No substance, no poetry, no thought, no Pakistan—the world, friends, is moving on!

In this last week, alone, much has happened outside the land of the pure and plenty.

The Egyptians earned foreign exchange and tourism flourished. Not a lot happened at Sharm El-Sheikh, except that the red seacoast lit up with suits and dresses and some scanty-dresses. The usual moral stampede by the less favored nations—read all of us and Africa! The polluters paid us lip service—as usual—and ‘copped out’ out of COP27. Even Pakistan’s erudite Sherry’s amazing soliloquy “fell on deaf ears.” You need a country with some substance to be heard as its representative!

The Turks hosted the spy chiefs of two of the three world superpowers, soon after Istanbul’s Oxford Street—Istiqlal Street—suffered a terrorist attack leaving bodies and injured in its wake. Amazingly, this Constantinople of the world, recovered the next day. The locals and tourists were back and laying wreaths for the departed. This NATO ally sets the trend in diplomacy!

The Saudis and Emiratis told the Americans to stuff it, and to not dictate them on taking sides. The second major rebuke since the oil pricing clash a few weeks ago. Not to be left behind, the Qataris, yeah those spoilt children of God, took on the media about LGBTQ flags, football, and not politicizing sports! These Arabs have surely come of age! Proud of them.

The Chinese told off the Americans about ever dreaming of excluding the Big Bear from any global talks—who else but the denizens of the land of the Czars. Then, the most superb foreign emissary, Sergei Lavrov, told the world to suck it up and witness the emergence of a post Yalta global multilateral order! Duly followed by surgical strikes on Zelensky’s aspirations. These people mean business. The sooner the world realizes it the better.

All this happened in just a week, and nothing rocked the internal narrative in the land-of-the-pure-and-plenty. Pakistani news, which I unfortunately tuned in to after entering the superb Serena in Dushanbe, was stuck in the 20th century—the army chief, the not so long long-march, and finally a falling nation’s celebration of mediocrity in cricket. More on this is required, so read on.

The long march of PTI is an offense to the Chinese. The Chinese Communist Party, under the eventual command of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, covered a grueling nine thousand kilometers over more than a year, and lead to what we know as China today—you cannot deny the labor, the resurgence, and the revolution that it underwrote—with such history, even the Tianneman experiment failed. The PTI long march is not even an orange revolution—even the Americans can get a million people in Washington to fight for voice—let me not bring back memories. Listen to me, Imran, the ‘Khan’! If you don’t, I simply ask the youth of Pakistan to “wake up and smell the roses”.

Coming to the homecoming of the Pakistani team from the 2022 T20 Cricket World Cup. It looked like a celebration of Beavis and Butthead, and Simpsons—celebrating underachievement—for, in this game only the team that wins all, counts. For the millennials and the Gen-Z, Beavis and Butthead, and Simpsons, will be documentaries of the Americans post nineteen-nineties, from the sanitary worker to the President—the struggle towards, and the pride in, being the best at whatever one does was, thence, lost, leaving, only, ‘entitlement’—. The Silicon Valley survives on post WWII ideals that the Chinese and the South and East Asians, adopt as migrants and government largesse to science—an exception that still drives technology in USA.

Folks, as I traveled from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan, this week. I realized that we have lost the proverbial plot. There is no inflation in this so called-poorest of countries, it is growing, the currency is stable, it is not ‘democratic’, the food is cheap, it is doing as it pleases, it is building the world’s highest dam and damn well proud of it—the whole country and its gold is contributing. Let me not bore you more.

“Nations are born in the hearts of poets; they prosper and die in the hands of politicians.” So said our poet, Mohammad Iqbal. Pakistan today is dying at the hands of its army, its judges, and its media—our real politicians. The so-called politicians are simply scavengers. Sad, but true!

The world today is less about ideals, more a commercial slaughterhouse. Those who have, something to sell, be it goods or ideas, win! People who are caught up in internecine issues and warfare and introverted, are losing. Pakistanis are living on their past glories. We have no global voice, no global thought, no matter how glib our bureaucracy and pseudo aristocracy are. No substance, no Pakistan. No, us!

The world, my friends, is moving on!

Published by #empowerpakistanbyazd

Amer Zafar Durrani is the President of Reenergia and Paidartwanai. He is an acknowledged development expert and entrepreneur with thirty five years of global experience spanning more than twenty four countries—of which almost 18 years were spent with the World Bank Group. His present work keeps him engaged in Pakistan, China, Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya, Philippines, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan amongst others. He is now based in Pakistan and developing Reenergia as first of its’ kind ‘do-tank’—innovating and delivering solutions for improving lives while making a profit. In parallel, he has set up Paidartwanai Private Limited, an energy supply and consulting company with a mission to develop sustainable provision and consumption of energy through increasingly distributed and renewable energy systems. Amer is also a Senior Fellow at Pakistan Institute of Development Economists. He is also the Industry Co-Chair on the Energy Corporate Advisory Council in National University of Sciences and Technology, and a partner to NJHR, Geopolicity and RIZ Consulting. He continues supporting, through Reenergia, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), International Trade Center (ITC), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank Group, and the United Nations Office for Project Services, amongst many global organizations. In his personal capacity, he has been lecturing at the National Defense College and University (Islamabad), National School of Public Policy and University of Birmingham. He frequently appears as invited special guest in Media (TV and Radio) on issues relating to public policy and is a regularly speaker on various other international and local forums. Amer speaks Urdu, English, Punjabi, and can has working knowledge of Arabic, Russian and Dari-Persian. He is a graduate of the University of Texas, Austin, USA and has trained at the National Defense University, Pakistan and Lahore University of Management Sciences. He can be reached at adurrani@reenergia.com and adurrani@1818aluminwbg.org.

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