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Aam Adami Ka Pakistan, A step towards Nation Building

The trust of the general public and common man in the work of Pakistani journalists and media organisations has risen and fallen over the years. Unfortunately, it is at a low point in Pakistan today. One of the important reasons is nearly total absence of social issues from the national news from most of media outlets as a sign of qualitative journalism.

The ordinary people are hardly making any news in today’s Pakistan on most of the media networks. On the contrary, most of the media outlets would either operate as an adjunct mouthpiece of the government, or they would go for a highly controversial scoop, no matter if it were based on scant or non-existent evidence, or if it could become a potential trigger of political and social unrest. Pakistan is currently faced with a strongly ‘event-driven media’.

In a historic context, Pakistani media came into existence with a mission to promulgate the ideology of Pakistan.But in the most recent times, the transformation in the media as an industry has also changed the working environment of journalists and the role of the media organisationin the Pakistani society. Some media outlets seem to be no longer serving the interests of the nation and the state, but they may find themselves serving the interests of their pay masters. It appears that Pakistan’s newly emerging democratic society has almost become the victim of its own need for openness and a liberal media. Yet, the campaign of Aam Admi Ka Pakistan (AAP)by ARY network is a first step towards mobilising the masses for the Nation Building.

The campaign rightly mentions in its vision‘that Allah has granted Pakistan with virtually everything that many other nations can only dream of’. There is no doubt in it. Pakistan is a home to 180 million souls out of which 96% are common men and women,ranks it as sixth most populous state of the world. It is the second-largest country in the world with a predominantly Muslim population and holds a key geostrategic location, sharing international borders with India, China, Iran, and Afghanistan, as well as a 700-mile coastline along the Arabian sea touching on the Persian Gulf. With a standing army of half a million, Pakistanis one of very few in the world in possession of nuclear weapons.

Yet, due to negative trends in contemporary comparative politics it has wrongly been called “a failed state,” occasionally “a failing state,” and even at times “a rogue state.” One of the major reasons is of such negative tagging is that during 67 years of its existence most ofthe concentration remained on ‘State Building’ and not on ‘Nation Building’ and till today Pakistanremains “a nation still in the making’.

AAP’s clear focus is on giving common man a self confidence on its capabilities. It emphasise common man’s role in making a better nation and a better Pakistan. Such an awareness through this campaign is very important as Nation-building evolves from the belief that there can be no nation, and hence no national development, until the common people within a state recognise that their personal interests are linked with that state and that their well-being is enhanced by membership in it and they have to motivate themselves and strive hard for the development of that country and nation. Nation-building refers to the fabric of a national community of common people: to the elements that compose it; the relationship of those common peopleto each other and, collectively, to the world outside.

There have been a lot of efforts in the recent times for the ‘State Building’ in Pakistan by using interventionist strategies to restore and rebuild the institutions and apparatus of the state.Pakistan’s vibrant civil society, relatively open media, and the rise of an independent higher judiciary, amendments to strengthen democratic institutions and expand provincial autonomy are the clear examples of ‘State Building’ efforts.  AAP is launched at a very appropriate time when there is a need for ‘Nation Building’ in which state reaches out to the massesand contribute to the development of a nation.

The campaigns like AAP are very important as politically Pakistan has successfully entered in a transitional phase to democratise from a decade of long authoritarian rule.The consensus over democracy has somewhat improved during the last few years but remains fragile.Surely, periods of transition not only leave common people in heightened need of orientation but also make political institutions more vulnerable to fluctuations in popular support and, as in some cases, to the pressures of hostile public opinion.For a state to become a democracy, political authority has to be constrained and balanced, individual rights protected, and a rule of law assured.

In states whose governments continue to resist a more open and participatory form of governance, such as North Korea, Burma or Zimbabwe, the idea of democracy is a powerfulforce that inspires people to take on a more active role in public life. However,Pakistan like many of the newlyemerging democracies seem to fall short of some, often many, of the basic standards that define democratic rule, with irregular voting procedures, corruption, inefficiency and autocratic styles of government. In addition, as Pakistan is a country of  the developing world, inequality and poverty remain severe obstacles to full self‐determination of the common people.The experiences of the past decades have shown that democracy is not a one‐way road and that a viable democracy requires more than the implementation of the key institutions of government. Rather, an accountable and efficient government is embedded in a complex web of interdependent conditions that require considerable time and effort to develop. In the context of the apparent problems and frequent setbacks, scholars and policymakers alike have become aware of the crucial role of the media in processes of democratisation and consolidation.

As we know that word ‘democracy’ is a combination of two Greek words ‘Demo’  (People) and Kratia (Government). In an era where most of the media outlets in Pakistan are focusing on Kratia (Government), ARY network has taken a wonderful initiative to mobilise the Demo (People).It is the common man in the present day Pakistan who is deprived, uncared, underprivileged, having identity crisis & unsecured of his rights as regards, home, job, opportunity, marriage decisions, health, insurance, education, nutrition,pollution free environment, rights against destitution and old age survival etc. He is the one who feels insecure against any unlawful intrusion whether Governmental or private.

Such awareness campaign among the common man about his RIGHTS is manifestation of power of his power to change the country and the Government if it does not deliver the goods. Gone are the days when the Governments survived even without delivering the desired results. Fear of the mass mobilisation through campaigns like AAP and rejection by the people and the common man has kept the Governments of the day on wheels whether in making of the policies or in its implementation.Democracy means political power in the hands of the people. It  opposes the rule by a few even if the few is very capable. Democracy only takes on a more useful meaning when qualified  by one or the other word with which it is associated, for example liberal democracy, representative democracy, participatory democracy or direct democracy.Dewey has rightly said, “The foundation of democracy is faith in the capacities of common people; faith in common intelligence and in the power of pooled and cooperative experience.’’

All efforts of AAP campaign should be geared to bestow more and more Rights on the common man & also power empowerment of the common man. Common man should be made more and more conscious and aware and should be seen as a viable and alternate pillar of the society to assume responsibility whether in power sharing, law making or delivery justice system. Common man should not be seen as enemy of the system but should be geared and seen as a friend who in any eventuality can stand up to the task of Nation building.

We must not forget that the common people brought the Revolutions of 1848 which were a widespread uprising across Europe in response to social and economic pressures brought on by the eighteenth century Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. Elites throughout Europe were threatened as common people attempted to establish new governments that allowed the common man a voice in government function. The picture of US president Andrew Jackson on 20 dollar bill reminds the world today his ‘era of common man 1824-1840’ in USA.

Pakistan is a state in its developmental phase, a struggling nation-state, a state struggling to democratise, a state struggling to achieve a national identity. Pakistan as envisioned by its founders was to be an extraordinary state, a homeland for the Muslims, an ideological and political front-runner of the Islamic world.It was created amidst grim conditions. In the words of the historian Ian Talbot, “Pakistan’s birth was a difficult one, which involved immense suffering of thousands of common men and women.

Its British midwife had abandoned it to a chaotic environment in which the elder Indian sibling looked on with hostility.’’  AAP campaign should remind the people of Pakistan that Quaid-i-Azam reminded his people that although they had achieved Pakistan, they must not slacken in their efforts to build and strengthen the new young state. In a broadcast talk from Radio Pakistan, Lahore, on October 30, 1947 the Quaid said “Let us now plan to build and reconstruct and regenerate our great nation and our sovereign state of Pakistan which, as you know, is not only the biggest Muslim State in the world but the fifth biggest sovereign state in the world.

Now is the time, chance and opportunity for every Mussalman to make his or her fullest and best contribution and make the greatest sacrifice and work ceaselessly and selflessly in the service of our nation and make Pakistan one of the greatest nations of the world.  While the horizon is beset with dark clouds, let me appeal to you and give this message to the people of Pakistan. Create enthusiasm and spirit and go forward with your tasks with courage and hope and we shall do it.

Are we down hearted? Certainly not. The history of Islamic replete is full with instances of valour, grit and determination. So march on notwithstanding obstructions, confident that a united nation of 70 million people with a grim determination and with a greater civilization and history need for nothing. It is now up to you to work, work and work and we are bound to succeed”.

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