off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid

Keep your spirits alive,
Better days will come-II

Last week I went for a courtesy call to see an eminent physician, a very dear friend who retired as Professor of Medicine and Principal of a public sector medical college. I indulge in such activities quite often and have often tried to see the retired faculty members, physicians in various cities of Pakistan just to pay my respects. However, this time I was at pain because my friend who has all along his professional career upheld professional ethics, was very much depressed. When I asked him why he was so depressed, he had a long story to tell which let me share with you as well. This is what he had to say:

“After graduation, I went to UK for postgraduate training. Despite advice my many friends I never applied for a British Passport as imbibed with a patriotic spirit, I love my Green Pakistani Passport because in case of applying for British Citizenship, I had to surrender my Pakistani Passport and I was not prepared for that. Came back to Pakistan and served the country to the best of my ability. My beloved country Pakistan gave me a lot, a name and a fame. I earned enough money to live an honorable life with respect. Whatever I am today and have got it, it is because of Pakistan. When I look at the pitiable situation of Muslims which are living in India, it is horrifying and often not easy to digest and tolerate. Those Muslims who migrated to Pakistan, must thank God and our forefathers Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and his colleagues that we had a country of our own to live in.

I retired a few years ago and might be invited to the next world any day but now in 2020 I am very much worried and depressed at the state of affairs in the country. Every institution starting from the political parties of Pakistan, religious parties, bureaucracy, Military, Judiciary have disappointed us. Corruption including intellectual corruption is rampant. Poverty is ever increasing, prices of essential eatables has skyrocketed and have become beyond the reach of the poor. This has resulted in increased crime rate. Democracy is never allowed to flourish in this country. We always end up with engineered elections. We treated the Bengalis badly and they opted for independence. We lost half the country East Pakistan but did not learn any lesson from that great national tragedy. Not only that, we keep on making the same mistakes again and again. Our economy is in a very bad shape even worse than the other countries in the region like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and even Nepal. We have miserably failed to strength institutions. Look at the ever deteriorating infrastructure in the city of Karachi. We passed our time but I am worried at the conditions of Pakistan wherein my grandchildren will have to live. Political stability is extremely important for economic development and there seems to be no danger of that in the near future.”

His story was unending though having listened to him patiently, I tried to interrupt him a few times to say that don’t worry, things will brighten up and let us keep our spirit alive, better days will come but it did not had much effect on him. I wished to leave but he insisted that I spend some more time with him so that he could share his feelings. I refrained to share with him the problems and difficulties we are facing lest he will become more depressed. After some time, I took permission to leave and promised to see him again in the next two three weeks.

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