Bringing change in attitudes in Pakistan

ByTalal Wasif Qavi

A barrister


July 30, 2022

Bringing change in attitudes

Talal Wasif Qavi focuses on the need for altering perceptions Bringing change in attitudes

It is a universal truth that the only constant in human existence is change. Human existence is consistently Bringing change in attitudes as is a natural order and the life circle is continuously under the change process. Like individuals nations also require change from time to time and adjust to changing circumstances. National transformations bring change in the direction countries follow and changed national priorities revamp socio-economic structures for the better.

Pakistan suffers from rigid adherence to traditional forms of conduct that often comes into confrontation with fast-changing realities in the gadget-prone world and globalised socio-cultural milieu. There is no harm in following indigenous behavioural patterns provided they are periodically harmonised with changing realities in the wider world. In Pakistan the change in behaviour is equated with a specifically designed international intrigue out to destroy the basic values of the country.

It is important that a national mind-set is developed that critically examines change with a view to sift beneficial aspects and follow them for social betterment. The resentment to change has been developed into an art form that often gives rise to groups who pursue their own interests without actually bringing any advantage out of their opposition. This tendency needs to change and replaced with objective assessment of changed environment.

Sycophancy has become a way of life in Pakistan and it has also assumed an art-form. The people in authority beginning from the head of the family are so badly given to getting their actions appreciated that they fail to realise the hidden criticism that results in subsequent serious dissension. Mostly such dissension is channelised into various forms of social ills most particularly alienation of younger generation and isolation of critical intellect. It is necessary to change this unfortunate tendency and develop the habit of airing free opinion and to encourage critical views.

Both the above attributes have resulted in complete breakdown of governance structure in Pakistan. The Pakistani system now is a big field open to free-for-all in which go-getters hold supreme and prudent voices are drowned. It is the responsibility of decision-makers to emphasise strong retrospection within the social structure and encourage actions that focus on appropriate collective behaviour.

The collective mismanagement has seen Pakistan, a country of $300 GDP sink to socio-economic lows and its people exploited by professional jugglers. The lack of social cohesion has given rise to personnel in authority who have conveniently converted the instruments of state into personal advantage. The negation of rules and procedures by the servants of the state has impacted the state apparatus in several ways, characterised by arbitrariness, delay, confusion and personalisation. The rule of the privileged has failed to abate despite continuous public protestations.

The conversion of public good to private advantage has triggered contamination of the whole system and has given rise to endemic corruption. The strength of the corrupt became very powerful when a symbiosis between political elite, civil service and business community emerged that still appears to be going strong. Successive governments have witnessed opportunistic drivers of policy agenda latching on to any power that forms government right from the beginning. The country badly smacks of rent-seeking behaviour that is fast eating out into the very social fabric.

The need for change is crying out loud. There is no short cut to intensive reforms beginning from cleaning the Augean stables without fear or favour. The collective situation of Pakistan has reached the limits of inequality and depravity. Pakistan is youth-rich but the prospects of maladjustment of youth appear horrendous. There is no alternative to change and reform and any administration that shies away from it will face serious consequences.
The change is not only required but it is also essential to make it transformational instead of a knee-jerk change. It may take time to devise a proper blueprint for reforms but it should be comprehensive in content. Local conditions should be kept in mind to design the change process and a broad consensus is required to be obtained before implementation. Any change process that is devoid of wider public approval may prove counter-productive.

The current situation has given rise to frivolous debates that are in no way compatible with overall requirement for change. It is understandable that the controversies surrounding the national political scenario will come out it in open but undue emphasis on such issues will hamper the process of real change. It is imperative to avoid unnecessary debates about every-day happenings and give more attention to deeper and relevant issues.
The things need to change if national development is to usher in. Promises remain hollow when not implemented and sloganeering is not a solution to any problem. It is earnestly expected that the people in authority will see the issues with clear vision and take steps that cater to long-term resolution of problems badly affecting Pakistan.


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