We are constantly worried about the security of our country. Media (national and international) has made us paranoid. Based on the information fed to us through various sources (and partially based on complete lack of knowledge regarding the issue), we convince ourselves of who are our enemies and who are our friends. We form opinions in our minds and then without verification we preach our beliefs and opinions to others (usually those who have even less intellect than ourselves). This has led our mass hysteria to a national level. We have become delusional and lost the ability to think and analyze. I say this not to criticize myself or anyone else who reads this article, my objective is to come up with a way to reprogram our minds so that we can empty all the junk that lies in our heads and blocks our minds from receiving unbiased information and process the information we receive in a more critical manner so that we can have individuality and originality of thought.
Let’s first try to understand the two words that we use so often without actually realizing their true meaning. Then we will also try and learn few other words that lie between these two words, as nothing is black and white in this world (Thank God for that).
- a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.
- A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
- One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement
- a person known well to another and regarded with liking, affection, and loyalty; an intimate
- a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something
- One who feels hatred toward, intends injury to, or opposes the interests of another
- Something destructive or injurious in its effects
Majority of us feel that our country, Pakistan, is being attacked by forces which are against Islam, against the existence of a free Pakistan and against the Islamic nuclear weapons that we possess (for peaceful purposes only of course). We also believe that the whole world is against us and want to destroy us because… because… WHAT? Rest of the world does not give a damn about your existence. We give ourselves too much importance… for no reason. Some of us believe that we are the responsible for Islam’s existence and that we have to fight for every Muslim all around the world.
Most countries don’t care about other countries irrespective of their religion, ethnicity, social and cultural norms. Countries interact with each other when they see economic, cultural or social gains to be achieved. European Union was formed to allow better and easier trade between European countries. It was a struggle for the EU. There were major differences between the countries. Eastern European countries were economically and socially backward. Western European countries were richer, more technically advanced and more integrated with rest of the world. Huge social and economic difficulties were seen and are still being addressed. Germany is rethinking its EU membership and might even exit the EU as it sees little to be gained.
South Asian countries comprise of multiple ethnicity, religions and faiths, yet they are forming trade relations with each other. They all have their share of concerns and insecurities but yet they continue to function.
Other Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait treat you the worst. They will give more respect to an American, Australian or A Brit than they would to a “Pakistani Muslim brother”. You being a Pakistani can’t even marry an Arab girl despite the fact that you have the same religion. You are only good to them as a worker! But that is again nothing to complain about. At least they are clear about what kind of relationship they want and expect from other countries.
Coming back to us and our “enemies”, we should try and look inwards. We should try to learn the meaning of “friend” and then realize that when we are forming a national foreign policy, we are not trying to make “friends” nor are we trying build an extended family “brother”. National foreign policy is about what and how much we can gain by cooperating with another country. We don’t have to be concerned what their religion is (because we are not going to marry their country), we need be alarmed by their culture difference (they are they and we are we) and we must not impose our religion and beliefs on other countries or even on people of different beliefs who are our fellow citizens.
Other countries don’t want to destroy your religion just for the heck of it. Its what kind of a message we send out to other nations around the world. Right now we are sending out a message of hate and intolerance. We are telling rest of the world that their religion is wrong, their social values are wrong and unless they all convert to Islam we will come and kill you… just like we are killing our own fellow citizens in Pakistan!
So lets make a list of what qualities and traits an enemy of pakistan must possess to actually qualify as an enemy:
- Does he have to be a non-Muslim (also unacceptable Muslim sects)?
- Does he have to be a Jew or a Hindu?
- Are all Americans anti-Pakistan?
- … and you can think up add more enemy traits to this list.
What we need to realize is that Pakistan does not have any enemies as such, except for India which makes sense because first Muslims invaded their territory, then we destroyed their temples and then ruled them till the British took over India. Then we demanded a separate country and India was divided to form Pakistan. So they have a reason to hate us but even that can be handled. Had the British resolved the Kashmir dispute before partition of 1947, then our relations with India could have been much better.
But our real enemies are people from our own country who claim to be saviors of Pakistan yet they leave no opportunity to eat it hollow like a termite. People who have formed political parties based either on family dynasties or ethnicity. For decades Pakistan is being ruled by corrupt civil and military leaders. In Balochistan, Sardars have suppressed the Balochi people and denied them of basic rights like health care, education and right to live a free life. In Sindh vadeera culture still exists and the common people live like slaves. Politco-Ethnic violence based on territorial claims by drugs and land mafia has destroyed the beautiful city of Karachi. Punjab has its own set of problems, few ultra-rich corrupt political families own majority of large businesses dominate the political scene and have been taking turns ruling the masses. Northern Areas still remain in the grip of violence. No government in paid enough attention to setup development projects and provide employment to the youth. Militant religious groups dominate the region and the area remains a constant conflict zone.
If Pakistan stops thinking of its National Foreign Policy as a matter of honour and service to Islam and all other Muslim countries (Who don’t give a dash about us), than we can quickly move forward in a positive direction. We don’t have to make friends, we don’t have to make enemies… we just need to make some strategic allies that will help us become a stronger and more stable country that will seem less threatening to rest of the world.