The Promising Pakistan
17 November, 2011
Today if you stop someone in a busy street in New York or any other Western metropolis and ask him or her about Pakistan, the most obvious answer would be "Yeah! The most dangerous country in the world" or "Yes, the country that harbored Bin Laden". Terrorism and Pakistan have almost become synonymous, thanks largely to the occurrences of last ten years. However, things were not always bad for Pakistan. During the first three decades of its existence Pakistan showed a lot of promise. Within only five years of its coming into being, Pakistan's annual growth rate touched the magical figure of over 9% in 1953.
During the 1960s, Pakistan was seen as a model of economic development around the world and there was much praise for the way its economy was progressing. Many countries sought to emulate Pakistan's economic planning strategy and one of them, South Korea copied Karachi's second "Five-Year Plan". The economic hub of the nation was home to wizards like Dr Mahboob Ul Haque, a pioneer of Human development theory and founder of the Human Development Report. His contributions were so immense that UNDP established an award in his name that alternates between recognizing political and civil society leaders.
Besides having been gifted with tremendous natural beauty and diversity, Pakistan's promise also shone bright in all other walks of life. This nation succeeded in developing the most complex and efficient network of irrigation canals of its time. Pakistan is one of the biggest exporter of talented human resource. Pakistan television produced epic TV serials that are considered classics world over and are still watched in our neighbor's acting schools. Pakistan produced immensely talented cricketers and is still regularly producing the fastest and most charismatic fast bowlers.
Jehangir Khan and Jansher Khan took the game of squash to new levels of excellence. Jehangir Khan remained unbeaten for five straight years. This run of 555 matches is perhaps the longest winning streak in any competitive sport. The two have won the World Open Championship 14 times and British Open 16 times. Not forgetting the snooker world champion (Muhammad Yousaf), grand slam finalists tennis player (Aisam Ul Haque Qureshi), A1GP race driver (Adam Khan) and Mountaineers who scaled Mount Everest without oxygen (Hassan Sadpara and Sameena Baig). This "failed state" of sorts is a nuclear power that builds fighter jets of its own and exports defense equipment to the rich Middle Eastern countries. Its fighter pilots ruled the skies in Indo-Pak and Arab-Israel wars. They have the distinct honor of shooting down Israeli planes over Jordan, Syria and Iraq. So…Where did we go wrong along the way?
- Isn't it tragic that the world now sees Pakistan through the jaundiced western eyes like Fox News, CNN and other foreign Propaganda channels?
- Haven't we the Pakistanis failed to project the beautiful & Serene image of the 'real' Pakistan globally?
- We castigate Pakistan for its follies but refuse to acknowledge the milestones it has achieved.
- Why can't this brave nation of 180 million people be given the confidence in its abilities and potentials? Why is our information media continuously bombarding the nation with negative and doomsday news round the clock?
- Pakistan is not a failed state but we failed Pakistan. What do you have to comment?