Pakistan: On a Reverse Gear

Pakistan must join the 21st century and adopt a pragmatic domestic and foreign policy.


The two sign boards which are totally opposite to one another and taken as metaphor.

Pakistan was born on August 14, 1947. We lost some 45 percent of the original Pakistan when East Pakistan seceded and became Bangladesh in 1971. The emergence of Bangladesh as an independent state totally undermined the grandness of two nation theory.

But just exactly what would be the future of remaining Pakistan?

It is an alarming question for scholars to answer. After 67 years of independence and despite moving ahead, we are in reverse; hence we as a nation are moving inversely proportional to the rest of the world.

Ethnic tensions in Pakistan challenge the very foundation of the country. After independence Bengalis, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Balochi’s felt frustrated and stood for their right against the central government, but continued denial of their rights led the Bengalis to have a separate homeland for themselves, which has succeeded. Other communities are still dying for their constitutional rights from Islamabad. From that deplorable episode of history it seems that we haven’t learned anything.

Pakistan may be the first country in the world with a murky ideology. Liberals believed that Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, dreamed Pakistan to be a secular state, while rightists claimed Pakistan as a theocratic or Islamic state. Hence the nation remains divided over the question of Pakistan’s ideology.

Terrorism in Pakistan is at full swing. The incarnation of fanatical ideology started in the 1970’s by producing the Taliban under the supervision of state machinery in order to crush the Communist ideology. Myopically today we are in a war with self-created monsters, but every military operation launched by the Pakistani army failed in combating them.

In the 21st century, most countries formulate their foreign policies on the basis of mutual interest rather than religion. Not Pakistan. As a result we have a failed foreign policy and we are labeled as state sponsoring terrorism.

We can lead demonstrations and rallies with the people in Myanmar, Gaza, Afghanistan, but we have no sympathies with our own people that are subject of injustice with Balochs, Pashtuns, Shiite’s, Ahmadi’s, Hindus and Christians, which are killed on monthly basis. We are living in fool’s paradise.

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Corruption is at an all time high. According to a National Accountability Bureau report, 5 to 7 billion rupees are lost every day. Corruption, once consider to be a curse, is now the norm. Transparency International’s corruption index for 2013 showed that Pakistan is at 127 out of 175 countries.

Pakistan’s weak economy is crippled by terrorism, floods, and earthquakes. Even our leadership prays for floods because it not only brings destruction but also attracts foreign aid.

Our GDP growth is hardly 3 percent annually and the Pakistani rupee is sharply facing devaluation. In 2000 one US dollar was equal to 51 PKR, but now it is equal to 103 (while one dollar is equal to 61 Indian rupees). This sharp decrease in Pakistani rupees is due to political instability. So far we have lost $102.51 billion in the war on terror, but lacking consensus in our leadership that whether the Taliban is a friends or foe.

We believe that we are one nation; our identity is Pakistan and Islam. Yet democracy in Pakistan is always trembling. Half of the country is being ruled by dictators.

The only corner in which Pakistan has gained more development is terrorism, extremism and jihadism. The easy way of killing your opponent is to declare him as blasphemous. In Islam one is consider to be martyr, but interestingly in Pakistan both the killer and killed are declared as shahid (martyr).

The above are the few indicators which shows Pakistan’s reverse gear. If the country fails to detach themselves in the upcoming years, then it would be impossible to predict the future of the country.

Yousuf Stori is a graduate researcher at the School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid Azam University of Islamabad, Pakistan. The writer is conducting research on drones in the FATA region. He can be reach at

  • Mesquite Ice

    I pray for the well being of such sane minded people not only in pakistan but all over the world. The author should express his view on India, iran and afganistan so that all of us can also have a rational critic who gives valuable suggestions.

    The world, especially middle east/africa needs such sane voices, in the face of vitriolic hate mongers like Hafiz saeed.