Pakistan: Forgetting Discipline as a Driving Force

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

Jawad Raza Khan

Understanding the difference between rights and duties is an imperative to generate the strength of discipline in individuals and states. The world witnessed one of the classic examples of discipline, especially in recent distress created by one of the most powerful earthquake and tsunami, which crippled Japan’s north eastern coast.

11th March 2001, was undeniably the most terrible day of Japan’s recorded narration. The world saw some horrendous scenes with cities town and villages turning into rubble. It was a real face-off with the Power of Nature. That all may not look inspiring enough to be remembered but what was actually impressive, was the response of Japanese nation in that convoluted time. From top to bottom they were and they are in trouble and from top to bottom they were not taken over by the situation, rather they took over with determination and most notably Discipline.

No looting was reported- No protests were launched against the government – As that would exacerbate the crisis. People around the world observed with amazement the quake and tsunami victims in Japan “queued up” in long queues to buy food or to go on public transportation. It was such a different sight (at least as a Pakistani) when the world was watching prime minister of Japan dressed up as a rescue worker with definite sign of worries on his face, but at the same time composed as a leader from where nation can draw strength to survive and rise again.

It was certainly heartening to see that brave recovery of Japanese nation, we Pakistanis have also displayed great sense of sacrifice and devotion in difficult times but certainly lacked in discipline factor. It is believed that as a nation we need big catastrophes to unite, yes indeed, but nowhere we have achieved that mark what Japanese has set for the rest of the world.

On the other hand sports achievement also enjoys a magical and binding effect on our natives, but it is merely impossible to win world cups every day, and if at all we get united for some time, what about the discipline, as one dead and 32 injured because of aerial firing in different parts of Pakistan, while witnessing India Pakistan cricket encounter. You can give hundreds of examples on account of ill-discipline Pakistan; some are mentioned, just to recapitulate.

  • 15 humans have lost their life, not attended by doctors as they are on strike.
  • You will hardly find any pedestrian crossing busy highways through overhead bridges, resultantly loosing precious human lives.
  • In case of shortage of any food item, behavior of Pakistanis is unexplainable.
  • Traffic discipline needs no elaboration.

Mr. Jinnah’s three pillars are in terrible condition, and the last one Discipline is literally in coma. Pillars of faith and unity most of the time are subjected to the individual and collective mindset and little bit of variation here and there is expected out of human society but discipline…………………….cannot be compromised.

Undoubtedly we are a talented nation, but without requisite discipline all the talent we possess is raw and ineffectual.

“Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.” Roy L. Smith

After the death of 1st Caliph of Islam Abu Bakr, the same day Umar assumed the office of Caliphate. Umar was pioneer of some very important administrative affairs. He was the first to discipline the people when they became disordered, by enforcing some remarkable administrative measures:

  1. First to introduce the concept of compulsory military service for inculcation of Discipline in the masses.
  2. First to appoint police forces to keep civil order.
  3. First to introduce the public ministry system, where the records of officials and soldiers were kept.

My dear readers some of you will indeed be astonished that this concept of compulsory military training which is now renamed as conscription is followed by many western countries even those who are having very small or no standing Armies like Switzerland and Denmark. On the other hand militarily stronger nations like Israel, North Korea and China also follow this concept.

On the other hand, our Governments have been failed to set out the right priority even in this all important aspect of national character building. We, in our days use to get basic military training in our colleges under the concept of N.C.C (National Cadet Corps); amazingly this has been discontinued since 2002. This training was on volunteer basis and as an incentive 20 additional marks were given to the individual after successful completion of the training in his intermediate mark sheet.

With battle zones all around every Pakistani soldiers and civilians in shape of suicide bombing, target killing and exuberant crime rate, the Nation has all the more reason to re consider the decision in this regard. The above mentioned ills are also responsible of lack of unity in the masses and complete absence of discipline in the society, on the other hand not equipping our young generation with at least basic military training is making them vulnerable to all odds. It is quite clear from the present scenario that NOW is the most suitable time for NCC training to youth to mobilize civilians for protection; when suicide attacks have become a part of our daily lives, India is fighting an unofficial war against us in Baluchistan, in FATA and in the northern areas.

Revision of NCC syllabus, keeping in view the peculiar environment of Pakistan’s internal distress as discussed above and its professional enforcement can indeed show us a small window of opportunity to fight this menace out. Disciplining the young generation through well thought out plans can do the trick and make us patriotic, united and above all safe.

It will rather be more effective and efficient, if minor courses of civil defense system are also incorporated in the syllabi of primary schools and above. This will not only improve the society awareness against terrorism, but will also discipline our young generation to counter its disastrous effects.

“Liberty is the luxury of self-discipline, that those nations historically who have failed to discipline themselves have had discipline imposed by others.”

Aliaster cooke

And that’s what is happening in Pakistan…………………….

(The writer is a political analyst based in Islamabad).


Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • Iltifat Lone  On April 7, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I agree with the writer, in fact in all Scandinavian countries the military training is compulsory including Turkey. The NCC training as recommended will not only inculcate discipline but would also train them to deal with odd situations of emergency. Benefits as suggested are excellent and will train our both youth (boys and girls). A little effort will show instant dividends. Hope some one from our GOVERNMENT/ARMY implement the suggestion written by the writer.

  • siddiqui my  On April 7, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Raza Sb
    Good to see you back…
    yes discipline is very important in life….Namaz played a very important role in discipling us
    but up brinnging which you have not mentioned, has been most vital in our culture; training in schools & colleges and NCC comes much later …Parents have a most important role which is now totally missing
    I am not surprised about the Japanese; just study their school system; even small children are taught to bow down whenever a teacher passes by them ! We too had similar traditions and they were part of good manners but by now we are the most discourteous and ill desciplined people…why ? Break down of our value sytem; disregard of family traditions and respect for elders and seniors…we deried and abuse all and sundry in presence of our impressionable children and consider it part of our high status…….
    We are a nation of monkeys…no culture, no manners and vlues of culture and decent life
    and have no role models to emulate
    There is no One Shot treatment for our ills; schools & colleges cannot be made responsible; they can polish but they cannot mould; it is parental and family responsibility
    to impart descipline and basic values of life from day one; hard wood cannot be bent, it will break………just look at our media whether print or electronic….what values are being drilled////look at any talk show: the compare and the 3/4 particapants are not only talking at the same time but shouting at each other….what values and manners are we talking and enforcing……….Descipline is just not “Left..Right” and firing a gun ? It is at best a state of fine mind; it was imparted from the moment a child was born; our elders had culled all this from experiences of many generations.
    Where do we begin then ? It is a real tragedy a people who are required to follow a rigid and well desciplined drill FIVE times a day cannot even be made to stand in a line !!!!!!!!!!
    Surely something somewhere is terribly gone wrong with us ??????????????????
    Answer is not as simple as you have made out; if one is serious then a proper treatment is essential; jumping from kidney to the heart and then the lungs and therafter eyes is a sure reciepe for the patients demise !
    I am not a vaoice of doom; all that is required is doable; if one can train a dog to sit and jump and sniff then surely a human child is much more manageable but the child comes free and th dog cost Rs 10000 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I suggest we stick to your original plaint and not zig zag unless all this is for fun
    Thank you andGod be with you

    • jawad  On April 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm

      Sir your are 100% right, namaz is the ultimate solution but if somebody is seriously ill like us, he will put to test for recovery by all means, homeopathy, psychopathy or telepathy i am just trying to figure that out (hope something will goona work)inshallah

  • Mushtaq Talpur  On April 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    None of the nations mentioned by you hav Democracies…we are ! We are ruled by most Honest men on earth who are the poorest unlike others. Are we a Nation,do we ashamed at our corrupt Leadership.

  • Inam Khan  On April 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    In the beginning when there was a semblance of DISCIPLINE,Pakistan was a prosperous state……………………..Inam Khan

  • siddiqui my  On April 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Dear Jawad sb
    Namaz alone is not the answer; we all have to reform ourselves………a value system is to be adhered to; be it western or eastern…does not matter. What value system do we follow ? we are wost than half breeds . Look at the Chinese and the well they ave blended and synthesised with the western cultures and yet they have retained their own value system; Turkey can also be taken as an example
    Muslims were known and admired for fine culture and civilised manners;one has to just look at the early western civilisation how they emulated the muslims and still follw many practices and values which have roots in muslim traditions
    Back to the Family and back to the Education………..why we feel complexed ? why we ape ? we have to break the vicious hold of an alien and inferior culture based upon crass materialism.

    Dear Mushtaq; we are NOT a nation yet; we are divided in small nationalities. is there a single Pakistani ? Even those migrated by choice for love and service to Pakistan call themselves Mohajirs and NOT Pakistanis; how our farthers and uncles must be turning in their graves !!!!!!

    Dear Inam how righ you are…once upon a time we were disciplined,patriotic , honest and sincere and one enjoyed a hot cup of tea and ice cream with little children& family on the dark and lonely beach of Clifton without fear…………….did we really?????????

    But we have to change ourselves or we perish

    • jawad  On April 8, 2011 at 2:58 am

      Siddiqui Sb i agree all your valuable points especially role of parents in upbringing of new generation, but what i dont agree is that we are not one nation and still divided in small nationalities.I saw with my own eyes on 30th march 2011 (semi final) on the street in the cinepax in the homes around the markets there was not a single Pathan no Punjabi nor a sindhi or Baluchi for that matter mohajir, me and you are witness to it “THERE WERE ONLY PAKISTANIS”, yes having icecream peacefully on the lonely beach of clifton with your family is difficult now but if we have to survive with grace we should be OPTIMISTIC first………!and then keep on working to attain it.

  • siddiqui my  On April 8, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Dear Jawad Sb
    I certainly respect your views and enjoy reading them
    Yes. I am perhaps wrong but pick up any paper and peoples are always talking and bickering as Punjabis,Sindhis, Pathans and Mohajirs etc….one seldom hears of Pakistan’s interest……can you tell me if you ever hear americans saying how many civil servants are from NY or washington or California ? Every city in USA has China Town, Italian Enclave and Irish population…they all celebrate their national days and festivals yet they ALL are Americans ………..
    I seriously believe our problem is nationalities.. it is a throw bak of our FEUDAL setup….else why are we fighting over Kala Bagh Dam ??????? or over quotas in Civil Service etc… regards rooting for the Cricket team is just out of boredom and a yearn to be prominent and proud; it is flash in a pan……..
    How can we be a nation if we do not speak or acknowldge a langue of our own ? Inheritors of great civilasation and culture yet today we ape everything which is in third rate western papers ?? We no longer have an official dress now ? We hav no official language….and we are pigmies of central africa ..are we ? Did we really produce Iqbal and Faiz ? have we produced half a Faiz or Iqbal in the last 50 years ? why not ???????? Have we another Hisam uddin Rashidi or Nabi Bakhsh Baluch…………we are now destroying HEC……..
    Dear Jawad sb. illness is serious and the patient is on the ventilator………prayers will not do….drastic measures are needed and solutions cannot be imposed ‘ they must come from within ourselves; we cannot live in dream land of the Great Moghals
    I am not one to give up and I have abiding faith in Pakistan; I wish you could be in Karachi and i could show what we can do and as well as “They”…….But it seems eating “their” butter, cheese and juces we have been genetically tinkered with and have become Monkeys!!!!!!!!! strong words indeed but how else you explain our behaviours ??????
    Inheritors of a great religion and finest civilisation today we have become scum of the earh…why? and how? Today we are ashamed of our language, our dresses and our food and even our religion………………WHY???????? Mohammad (PBUH) was the Greatest Law Giver, we built Taj Mahal, todate we ruled this eath the longest., we advanced Science and Philosophy; we invented the flying machine, we discivered the anatomy…….did we not do all this & more……….and Today??????????????????????????????
    God bless you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: