PAKISTAN, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 75 years old nuclear and missile power state, standing fragile in the comity of nations makes me think about what happened and how it happened Pakistan reached this point.

If I look at some facts, it is the world’s fifth-most populous country, with a population of almost 225 million people, and has the world’s second-largest Muslim population just behind Indonesia.

The country holds one of the strongest armies and the best intelligence agencies in the world’s top ten rankings.

Despite so many feathers in its cap, Pakistan is going through crippling economic and political crises.

That keeps me wondering what went wrong that Pakistan is standing on the verge of disaster.

In this position, can we still call Pakistan an independent sovereign state where its reliance on foreign aid is a never-ending phenomenon?

What are the factors behind Pakistan reaching this junction where it is faced with political instability, chaos, confusion, and extreme polarization in society?

To understand all of the above I had to reflect on some key events right from the partition to date.

In 1947, when Pakistan got independence, it was faced with an economic crisis, administrative issues, political instability, constitutional problems, and adjustments according to the new set of rules and regulations, but Pakistan managed all of them quite well with its limited resources.

Pakistan was able to establish good/strong diplomatic relations with the world, and though tension kept coming on its way, the leaders were able to manage them on time.

The country faced problems on its borders with India and had several wars as well, but they never affected Pakistan this badly as we see Toofan-e-Bad Tameezee today, where every institution is against others while the public is on the road with high utility prices and poor law and order situation.

The turning point that brought Pakistan to this junction came in the late 1970s when Pakistan joined hands with the US to wage war against the (former) Soviet Union.

To win the war, Pakistan was pushed to use its society as a jihadi that served as a jihad bomb at that time.

Mushrooming of Madaris begins at a high pace and without realizing the fact that Pakistani society is getting exposed to extremism and such measures will have a draconian impact on the society for times to come.

The war was won but left behind extremists without any idea how to utilize them for achieving larger objectives.

Then suddenly those jihadis became a threat to the US post 9/11 and the US decided to wage a ‘war on terror’ against them.

This time Pakistan was given the option you are ‘with us or against us’. Pakistan to pass the test had no choice but to opt for ‘with us’.

That decision left Pakistan with suicide attacks, bomb blasts in every corner of the country, hatred among the society towards the armed forces, and so on.

Eventually, all those people who were trained during the 1980s turned out to be against the State of Pakistan.

All of the above contexts suggest that whatever is happening in Pakistan is the outcome of poor policies where the policymakers opted for short-term benefits rather than looking for both medium or long-term.

In joining both wars, Pakistan pleased the US but in the long run, the same US is unhappy with Pakistan and calls its arch-rival India its strategic partner in the region while Pakistan is just another country.

In the process, Pakistan lost almost hundreds-thousand civilians and thousands of military casualties, extreme damage to the civil sector, businesses, diplomatic relations/partnerships, etc.

But what does Pakistan achieve? Pleasing the West led to the diversion of the State’s attention from all of its key issues and Pakistan became home to terrorism.

It left behind poor policies and strategic alliances, weak/hostile neighborhoods, bad governance, and a horrible rule of law. Today all sectors of Pakistan are on the verge of collapse.

The education sector is flawed because it never remained an important sector to be considered, whereas it is the education system in any country that produces the best leaders, thinkers, bureaucrats, and law enforcement agencies.

Unfortunately, that never remains a priority in Pakistan. If we take any sector we find faults in it.

Today the aviation sector is one of the biggest examples, it was Pakistan that trained the Emirates and other Airlines to manage their aviation mechanism but today Pakistan’s Airlines are considered one of the worst airlines.

The bureaucracy has never worked the way they are today, in fact, they were one of the strongest pillars of Pakistan since partition.

Unfortunately, all sectors or pillars of the state from legislation to the execution of laws, judiciary to the media, are flawed.

They pursue individual interests over national interests. If Quaid happens to see Pakistan today he will find corrupt politicians, egoistic bureaucrats, a miserable justice system, horrible law and order, politicized law enforcement agencies, and pathetic media sources.

This is not what he aimed for. But here the question comes to mind: who is responsible for this?

We cannot deny the role of the following actors: economic hitmen who are by definition cunning and well-trained; lower standards of the bureaucrats; feudal system; no respect for teachers; family owns political parties franchises/enterprises; poor social and moral values; media bias.

We should also not forget that Pakistan sinned to be a nuclear power that the hostile countries still hold on to their hearts.

Pakistan is also penalized for having Gwadar Port on its soil which has the potential to be another trade hub.

Pakistan is constantly pushed to ground zero and all those who try to introduce reforms or fix the system are thrown out of the system.

Unfortunately where Pakistan stands today is the outcome of poor policies and prioritizing individual interests over national interests.

The Pakistani sector became a victim of ‘Sada Banda Culture’ and the society is left polarized without a way forward. ‘Enough of damage caused’ is a small phrase, to me, it’s now or never!

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