Re-Imagining Pakistan

From despardes:

Jinnah (Commencement lecture by Pervez Hoodbhoy at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, December 9, 2006.) To help us along, let’s imagine a film like “Jinnah”. You die and fly off to the arrival gate in heaven where an angel of the immigration department screens newcomers from Pakistan. Admission these days is even tougher than getting a Green Card to America. You have to show proofs of good deeds, argue your case, and fill out an admission form. One section of the form asks you to specify three attitudinal traits that you want fellow Pakistanis, presently on earth, to have. As part of divine fairness, all previous entries are electronically stored and publicly available and so you learn that Mr. Jinnah, as the first Pakistani, had answered – as you might guess – “Faith, Unity, Discipline”. This slogan was in all the books you had studied in school, and was emblazoned even on monuments and hillsides across the country. Since copying won’t get you anywhere in heaven, you obviously cannot repeat this.

What would your three choices be? As you consider your answer, I’ll tell you mine. First, I wish for minds that can deal with the complex nature of truth. My second wish is for many more Pakistanis who accept diversity as a virtue. My third, and last, wish is that Pakistanis learn to value and nurture creativity.

More here.