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What’s wrong with Pakistan?

Published: February 7, 2011

The writer is a lawyer and political commentator based in London

On a recent visit to Pakistan, I couldn’t help but notice the general despondency. With food prices escalating, gas loadshedding making a cold winter unbearable, unemployment growing, law and order deteriorating abysmally, life is undoubtedly hard. Perhaps this has always been the case for many. But what makes it worse is that after a successful lawyers’ movement and the ouster of Musharraf, a new democratic era was hailed, with the expectation that rulers would be responsive to the woes of their people. The media was far more vociferous and visible, claiming to represent the concerns of the average person. And yet, there is a complete disconnect between the real Pakistani and those who shape the national discourse.

Speak to empowered elite, listen to government officials and aspirants or tune into talk shows, and most conversations are irrelevant to the country’s people and its future. Social dialogue mostly revolves around elaborate décor and menus at weddings, dresses, jewellery or expensive gifts exchanged between relatives-to-be. Political discussions hover around sensational stories of corruption and yearning for the messiah who will fix it all, not to mention, of course, the conspiracy theories of foreign involvement. Although public opinion on complex matters is frequently sought, little effort is made to engage on basic issues affecting everyday life. There is naturally nothing entertaining about gutters overflowing to produce unfathomable stench, insects mixing with tap water to spread disease, or women suffering from fistula becoming pariahs to their families.

There are a few people who have, nevertheless, taken it upon themselves to work for the benefit of the masses. Dr Shershah Syed, since returning from abroad, has set up the Koohi Goth Women’s Hospital and is working hard to combat maternal mortality. At the impressive 16-acre facility on the outskirts of Karachi, he told me, “Our issues are very basic. We need nurses and lady health workers far more than doctors.” In training midwives and health workers from remote parts of Pakistan, he is assisted by the likes of Dr Shabbir Safvi and his English-born wife, Seara, who remain committed to Pakistan and their cause, in spite of suffering through Dr Shabbir’s kidnapping.

It may be unrealistic to expect large numbers to follow in their footsteps but, at the very least, we must change the focus of our conversations. We need to come out of our bubbles and start facing reality. Only by talking about issues that affect large sections of Pakistan and constantly reminding ourselves of the squalor and misery that surrounds us, can we ever hope to pressure the government into meaningful change, or develop a democratic alternative to existing practices. As Dr Shershah said, “This work should not be mine, but that of the government’s”.

Pakistan’s case is not like Egypt’s. We have risen up against dictators repeatedly, elected our leaders, freely criticised our government and fought for an independent judiciary. Yet our economic indicators and literacy levels are pathetic. Our population is exploding and our resources are scarce. Thus, we must concentrate exclusively on human development and population control. It may be exciting to talk about Blackwater operatives shooting at would-be robbers or power tussles between various branches of government and political bigwigs, but such conversations are as unrepresentative of Pakistan as the foreign media’s portrayal of it as a country comprised primarily of bigoted crazies.

We must engage society and pester the government on the following: How can we overcome obstacles to population control? How can we provide clean drinking water to our people? How can we meet our energy needs? How can we assure basic health facilities in every locality? How can we achieve functional literacy and train people in simple trades? How can we ensure women-friendly transport? Equality does not exist in any society but we have an exceedingly long way to go before we can dispense even basic human needs. There are no easy solutions but we have not even begun to brainstorm.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2011.

Reader Comments (65)

  • Anil
    Feb 7, 2011 - 11:53PM

    All will be fine as soon as Pakistan gets Kashmir

  • parvez
    Feb 8, 2011 - 12:08AM

    A very positive write up. There are a lot of good people doing good work but looking at the big picture this is a drop in the ocean. What we need is ruthless accountability and a speedy justice system that functions. This is what we have to push for.

  • hkapadia
    Feb 8, 2011 - 3:21AM

    Agreed! We atleast need to start talking about positive things and solutions to our problems before we get any chance to solve them. If the middle-class constrains itself to trash talk, the engine of growth will remain stalled.

  • Fact Check
    Feb 8, 2011 - 3:46AM

    Population control? Isn’t that blasphemy?

    Overall great article.

    You cannot blame the Western Media, they see and hear killings and blow up. Atleast, you refrained from stating that all of the problems are caused by India, as is the case by most writers. I also congrdaulate you for not including India, Kashmir, Human Rights violations by India and poverty in India. Refreshing and well written,

  • Feroze Alam
    Feb 8, 2011 - 4:03AM

    Don’t worry! The ISI-Pak Army combine will solve all issues on a war footing. Soon, Pakistan will become as advanced as China. And it will use this expertise to beat India in the size of GDP. But for any of this to happen, all of Kashmir must be Pakistan’s. Meanwhile, we can take pride in the fact we are producing quality fiction in English. Urdu be damned. We have mastered fiction. Next step… reality check. Everybody … Pakistan Zindabaad!

  • MilesToGo
    Feb 8, 2011 - 4:09AM

    Listen to Mr Oriya M J (not sure if I got his name correct) – you will know what is wrong with Pakistan…There are a lot of these kind and their power is increasing by the day…

  • pl/sql
    Feb 8, 2011 - 4:13AM

    What’s not wrong with Pakistan?

  • Truthseeker
    Feb 8, 2011 - 4:15AM

    They have left everything to God. My Scot friend used to say that ‘when you do not want to do a thing, you will start your statement or response with ‘Insha Allah’.
    How many times one hears this God given excuse in Pakistan.
    Do your best, and He will take care of the rest.

  • Achmed
    Feb 8, 2011 - 5:03AM

    Maam with due respect its easy to comment on Pakistan when you are living abroad comfortably and come to visit during the cold winter months.
    All this is a CIA and RAW conspiray to defame paksitan and its sad to see pakis from abrod falling for this trap.

  • Imran
    Feb 8, 2011 - 6:14AM

    Food inflation is problem in developing country.India despite growing at 9% is facing similar crisis.There is rampant corruption at every levels.
    How will poor people survive in india,pakistan.

    Its because of pakistan ,india and pakistan both are facing problems.Its time for pakistan to merge into india for poor masses of subcontinent .It will also teach pakistan muslims brothers to live with peace and harmony ,practice secularism under a stable democracy

  • Humanity
    Feb 8, 2011 - 6:52AM

    Objective and to the point. Thank you. Pakistan needs to focus on solving its issues, instead of insisting on becoming sufficiently Islamic.

  • Salman
    Feb 8, 2011 - 8:51AM

    Yes, Anil…its true

    Genocide of innocent kashmiris would be stopped…….

  • Salman
    Feb 8, 2011 - 8:54AM

    Yes, Its true…..

    When Pakistan gets Kashmir, genocide of innocent Kashmiris would be stopped

  • binwakeel
    Feb 8, 2011 - 9:17AM

    There is nothing ‘wrong’ with Pakistan. What is wrong is with a bigoted minority and opinionated do-gooders. The country would do well without either.

  • khurram
    Feb 8, 2011 - 9:39AM

    The author makes a persuasive argument but unfortunately the rot caused by politics corrupted by money, sectarian lore, borrowed prescriptions and fossilized pendantry has now spread deep and wide in the nation’s bones. Pakistan my beloved country is slowly emerging as an example of a nation gone astray, why because we miserably failed to produce a single leader in the last sixty three years with an original thinking who could combine intellect with compassion, understanding with tolerance and percipience with conscience. Sorry Ayesha Sahiba, I have lost all the faith not only in her present but also in her future which looks rather bleak, how can one be able to sustain such a faith when a murderer is declared a ghazi; showered with rose petals by the lawyers who have taken the oath and promised to uphold the law and no one is willing to prosecute him , cannot say whether it is out of fear or sympathy. There is a visible disconnect, a very wide gap between the elite you speak of and an ordinary folk who is chasing mirages on the streets. I may sound a pessimist when I say (my apology to Kipling) that this twain shall never meet at least not in the foreseeable future.

  • Pankaj
    Feb 8, 2011 - 10:22AM

    Though there are so many problems But the obsession with India and Kashmir remains the same

    You must write about this meaningless obsession of Pakistan, with India
    It is the root cause of all your problems

  • Sheheryar
    Feb 8, 2011 - 10:29AM

    Finally someone has come up with a sensible article. The last paragraph sums up the real problems that Pakistan is facing right now but they get least coverage by our brawny media!

  • Adi
    Feb 8, 2011 - 10:49AM

    naaaaa… i am not worried, i have been told the judiciary in pakistan is free…someday the “doodh kee naddiyaan” will flow as promised my Aitezaaz Ahsan back in 2008

  • Jeddy
    Feb 8, 2011 - 11:15AM

    Every problem has its resolution. The people who administer that are responsible should be contacted if they do not help then it should appear in the press. People of each area should be more proactive in trying to resolve the problems in their neighbourhood. The bigger issues should be resolved by the people who are in a position to resolve them.

  • harkol
    Feb 8, 2011 - 11:57AM


    Who’ll bell the cat?

  • CB Guy
    Feb 8, 2011 - 1:08PM

    In a long time i can say i read something worth reading. Something that calls for action and what are the responses, nahhh army would do it, nahhhh politicians wouldn’t lt you do it. Blah blah blah blah blah comments.

    What we all need to do is play our part. there are thousands of people who can actually spare large amounts for social work. If you are not one of them, atleast support a family to some extent, try to create more job opportunities, try to create awareness and if you can do nothing out of the above, atleast do your job right. When i came back to Pakistan, a lot of people asked me why did you come back, i guess the only answer is tp play my part.

  • Adeel Ahmed
    Feb 8, 2011 - 2:07PM

    India is the root cause of problem between India and Pakistan… yes certainly.

    Who asked you to illegally take control of Kashmir when it was a muslim-dominated area and therefore rightfully Pakistan’s?
    Who asked you to intervene into our INTERNAL matter of East/West Pakistan and elections?
    Who asked you to open up innumerable embassies in Afghanistan… what for? See next.
    Who asked you to fuel anti-Pakistani elements in Balochistan through Afghanistan.

    yes… MANY if not most problems will be solved if India just minds its own business and worries about its more-than-the-population-of-sub-saharan-africa hungry people living there.

  • Adeel Ahmed
    Feb 8, 2011 - 2:12PM

    @CB Guy:
    You have to realise… that majority of the people of Pakistan are doing their bit the best they can. A lot of the times, politics and corruption gets in the way…

    But there are many things that individually we can fix, as you have mentioned, charity is the best way… but then do you realise Pakistan is one the most charitable nations in the world? Like 2nd or something in the world… yet look at the situation… its because the charity is not channelled properly… and then the corruption Lets do our part…
    start small. Start by stop running red lights on the roads.

  • Excellent article and interesting comments, like; “problems will solve when Kashmir becomes Pakistan, You must write about this meaningless obsession of Pakistan”, “with India
    It is the root cause of all your problems”,” Who’ll bell the cat?”, etc. I agree with the last comment and not the former two.

    Really we need to concentrate on basic problems like education, health, communities development etc and for that we need a strong drive of responsibility in the masses first which can lead to positive outcomes in the governmental hierarchies. We always think that the rest of us will stand up and bring a revolution and that I should sit idle just making suppositions and defending them. There is a significant difference between reality and what we think, and we need to be practical in our lives with a sense of responsibility, honesty, devotion,humanity and patriotism; to help our communities and ultimately our nation.

  • Amtul Mussawer
    Feb 8, 2011 - 2:32PM

    What right do people like you have to comment on the despondency prevailing in OUR country. You people go abroad and make money, then bother to come here once in a while to point out what’s wrong with us. The OVERSEAS PAKISTANIS don’t have even this much courage that they could defend our country over there when someone exaggerates the reality. You give suggestions to brainstorm for the betterment of this country but your own brainstorming is to serve the other nations.

  • Joakin von Sivers
    Feb 8, 2011 - 5:13PM

    Nothing is wrong with Pakistan. How different are our problems than anyother post colonial or so called developing society? Only problem is non resident Pakistanis who have habit of seeing half glass empty than full. So Do us all a favor stop taking out your anxieties on Pakistan.

  • Emmon Khan
    Feb 8, 2011 - 5:18PM

    @Amtul Mussawer: Grow up. People like this writer who are well-settled abroad and should have no worries for Pakistan are more patriot than you and are making every effort to better this battered country!

  • Khawaja Faraz
    Feb 8, 2011 - 5:41PM

    One simple Solution i have which has tentacles like octopus we have to bring in land reforms allow no one to hold above 500 acres of Land, and find out ways to make sure how can we restrict re-elction of these people who are sitting in parliment and who are in que to take thir term…..once we are able to eliminate these people from getting them re elected from the votes of their own labours or mazareen. till then no change is expected in Pakistan.

    these people will come again and again and yet again……we have to formalise a way in constiution to block their way into paliment because they are the reason we are suffering from 1947.

    our slogan for the next 15 years should be ” Education and Agriculture”

    Can we do it?

  • Pakistani
    Feb 8, 2011 - 5:49PM

    who will bell the cat?..this is exactly our problem. nobody is ready to take the initiative and we are all just waiting for the person next to us to make the move. the best we do is post articles and support the fact to bring a change and then we WAIT!

  • Henna Khan
    Feb 8, 2011 - 5:52PM

    Well-written article.
    The reason educated, intelligent Pakistanis move abroad is because they are shoved out by their bosses, who are so afraid of losing their positions that they make sure any new person with talent fails to thrive.
    The government is happy to have masses of illiterates inhabit the country, as these citizens are too engrossed in scraping up their next meal to question the intentions and policies of their leaders. A smaller number of educated citizens would never have tolerated the status quo that prevails in our once-happy country.

  • vasan
    Feb 8, 2011 - 6:02PM

    Imran: No thanks. No merger with Pakistan. I agree with our PM that boundaries cannot be altered.

  • zombie
    Feb 8, 2011 - 6:41PM

    It is fanaticism that is destroying Pakistan. Now the same fanaticism comes to Indonesia.

  • Ram
    Feb 8, 2011 - 6:56PM


    Merge into India. No can’t do. We don’t want this mess. Aha, it is ploy to set India back couple hunderd years. No way sir!

  • Ram
    Feb 8, 2011 - 7:00PM

    @Amtul Mussawer:

    Without tehir remittance, Pakistan Foreign Exchange reserve will be minus Rs1. They are seeving your country in ways you cannot.

  • Khurram
    Feb 8, 2011 - 7:05PM

    @Adeel Ahmed, I would like to put it bit differently, India is a problem but not the root cause of our problems. First of all lets begin with Kashmir. It was one of the five hundred Princely States although one of the seven big states still had nothing what so ever do with the mechanism of partition of India whether or not it was a Muslim majority state only the areas directly under direct British Rule were the subject based on Majority and Minority for the division. It was us who started the Kashmir Problem by sneaking in the Mashud tribesmen with the full backing of our army, India responded only when the Maharaja signed the Acession Agreement. Now as for the UN Agreements are concerned sure India shied away from honouring them but so did we. Now as far as legality of occupation is concerned as they say possession is ninth tenth of the law leagaly India has the document of accession to show her right for the occupation and morally nothing so it is an immoral occupation.

    Now opening all those consulates in Afganistan is really none of our business it is only between the Govenment of Afghanistan and India. India is creating problems for us because we are creating situations ourselves that India takes advantage of.

  • vasan
    Feb 8, 2011 - 7:59PM

    Khurram: You will be branded as a RAW operator, just because you write the truth and that is not palatable.

  • Pankaj
    Feb 8, 2011 - 9:11PM

    @ Adeel Ahmed

    Pakistan attacked India in 1947 and 1965 After pakistan failed in 1947 and 1965
    India only used the oppurtunity in 1971 because we were convinced of the long term threat posed by a bigger Pakistan from 2 sides

    Secondly after 1971 Pakistan has been firm on revenge against India ; it is OK ; Revenge is your right
    SO it has embarked on an arms race and used non state actors

    But ultimately today who is the looser Pakistani people

    All your resources have been wasted on this hatred against India

    Pakistan COULD have focussed on development like Japan and Germany did After WW 2 But Pakistan was obsessed with Revenge

  • ibad khan
    Feb 8, 2011 - 9:43PM


    Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of Pakistan ! The Kashmiri people and Pakistani’s are one people, Sir ! They can never be a Part of India, for they are one with us in caste, creed culture, religion and “color”. As far as the demarcation of the boundaries by the Britishers are concerned, they maybe your colonial masters not ours. Hence their will was,is and will never be binding upon us ! Secondly it was the suduhzai tribe and yousafzai tribesmen along with a small lashkar of the mehsuds who upon the call of the kashmiri people raced to kashmir to liberate them from the dogra. I may remind you that a referendum was held in which Kashmir was to be given to Pakistan and Jammu to india, because the local govt of Kashmir had lets say toppled the dogra and held the referendum to decide the faith of the people. Lol little truth which has been maimed and mutated in many ways. The Pakistani army did not spring into action till the Indians started landing their planes in Srinagar, as you know the Pakistani Army General at the time was a Britisher and refused the Qauids request to act upon Kashmir. Hence the qauid appealed to the pukhtun tribes.

    Also, for the Indians, we indeed are obsessed with you, for you took parts of our county from us, hyderbad deccan, firozpur …may i go on…our obsession is to get our rightful land back. You’re nation still cant handle the fact that we broke your ma bharat into little pieces and that we invaders still continue to populate it. Hence you are agencies are working day and night to cause us problems.

  • Maulana Diesel
    Feb 9, 2011 - 9:19AM

    Surprised to see so many indian comments. This article has nothing to do with India or Kashmir or terrorism etc. It superbly highlights the terrific efforts of some Pakistani’s to help those who cannot help themselves. If you have to write a comment either write a positive one or if you have nothing to say then just shut up!

  • pmbm
    Feb 9, 2011 - 10:19AM

    The wrong with Pakistan is absence of ethical code of conduct in the society. All ills emanate from shortage of honest and just behavior.

  • vasan
    Feb 9, 2011 - 11:04AM

    Ibad khan: Your logic is amazing.

    No 1 : Since you consider yourself as invaders, there is nothing wrong in driving you guys out in which ever way we can. Pakistan formation was the first way.
    No 2 Since you consider yourself as invaders, How is that Deccan, Hyderabad etc became your country.
    3. If caste, creed etc decide Kashmiris are part of Pakistan and since you are proclaimed invaders, please take all Kashmiris who want to be with you, with you and get out of J&K and India.

    You declare J&K is part of pakistan and hence you will fight with India for it. Who are u to declare anything about J&K; It was upto the j&K king to decide what he wanted.
    Get out the convoluted logic, denialism and religious bigotry man. You are your own enemy first and then only others come in

  • @Imran: Even uniting with Bangladesh is not possible for Pakistan, how come Pakistan merges with India? Pray to Allah that Pakistan(now) stays undivided. A lot of hands are working to separate Baluchistan from us.

  • ahmed
    Feb 9, 2011 - 1:14PM

    When ? Quando , quando, quando ?

  • ahmed
    Feb 9, 2011 - 1:18PM

    @I am a responsible and civilized citizen of Pakistan:
    In a 3rd world democratic country all progress will be SLOW, weather one likes it or not.
    Even after DEVELOPMENT occurs, the poor will remain more poor. That is the corrollary

  • Cautious
    Feb 9, 2011 - 8:17PM

    Look at the bright side. Your still free to execute people who offend your religion, you only get ten yrs in jail if you kill a family member who shames you, and if your lucky maybe Pakistani law will be changed to allow for severing limbs when you catch thief. Doesn’t get much better than that does it?

  • rehman
    Feb 9, 2011 - 9:19PM

    thrz nothing wrong with the country!!!we are better off without india!!look at the muslims in india nowadays!!they r like second class citizens with less education,job opportunities and freedom of a state according to their faith!!we in pakistan get more opportunities.!!did anybody know that we are the third largest source of doctors for the US and UK!!?would we have gotten that opportnity had we been in a united india!!we have less poverty in pakistan, less chaos!!!they dont even have roads across the border!!their poor sleep on airports and roads!!!india today is living a false dream of 9 percent growth!!!they have investment coming in and companies setting up businesses which are hiring the the edcated people and it is this class which is benefitting which is the educated top 200 million…the rest of 1 billion people are below subsistence level with 75 percent people living below 2 dollars a day!!they supposedly want to take people out of poverty by this model!!such a false dream!!wht they dont tell their people is that for this to happen the rest of 1 billion people have to be integrated in this economy and for that they have to be educated first!!look at china!!india can never and i mean never come close to the efficiency and rigor of their growth!!they followed the manufacturing growth model and have taken millions out of poverty!!!they didnt wait for the population to get educated first!!india today is compared to china because of its population and the potential this human resource brings with it!!but they are following a failed western concept of growth for a billion people!the west took the knowledge economy model for their population in millions!!!it is feasible for them but not for india!!it will take decades

  • Ashutosh
    Feb 9, 2011 - 10:24PM

    Pakistan has a very strategic location on the world map. This can be turn into economical gains only if there is total peace, tolerant and Progressive Pakistan (not like the stupid Arabs to mistreat people of other religion and nationalities).

    This can be done in following ways:
    . Giving land excess to Afghanistan and the Central Asian Countries connecting it to the Pakistani Port for a fee.
    . Similar land access to such countries to India both ways for a fee.
    . Gas and crude pipe lines from Iran and Central Asian countries to energy deficient India.
    . Developing “Special Economic Zones” along these highways and through incentives encouraging the world specially to CIS nations, China and India to make investment to do business with Pakistan and its neighbour.
    . Be part of a trans-Asia railway line connecting the central Asian countries with the south east Asia for a fee and also Pakistan gets rail link to various places in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and the south east Asia.

    There can be many opportunity which is unique from Pakistan’s point of view, and through innovation many can be developed to benefit Pakistan and its people.

  • @Ashutosh: You are right about Pakistan’s strategic location as many things are possible via it among nations and it can have a great deal of transit fee. Pakistan can play an important and key role in international trade but the country administrative and political system is collapsed and no one comes to rescue it, and that is the reason we suffer as a nation. I hope policymakers will emerge who will make use of Pakistan’s strategic position.

  • ibad khan
    Feb 10, 2011 - 1:48AM

    @ vasan

    When the slave king Qutbudin conquered parts of the subcontinent, did they not become a part of his empire ?
    or when the Babar came from samarkand and invaded the subcontinent did he not annex parts of the subcontinent to his empire ?

    Yes some of us are invaders, hence we have kept part of the conquered land, and intend to to keep it. Drive us out please lets see you try. As for the formation of Pakistan an arrow through your heart that your beloved mother land was divided.

    As for Jammu and kashmir , who was the dogra to decide, Does India not claim to be the biggest democracy in the world ?. do you not ? if you are then what happened to the will of the Kashmiri people ? have you not suppressed it ?

    I speak of Hyderbad deccan on technicality basis, as you people so love to refer to the document of accession. His exalted highness the Nizam of Hyderabad , after having taken note of the will of the majority voted in favour of Pakistan. Till you along with the colonial troops moved in.

    And you speak of logic clearly you are very logical.

  • Arindom
    Feb 10, 2011 - 5:13AM


    An article by a Pakistani author, completed WITHOUT mentioning India, Kashmir, poverty in India, RAW and Mossad!!

    WOW again!!

  • pmbm
    Feb 10, 2011 - 5:58AM

    95% of people claim to be Muslims, by definition each of them is(should be) HONEST and JUST in their dealings with others( humans or animals). Those with means are obligated to pay ZAKAT to NEEDY(muslim or non-muslim). Practice of these 3 principles can eliminate exploitation and poverty from the society which in turn will remove all the problems that Pakistan faces.

  • Feb 10, 2011 - 4:40PM

    Yeah, sure, only if we can keep the what is called current Pakistan, let alone Kashmir. Saying Kashmir Kashmir and fighting for it has brought Pakistan to this status today where she is bleeding everyday.

  • Xena
    Feb 10, 2011 - 4:55PM

    @Salman: Absolute bunk. I can only hope you’re joking. All those bleating about Kashmir: you can’t even take care of the country you have! How about you try and salvage the Pakistan you have, instead of pining after territory outside? And what will Kashmir do for us? Nothing except add to the poverty, illiteracy, economic distress and general unrest. We’ve already lost half this country. Maybe we should be trying to preserve the bit that remains instead of shouting ourselves hoarse over Kashmir.

    Ludicrous. It’s like those who whine about SAVING PALESTINE, as if Pakistan was the last bastion of Islamic morality, as well as its custodian. Hilarious, really, considering Palestine would NEVER look to us for salvation. Nor would Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or any of the other ‘Muslim brotherhood countries’ Pakistanis are always trying so eagerly to link themselves with. As far as those nations are concerned, we’re nothing but servile houseboys. And deservedly so, considering our lamentable state of affairs, wilful ignorance, and narrow-minded bigotry.

    Kashmir indeed. Would’ve been funny if it weren’t so delusional and ridiculous.

  • Khurram
    Feb 10, 2011 - 6:36PM

    @Ibad Khan; you come across quite passionately and very well but unfortunately your statements are replete with self- defeating logic. You are justifying the position of an invader and a conquerer I agree with you a victor takes it all. Then with the same logic how can we condemn India for being an illegal occupier, they invaded J and K and made it part of their territory it is quite logical. In my previous interact I refered to an old adage, “possession is ninth-tenth of the law” and which as much true in this case. I love my country perhaps much more than many who only believe in hollow slogans. I wish to see my beloved Pakistan out of this mess we have created ourselves by looking at everything through Indian lens on a path to progress. At this moment I am more worried about putting my own household in order than helping Kashmiies, Bosnians or some former Soviet Republic to sort out their problems. I want to break this begging bowl first before I shall be able to help others.

  • Andy Martin
    Feb 10, 2011 - 8:18PM

    What is wrong with Pakistan? It is the rootlessness. Pakistanis made everything alien as sacred and everything local as dirty and bad. Pakistanis lost their language, culture and connection to the land. Pakistani elites embraced alien marauders be them Arabs or Angloes and fooled the natives. Whatever so called progress Pakistan achieved was because of Angloe’s dole. The best of times which Pakistani anglophile elite fondly remembers happened because of the rent and dole which Angloes and their buddy provided.

    After 9-11 Pakistan reported a Huge FDI increase 2002-03 which led to higher GDP growth than India for that year. No guesses regarding how that GDP growth was achieved- it was due to Official US Aid and also the reimbursements and black budgets.

    So when people talk about the 15 Billion official Aid since 9-11 to Pak they are only talking about the tip of the ICEBERG visible above water. The rest 5/6 is below water. Some estimates put around 30% of Pakistani GDP is through aid from Angloes. If this aid was cut off overnight riots would happen in Pakistan.

  • Andy Martin
    Feb 10, 2011 - 8:58PM

    @ibad khan:

    “His exalted highness the Nizam of Hyderabad , after having taken note of the will of the majority voted in favour of Pakistan.”

    Wow? State of Hyderabad consisted present Andhra Pradesh and small part of Maharashtra. Muslims are less than 10% in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

    Brutalized convert is more dangerous than original Turk or Arab indeed, because he is shamed. Iqbal’s grand father converted to Islam to save himself from punishment for embezzlement of state fund. Jinah’s grand father converted to get contracts for his tanning business. Gujarathi baniya converted to avoid Jizia tax.

    It’s not India but also Iran converted and few thousand Parsis had to run to mother India within 40 years. Nomadic brutal Arabs enacted a law dispossessing the natives of their all possession unless they declare themselves Moslim and start Arabizing themselves. One brother did and now he could dispossess his own siblings of their share. Avalanche started. Feudals of Sindh and Punjab also converted in similar manner for state dole. Pakistanis are doing the same to Angloes. The elite and feudal have Anglophied but they cannot sell this new found godless religion to common Allahrakhi and her her kids. That is the problem with today’s Pakistan.

  • Andy Martin
    Feb 10, 2011 - 9:14PM


    “All will be fine as soon as Pakistan gets Kashmir”

    Kashmir is because of two-nation theory, jihadi mentality etc. Javed Jabbar who used to be a minister who was born in Chennai (Madras), his father was commissioner of police. He once told, “there will be no peace in the sub-continent till India breaks up into constituents.” First of all Pakistanis have convinced themselves that Islam alone will unify the subcontinent and Hinduism cannot.

    Till Pakistan is a creation of Angloes, Muslim feudal and anglophile parasite elite. Once Sindhis, Baluchis and Pakhtuns become first Sindhis, Baluchis and Pakhtuns first and foremost and Islam disappears there cannot be peace.

  • Asif
    Feb 10, 2011 - 9:56PM

    The ‘elephant in the room’ in Pakistan is that only 2% of the population pays taxes. Agricultural income is not taxed at all despite being more than 40% of the GDP, no matter how big the land owners income. And exporters do not pay taxes either. Big business people also get away with cheating on their taxes by paying bribes to the income tax department.
    Hence Pakistan’s GDP to tax ratio is a dismal 10%, close to the lowest in the world. Whereas our GDP to govt spending / budget ratio is 20%.
    So we collect only half of what we need to in taxes. Then a big portion of the taxes are eaten up in paying interest on the debt that has already been accumulated and on defence spending. Hardly anything is spent on public health and education. Infrastructure spending is also dismal.
    People who complain the most are the ones who pay taxes whereas the wealthy elite who pay little to no taxes have least to complain about.
    These elites are in power in every government and have no intention on imposing taxes on themselves.
    In the last constitutional amendment the power to legislate new taxes was given to the provincial govts from the federal govt making it even more difficult now to impose new taxes.
    To detail the issue of agricultural tax, big landlords get away with just paying a paltry Rs. 300 per acre (less than $4) in land tax per year as per the 1997 tax law that states that the larger of agricultural income or property tax should be filed. And almost all of them just pay this paltry property tax instead of declaring any income. Thousands of toyota corolla and honda civic cars are bought in rural areas by the mid size landlords and that aptly shows that if they afford to buy nice cars they can afford to pay taxes too. Plus they get subsidies from the govt and the govt guarantees to buy crops at inflated rates. So that is just the problem with 40% of the GDP not being taxed at all.

  • Imtiaz
    Feb 10, 2011 - 10:48PM

    Unfortunately it has lost Allah’s Grace and Blessings, we call it an Islamic Republic, we are ready to kill and/or die for Namoose Rislat – but what action of ours is in line with Quran and Hadith that we so openly quote. I think ‘qaul or fail key tazad to munafiqat kahtay hain’; and Allah does not have room for such hypocrites.

  • Asif
    Feb 10, 2011 - 11:16PM

    The high rate of inflation in Pakistan is a direct result of huge borrowing by the Pakistani govt for which they have to pay high interest rates. See my earlier comment about Pakistan’s tax to GDP ratio.

  • ani
    Feb 11, 2011 - 4:02AM

    What isn’t wrong with Pakistan?

  • saad hafeez
    Feb 11, 2011 - 4:04AM

    all our problems will be solved if our incompetent government realises how important educations is for our country and if they just increase the education budget to a higher level than it is now, which I think is about less than 5% of the gdp? correct me if i’m wong.

    education is the best solution people! I hope our govt understands that some day…

  • saad hafeez
    Feb 11, 2011 - 4:08AM

    plus, the govt needs to increase its revenue by introducing taxes! why do our people hate paying taxes? everyone in the world pays taxes, it’s not like the govt is making you do something wrong, its for our own good

  • vasan
    Feb 11, 2011 - 8:19AM

    Khurram: I think you are very clear in your objectives and they are correct. Our best wishes to you. You need to educate guys like Ibid Khan first so that they all work towards the same objectives. Cheers mate.

  • Alisha khan
    Feb 21, 2011 - 6:10PM