Sense of responsibility versus senselessness | By Prof Shazia A Cheema


Sense of responsibility versus senselessness

PAKISTAN’S geopolitical reality is a double-edged sword, at one end this makes it important by putting it in a stronger position and the other end makes it vulnerable to all kinds of threats and cynical experimentations.

The recent data released by Director General Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen.

Babar Iftikhar indicates that our forces and intelligence agencies are mitigating on average two serious threats every day to save the people from terrorism and are conducting on average 164 plus operations every day to curb the menace of terrorism injected by our enemies.

The data revealed that Pakistan Army in the year 2021, conducted 60,080 operations, mitigated 890 threat alerts, and recovered 134,000 weapons.

Just imagine the load on the shoulders of the Pakistan Army besides protecting international borders around the clock.

The continuous operation Radd-ul-Fasaad is inevitable to secure peace dividends our forces and our nation successfully achieved after sacrificing the blood of over 85,000 Pakistanis.

On the other hand, our politicians are always busy exploiting each other’s weaknesses by operating Audio-Video production houses.

Do they have awareness of the gravity of the situation from what Pakistan is going through?

Are they able to formulate any tangible framework for peace and prosperity?

Are they serious about collectively achieving targets set by the National Action Plan in the civil sphere?

Alas, I feel that our political parties in the race of coming into power spend all their energies in blame games.

One can ask a question if political machinery is redundantly ineffective in Pakistan then how does this country keep functioning?

My answer is always that it is functioning because it is on auto mode.

The state functionaries are performing their duties without making any hue and cry, without launching any media publicity campaigns, and without asking to be elected for absolute power.

However, events like floods last year in Islamabad and collapse of civil administration and calling in the Army to clean the garbage spread by civil governments in the form of illegal constructions and tragic failure of civil administration during the horrific situation in Murree have made me worried about the future of the administrative structure of my country.

I fear my theory of Pakistan being on auto mode is under threat because the constant unseen collapse of civil administration is no more a secret now.

If such a situation continues, who will carry the burden?

It looks that the sole institution left working well is the Pakistan Army that is already overburdened.

Pakistan being under constant threat is surviving day in and day out and from foreign affairs to domestic issues, there is an unending list of insurgencies.

Kabul fall syndrome is yet not forgotten by foreign powers and they will keep twisting our arms through international institutions like FATF and IMF.

No doubt our Foreign Office is experienced and always gets a way out but it cannot be possible for long unless our economy is stable and our house is in order.

People like me who live abroad feel frustrated when they get news about the perceivable failure of the economy, civil administration and constant political tug of war in their motherland.

Honestly, the country does not function like we are trying to run, particularly when it is encircled by geopolitical threats and when enemies are not at rest and when the economy is tumbling and trembling.

Every country requires strong will and resources to maintain its sovereign status.

I hardly come across any campaign launched by political parties focusing to fight enemies who are leaving no opportunity for destabilizing my country by injecting virtual and physical terrorism.

The domestic political drama being highly insensitive to a broader outer phenomenon does not care much, hence least interested in sovereignty and image building of the same very nation whom they want to be democratic by their political theatre.

I strongly believe that devaluation of the currency, increasing inflation and Murree catastrophe should be taken as an eye-opener by the government that the country cannot be run on Twitter and other social media platforms and we need a system at the place where the economy and the administration must survive for the survival of the country.

The research titled “Social Media Echo Chamber” published in March 2021 about social media’s impact on society at large indicates that social media platforms play with the human cognitive system, psychology and create echo chambers but they are dangerous in a sense that they delink humans from realities and become a threat to survival.

We can create a situation on social media and in a group that heavy rainfall outside the window is beautiful and we can go out with an umbrella in hand but we cannot create clouds over burning sun waiting outside our door.

—The writer is Prague-based Foreign Affairs expert.


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