Am I Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?

We fail to participate in democratic processes while we recognize democracy as a utopian ideal form. We fail to contribute to the national kitty while demanding increasing state services. We can apply the same line of argument to other segments of society. We must recognize our own failures for allowing society to reach the state it faces today. All of us may be part of the solution, but we are also part of the problem. Our actions/lack of action can rightly point to helping maintain the status-quo, the political-military musical chairs that we have today accepted as part and parcel of everyday Pakistani life.

Politicians and generals may belong to a class of their own, they may be totally disconnected from society and have little or no appreciation of the suffering of the common man. Intuitively however there is a stubborn link between those who exercise power and those who have to deal with it. The powerful are a reflection of society at large. While many chastises politicians for corruption, many of us also secretly envy those who can stop traffic at their beck and call, fly off to other countries for “personal visits” and at the very least never have to face the spectre load shedding. Similarly we admire the generals for their power and authority. They perpetuate one of our countries dominant narratives that read: Pakistan army, disciplined, ready to sacrifice and at the nation’s service, ever ready to stare down those who would look at us with an “evil eye” or with “nefarious designs”.

We must begin with admitting to such guilty pleasures and recognize how the current narrative of corrupt politician versus disciplined solider are mutually dependent. One wouldn’t be able to survive without the other. It is us a society that allows for this perpetuation and here is where we as a society are at fault and must ultimately take responsibility for our nation’s current state.

While there is no denying the inequity between those holding power and the countless millions who toil away day in and day out, our inability to help ourselves seems to have become pervasive. Our inability to take responsibility for anything that happens in our country has made us impotent. The moment a sad case of terrorism hits the headlines, the news has hardly unfolded before conspirators are identified. Israel, India and America are to blame the narrative goes. By accepting such events as fait accompli we are rendered impotent before even having the opportunity to ask some obvious questions.

For arguments sake lets says global power players are conspiring against us and supporting fringe groups to plants bombs to portray us as an unsafe and violent country, this still does not explain how such individuals are able to move around easily, how they are able to come so close to military installations and check points without being challenged, how Afghan “shadow governors” are able to travel from the hinterlands of Afghanistan and end up being arrested in Karachi or southern Punjab and the list continues.

These are but a few questions that we as a nation must ask. Whether or not a conspiracy against us exists does not absolve the government from its responsibility to protect its citizens.

After all it should not matter who is at the source of terrorism, terrorists must be stopped either way. By remaining silent and not asking such questions we contribute to the perpetuation of the dominant narrative. Unchallenged by the population the powers to be are able to keep society numb.

Case in point the assertions made by Rehman Malik in regards to holding evidence of Indian involvement in terrorist activities. He has claimed time and again that he has evidence; however, he adds, such evidence will only be presented at an “appropriate time”. In the mean time people continue to die going about their daily business.

Two questions arise, first, if India is involved and the honourable Minister does hold evidence then why is it not splashed across the global media (nay sayers would suggest that too is a conspiracy against us), taken up with important capitals and pressure borne on the Indian government? After all, if he holds evidence and is not using it to protect Pakistani citizens then is he not complicit in the death of countless civilians?

Alternatively, he may not have any evidence; instead he has something even more valuable, the belief that any statement with the words “foreign involvement” will stop anyone from asking all those questions for which he has no answers.

Our inability to help ourselves has permeated into every aspect of our lives. Criticism of the conditions attached with the Kerry-Lugar Bill, IMF emergency arrangements etc though valid beg the obvious question, why do we have to borrow vast sums to begin with? Popularly IMF and foreign aid conditionality’s are considered to be part of the “nefarious designs” to undermine the Pakistani state. We as a nation are more than happy to accept this narrative as fact.

If our elites, large agriculturalists, civil servants, military officers, self employed businessman were paying their taxes honestly and not hiding behind various exemptions, their power and influence we wouldn’t be in a position of asking for foreign assistance to begin with. Is this not part of being a patriotic citizen? Its amazing that the same people who claim to be willing to give their lives for Pakistan, find it a challenge to stop at a traffic signal let alone pay their taxes.

Again, even if foreign governments and multinational institutions are out to get us they are not the ones who stop us from paying our taxes, paying our electricity and gas bills, for smuggling goods into the country etc. Instead it seems as if it’s a source of pride to be able to dodge taxes, smuggle goods through customs or steal electricity.

Actions of society at large contribute to the very economic morasses that force us to accept humiliating strings attached to foreign funding. What is perhaps telling is that given all the hue and cry few if anyone has actually changed their perception of civic duties such as payment of taxes given our acceptance to foreign aid and international bailouts.

This author may be painfully cynical but he argues that as a nation we are innovating in the use of political narratives to their “logical conclusion”. That is to absolve the entire nation from taking any responsibility for anything that happens on its soil. Our political and military elite are in a perpetual struggle of mutually declaring the other as an integral part of the political process while at the same time declaring the other as its worst enemy. As a society we too enjoy a similar disdain towards responsibility. We recognize the importance of state institutions but we are not willing to contribute towards strengthening them.

With another 23rd March upon us, flag waving, silencerless motorcycles, fireworks and patriotic songs will fill the air. However, that is not the end of our civic responsibilities. Let along paying taxes, electricity etc, getting a driver license made or stopping at a traffic signal does not seem to be a civic responsibility.

While we can rightly place the blame for many of our problems on actors beyond our borders and indeed who are beyond our control – this cannot be allowed to be used as an excuse to accept the status quo as a necessary fact and absolve any government whether civil or military from its responsibilities. In doing so we are complicit in our nation’s failings and pawns in the hands of those who mean us harm.


23 responses to “Am I Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?”

  1. Teeth Maestro Avatar

    Brilliant article thank you for sharing this with us all

  2. Aamir Mughal Avatar

    With another 23rd March upon us, flag waving, silencerless motorcycles, fireworks and patriotic songs will fill the air.


    Excellent Sir.

  3. Umar Ghumman Avatar

    Great article. The only thing that comes to my mind is.. "Shame on me!"

  4. Mansoor Khalid Avatar
    Mansoor Khalid

    Thought provoking I must say. We lack the civic sense needed for us to qualify as a civilized nation. We have this tendency of being the nation of false promises. We make promises and then very deliberately make a new promise to break the previous promises. We not only need to educate ourselves but we need to enlighten and liberate ourselves.

  5. Ammar Avatar

    Good one Nadir! best hai !!

    Firstly the conspiracy theories, well they suit us! They make everyone happy, the media/papers are willing to propagate them as long as such news sells and the ratings would shoot up!

    So now why doesn’t the foreign office pursue them with same vigor? Well for they know we don’t have any credible evidence to prove this!

    And yes we can invest more for development programs if we broaden our tax base and the elites forgo their right of tax evasion, also as development practitioners we need to reassess the development aid and see how much of it is actually being delivered to the masses ?

  6. sy lodhi Avatar
    sy lodhi

    I am an avid reader of independent media and blogs. What I have failed to understand is WHY 99.99% people and corporations use ONE EYE as symbol…Dont tell me it is inadvertent or immaterial. We know how powerful images are.


    Next…. we know that AlQuaida was code name of CIA operation in Afpak…a register which contained all names of operatives kept dormant…just like Operation Gladio ( this operation was unleashed in our FATA area with connivance of MUSH who had kept ISI and MI out of FATA during the time for more than 4 yrs. The PAkistani Taliban ,,Jandullah Group, and various other MULLAH BRADLEYS ( created and sponsored by CIA. AIM: To create FOG and HAZE so that people start mixing up AlQuaida and TALIBAN who are true freedom fighters. The manner was the same that Bush empployed…always using word Saddam and Iraq in the same sentence as AlQuaida and 9-11 but never saying that Saddam caused 9-11 or supported AlQuaida. CIA, USA have been successful in their ruse…ALL ONE EYED PEOPLE VIEW EVENTS AS SHOWN BY USA. People cant differentiate between AlQuaida and Taliban and are crying for the blood of all freedom fighters in Afpak.

    Now most stupid comment of all….that conspiracy theorists believe that fringe groups are causing blasts. For those people…Gates admits concerns on US assassins in S. Asia

    Please also visit to understand TRUTH

    I hope so far this shall be good, otherwise eye openers are every where BUT FOR TWO EYED PEOPLE ONLY.

    Can you imagine HOW our languages are captured by these ONE EYED PEOPLE?? Since ages we …Urdu , hindi speaking races have been bred on an idiom… SUB KO AIK AANKH SAY DEKHNA …meaning at the subconscious level WE ALL EQUATE ONE EYE WITH JUSTICE AND TRUTH. On the contrary we know that ALLAH is Most Just and Allah is not ONE EYED (refer to Hadith of our Prophet PBUH.

    So Long and Allah Hafiz (Who is not one eyed)

    1. dr jawwad khan Avatar

      I am an avid reader of independent media and blogs. What I have failed to understand is WHY 99.99% people and corporations use ONE EYE as symbol…Dont tell me it is inadvertent or immaterial. We know how powerful images are.



      Dear SY Lodhi!

      you have already explain every thing. 🙂

  7. Raza M.Qureshi Canad Avatar

    Am I part of the problem or part of the solution ?

    I am whole heartedly part of the solution, but what can i do against these "JIANT CORRUPT PILLARS".

    The best solution to solve the problem is to remove this so called Democratic corrupt Govt.

  8. farrahshah Avatar

    I think we are a hindrance in our own progress.

    We never come to a mustual concensus.

    Talk about anything from bus ride to vegetables we end up talking Nazria Pakistan,Secularism,Demcoracy ,Islam ,USA,Morality and that is it …….really.

    Even the political talk shows on TV are just about the blame game and nobody discusses the issue or educate the masses.

    Imran Khan is an exception.

  9. SOHAIB Avatar

    its really a time to wake up from the good night sleep we are sleeping from last 63 years. no politician is going to help us, what ever we have to do is all by ourselves. so quit criticizing each other and start doing anything in your capacity to make pakistan better and keep these evil zionists and world elite out of our homeland. stop buying their products stop watching their media ban indian channels .

    its time to recognize our friends and foes.

    wake up Pakistan…..

  10. Raza M.Qureshi Canad Avatar


    I can quit in criticising others, but don't blame world.How we can stop our wealthy society for buying their products, when these present politicians are involved in smuggling the Atta, Sugar to Afghanistan and India, and deprived our own nation for these goods.They are sitting in Assembly and involved in this smuggling, can you stop them for this hoarding & smuggling.

    The Authorities who can take action against them are quiet, so who will stop them ?

    1. Sohaib Avatar

      yes mr Raza its your and mine responsibility to stand up against all the evils within our homeland. we have to help ourselves to free our nation from these corrupt leaders. stand up get united and disciplined and wage a non violent war against corruption. but for that we have to rectify ourselves first as mentioned in above article.

      what we can do best is raise our voice against them atleast.

      as is said in Ahadith that if you see an evil try to stop it, if you can not stop the evil then raise your voice against it and if you even can not do that then at least recognize the evil and hate it in your heart, and this is the least degree if faith.

      the world around us is changing very rapidly and we have to adjust ourself to that changes within the limits of our religion and act accordingly.. please see a documentary named "The Arrivals" on you tube or you can get it at

  11. Nazia Avatar

    Dont be scare
    save your soul through good comments not with weak tactic and poorly laughable joke.
    Tomorrow try to laugh

  12. dr jawwad khan Avatar

    some body call taliban please…i am in a big trouble.

  13. Nazia Avatar

    This is trend of leaderless nation.

    We assume such people our leaders or some most corrupt and absconders are forcibly imposed on us as our representative.

    Zardari a all time notorious for his kick backs and his involvement in killing of Bhutto, yesterday he was awarding Shaeeds and intellectuals of this nation.

    So what we accept more than than worst from this crippled and corroded form of government.

  14. dr jawwad khan Avatar

    Oh my God!!!

    lady terminator is back

  15. Nazia Avatar

    dr khan

    to whom you are calling for help.

    You are part of them.

    Instead of you, I should give this SOS call as Talibans are real threats to women.

    But you see I am handling you with care.

    And you are well known here as harassing agent of this net world

  16. dr jawwad khan Avatar

    and you are the known "khala bol bachhan" of this net world.

    "kids" who are distrubed because of your long annoying speeches, call you "AUNT" but in reality you are nothing but a RANT.

    aunt and rant….arey yeh to poetry ho gaey.(qehqaha)

  17. Nazia Avatar

    Do I speak through your tongue or consultancy help.

    If kids are disturbed they should nt convey comments with my name but it looks babas of this forums are more disturbed and agitated by my responses.

    By the way the word use in society is Aunty and it has similar sound with local word "phanty"(beating)

    That more suits in our culture for handling impostors and intruders

  18. sy lodhi Avatar
    sy lodhi

    After long boring diatribes, the light hearted jibes are fun. Thanx to you both Dr khan and Ms Nazia. you people make us..the middle aged (in mind) want to live lively.

  19. dr jawwad khan Avatar

    SY Lodhi!

    i am also fed up of listening the disgusting lies against my heroes.i think time has come to avoid the filthy crap like every one in teeth maestro.

  20. Nazia Avatar

    Dr khan

    That is the best nobility you would do for mankind.

    Why you missed that great option before loosing your stamina and energy.

    Filthy craps are always part of system, for living in glass houses, tanleeghi centers are welcoming you all the time where no devils and evils would be entered to haunt you.

  21. Dr. O. P. Sudrania Avatar
    Dr. O. P. Sudrania

    Nadir El-Edroos,

    While I congratulate you for such an honest portrayal and self enquiry in this difficult subject. It will take hard guts for an evaluation like this. But my worry is, "Are you in one piece after such an acidic and scathing column. Very

    few will appreciate the value of impartial journalism, least

    so in the censored administrative setups.

    God bless you and hope you keepup your such sincere efforts

    in the future too.

    Dr. O. P. Sudrania