Thursday May 30, 2024

In search of lost dreams

By Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
April 14, 2023

My column last week (‘The Pakistani dream’, April 7) has received some valuable feedback. Readers endorse my viewpoint that every nation needs a dream for prosperity and then struggle collectively to fulfil this national dream. Some say that in the last seven decades, every Pakistani government has shown unrealistic dreams to the people, which never come true.

Today, various international media organizations, in the context of the current alarming situation, are highlighting the shady policies of the governments that came to power in the last seven decades. International observers are of the view that Pakistan has never even tried to chalk out any sustainable financial model to strengthen the national economy.

This seems correct because after the formation of Pakistan, the political leadership of that time decided to join the Western bloc in the wider interest of the newly established state. However, the situation got worse, when it became a habit for Pakistan to receive aid from foreign countries. Not only did we present ourselves to play a leading role during the cold war, we also joined the global ‘war on terror’ as a frontline non-Nato country.

This not only led to the loss of countless precious lives in our country but also had negative effects on businesses and commercial activities. Although we received a huge amount of foreign aid, we could not set up any big world-class industry. None of our products could make a brand in the international market and no global investors have chosen Pakistan for setting up plants/factories. Also, not a single Pakistani university has been able to attract foreign students. This is why the international media is now embarrassing us by comparing our situation with our neighbouring countries.

As I have studied the history of multiple countries, I have come to the conclusion that the Pakistani nation needs its dream of prosperity and that there is a dire need to adopt the ‘T model’ of transformation. I have chosen the English alphabet ‘T’ so that many important factors such as trade, two-fold ties, tourism, tolerance, truth, trust, and technology could be highlighted under this.

In the past, if we had strengthened the ‘two-fold ties’ with the neighbouring countries and focused on bilateral ‘trade’, our import-export balance would not have deteriorated so badly.

There are sacred ancient holy places of worship for Hindu, Buddha, Sikh, Jain, Parsi and other communities in Pakistan. If we promote religious ‘tourism’ by adding a new element ‘tolerance’ in it, not only will the positive image of the country be improved, but dollars reserves will also increase through the arrival of foreign pilgrims.

Similarly, if all Pakistani institutions perform their duties within their constitutional scope by ‘trusting’ each other, various crises can also be avoided. In today’s era, we should also make efforts to improve the quality of life of our people by using modern ‘technology’.

Most recently, as part of the National Assembly, I was among the organizers of the 50-year golden jubilee celebrations of the constitution of Pakistan. I expressed my views on the occasion that under the modern democratic governance model, people are the basic source of power.

Internationally, democracy is defined as the government of the people, by the people and for the people. Only countries that ensure rule of law are able to move forward towards peace and prosperity. Undoubtedly, parliament is the guarantor of the rights of the people and legislation should be made in parliament to facilitate the people.

Today, it is not possible for any single entity to deal with the critical situation that Pakistan is facing today. All our political parties should sit together on the table and initiate dialogue in a pleasant environment. If our top leadership wants to restore the lost prestige of Pakistan in the eyes of the international community, a Pakistani dream closer to the reality in line with the requirements of the modern age must be presented, which covers the T-model of transformation that I presented here.

The writer is a member of theNational Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council. He tweets @RVankwani