State called Pakistan by Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi

Political theorist Francis Fukuyama in his book titled “The Origins of Political Power” makes an interesting observation:

 “Once states come into being, kinship becomes an obstacle to political development, since it threatens to return political relationships to the small-scale, personal ties of tribal societies. It is therefore not enough merely to develop a state; the state must avoid retribalization or what I label repatrimonialization.”

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) set an example for us when he developed a Charter of Medinah that established a state based on rights and responsibilities rather than allow tribalism to dictate the social contract between Ansar of Medinah and Mohajir (immigrants) from Mecca. That act laid the foundation of an Islamic state that quickly expanded its influence to include all of current day Middle East swallowing the Persian Empire along the way as well as a significant part of Byzantine Empire up to Asia Minor (current day Turkey).

In our country, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a believer and promoter of Pakistani to become an Islamic social state following Charter of Medinah as a model. He expressed this desire in many of his speeches after independence. He is blamed by many commentators that he lay the foundation of separation when in a speech at Dhaka University, he announced Urdu to be national language of Pakistan rather than Bengali. In my view Quaid took this action because he wanted the twin pillars of a common religion and a language to enable social evolution of a Pakistani state identity. Preference for Bengali, a local language, would have started a process of tribalism as other local languages Punjabi, Baluchi and Sindhi would have competed for prominence. Urdu on the other hand was not only a neutral language but was also a bridge with India and had the potential to develop into an international language. Quaid understood that a universal language plays an important role not only in the emergence of a culturally unique nation-state but also enabling it to gain soft power in the comity of nations. Quaid’s view is confirmed as Urdu has become one of the fastest growing languages and a bearer of Pakistani identity.

But these efforts of the founding fathers Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam to develop a state were later retarded when provinces were established on ethnic lines. The country has increasingly reverted to various forms of tribalism mentioned by Francis Fukuyama. Political power is exercised by sectarian religious parties promoting extremism and intolerance; regional political parties with narrow local interest retarding strengthening of federation; and undemocratic national parties lead by iconic figures favoring cronyism and nepotism over merit and capability.

In order for Pakistan to achieve its true potential as a nation-state, it has to break the back bone of tribalism to allow emergences of a rule based social system. This is the only way to allow a person with passion and potential to be able to rise to the top to serve the nation. Unless we establish this kind of merit based society our enemies will finally succeed in the balkanization of Pakistan. It is a matter of survival and we can not delay it any further.

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