Pakistan’s pervading unanswered questions


Japanese writer Chokodo Shujin once remarked on the profound existential crisis faced by modern society. People everywhere engage in discussions, even shouts, about this crisis of thought, but often lack a true understanding of what they’re talking about. In fact, this speaking and shouting without genuine comprehension is a sign of the crisis itself.

The cries emanating from this crisis reveal a dearth of theoretical consciousness, a poverty of thought. Rather than aiming to clarify the essence of things and develop thought, these outcries often serve a different purpose. They aim to impoverish, imprison, and empty thought, serving an alternate agenda. In such times, those seeking the truth of thought should not be swayed or frightened by these cries. Instead, they must strive to sharpen their theoretical consciousness and become more daring.

A well-known Jewish proverb asserts that when a person thinks, God laughs because the truth emerges from His hand. The Greeks not only taught us to think but also to contemplate our own thinking. Thinking, in essence, is a quest for truth. When you find the truth, you find yourself. Until that moment, you’re searching for your own identity.

The Allegory of the Cave, a philosophical concept by Plato, describes individuals imprisoned inside a dark cave since birth. They can only see the shadows cast on the cave wall, believing it to be the entirety of reality. One prisoner escapes, discovering the true nature of the world outside the cave, realizing that the shadows were mere illusions and not the ultimate reality.

The first human child who opened their eyes to the world with wonder became the first philosopher. Throughout history, questions arose: What is this universe? Was it created by a sentient being or did it come into existence automatically? What is the cycle of life and death, and is there life after death?

People sought answers. When questions remained unanswered, they created their own responses. The caravan of humanity reached the 6th century BC, with figures like Gautama Buddha, Confucius, and Zarathustra seeming to light the candles of truth and provide answers to age-old questions. The same era saw the birth of philosophy in Greece, with seven wise men collectively finding answers to fundamental questions. As time passed, new questions arose, and philosophers of their time sought to answer them. The caravan of humanity entered the 20th century.

Even today, questions persist, and answers are pursued. In Pakistan, however, questions have been buried for 76 years instead of being addressed. Consequently, Pakistan has transformed into a vast graveyard of unanswered questions. Each unaddressed question begets countless new ones. This proliferation of questions has left Pakistan in a quandary, with an abundance of questions hindering progress. Pakistanis, overwhelmed by these questions, find themselves in a state of stagnation, unsure of how to move forward and evade the persistent inquiries.


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