The media is obsessed with the political games of PM Imran Khan and the opposition. There are blind PTI supporters who claim that their leader had played a master stroke by dissolving the National Assembly. Others are arguing that he has behaved as a sore loser after failing to deliver on the economy. However, I am concerned that in our obsession with politics our focus is diverted from the only real issue that should matter, that of poor, cheap, and forsaken Pakistani lives.
Just as India is obsessed with land, which they imbue with spiritual qualities, and refer to as Bharat Mata, Pakistan is obsessed with Islam. Additionally, Khan has been obsessed with the pet Pakistani issues of Palestine and Kashmir. Land, foreign issues, or religion should never be allowed to trump human lives. Our concern should always be education, healthcare, and employment prospects for the Pakistani citizens.
It is precisely on the issue of Pakistani lives that Khan has miserably failed.
Our house is in a mess. Decades of appeasing militant groups have brought chickens home to roost in the form of Barelvi TLP and Deobandi TTP. Both have disrupted and destroyed many precious Pakistani lives. The cost of living has skyrocketed, wages have remained abysmally low, our currency is rapidly depreciating, and we remain dangerously close to the Chinese debt trap. Yet, deflecting from all such issues, our PM has been busy pontificating on Kashmir and Palestine.
A nation is not built by a single man but through the creation of strong institutions that abide for posterity. And maybe that is where we went wrong. We put too much stock in one individual to solve our problems, whether it’s the Quaid-e-Azam or PM Imran Khan.
I don’t really care about foreign issues if our own house is in disarray. If we cannot wear an oxygen mask first, we cannot be in a position to reach out to others. The Pakistani military has already tried thrice to wrest Kashmir from India to no avail. Is it not time to recognize that going against a country seven times one’s size and far superior economically is Don Quixote level madness? Is it not time to understand that if the Arab governments of Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Bahrain, amongst others have made overt or covert agreements with Israel, and as President Erdogan has invited the Israeli President to move towards normalization, that it is time to stop meddling in Arab affairs?
We have lost many young men to senseless wars that have brought us nothing. Our higher education system is in a mess where we focus less on building critical thinking skills of our students and more on publishing cheap research that barely anyone reads. And instead of addressing the ever-rising cost of living, or contributing to uplifting people, PM Imran Khan has been feeding us empty rhetoric and Islamic jingoism.
I wouldn’t be surprised if some dejected uncles go back to defeatist rumination, questioning the genesis of Pakistan. A nation is not built by a single man but through the creation of strong institutions that abide for posterity. And maybe that is where we went wrong. We put too much stock in one individual to solve our problems, whether it’s the Quaid-e-Azam or PM Imran Khan.
Returning through to the current state of disarray, all I can say is that the PM has done us dirty. Why? By failing to deliver, by behaving as a sore loser, by deflecting from real issues to conspiracy theories, by making innumerable U-turns, and finally by taking the nation to the brink of the abyss. In doing so, he has committed the cardinal sin of ignoring that Pakistan comes first and that Pakistani lives matter.