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Posts Tagged Focus on Real Issues

A Few Good Men By Brig® Mehboob Qadir

A Few Good Men 


Brig® Mehboob Qadir






Communities, societies and nations come together and grow, fertilized by largely unspoken benevolence by men of strong and at times exceptional strength of character and noble motivation.Whichever strand of life they opt to pick up, they tend to excel in extending universal benevolence and magnetize their followers to their cause in a remarkable manner. Muslims are proud of the comprehensively qualitative and a lasting change the Holy Prophet brought about in the lives of his followers. For Hindus Ram and Sita are the epitome of superlative human virtues deserving unqualified reverence since thousands of years, so is Gautam Budh. Nelson Mandella , Mother Tressa , Sattar Edhi and numerous others like them across the globe are respected and emulated for their invaluable selfless public service.

It was not their power, armies or treasures which endeared them to people but their humanity, boundless benevolence and humility that worked magic into people’s hearts.If conquests, state power and money mattered ,Attila,Xerxes,Alexander, and Chengiz would have been idolized. Instead they are despised for their plunder, massacres and immense human sufferings that they caused. Of all the Sultans of Delhi it is freak Sher Shah Suri who is remembered with respect for his great public service works like construction of Grand Trunk Road, a country wide network of protected motels for travelersand traders,postal system and ingenious permanent land settlement record which still is the basis of official reference in India and Pakistan. Emperor Akbar ,the great Moghul finds a fond reference across the entire religious spectrum in the Sub continent and beyond to his rule, not for his glorious court but for his inspired patronage of interfaith harmony and egalitarian almost secular state practices which went a long way to peacefully homogenize his multi religious subjects; a truly crowning achievement. British Indian railways, thousands of miles of irrigation canals and their admirable penchant for reducing all possible official interventions to rules and regulations so as to administer with justice amongst their Indian subjects, were great acts of genuine public service.

With the advent of 21st Century the parameters of statecraft and public dealing have undergone a dramatic change.Globalization, borderless communications and powerful but multifarious platforms for expression of opinion open to people have forced a paradigm shift in the leadership style. While Czars and Hapsburgs could not be copied in the 20th Century, similarly autocrats and military dictators are out of fashion in the current century. Public reaction to a leadership indiscretion or insensitivity has become swift and unstoppable these days. It can neither be wished away nor muzzled into silence therefore in most countries such an outcry is being addressed in earnest. However in islands of indifference like North Africa , Middle East and South Asia when suppressed it explodess into uncontrolled violence making horrible examples of men like Qaddafi and Hosni Mubarak.Recollect how Bangla Desh broke away because of our just such an insensitivity.Those who refuse to learn from history relearn at their own dear cost along with the wrath of history as a craggy rock in their twig baskets.

Devastating floods have become a frequent feature in Pakistan.This year it was the third in the last four years, and not the flash one. Leaving that controversy alone,one has hardly seen any constructive response to Justice MansoorAli Shah’s Flood Commission Report which followed the last floods.It contained commendable recommendations about how to prevent human and material losses due to ravages of floods besides other measures.The point to understand is that throwing out wads of money and flour sacks from helicopters and photo sessions at the edges of flood exposes victims to indignity and moral injuries .One has to risk one’s life , ride a rocking boat in the raging flood waters to those helplessly marooned on pylons,trees and rooftops to save and show real solidarity.Our wretched people can not subsist on empty talk and vague undertakings.It may be prestigious to have broad motorways, metrobus and impressive flyovers in major cities but unfortunately their utility tends to be exclusive and does not sit well with the terrible lack of basic civic amenities and abject poverty of the vast majority of underprivileged population living in villages and rural areas of our country.What is also to be understood is that this practice is causing a rapid migration from the rural to the urban centers and might bring about yet another crisis linked to resultant shortage of food production in the rural areas and exploding crime rate in the cities.This massive internal relocation can seriously stress state resources and jeopardize our fragile social framework.

It was time to focus on real public service initiatives even though they may not be as glamorous or sensational. To begin with a comprehensive review of flood protection needs must be undertaken to prevent loss of life and property due to future floods.Larger ,stronger and well sited flood protection embankments must be constructed as a part of national emergency.Had that been done the ugly controversy of Bhivana bridge-Ramzan Sugar Mills would not have erupted, nor millions of acres of crops alongwith thousands of villages swept into nothingness and hundreds of precious lives lost.We need to seriously set up a network of education, health, transportation, link roads , electricity and small food preservation industries in our rural areas. Relocate justice infrastructure closer to the villages and small market towns for speedy disposal of cases.Make the system efficient, their performance auditable and provide generous budget allocations.

It is a matter of sensitivity and priorities at the political leadership level. Then there is always the ever present oppression of the circumstances forcing their hand. Announcement of ten million rupees for the family of a Police constable killed in a traffic accident in Lahore just as the Punjab Police ranks were increasingly refusing to crack down on protesters, is understandable. A dutiful hero of a sort had to be created in a hurry.There are also the vivid images of a soldier trying to revive an infant just rescued over the edge of his boat, troops swimming up to desperate men, women and children to save their lives from drowning. This time the Army and Navy did not really wait to be called up. Realizing the perils of the imminent flood they were already there poised to help fellow men as much as they could. Then there has been the superlative sense of duty shown by late Naib Subedar Inab Gul who along with his Army rescue team saved twenty two lives but lost his in the process near Sher Shah Embankment on 14th September.A genuine act of heroism in which he died in the line of duty but has gone lamentably unsung.

Few might know that many trees in the world are planted by squirrels who bury nuts and then forget where they hid them.Lets bury few nuts of goodness and benevolence and hope that seeds will take root and grow into tall shady trees where footsore ,weather beaten travelers might rest for a while and go their distant ways. Wolves are majestic and awesome but are feared and not revered.A conscious choice must be made whether to follow the noble example of a humble squirrel or that of the regal but savage wolf.Selfless public service is the key, decide how one wants to be remembered.




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