Since its inception on August 14, 1947, Pakistan has continued facing a multitude of threats, both internal and external.

Exhaustive efforts and deliberations have been made by concerned citizens to bring to fore foreign conspiracies which are aimed at maligning, destabilizing and ultimately destroying Pakistan. We have heard names of several countries in the region and beyond, their notorious intelligence agencies and armed forces trying to cause sabotage, mayhem and killings on our home soil and even elsewhere (such as XYZ agency accusing Pakistan of perpetrating terrorism on foreign soil).

Whereas it is true, without an iota of doubt, that certain foreign elements cannot stand to see Pakistan prosper, the fact remains that we Pakistanis are our own worst enemies. To be more precise, Pakistan is threatened most by its own inhabitants. This assertion is not based on rhetoric or emotional satire. We simply cannot deny that whether it was a domestic or international conspiracy which caused so-and-so incident of mayhem in Pakistan, some local elements (if not all) were definitely involved in them. A famous but insulting statement made by an American judge once mocked at Pakistanis, who said that we can even “sell their (our) mothers in return for dollars”.

Whether we like to admit this or not, we Pakistanis get so frustrated at times that we knowingly or unknowingly allow ourselves to be played in enemy hands. Anger and resentment blinds us to such extremes that common sense simply vanishes and we find ourselves inflicting severe damage on the very country which acts as our home and where our forefathers are buried.

We rob, lie, deceive, manipulate, exploit and hurt each other; we harm, kill, mutilate, mentally retard and psychologically oppress each other; we degrade fellow citizens who we assume are inferior to us; we cheat, engage in cronyism/nepotism, we give and take bribes; we ignore actual core issues and create much hype on those that are of little significance; we mistreat, denigrate and insult our minority communities; we engage in hyper-nationalist jingoism and refuse to accept mistakes and blunders committed in the past; we consider ourselves some sort of a superior, all-mighty ‘martial race’; we disappoint our friends and satisfy our enemies; we act in foolish haste and not after careful consideration; we have vested interests which we hold more dear than the interests of the state.

The examples shared above are just a few of the (unfortunately) many characteristic traits present in us Pakistanis, in great abundance. We suffer from a strangely dichotomous inferiority-cum-superiority complex; on the one hand we believe the entire world is conspiring against us and yet on the other hand we oblige ourselves to every other state that threatens to block our financial and economic aid. There are millions of black sheep among us but we would rather point the finger outwards and divert any possible attempts toward introspection. Yes, this is the crux of the problem. How can we ever correct ourselves if we aren’t willing to accept our wrongdoings in the first place?

Nations that rose from the ashes implemented a system of thorough accountability and transparency. To date, we haven’t managed to make any meaningful, indigenous laws and impose corrective measures because the level of confidence between our state institutions, let alone the ordinary public, is nowhere to be seen. Each one is skeptical about the other, doubting their sincerity in executing meaningful efforts in the deliverance of national services. There are people within our ranks who issued fake national identity cards to foreign miscreants in exchange for money. There are people within our ranks who looted the national exchequer in billions. The people who thrive off corruption against the people of Pakistan are our own. They are from within us!

We can cite external factors and influences all we want but at the end of the day, who is it that gets used/exploited? Who shows eagerness to harm the State of Pakistan and its people in return for personal benefits? Who will put Pakistan on the back burner without hesitation if they are promised a bright future in some XYZ enemy country? Who is that prides themselves on their specific tribe, clan, ethnicity, caste or race instead of feeling pride in being a Pakistani citizen? Who is it who will rush to burn down this country if some XYZ insults Islam? Who misinterprets or intentionally distorts certain religious teachings to suit their interests and propagate violence? Who shows intolerance towards people of other faiths and beliefs? Who buries girls alive? Who throws acid on women as revenge? Who molests and rapes fellow citizens, including children? Who curses Pakistan to vent out anger on their own individual incompetence? Who shows insensitivity on the deaths of scores of fellow citizens? Who doesn’t learn from past experiences?

We Pakistanis, of course!

We reek of hypocrisy and disgrace. Allah has blessed us with all the resources we could ask for; just see how Muslims in other countries are faring; their resources and manpower are limited. We are the only nuclear-armed Muslim state and are fortunate to have one of the finest state infrastructures among Muslim countries. Our academicians, artists and technical specialists are second to none. What more could we ask for?

And yet each one of us (horribly) tries to play god. We always seem to be ready in reviling, refuting and hurting others instead of lending them a helping hand. Consider the following: After the APS attacks in Peshawar, we vowed to stop differentiating between the so-called “Good” and “Bad” Taliban. We made a resolve; apparently it wasn’t a firm one. Of late, many countrymen have started crying on the news of Mullah Omar’s death. What was he for Pakistan? Will we continue sheltering snakes in and around our homeland to be used as “assets”, purportedly to counter enemy designs?

Being the liars, deceivers, thieves and plunderers that we all are, it is not surprising that we have such spineless, unpatriotic and lunatic “leaders” ruling our government. We too, are Pakistan’s biggest enemies. How can our ‘representatives’ be any different?