Tuesday July 16, 2024

Unpleasant truths

By Dr A Q Khan
December 22, 2020

Some unpleasant truths but food for thought. First of all, the way all politicians consort to lying, distortion of truth, abusing others and bragging about their own so-called achievements. Can we not be in the least bit civilized? Tell a lie often enough and in the end the people will accept it as a truth. The only problem is: who is telling the truth? No one!

A very unpleasant truth is our education system. There are many experts, all singing praises to their achievements. Every day we read of a new invention and/or a new top-class university (read polytechnic) being set up giving the impression that it is equivalent to Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford, etc. The teachers are claimed to be of equal quality and ability.

The sad fact remains that, in the list of the most well-known universities of the world, we are nowhere. Our standard and system of education doesn’t amount to much. We hardly produce scholars or engineers worth mentioning and many competent, able, foreign-trained PhDs remain jobless. Yet we boast of rapid progress everywhere. If you have even a single PhD jobless, you are a worthless country.

Recently, Noam Chomsky lamented that Pakistan had destroyed science and buried it under rubble and rubbish. No scientific work worth mentioning is being done in the country, yet our gurus are bragging that we have left the rest of the world behind in this field. Ad hoc-ism, favouritism and corruption are rampant everywhere.

Take a look at our neighbour, India. Their educational institutions (Indian Institutes of Technologies) are world-renowned; they produce excellent publications and books. No wonder their graduates are holding top positions in the Western world. Twenty years ago, a self-proclaimed top scientist in Pakistan had proclaimed to have found a cure for AIDS. Where is it now?

Nehru was a Cambridge-trained politician with excellent skills at judging people. He made Maulana Abul Kalam minister of education and the wonders done by him are there for all to see. We have some excellent scientists, engineers and doctors, but they all fall prey to jealousy and intrigues. Scandals plague our institutions, a case in point being the recent suicide of a female PhD student, while our leaders simply look the other way.

Another one is the claims of good governance made by each successive government. For the last 10 years we have had commissions that were supposed to suggest improvements to the administration, but the result is miserable. Good governance is what Dr Mahathir and President Erdogan have shown to the people. What we have is a set of politicians/special assistants who have nothing better to do than to pick apart their opponents. Have you heard a single derogatory, uncivilized word from Joe Biden against Trump? Or from Obama against Bush? Here one is rewarded for playing dirty.

The area ruled by Hazrat Umar (ra) was more than eight times larger than Pakistan, with people from many different races. There were no technological developments at the time, yet no criminal managed to get away after having committed an offence. The reason was that Hazrat Umar (ra) was a God-fearing person, very strict on principles and very kind to the needy. What has been most disastrous to our culture and country has been the rampant corruption from top to bottom. That is the result of ignoring divine edicts, failing education norms and the failure to instil the honesty, decency and cultural norms called for in Islam in our children.

Our foreign policy is in tatters. We have lost our Arab friends. The only country that has stood by us through thick and thin is China. No Muslim ruler (except Dr Mahathir and President Erdogan) and no Western country raised a finger at India over the atrocities in Kashmir.

The fact is that the Indian government has formed teams for specific jobs against us and they are very good at their work. What are we doing to counter this form of aggression? Our government is targeting the opposition leaders all day and every day, leaving the field wide open to Indian tactics.

Despite vast natural resources, an excellent canal system (inherited from the British) and being a predominantly agricultural country, our vegetable prices are relatively high than those for flour, milk, rice, edible oil etc. Billions of cubic meters of water are allowed to run to sea, often causing flooding on the way, without being utilized for agriculture, for making fish ponds, etc. Look at China. They obtained independence two years after us and see where they are now.