No venture is as demanding and huge as is the burden to pass on a nation towards a prosperous and promising end in a quagmire, as it entails the future of billions of living souls. In addition to it, no chance can be taken while drawing the black and white sketch of the future of a people as it is akin to risking those lives that are looking with hopes towards those heads which they have trusted with the portfolio to row the ship of the nation. Devising national policies is in no way a script of any Hollywood action movie. It really means business. Not necessarily, Nation building is difficult, but it need not become a quandary as long as the effort has clear goals and sufficient resources.
American think –tanks in 1950s were devising national policies for the upcoming 50 years. They found that the biggest problem of America in coming half century will be that of parking due to the increase in the trend of keeping of personal vehicles. They made the policy not to approve the building designs without the proviso of parking in that. Similarly, soon after when America got independence from Britain in the last quarter of 18th century, Americans decided to start yet another war….the war against the ignorance. Fairly speaking, USA is now among the nations where visually there is no illiteracy especially after the Bush government had passed the “No Child Left Behind Bill.”
No one could envisage after World War II that Japan would be able to withstand and reemerge as a nation on the globe. On August 15, six days after the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan announced its surrender to the Allies. On September 2, it signed the instrument of surrender, effectively ending World War II. The bombings’ role in Japan’s surrender and their ethical justification are still debated. Japan accepted all but one condition, which was to change the medium of instruction into English. This knocking down nations onto their fours technique of Colonizers by changing the medium of instruction had been very old and had proved successful and the same was perhaps known to Japan. They clung to their national language. The result is now Japan has no illiteracy. Japan is the symbol of quality technology. Japan is an economic tiger. Japan is the greatest financer and fund provider of UNO. The number of universities only in Tokyo is over one thousand (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_universities_in_Tokyo) which is more than the total number of universities in the Muslim world.
The Britain of the Middle Ages was a very less popular and weak nation. It was the Dark Age of Europe. The history of this age Britain is a story of incessant wars and revolutions. There were wars for power and wars for religion. There were wars between church and king. There were wars between nations. Even Normans ruled over English. Even Denmark was once the sole master of Britain. There was a hundred years long war between France and Britain (1339-1439). There was war between royal families to control the rule (30 years of war between York and Lancaster). When the great Tudors came, one of their Queens, Elizabeth I publicized the policy of tolerance. He gave an end to these wars by making the religious factions her trusted counselors. This gave an end to the religious and political persecutions. People went out of the Britain to discover new worlds. It was then happened that Vasco De Gama circumnavigated the whole world; Columbus discovered America. Cabot discovered the Newfoundland. It happened then that East India Company came to India on a business enterprise with the permission of the Queen. All else is history.
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s life history is the best of example of his forethought and vision. He knew that the Britain’s exit from the Subcontinent was written on the wall. As a result, Hindus being the majority would become the new rulers of the Subcontinent. The exit of English thus meant for Muslims not freedom but just an exchange of masters. He called for a joint struggle against both English and Hindus and pocketed a new separate state for Muslims.
Pakistan became a party in US military campaign against former USSR in 1980s. The decision was not that much sane and time proved that it was detrimental to our national security and interests. We made our western borders unsafe. We invited the wrath of secret agencies of many great powers and especially some of our die hard enemies like India and Israel. The worst among the repercussions was the import of drugs and other fatal addictions to Pakistan. This venture introduced Kalashnikov culture for the first time in Pakistan. This war gave birth to sectarianism in Pakistan. Time had tested and proved that America was an ally not trustable especially in the light of what they had done to us in the 1971 war. We kept waiting for the fleet US was supposed to send for our military aid and we lost the battle.
The ongoing military campaigns like Zarb-e-Azab and the imposition of National Action Plan are uptil now proving effective, but a lasting effect may be achieved if the same operations be decisive in uprooting the evil and eradicating the sins from the land once and for all. A massive operation against corruption is also the need of the time. Those who have robbed the national wealth should be brought to book. The future of Pakistan will remain bright and intact if the miscreants are dealt with iron hands without any discrimination. A ruthless justice is the need of the hour plus a fair government based on meritocracy and founding of a national policies devising committee comprised of approaching minds can bring the country out of the predicament.
(Syed Ziaullah Shah, MS English Literature Scholar, International Islamic University, Islamabad.)