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What plagues Pakistan?

by Tanvir Hussain Bhatti

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What Plagues Pakistan?   (2009-09-25)


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by Iftikharahmad


The book is a collection of Dr Tanvir Hussain Bhatti articles published as leaders in the national daily newspapers enjoying wide circulation throughout the country. The writer, broadly speaking, is motivated by three overriding factors. First, his irrepressible love for his country where he was born, nurtured and educated and blossomed into a youth of impeccable integrity in an ambiance reeking of deceit and duplicity, dung and corruption; second, his deep concern with the ideological moorings of his country being eroded by the voracious greed and power lust of its rulers or looters; and thirdly, his immeasurable love of his own religion, the religion of true peace and progress, growth and nourishment, not the superficial and cosmetic development which the west never tires of boasting but which has largely produced tainted glamour and spawned sleaze and immoral rubbish.


Dr. Tanvir is steeped in religious feeling, not in an aura of religiosity which is more synthetic than real. For most of us religion is only a series of rituals which we perform as drills, without any emotional involvement. But for Tanvir religion is alive, tingling with the warmth of divine presence. Our religion says “don’t lie” but most of us lie, our religion says “don’t backbite” because it is like eating the flesh of your dead brother but most of us backbite and relish it more than we relish our prayers or other acts of piety; our religion says “help the poor”, but what one would think of a Muslim country where even zakat is doled out to the deserving poor on a chit of recommendation from a person who is leading an immoral life and who has come up in the world through deceit, duplicity and double-dealing.  In the early days of Islam when people really practiced what they preached, Shakespeare’s quotation “One may smile and smile and be a villain” did not apply to the Muslims at least because there was no incompatibility between their outer and inner selves.  A Muslim was supposed to be a paradigm of honesty and integrity and the rulers specially were known for their piety and humane attitude.  No body branded a Muslim as dishonest or inconsistent.


But now the table have turned.  Muslims are humiliated all over the world, and they have acquired such notoriety that all acts of terrorism are slapped on them. Even when they are innocent, their innocence is dismissed as another act of deception. The Nine Eleven episode was engineered and masterminded by the Jews but the west found a handy scapegoat in the Muslim community and very conveniently, and without a qualm of compunction or scruple of regret, slapped the stinking allegation on the Muslims. The post-Nine Eleven scenario was also hatched by the Jewish conspirators as they have some old scores to settle with the Muslims though the absence of all the Jews from the scene of mayhem and carnage is an eloquent proof of their involvement which is reinforced by the absence even of those Jews who were notorious atheists and agnostics. The situation is totally reversed; the Islamic code of honour is now being labelled as the code of dishonour, especially by the westerm media which are trigger-ready to pick on the slightest foible’s of the Muslims and balloon them out of all proportion as monstrous deeds. And our rulers compound the heart-burn; instead of siding with their own people and flapping their wings to defend them, they side with the western world to makes some quick illegal bucks and build spurious reputations for themselves. Little do they realize that this is absolutely against the spirit of the Quran which debars the Muslims from befriending the Jews and the Christians. In total defiance of the Quranic injunctions they are playing right into their hands and patronize everything that comes with the western slap. 


Dr. Tanvir, being a true Muslim, has reacted against the inhuman and evil practices that have bombarded the world of Islam as a result of the Muslims’ deviation from its original message and which is as transparent as a believers conscience. He is totally unbiased and his coterie of friends is drawn from all Muslim sects. When somebody asks him what sect he belongs to, he instantly replies, he is a Muslim and Islam is above sectarian divisions. His mission is to unite the Muslims, especially those who are living in the country of his birth. The articles in his “maiden” book are particularly designed to shake the Muslims out of their rabbit sleep to underscore the evil practices that have permeated all walks of human life. His style is quite congruent with his emotional pitch and the brood and extensive sweep of his sentences conveys the depth and intensity of his feelings. Sometime he even uses slang to make his message more effective because an ordinary word would have proved ineffective to express the oven- heart lava of his sentiments. Here are some of the nuggets from his well-reasoned passion-packed articles: 


Ø      Emergence of true national democratic leaders through crystal- clear polls is necessary to cultivate mutual trust to reduce mounting tension among the federating units, which is indispensable for national integration, progress and prosperity of this ‘Land of the Pure’. (Free and fare elections).

Ø      The army, the bureaucracy, the judiciary, the print and electronic media, the clergy and the politicians should come down from their high horse and play a constructive national role in beefing up the foundations of democracy. They should join hands to uplift the public. They should work for the betterment of the public rather than safeguarding their vested interests, otherwise, their titles would be mere shadows and their crowns sheer empty things. (Democracy and feudalism)

Ø      Democracy cannot flourish in the presence of shackled judiciary. (Democracy and judiciary)

Ø      The suburbs, the shantytowns, and the countryside are the hunger domains of those born with a wooden ladle in their mouth. (Socio-economic stratification in Pakistan)

Ø      The national economy has sunk into state of torpor due to the ad hoc polices of the fact-twisting myopic top cats. (Strangulations in the economy of Pakistan)

Ø      The western people have been harvesting the bitter fruits of this blatant genealogy degradation in the form of progressively increasing tempos of uncontrolled extramarital relations, constantly on the rise digits of homosexual adventures, steadily increasing numbers of rapes, continuously rising figures of illegitimate children, swiftly mounting divorce rate, rapidly growing suicide rate, quickly escalating sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS, Hepatitis B and syphilis, and hastily upward numerals of deeply affecting psychological illnesses, etc. To telescope a cherry in the unbridled sexually lavish west is becoming problematic. (Rejuvenation of family to curb extremism)

Ø      Dumb cluck and toe-rag Rushdie is a long thin streak of piss and a byproduct of all deteriorated social institutions. (Dilemma of twin extremisms)

Ø      The western countries honor those debased and crude persons who promote vulgarism in the society and vent prejudice against Islam, while they label those having some grains of morality as conservatives. (Conservatism and vulgarism)

Ø      The government should mull over and pay heed to alleviate steam-rolling poverty, which is forcing the teeming millions living from hand to mouth to sell their body parts and honor to breathe at subsistence level. (Commercial butchers of humanity)

Ø      The people who once gorged themselves on yummy food are now in search of yucky food to survive. (Mournful wails of the impoverished victims.)

Ø      Our cheapskate leaders should also learn to sacrifice personal preoccupations over national imperatives. Everyone should perform his duties sincerely and ardently instead of taxing each other with avoiding responsibilities; otherwise, we cannot make any headway in the welter of contemporary melting pot.(Pride of performance)

Ø      If amateurish WAPDA cannot fulfill its responsibility, it is necessary to modify its name from “Water and Power Development Authority” to” Water and Power Depriving Authority” so that people may pray to God for reducing temperature instead of protesting against a heartless and insensitive institution which has turned a deaf ear to the public screeches and a blind eye to their woe-begon condition. (Merciless and indifferent WAPDA)

Ø      Knighthood of the apple-polisher, butterfingers and worsted egg of the universe that is rotten to the core, Salman Rushdie, who has illusion that his bum is ice cream and everyone wants a bite, is not the first assault of the west on Islam and sentiments of the 1.4 billion Muslims. (Global hypocrisy)

Ø       Kashmir has been burning and bleeding in the yoke of slavery. The unfortunate dwellers of this glaring terra firma have been languishing in their own homeland due to atrocities perpetrated by the colossal army of the largest democracy of the world. Democracy teaches its followers egalitarianism, but why have the democratic principles crumble to dust in the beautiful and charming valley of Kashmir?(Kashmir in the yoke of slavery)

Ø      Media violence and xenophobic distortion of facts are as unjustified as backbreaking poverty in the midst of spilling and oozing affluence or as a color spot on the forehead of a Hindu virgin. If one is prepared to clamp a charitable spin on this kind of violence, the only justification happens to be commercial. By flaunting mayhem, mutilation, brutalization and airing of deprecating scandals the media moghuls are raking up fat wads of bank notes. But they should slither out of the cocoon of their penny-scraping mentality and think of the moral grooming of the generations to come. The violence they are generating will have a boom rang impact on their own children and it is most likely that their own progeny will tumble into the trenches of immorality they are digging out for others.(Media violence and xenophobic distortion)

Ø      Institutions, which are erected by the bricks of corruption and insecurity of job, cannot provide any guarantee to dispense justice and provision of shelter to the life and possessions of the citizens.(Volatile law and order situation)

Ø       A country where knowledge parched bureaucrats are more respected than genuine intellectuals, men of brawn are more honored than men of brain, and injustice, favoritism, nepotism, insecurity to life and property compel its talented people to leave the country for good, ensuing a vicious cycle of  “Brain Drain”, cannot make progress in centuries. (Silence-a sign of weakness)


Dr. Tanvir is a highly individualistic, independent person and he is outrageously critical of all human parasites who depend on other human beings for their survival.  His articles are consonant with his creative approach to life and to all that life entails. Allah has blessed him with a first-rate mind and an unquakable faith. Persons like him can change the destiny of a moribund, sleep-rumpled, fatigue-frumpled, and sloth-crumpled nation like ours. What Ann Rynd has expressed in one of her most popular novels about man and his contribution to mankind fits Dr Tanvir to the dot.


“Man cannot survive except through his mind…But the mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. There is no such thing as a collective thought…We can divide a meal among many men. We cannot digest it in a collective stomach. No one can use his lungs to breathe for another man. No man can use his brain to think for another…The moving force is the creative faculty. This creative faculty cannot be given or received, shared or borrowed. The creator originates, the parasite borrows. The creator faces nature alone, the parasite faces nature through an intermediary. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to agree with others. But the creator is the man who disagrees. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. But the creator is the man who goes against the current. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to stand together. But the creator is the man who stands alone.”

Written By

<h1 style="text-align: justify; margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">Iftikhar Ahmed </h1>

Professor of communications

University of Central Punjab, Lahore

Former Chairman English Department,

Punjab University Lahore.

Former Chief Instructor in English language,

Civil Services Academy, Pakistan.


The writer’s grasp of current affairs derives from three overlapping factors: his sensitivity to the contemporary issues, his medical training and his penchant for philosophical analysis. Thesefactors are further complemented by a deep and extensive study of the history of his own country. His powerful and hard-hitting expression adds extra flavor to his analytical recipe; a remarkable feat, indeed, keeping in view his ‘green shoulders’ and the unending spate of his daily engagements.
Dr Tanvir records sensitively what happens around him and he provides and elaborates not only the immediate context of these happenings but ferrets out a fresh perspective by relating them to their correlative historical realties. In this way he weaves together into a vibrant coalescence the past and the present with an inevitable prefiguration of the future which, in his opinion, carries a bleaker ring if things spin further out of control and no effort is made to stem the present state of ideological perversion.
He achieves the unification of the multiple stands of his vision through his positive tilt towards philosophical interpretation. In the absence of his probing prods, the different components of his prognostication would have remained isolated streaks in anotherwise dark scenario, creating more opportunities for fumbling than clarification.
His medical training is responsible for some of the stethoscopic soundings of the groundswell of protest that has been piling up over the years as a result of ignorance, poverty and a glaring sense of deprivation. He is particularly struck by the kaleidoscope of disparities that stalk ‘the land of the pure’, reinforced and fortified by the supercilious attitude of the elite class towards the filings of humanity who constitute the major chunk of our population. I hope the people at the helm of affairs respond effectively to his diagnosis and pull the country out of the present morass.

written by

Iftikhar Ahmad
Professor of communications
University of Central Punjab , Lahore .
Former Chairman English Department Punjab University , Lahore .
Former Chief Instructor in English Language, Civil Services Academy , Pakistan


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