Dec 22, 2011

Pakistan's New Year's Resolution: A secular pipe dream

If Pakistan could speak, this is what I feel she would wish for in 2012.
  • Religion: Begin the process of separating state and religion once and for all. Extremism, feudalism and nepotism have shaken my foundations. Though secularism isn't perfect, it is the best solution given the toxic state of the country. Adding more theocratic nonsense to feudalism and masochism is beyond dangerous.
  • Name: Remove "Islamic" from my official name. Wasn't even my original name.
  • Defense: The armed forces take up a big chunk of my budget. Even though I am officially considered a failed state, the military spending is ranked 35th in the world. That is too exorbitant. I want to reduce the size and strength of my armed forces, redirecting those funds towards education, technology, energy and infrastructure.Sounds naive but I need to shift my priorities and focus on internal strife rather than external threats.
  • Education: I will make bold strides to education my people, especially the women, who form the strength and backbone of families.The feudal, masochistic traditions coupled with Islam, have suppressed women for generations. That clock needs to be rewound.
  • Minorities: Minorities have long been persecuted in this country. So much for Jinnah's dream about protecting them. Perhaps shift some defense forces from the Indian border to the entrance of churches?
I know that wishes don't necessarily come true. But a secularist can hope.

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