14 ‘Shoulds’ for a Better Pakistan

14 ‘Shoulds’ for a Better Pakistan

Pakistan has been in turmoil for a long time now. Embroiled in political, ideological, social and economic chaos, I hope that the year 2013 will be the beginning of peace, enlightenment and prosperity in Pakistan. To move towards betterment, I, as a Pakistani, propose fourteen SHOULDS on this occasion that I promise can change the course of our country but also require paradigmatic changes in our national priorities. Here goes the list:


1. Education should be at the top of our priority list with at least 20 percent of our annual budget spent on providing quality education to the people of Pakistan.


2. As a sage once said, ‘If you want to see the condition of a nation, see the condition of the teacher.’ So teachers should be the most valued (in the real sense of the word) people in the country.


3. Our hospitals should be our second principal priority after education.


4. We should make every effort to establish complete peace with our neighbouring countries including our arch-rival India. In this regard we can learn from European countries such as Germany, France, and the UK.


5. We should devote ourselves to spreading a network of playgrounds in every city, town and village of our country.


6. There should be a network of libraries, packed with books, magazines and journals and keeping with the pace of technological advancement, equipped with computers in every city and town.
7. There should be immediate and complete ban on pressure horns on roads and streets and gradually the ban should come down to eliminating honking at all.  Of course people need to be educated through electronic and print media against the indiscriminate use of horns and other sources of noise pollution in our environment.


8. There should be a centrally administered system of mosques in the country. The Imams should be at least secondary school graduates besides their religious qualifications and should be recruited by the local administrative authority. They should be paid adequately for their services with the help and cooperation of the local community. The Friday sermons and teaching of these Imams should be monitored and they should be educated to present the peaceful, inclusive, humanitarian face of religion to the people .This will guard against the tendency among some of them of turning religion into sectarianism, extremism and the resultant violence.


9. Democracy should be embraced, nurtured and practiced in the true sense of the word. Practical efforts should be made to take the power concentration out of the feudal class and to bring it down to the reach of the common people. The first challenge in this regard is for political parties to become truly democratic and shun hereditary and dictatorial practices prevalent inside their ranks. Our armed forces should once and for all decide not to ever interfere in our political system and confine themselves to barracks .Let us for the coming thirty years, at least, try democracy without interference in its true essence.


10. A Pakistani nationalism based on an international, humanitarian philosophy should be nurtured through a nationwide system of inclusive education. The purpose should be to broaden the horizons of the Pakistani youth to feel a part of the rest of the world instead of becoming paranoia to unseen enemies.  The concept of positive national ego should be promoted to upbring an independent youth that relies on itself rather than seek helping hands in times of difficulties.


11. Strength in terms of economic and social development should be our primary goal driving our national policies and not just military might and our capability for destruction. Live and let live should be our motive from now onwards if we really want to continue to exist and flourish in the comity of nations in the twenty first century.


12. Rigorous measures should be taken to control our dangerously growing population, which is already beyond our means. Poverty, illiteracy, ignorance and misinterpretation of religion are main sources of this menace. The role of religious leaders is of special importance in this regard.


13. An important indicator of the degree of civilization of a society is the way women are treated in it. Women emancipation through a process of education and awareness among the masses should be one of our top priorities. Pakistani women are exemplary in their devotion to their families and the welfare of those around them and this extraordinary source of our strength must be taped by giving them their due place in the social, economic and political spheres of our national life.


Again the role of religious leaders is of primary importance in this regard; many of whom unfortunately confine the role of women to domestic chores. These religious leaders consciously or unconsciously use their enormous clout as opinion makers against the economic and social freedom and autonomy of our women. This trend needs to be changed and women be brought into our national life as equal partners and stakeholders.


14. We should, as a nation, make it a core principle of our national ethos that a society cannot live for long in the presence of injustice and endemic corruption. It should, therefore, be one of the top-most priorities to clean up corruption in our legal, administrative and political system, to have an independent, well-paid judiciary and an excellent, efficient and corruption-free police force.


P.S: Seems a loony’s dream? Well, maybe, but this country was a dream before its birth, a dream of hope and peace and prosperity before it was turned, by the monsters who ruled it for years on, into a nightmare for its inhabitants. And with the positive energies of our youth, can once more, we have the beginning of a noble dream and a lovely reality.

Muhammad Ilyas Khan

The writer is an academic, a researcher and a PhD scholar at the University of Leicester, UK. Email: [email protected]

  • Muhammad Zeeshan

    The quuestion is not what to do…it is how to do?….and who will do it…..one thing is for sure, these dirty politicians and the powerfull army will never do some good to benefit the common man……

  • your-neighbour

    You speak words of wisdom……despite being a Pakistani…..thousand salutes…..

  • Faheem

    I will say the first thing should be a safety, security and justice for all of us. Judiciary should implement fast justic and provide security to all. All other things are related to law and justice. No safety, no justic then nothing could be possible such as education, health, corruption etc…And on top of every thing we (as a pakistani) should be honest, sincere and faithful to our religion and country..By doing this Allah will be with us, helping us.

  • PI

    As a peace loving Indian, i appreciate two points mentioned by the author. First is peace with India. Asia is going to be economic power of the world in the twenty first century with declining growth in US & Europe. To achieve economic superiority, peace is of paramount importance followed by good governance, development of infrastructure, conducive business environment, eradication of poverty and illiteracy. India and Pakistan should be part of Asia becoming an economic power. For this peace is a must. Pakistan needs a stable democracy with out any meddling from the Army. The second point is that Islamic religious sentiments can be very easily whipped up by the Pakistani politicians and the army for their own benefit to the detriment of Pakistan’s progress. Example is the Indian phobia created by the Pakistan army and the ISI. India wants peace with its neighbors for its own economic progress. But India can’t be divided on the basis religion. India is much kore secular than a polarized Pakistan.

    • inam khan

      PI i totally agree with you..like i have mentioned previously, “united we stand, divided we fall”..we are falling coz we have been divided and the country at the loosing end as of now is Pakistan.
      India and Pakistan has to over come their meager in differences and step up good relationship and understanding with each other.
      Politicians who earn more from the two neighbor countries fighting must be pointed out and if possible dealt with.

  • jht

    All these things are not impossible but need a will. If pakistani people elect these insane candidates the change is never goona come in Pakistan. Pakistan just need 100 Patriot people to come on the top 5 coutries in the world in a decade or less. Pakistani people have talent that I did not observe in any part of the world.

  • inam khan

    wonderful comments and words..

  • Muhammad Haseeb

    Fairly expressed by the authors but One or two things that author have missed are the over influence of Wadera and Jagirdaars in the destiny making of Pakistan, In Sindh its the Wadera, In Punjab Choudary, In Balochistan Nawab or whatever, In KPK Khan rules everything, apart from religious leaders the major threat to Pakistan is from these so called rulers of our country they are above law and everything.