Abdullah Gauhar Malik
From a very young age, I have noticed a trait that is almost common to all Pakistanis; scapegoating. We as a country and its people fail to take into account our own failures and continue to blame the government of Pakistan for all wrongdoings in the country regardless of the political party in power.
I believe real change can and will only come about once we begin to change and correct our radical mindsets in terms of numerous issues that our beloved country faces. From problems as ‘small’ as overpopulation to the bigger problems of our economic crises, ever increasing health issues, environmental concerns, the booming poverty and the sky rocketing illiteracy rates only tend to be a handful of obstacles that our country has yet to overcome. In this world of mass media as a young adult I often find myself comparing my country with the more successful and developed countries of the world in hopes of finding answers to my questions regarding the lack of development in Pakistan and why it hasn’t been able to keep up let alone lead the countries that followed its very own model of development. Pakistan is a country known to be rich in natural resources and more so hard working people; two of the key components required for development as a nation.
However, after an endless debate in my mind and with other people and upon reading a few books and online articles I believe to have found my answer. In my opinion what needs to change is our mindset; this change of mindset will not only set us on new roads of development and progress but will also catalyze the process of successful development already taking place.
The only “tabdeeli” that we most urgently need right now is of our mindsets that will have a domino effect on all other things. There are a few major changes that we need to bring in ourselves before we demand change from the government or any other private/public sector. These changes include the following; we need to start owning up to our country and must treat it like our own. Taking care of the environment in terms of not littering, limiting deforestation, making minimal use of water and other such measures is our own responsibility as citizens of this country.
Moreover, we as Pakistanis need to break free from the patriarchal mindset and need to realize that our 51% of the female population is just as important and capable of bringing about radical social change in the wider society. We must learn to respect freedom of choice alongside with all the other freedoms that men, women or anyone else on the gender spectrum choose to enjoy.
I believe that rather than looking outwards we must start with ourselves, we must be the change we want to experience and moreover focus only and only on ourselves as individuals before pinpointing and criticizing anyone or any institution. I believe that we must indulge in the naye soch before we demand the ‘oh so perfect’ naya Pakistan.