WE are undergoing a transitional phase; a phase of urbanization and rapid change that includes large-scale mass migration from rural to urban centers and bringing in its wake a flood of new problems and complications i.e. over-population, unemployment, pollution, a poor and ill-organized infrastructure, rising level of crime, scarcity of space, resource problems related to health, education, sanitation, traffic system and above all a conflict of values and a deep-seated mental anxiety and spiritual uneasiness in the face of a rapidly changing world.
We are required to form a clear conception of this rapid social transformation and its far-reaching consequences on the prevalent socio-economic structure of society. In order to keep abreast of this changing social perspective, our policy makers will have to change and remodel national priorities and reformulate rather a new synthesis in the light of our own unique nation experience and the existing ground realities in Pakistan without being completely swept by solely IMF-dictated structural reforms or any other westernized model of development which in the past, have done more than anything else to add to our economic miseries and troubles.
Allama Iqbal, the ideological founder of Pakistan, had proposed in the midst of an extremely illuminating discourse in his lecture “The principle of Movement in the structure of Islam” that the Muslim countries in order to shake off their dogmatic slumber and intellectual stupor, should approach the question of Ijtehad in the spirit of Umar “the first critical and independent mind in Islam”. Iqbal contends “Who, at the last moments of the prophet, had the moral courage to utter these remarkable words “The Book of God is sufficient for us”.
In view of the new forces set free in the Muslim world and quite in keeping with the republican and democratic spirit of Islam, Iqbal proposed to delegate the power of Ijtihad to the legislative Assembly of people in order to cope with the newly emerging problems and complications. The same liberal and progressive view of Islam was shared by the Father of the Nation who, unlike the theocratic system of government or the western brand of unturned to free itself from the tyranny and high-handedness of feudal lord, capitalist, Bonapartist, Bureaucrat, Mullah, Pir, World Bank, IMF and American in order to translate into reality the hitherto unrealized purpose, the enforcement of the Quranic Social Order, of the creation of the Pakistan.
Unless our intellectuals, motivated by a deep sense of duty and an intense love for Pakistan, are alive to this heavy responsibility they are to shoulder to awaken the consciousness of the masses as well as to provide them a clear and a practicable programme of action in keeping with their long, cherished aspirations and the true ideals of Pakistan movement in order to clean the national stables of all parasitic and exploitative elements, the day of deliverance or the actualization of the Quaid’s dream, “peace within and peace without” seems to be a distant possibility.
—The writer is freelance columnist.