In Naya Pakistan, where do we fit in?

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This 14th August the country seems to be undergoing a change. Whether this will prove to be a change in fortune for the country at large remains to be seen but there is no question we’ve elected a prime minister elect that’s going to be leading the country for the first time. This brings in a wave of excitement, fascination, apprehension and hope in the air. The channels are, as they have been for months, focused on the politicians and the moves they are making as a new government prepares itself to take the oath and we’re all following the action simultaneously commenting, discussing and debating our own positions.

As hopeful as I am, a part of me sees this and fears the familiarity of this pattern. The same old, “look they’re doing this”, and “we did this”, “but you said this”, and so on. And we watch, we continue to watch, half amused, half sick and tired, but we watch and feed into this loop until it’s five years and we’re exactly where we are now, treating politics like a reality show and using dismal facts about our economy and education as fodder for dining room debates.

I believe that unless we don’t set our priorities straight and change the focus of our conversation on to issues rather than personalities and parties, it’ll be hard to go anywhere as a country. And I don’t say this in terms of just the media but us as individuals, our conversations need to be more than just lists and facts about what’s wrong with the country, but interactions that make people think, inspire ideas, and give way to understanding and collaboration.

We all have an opportunity to make an impact starting from the immediate spaces that we occupy and the potential to influence the people around us, friends, family and co-workers. We should take a moment to reflect on how we want to use that potential. What are the issues that are important to us, the ones that we are passionate about. Once, we know that, we can focus on educating ourselves and others, have solution based conservation and maybe even chalk out action plans, small steps we can take towards community goals.

Passionate about education, is there a school you can volunteer in, a kid in your neighborhood that could use some extra tutoring? Concerned about environmental pollution, have discussion with your family and friends on waste reduction or recycling. Minority and human rights important to you, educate yourself on the laws in place, call the concerned candidates, tweet at them etc. It doesn’t have to be some big grand act, small steps that you can manage and invest in. It will all add up and you’ll have a sense of satisfaction that you had a part to play in the development and growth of your country.

It’ll do all of us a lot of good if we take a step back, look inward and take a stock of the power we have as individuals, and it could really be the start of our journey to actually actively contributing to a naya better Pakistan instead of staying passive viewers to the political drama unraveling continuously on our television sets.


By Sameen Mohsin

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