Character of leaders matters the most
PERHAPS the world has achieved unfathomable success in science, economy and technology – thanks to the great minds of the past.
But did the progress really belong to the developed countries of the world? A big NO.
There were many progressive civilizations in the past and their rise and fall was because of the character shown by their leaders.
The winds of the rise and fall of nations shift only when rulers show strength and weakness of character in taking crucial decisions that determine the future of their nations in the world.
In fact, a visionary leader keeps himself abreast of the ground realities in order to serve the people under his rule.
Such a vision is developed only if a leader sacrifices everything for making their people proud, which is, in fact, a characteristic of true statesmanship.
And the element of sacrifice take birth when a leader is emotionally connected to his people.
Moreover, the prosperity of a nation demands huge sacrifice on the part of a leader. History provides countless evidence in this regard.
The example of Nelsen Mandela, who served twenty-seven years in imprisonment only to win rights for the Black people, is one such case.
Had Nelsen Mandela prioritized his self-being, Blacks would have not won their much-deserved rights.
It was the character of Nelsen Mandela that gave him the strength to refuse to make any compromise on the rights of his people.
Another case in point is the example of Singapore, a country which has achieved massive progress within no time.
Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore’s other founders “were smart and sincere enough in taking advantage of geography and history and deploying it effectively.
” The leadership of Singapore showed utmost honesty and wisdom to win huge prosperity for the people of Singapore.
In his new book “Lion City: Singapore and the Invention of Modern Asia,” the journalist Jeevan Vasagar tells the story of modern Singapore and tackles the question of how a small island at the tip of the Malayan peninsula managed to fashion itself into one of the most prosperous nations in the world – and what its remarkable journey can teach the rest of the world.
Singapore is well-connected to the world. Its economic success is largely attributed to its geo-strategic location.
Moreover, leadership of Singapore preferred public-friendly policies to allow the economy of the country to blossom.
Additionally, honesty is one of the traits possessed by the leadership of the country which has now become an example of economic success for the entire world.
Political stability is a norm for Singapore which has allowed the country to cultivate the seeds of social well-being for the people of the country.
It is the moral character of the leaders of Singapore that allowed the country to make its people progressive.
But all this was achieved when the leaders of the country preferred national interests over their vested interests.
It was sacrifice on the part of leaders of Singapore that resulted in the rise of the entire nation.
On the other hand, the recent downfall of Sri Lanka into the deep abyss of economic collapse clearly proves the point that if leaders put national interests on the back burner, the people of a country face unforeseen consequences.
The inept leadership of the country landed it into the whirlpool of economic mismanagement leading to the worst economic meltdown in the history of the country.
The dynastic politics in Sri Lanka reflects the weak character of the leadership in the country bringing the entire nation on the verge of destruction.
In the case of Pakistan, the geo-strategic location is considered the country’s best strategic asset but unlike Singapore, we have made it a liability and also failed to gather massive economic benefits from our location.
In addition to this, the “political Gurus” always preferred making extractive policies putting more burden on the people of the country.
Whenever it comes to giving sacrifice for pushing the country out of any kind of economic crisis, the political parties offer sacrifice of the people to overcome the economic challenges by inflicting more burden on the poor masses in the form of taxes.
And lastly, honest leadership has remained a pipe-dream for Pakistan and many political leaders are not trusted enough by the general public.
The strength of character is missing from our political elites. Therefore, it is not the availability of resources, with which Pakistan is blessed enough, but it is about the management of resources by the leadership of a state which demands a true character.
Preferring the growth of a nation, over the accumulation of personal gains, needs moral courage and sacrifice from the political leadership.
Pakistan, despite being rich in natural and human resources, is still struggling to make it to the mark of economic independence.
Can we not conclude on the point that it is because the country is, seriously, devoid of sincere and honest leadership?
Surely, there is no second thought on it that character matters the most in leadership.
—The writer is CSS Officer, based in Lahore.