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Monday, July 27, 2009

Jinnah would ask, ‘when did you people stop asking questions?’ - Courage to question By Moazzam Husain

Moazzam Husain has written pertinently in this column. Two quotes shall suffice ~t

So if Dr (Justice) Javid Iqbal’s lament is that Pakistan is in the hands of a failed generation Aitzaz Ahsan, in his book, The Indus Saga, explains why. ‘Pakistanis have spent almost half a century of their existence without asking any questions.’ Indeed bold, courageous and informed questions are anathema in Pakistan. Some time back prominent educator Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy had explained: ‘Most students have not learnt how to think; they cannot speak or write any language well, rarely read newspapers and cannot formulate a coherent argument or manage any significant creative expression. This generation of Pakistanis is intellectually handicapped.’

According to Ali Dayan Hasan of Human Rights Watch, ‘Pakistan is indeed a failed state. A state that does not have enough self-confidence to take criticism…. A state that feels constrained to legalise bigotry and exclusion, extremism and prejudice, coercion and oppression in order to survive … [Pakistan] is certainly not presiding over a vibrant, successful and self assured society.’ If Ali was to travel to the past and meet Jinnah, with this message from the future, what would Jinnah’s response be to him? Perhaps more importantly, what would Jinnah’s questions be to him? Might one of the questions be ‘when did you people stop asking questions?’

[thanks FK}


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