IS it possible that Pakistan could have been a state of good repute? …A glance at our history of 65 years reveals that this would have been very difficult. We never bothered to consider that our actions could damage our reputation. We are used to darkness. Democracy has not been allowed to grow. Sometimes it was Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan, at other times Zia and Musharraf who pushed this land into darkness. And today we are at the verge of total collapse.

The only nuclear Muslim state in the world has more internal threats than external. We have destroyed institutions in a matchless manner. Our airline is operating on a deficit, and we never upgraded the railways. A good portion of the population waits for long hours for electricity, provinces indulge in water theft. …We are heading towards hell. The country is in the grip of terrorism, but we are not shy of adopting extremism. During protests for any small demand, we enjoy damaging state property and institutions. What happened on Friday exposed our [lack of] sanity, wisdom.

In such conditions the youth can be looked to for inspiration. …[But] the allegations against the sons of the chief justice and the former prime minister, and the siblings of other politicians point to the dark future of the new generation. Bribery and corruption have become part of society; from the ordinary employee to those in high posts, no one has clean hands. We are not ready to open our eyes [to reality]. If this slumber continues, no power on earth will be able to save us from destruction. There is a need to introduce self- accountability. There is time. If we … uproot corruption, we could save a lot. … — (Sept 24)

Selected and translated by Sohail Sangi.

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