What Is The Problem Then?

Dec 27th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest, Pakistan, Social

We have got all the ingredients it takes; we just don’t follow our own recipe.

When I landed in Korea couple of years ago, a Korean lab-mate was there to pick me up. On our way to the university, he was showing me advancements of Korea. It was early morning with temperatures running around -15 degrees Celsius. He showed me decorative lights and asked that do such things exist in Pakistan? In his mind, Pakistan was a poor country which may not have seen the luxuries at all. During the discussion, I told him that we are suffering from an energy crisis so we can’t afford to light so many bulbs these days. He asked, ‘don’t you have nuclear (energy) in your country?’ I responded in a super-emotional tone, ‘We are a declared nuclear state and have test-fired nukes’.  Hearing this he asked a simple question, ‘What is problem then?’

For a moment, I wasn’t able to understand what he was talking about. Then I realized that he was mentioning ‘civil’ use of nuclear energy which as nation we probably have never thought about. I was literally speechless for couple of moments and then a thought flashed in my mind, ‘we lack political will to implement national interest’. Actually, we don’t know what national interest is and have never been taught how to align our personal goals with the national interest.

For the next two years, I cautiously observed Koreans just to dig out the real ‘thing’ in Koreans which made them successful in implementing the original Pakistani plans. What I learnt was that ‘collective interest’ was embedded in their mind-sets through their educational system. From parking a car, to separating trash into recyclable/non-recyclable categories, everyone used to think about the probable impact of his/her actions on others.

So if anyone asks me the same question, my immediate reply would be that we lack the concept of ‘collective/national’ interest.  We are suffering from a deep energy crisis but not solving it because all viable projects have the problem of ‘trust-deficit’. This trust deficit has become such a problem that we are not even ready to listen to each other.  We are suffering from worst lawlessness, corruption and disastrous economy, but as a nation, we are badly divided in these testing times. Reason: we don’t trust our rulers because they are working in their self-interests.

It’s not that we have never learnt the concept of collective interest; the issue is that we have forgotten this concept. Our religion taught us 1400 years ago when Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) said that ‘None of you can be a Muslim if he doesn’t like for his brother, whatever he likes for himself’. We read this hadith and pass on without reflecting upon it.

The solution to all of our problems is only one, i.e. each and every one of us should think about the national interest and should align personal choices with it, only then we can bring a change. Otherwise it will just be shallow words with no actions supporting them. Leaders cannot bring change for us, unless we want to change ourselves.

We have got all the ingredients it takes; we just don’t follow our own recipe (Islam).

Muhammad Saad Khan

About the author

Muhammad Saad Khan is a Biomedical Engineer with a diverse background of engineering and management.

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  1. I totally agree. Perhaps you did not know about Kannup. We were using nuclear energy but then I dont know what happened and why it was not improved. Yes we are a selfish nation we only think of ourselves. Look at our cities. We throw trash everywhere. We dont care what is happening outside our houses. The thing is leaders are people who motivate people to think collectively and sadly our leaders are very selfish people. They dont care about their own hometowns how can they think of the nation. Sadly we are heading towards annihilation.

  2. Cannot agree more as we may be very good individuals but we fail to deliver when it comes to united action n unity- the only thing we need to act n think collectively and keep our national interest at the top!
    Yet another good write keep it up!

  3. It is much needed that we build in ourselves the urge for ‘collective interest’ but i believe that urge should not be Nationalistic rather it should be for whole Muslim ummat. I don’t know why we have taken a lesser aim in exchange of much higher purpose that was invested to us by Allah and our Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).
    And unfortunately we have also failed to achieve that lesser aim as well.
    In my opinion ‘our’ rise can not commence unless or until we don’t consider what wrong have we done from the perspectives of a civilization and the sole bearer of truth “Islam”.

  4. really like the illustration….good one !says it all…..the last line sums up everything.

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