Pakistan — a country or a pastureland | By Ilyas Khan

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Pakistan — a country or a pastureland

CALL it a question or a concern, whatever one may take it like, it needs a complete and satisfying answer.

More than nine million Pakistanis reside outside Pakistan.Among them are extremely intelligent engineers, renowned doctors, expert lawyers, successful businessmen, well decorated diplomats, diligent skilled workforce and brilliant scientists and students.

Together they are not only contributing to the health of Pakistan’s economy with their honestly earned wealth, they are also earning a good name for Pakistan.

Another class of Pakistanis which moved out in the past, is in a process of moving out and will move out of Pakistan in future is a class which mainly comprises bureaucrats, judges, civil and military personnel.

Common to this class is one dominant factor, this class serves an age bound employment.Politicians belong to a class where permanent migration is recorded as almost zero, however short-term self-imposed exile is a style of a few amongst those who are in the political arena in Pakistan.

Three main reasons may be attributed to almost zero migration in this class.One, it has no age limit, two, if elected as a parliamentarian he enjoys financial benefits and secures increased social and political influence and power.

If a politician is corrupt, then the third reason is most important.He stays in the country and makes loot and plunder whenever he succeeds in availing that opportunity.

Dynastic nature of politics in Pakistan paves way for his next generation and other family relatives to follow the same path of corruption, loot and plunder.

Practical life of a person is mainly divided into three phases.In the first phase he acquires education and skills to earn future livelihood for himself and for his family.

In the second phase he actively works, earns and saves for the future.Third phase is when he practically retires from his acquired profession.

This is the most important phase of the practical life of a person.This is when he is in the best position to return to the society which educated and groomed him.

Pakistan is a country where millions of opportunities for social uplift always exist, be it education, health, vocational training, environmental awareness and grooming of children and the youth.

Environment is conducive and constructive communal efforts get wide recognition.People lovingly support those who step forward to serve the community.

Quality education is available to children less than two per cent of the total children population in this country.

Dearth of trained and good teachers in government run schools is the most severe of all the problems that the education system faces.

Availability of an effective health service system is marred by several basic problems and is poor in nature.

Story of vocational training centers, development and improvement of cottage industry is no different from the education and health sector.

Grooming of the youth to confront future challenges of the society is least addressed, almost an alien concept here.

With so much to do for this society, and with so little being done, raises a genuine question, what and how much is the contribution of those well educated & trained, well placed, well connected and influential retired Pakistanis for this society and for Pakistan.

They were raised from this soil, got themselves educated here, earned reputation and good name, exercised authority and spent privileged and comfortable life with Pakistan’s resources and taxpayers’ money.

Dismal observation is, not always though, a bureaucrat, judge or a general retires, collects his belongings and flies off with his family to a foreign country in the west.

A good number of retired civil servants and military personnel have opted to spend their retired years of life in a country other than their own homeland.

What is their return to this society and to their motherland in the third phase of their lives, a phase where they could deliver best selfless service with their skills, expertise and life-long experience.

It is a common countryside scene, cattle graze on a green pasture then they sit on the grass to digest the feed before moving to the next grazing field.

A gentleman with a rich sense of belonging to his society and good communal sense is always ready to serve the society to which he belongs.

He does not treat his country like a green pasture.Great nations are not born, they are groomed and nurtured by their intellectuals, philosophers, thinkers, civil and military servants.

Practical life of these beacons of society serves as a role model and their motivational words serve as energy booster to young college and university graduates who are in line to hold the flag of the nation with pride and dignity.

Every retired person has one of two choices, either stay back and put his expected voluntary share for the betterment of the society and live in the hearts of his people, or to fly away to an alien land and be forgotten by his fellow men and eventually perish in the dust after a few years.

—The writer is a contributing columnist, based in Islamabad.