 2005, I was amazed and inspired by the way the youth took charge, organized themselves, and got things going.

    (I blogged about it here at the time:

    I remember coming home at that time time and telling my family: “I’m not worried about this country any more, our future is in safe hands”.

    I never stopped believing.

  4. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 24th, 2009 11:56 am

    Sikander Hayat, your suggestion holds out the best hope of solving the problem of institutionalised tendencies towards injustice as part of a bad administrative structure. However, existing institutions cannot change the structure, as it would be counter-intuitive, and self-harming for the present institutions. If a dictator comes in and creates the new provinces, the change will be unlikey to survive the personality (even if ignore all the other devastation that dictatorships do and have caused). Yet, we badly need to move towards the smaller, several provinces model you suggest, somehow. It’s the only hope of getting out of this mess.

  5. Anwar says:
    March 24th, 2009 11:27 am

    I am optimistic. But my hopes are with the new younger generation… I also wish them well in cleaning up the mess “we” made for them.

  6. Ehsan says:
    March 24th, 2009 8:36 am

    The Army & Pervez Musharraf gives me hope for Pakistan’s better future :)

  7. March 24th, 2009 6:37 am

    My hope is that power will be given tp provinces of Pakistan to run their affairs. My hope is people of Pakistan and today when we celebrate Pakistan day, we must not forget Balochistan and its grievances. For far too long we have tried to establish a state based on religion but it must be said that this experiment has not been an unqualified success. In the process we have created monsters like Taliban and now these our very own creations are making life difficult for average Pakistanis.

    Pakistan must revisit the national question at its very core and turn itself into a country which does not require any religion to survive but love of people for their land which is far stronger and long lasting than a religion which has no national boundaries.

    The new Pakistan should be based on the principles of equality and justice for all, be they the people or the federal components.

    There must not be a perception that Punjab is having more than its fair share as we all know that not only the act of justice is important but the perception of justice being done is as important as well. Here are some of my suggestions to create more harmony among the provinces of Pakistan:

    1. There should be more provinces carved out of the present four.

    a. Punjab which should be divided into three provinces of Pothohar, Central Punjab and South Punjab

    b. Balochistan should have two provinces of North Balochistan & South Balochistan

    c. NWFP should be divided into Pashto & Non Pashto speaking parts and Pashto speaking part should be renamed as Pakhtunkhwa

    d. Sindh should be divided into two provinces of North Sindh & South Sindh

    e. FATA, Azad Kashmir, Northern Areas should get provincial status

    2. All these provinces must have sweeping powers to manage their own affairs and very few areas should be under federal jurisdiction

    3. Federal Government should have five responsibilities

    a. Defence

    b. Foreign Affairs

    c. Currency ( Central Bank)

    d. Communications ( Roads, rails, ports & telecommunications)

    e. Education

    4. All major ports as part of communication should be joint federal/Provincial jurisdiction

    5. Every citizen will pay two taxes (both will be at a reduced rate based on United States and Canadian Model), one to the federal government and the other to the respective provincial government. This will make the provinces self sufficient and central funding should be allocated on basis of need for development as well as population.

    These are just few of the suggestions but must be taken into consideration as the individual populations of Punjab, Sindh & Pakhtunkhwa are so large that they cannot be governed properly and a lot of people will have to live without access to government. Following are the population figures for the each of the components of Pakistan ( courtesy Wikipedia) which clearly shows that Pakistan must have more provinces than it currently has:

    a. Punjab – 81,845,433

    b. Sindh – 46,378,000

    c. Pakhtunkhwa – 20,215,000

    d. Balochistan – 10,247,362

    e. FATA – 5,600,000

    f. Northern Areas – 1,800,000

    g. Azad Kashmir – 4,567,982

    As you can see for yourself, most of above mentioned federal components could be countries in their own right and it is not wise to run them with such a centralised administration. I am raising this issue because I believe that it is of vital important for Pakistan

  8. wasiq says:
    March 24th, 2009 4:00 am

    What gives me hope is to see my fellow Pakistanis produce a world class product of any kind. ATP is a world class website and the quality of the articles, the writing, the humane and open presented in each — these give me hope. Strangely enough, another thing has given me hope recently. As you may recall, during the Summer of 2007, PIA flights were banned by the EU because of concerns regarding the air-worthiness of their aircraft. I live in Lugano Switzerland and to get to Pakistan from here, I catch the twice weekly PIA flight from Milan and seeing that flight cancelled was a huge disappointment, but the grounding actually brought out the best in the airline. Now, PIA sends its best aircraft to Europe and the PIA flights into and out of Milan feature spanking new jets, highly professional crew, and promptness that would be the envy of the Swiss — this makes me proud to be Pakistani and gives me hope in the country’s future. We can be world class if we choose to and we put our brilliant minds to the task, if we avoid pettiness, rivalries, and putting one another down — there is nothing then that can hold us back.

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