Everyday Pakistanis wake up to a false dawn


Every day, Pakistanis awaken to a false sense of hope, yearning for a new dawn that erases the memories of the past. Each night, they drift into slumber, dreaming of a utopia where gas and electricity flow as abundantly as milk and honey.

It makes one wonder if the astrologers were right when they advised Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to declare India’s independence on August 15, rather than the supposedly ill-fated August 14. The architects of India’s constitution bestowed upon their people two identities – the anglicized India and the Sanskrit Bharat. Nehru, for reasons best known to him, leaned towards the former.

Seventy-six years have passed, and while India/Bharat is steadily rising as a global power, actively engaging on the international stage, Pakistanis are still grappling to establish a cohesive identity and secure their place among nations.

Pakistan found itself at the threshold of BRICS, watching as Ethiopia bypassed them to enter the door. While Islamabad peered over the fence with curiosity, New Delhi celebrated its success at the G20 summit, welcoming the 55 member states of the African Union (including Ethiopia) into its fold.

In all honesty, Pakistanis must acknowledge that they have few genuine friends on the international stage. Who would willingly befriend a persistent beggar whose very survival relies on handouts?

Following the principle of “jam yesterday, jam tomorrow, but no jam today”, Pakistan received billions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and China as deposits for its forex reserves, funds that cannot be spent and must eventually be repaid. Pakistanis are promised that friendly Arab countries will invest $100 billion to rejuvenate their economy tomorrow. Meanwhile, today, an apprehensive interim government struggles to convince lenders that Pakistan remains a viable prospect.

Without undermining the nation’s optimism, can any country, regardless of its wealth, continue lending endlessly to a financially destitute nation? A nation whose problems are short-term but solutions are painfully protracted, and which appears hesitant to confront either.

Political parties clamor for elections at their convenience. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is eager, advocating for polls within 90 days. Others prefer a longer interval. However, can they assure voters that the next parliament will prove more effective than its predecessors, or will it merely be old wine in new bottles?

A substantial number of Pakistan’s educated and skilled citizens aren’t waiting for the next election to cast their votes. Instead, they vote with their feet, emigrating to whichever country will accept them, including Ethiopia.

Pakistan’s bankruptcy is not solely fiscal; it is also intellectual. The nation is characterized by “an expenditure of words without an income of ideas”.


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