Voice of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Thursday, June 8, 2023

Pakistan in 21st century


By Shahzad Masood Roomi

Pakistan has witnessed many upheavals and challenges in its 75 years history. Many of these were orchestrated but quite a few were genuine outcome of various historic political realities. Since its inception, Pakistan was opposed first as an idea then as sovereign state. In 1971, Pakistan became victim of internal divide that was fueled by external conspiracies and propaganda. This propaganda against Pakistan as a sovereign state continues till today. It has both local and foreign sources.

Propaganda is a warfare tool and it’s as old as the warfare itself. Pakistan’s recent wave of challenges date back to 9/11. There is a clear pattern that whenever Pakistan goes through turbulent times certain actors in international media, intelligentsia, and politics start a debate about Pakistan being a failed state. Political chaos and ongoing economic situation are making the use of propaganda tools far easier. It is again contested that if Pakistan will be able to fulfill its international financial obligations or not.

Pakistan’s traditional foe is fueling the air of disbelief to take advantage of current internal political chaos in Pakistan.

Currently the country is facing the challenge of severe financial constraints due to lack of foreign exchange and consequent balance of payment crisis. This is manmade crisis ushered by weak fiscal planning and management during previous years. Indian media which is mouthpiece of Indian establishment keeps presenting a doom’s day scenario about Pakistan, its viability as economic sovereign state. Many in Pakistan fall for this propaganda. One must not forget how same Indian media was partner in Delhi’s 15 years long anti-Pakistan campaign internationally using fake and bogus news reports and citations which now have been exposed by international media watchdogs. This campaign was originally orchestrated by Indian deep state and was part of a long-haul, non-kinetic strategy to paint Pakistan as a failing state that must be deprived of its strategic capability.

Though this propaganda failed but it sowed the seeds of uncertainty in many young Pakistani minds. It’s therefore imperative to tell Pakistani youth about the natural strengths this land has due to which its enemies will never able to see their nefarious dreams fulfilled.

First of all, Pakistanis are religiously patriotic and ready to sacrifice all they have for their homeland. This is not a subjective view but is based on many social polls, studies and research. Believe in the idea of Pakistan is undoubtedly the biggest strength of Pakistani nation and cohesion within. This is precise reason why such propaganda campaigns are run against us.

Secondly, Pakistan is a blessed land filled with natural resources and very industrious people. Though currently Pakistan’s economic profile presents a very bleak picture but this is not something permanent. As soon as Pakistan gets a competent lot at top, things will turnaround as has been seen in many other places in the world. Apart from natural resources like minerals, the plains of Punjab and Sindh are among the most fertile lands while its coastline marine wealth. All this form a diverse economic landscape. Pakistan’s economic potential provides a robust foundation for its stability in the long term.

Thirdly, Pakistan’s strategic location makes it most relevant geography in the region despite all the negative propaganda against it. Due to its location at a critical junction of South, West and Central Asia, it will continue to play a significant role in regional politics and commerce (role of CPEC, significance of CPEC/ Kci/ Gwadar port, connectivity to CAR/ Afg etc). This geography gives Pakistan a key geopolitical and geoeconomics advantage which needs to be tapped.

 Fourthly, Pakistan’s Cultural Diversity interconnect its people. Many secessionist ideologies died down due to this cultural diversity and national cohesion. People in one part of the country welcomes their brethren from other parts and culture. Lahore and Karachi are not Pashtun cities traditionally, but today there is strong presence of Pushtun people in both cities and locals have embraced them and conversely Pushtun people have become permanent part of local communities. A new generation of Pakistanis with mixed blood is being raised whose cultural identity is first Muslim and then Pakistani. Similarly, many Punjabi, Sindhi are doing businesses in Baluchistan and vice a versa.

 Fifthly, Pakistan has a dynamic & active civil society that has access to latest information and independent analysis due to free media in the country. Various organizations are working to highlight social and economic issues, thereby creating a system of checks and balances that helps to prevent it from becoming a failed state. This civil society rejected any kind of extremism.

Sixthly, Pakistan boasts a robust military, which serves to preserve regional stability, national sovereignty, and its territorial integrity. Strategic capability of Pakistan put it in an elite club of nuclear powers. This capability is a decisive deterrence against any foreign invasion by much larger traditional foe.

 Lastly, Pakistan’s biggest potential is its abundant youth demography which could lead to a prosperous future provided this potential is effectively harnessed. Many young Pakistanis have made their name in various fields across the world.

Pakistani nation has displayed an unbelievable resolve to rise above challenges in its short history despite the heaviest odds. The most recent example is how Pakistan delt with COVID-19 pandemic and its management was recognized globally. Given the sustained and long-term policies to channel the resources, Pakistan can not only turn around its own economy but can become a provider for many countries. Thus it is critical that Pakistanis do not pay heed to propaganda run by hostile entities about Pakistan’s future. Pakistan is here to stay and it will contribute towards human development as a responsible member of comity of nations, InshaAllah.

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