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Pak Tea House » Drones, FATA, History, Identity, Islamism, Jinnah, liberal Pakistan, Pakistan, secular Pakistan » Pakistan Needs to Tell The Story Right

Pakistan Needs to Tell The Story Right

By Shaheera Syed

It is a battle for ideas, narratives and tales.

Get your story straight. Get your story right. Even if halfway through you realize that you have chosen the wrong side or perhaps the less profitable one, don’t panic. All is not lost. Get up, brush yourself off and get your act together. Be better prepared and equipped to make a come-back that flashes through the dust of time. Present a story that sticks, a narrative that gels well with the stakeholders, and a tale that grapples the audience. Anything ranging from a heart wrenching confession from the past to an optimistic commitment for the future would work to excuse your behavior. The trick is to make it convincing to a level that the audience is completely and utterly drunk on the idea. And boom! You work is done. You’re back in the game.

The problem with Pakistan is that it has never been able to define a narrative for itself, and even when it has; it never stuck with it long enough so that it settled with the public or with the international community. Case in point: failure of project Jinnah which aimed at creating a positive image of Jinnah and ended up sparking an infuriating debate about the difference between Jinnah’s ideologies and actions.

We as a nation have been marred with a benign disease: the curse of confusion. A confusion that has benumbed our spirits, scared our ideology, paralyzed our thinking, crippled our state machinery and blinded our public. From the question of the reason for the creation of Pakistan to its current status on terrorism to its future goals, we have been confused about everything. We don’t have to look far for examples; our frequent experiments with religion throughout our history provide a glaring testimony to that.

The only good thing out of this manifested confusion is that it provides a lot of grey area for our political leaders to move around. They secretly guard their loyalties and never openly declare who their friends or foes are. This provides them with ample room to get cozy with one, sleep with another and all along, flirt with all the available partners.It is a good gameplay for as long as it works but we have worn out our cards and exhausted this strategy. We have shifted our sides too many times and there is a limit to how many times you can go back to your old partner without butchering your soul and completely diminishing your self-esteem. There comes a time, when those around you figure out your game and refuse to mingle with you anymore. Pakistan is at that stage of abandonment.

What changed?

The magnetic surge of internet and the subsequent boom of social networks have changed the way politics is done in the country. It has disposed immense amount of power at the disposal of the public. Anyone with a strong argument is immediately bought forward in the spot light and is made a stakeholder in the political arena. The already existing players are more vocal than ever and their differences are highlighted, magnified, and painted in the color of controversy by the rating (read profit) starved media. Couple up this entire mixture of variables with a heightened civic sense of the community and you’ll get the current state of affairs of Pakistan. The government is facing exuberant amount of pressure from all sides to clearly define its stance on issues of national and international importance.Pakistan has to realize the dangers of continuing with the war on terror in its narrative-less state. This is not a sustainable policy and if not rectified, it will backlash soon.

We have to make a decision, pick a side and then stick with it. We can’t continue to harbor the enemies while simultaneously condemn attacks on girls like Malala Yousafzai. We can’t make under table agreements to support drone attacks yet spread anti-American sentiments on the public front. We can’t let statements like that of Munawar Hassan discredit the efforts of hundreds and thousands of people who have lost their lives in this battle.You can’t have your cake and eat it too. The sooner Pakistan realizes this better it will be otherwise, it is only a matter of time till the catastrophic consequences of sharing the bed with both the enemy and the friend will take a toll on the health of the nation.

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Filed under: Drones, FATA, History, Identity, Islamism, Jinnah, liberal Pakistan, Pakistan, secular Pakistan · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to "Pakistan Needs to Tell The Story Right"

  1. Proletarian United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    The only true narrative is the narrative of class struggle. The materialist interpretation of history.

  2. PMA United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    A very emotional and verbose soapbox deliverance by Ms. Shaheera Syed. Too many words; too little of a content. Good for only high school debating contest.

  3. saad Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Daily Times Pakistan: Monday, November 18, 2013

    48 million Pakistanis have no loo

    By Amar Guriro

    KARACHI: On November 19 (tomorrow) as nations around the globe observe United Nations World Toilet Day to highlight the importance of toilets and sanitation; around 48 million Pakistanis will be defecating under the open skies.

    Pakistan, despite being a nuclear power, is still unable to provide basic sanitation to majority of the people.

    A recent report issued by Pakistan Chapter of UK-based charity – WaterAid-Pakistan revealed that 97,900 people die annually in Pakistan due to unsafe water and improper sanitation.

    Another joint report by World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF stated that 54,000 children under the age of five die from diarrhoea every year in Pakistan. “By the year 2015, under the Millennium Development Goal (MDG), Pakistan is committed to supply 93 percent and 64 percent of its population with safe water and adequate sanitation, respectively. As yet, only 45 percent people have access to improved sanitation facilities in Pakistan and at the current rate, the water target will be missed at least by seven years [by 2022] and the sanitation target by 13 years [by 2028],” it has been claimed in the report.

    If the Pakistani government does not take urgent action, the country will fail to meet the MDG pledge it made to halve the proportion of people without sanitation by 2015, and this will have massive consequences for child mortality.

    Not this alone, but another study – the Joint Monitoring Programme of WHO and UNICEF states that 71 percent of Pakistan’s rural population does not have the facilities of improved sanitation, and 40 percent of the rural population resort to open defecation.

    According to WaterAid, the poorest people in Pakistan, like other South Asian nations are being left behind and are 13 times less likely to have access to sanitation than the rich.

    “Pakistan has the worst sanitary conditions in South Asia and its total economic impact amounts to a loss of Rs 343.7 billion, which is equivalent to around 3.9 percent of Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP),” reveals Media Scrap Book, a collection of around 100 selected stories published in print and electronic media, which is compiled by the WashMedia-South Asia – a representative body of journalists from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka working on water, sanitation and hygiene.

    The scrap book further revealed that 52,000 children die annually due to diarrhoea in Pakistan and 14 million people still do not have access to safe drinking water and over 90 million are without improved sanitation. “48 million people – nearly one fourth of the total population – in Pakistan practice open defecation,” the book mentions.

    Karachi, the largest city of the country and the commercial hub, suffers a lot due to the lack of proper inadequate sanitation. The official data reveals that the 42 percent of the city’s total population live in 539 slums, which have no access to a proper toilet and appropriate sanitation system.

    One of the most alarming consequences of poor sanitation is that, it is the biggest killer of children under the age of five around the world. Some 9.7 million children die before reaching the age of five, 2.4 million of them due to poor sanitation.

    World Toilet Day 2013: Say thank you to your toilet

    So what’s World Toilet Day all about?

    World Toilet Day was set up to help raise awareness of the 2.5 billion people in the world who don’t have access to a safe, clean and private toilet. It is now recognised as an official UN day.

    Why does it matter?

    Because a toilet changes everything. Without a toilet, how can anyone hope to stay healthy? Germs in human waste spread disease and open defecation make living conditions intolerable. And, it’s not just about the unhygienic conditions, without a private toilet women and girls are vulnerable to human and animal attack.

    Toilets are taken for granted and so they should be. They are one of the most basic human rights after all. We need to raise awareness of this crisis faced by millions every day, trapping them in a life of disease and indignity.

    When is it? 19 November 2013

    Get involved.

    This year, we’re asking you to say Thank you toilet.

    We’ve come up with a number of ways in which people can show their gratitude.

    * Keep an eye out for posters and online banners leading up to World Toilet Day which are all about people getting engaged in the cause.

    * On the day bring World Toilet Day to life in your office or school, raise awareness, collect funds and campaign for change. We have press releases ready for you to use to share your activities.

    * Show your gratitude by sitting on the toilet all day. We’ve created a downloadable toilet seat, which sits perfectly on school or office chairs. Decorate them with your own message of thanks, hold an art competition and don’t forget to tell everyone that you’re working from the toilet today.

    * This year, on World Toilet Day, please ask your MP to ask International Development Secretary Justine Greening to attend the 2014 High Level Meeting of the Sanitation and Water for All partnership, and encourage her counterparts in other governments to do the same.

  4. omar United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    It also helps to have a story that has at least enough of the truth so that 7th graders cannot see through it. e.g. it is OK to start your story with mistrust and divisions between Hindu and Muslim leaders, move on to demands that got out of hand, tragedies in which everyone was complicit to some degree, regret, move on, lets build and not repeat past tragic mistakes. That has enough truth in it to float past most people (class struggle theorists and believers in Babas who talk to 99 are exceptions in real life). But if you are going to replace every mistake with a new mistake and double down on past stupidities, then how long before it is exposed?

  5. NinjaTweets Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Shaikh Rasheed is the most sensible politician in Pakistan.
    He always exposes evils on his twitter because Pakistan media is corrupt

  6. sincerity Germany Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Pakistan Needs to Tell The Story Right??????????

    what story? what right story? right = what?
    what about honesty?

    is honesty not more important than being right (=diplomatic, clever, able to fool others)?

    if Pakistanis tell their story (stories) HONESTLY then islam and pakistan ideology will collapse.

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