Hasan Nisar on GEO‘s Pachaas Minute

Have been seeing this posted in several places around the internet..and it is, indeed, worth listening to. I don’t completely agree with everything he says, and I don’t know the history well enough to critique this. I think the Muslims and Pakistanis have indeed given much to the world. But I fully agree with him in that we need to stop with the damn conspiracy theories and start fixing ourselves for a better future. For example, too many people simply blame America or India for the Taliban insurgency and destabilization – and what I HATE is that these were the same people who were cheering on the militants when they destroyed the World Trade Center and defending the Taliban before they attacked Pakistan.

Pakistanis and the Muslims around the world need to realize that WE must move with the times and adapt, improve, in order to succeed. it’s not that we’ve been cheated out of anything, it’s that we’ve cheated ourselves and each other out of it in a circle of self-deception, lies, and hpyocrisy. Our moral compass is so awry we can’t tell right from wrong, we can’t differentiate between lies and truth. We’re the 46th most corrupt country in the world.

That’s an improvement over being the second-most corrupt country in the world, which we were some years ago I believe.

But we still blame India for corrupting our youth!

(I realize that ‘moral corruption’ is differentiated from the kind of corruption described by DAWN above; but my point is that we have to stop blaming others and focus on ourselves.)

Check out this contribution on the message board:

“…Indian filthy Kama Sutra Bollywoord movies, pop music and filthy pornography videos are corrupting Pakistani society and in particualr secular middle class and their children. It is a conspiracy to corrupt Pakistan youth and ruin the country so that it becomes another colony of India.”

My take on that? If pop music and porn are enough to sway the majority of our nation, then we don’t deserve to claim any kind of superiority anyway. Gorillas would be more successful at focusing on what needs to be done, prioritizing, and working hard.

And if the Indians were so bad, why have they outperformed us? Why hasn’t their ‘social decay’ trickled into their ethics and values? Because, as DAWN reports from the 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index:

“Presenting a comparative look on Pakistan and India, the CPI of last ten years indicated that ‘lower corruption better is the economy’. The difference in corruption ranking between Pakistan and India has increased from five in 1998 to 49 in 2008.

The present economic status of the two countries confirms that the economic growth is inversely proportional to corruption. In 1998, the foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan and India were 1.6 billion dollars and 237 billion dollars respectively, and in the last ten years the gap in foreign exchange reserves of the two countries increased from 16 times in 1998 to 26 times in 2008.”

National Corruption Perception Survey 2009

Check out Transparency International’s roundup of the news.

Police, power, and health are our most corrupt sectors. That seems to fit the reality. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been directly asked for bribes by traffic police. I don’t think many Karachiites will forget the night of 17th June 2009 anytime soon. And the reports of fake medicines, a bustling organ market, and corrupt doctors are equally rampant. I am fortunate in that my family is blessed with several physicians (including my father) and hearing stories of how their esteemed colleagues cheat patients is common place. Diagnosing life-threatening diseases where aspirin and bed rest would do the trick, recommending amputations and charging exorbitant’s a long list.

And the most improved areas are customs, tax, and the judiciary. I’m not sure how long term or real the improvement in the judiciary is (i think the perceptions might be influenced by the lawyer’s movement and Chief Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar’s stand, which was partly political anyway).

Anyway. Watch Hasan Nisar on the Mani Azfar show too, he has some good thoughts to share.


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