There was a time when I used to shy away from discussing individuals as opposed to events. Only recently I have broken my rules and feel compelled to say things publicly, stamping out gossip when it sparks up, believing it is imperative to dispel baseless allegations, while augmenting the demand for facts.
Since the latest trend in Pakistani politics is stirring up hysteria, and taking things at face value while mindlessly spreading rumors like wild fire, I am trying to keep up with the current theme of systematically extending the life of every topic, irrespective of how pointless it may be!
After critically analyzing Pakistan’s social spectrum, I have come to realize that in addition to indulging in bogus gossip, a significant number of Pakistanis are now suffering from an acute and potentially dangerous psychological illness which impairs their ability to think rationally. Nation-wide study predicts that full recovery of such chronic patients will require getting in touch with reality and embracing it. Left untreated, this disease may inflict a serious cost on the nation in the form of mental decline.
Last time I checked, I couldn’t find a good enough reason to tarnish someone’s image with an outlandish claim, so can someone please explain to me the rationale behind purposely digging up dirt on people? What could be the logic behind character assassination? Why do people like spreading salacious information with a passion? When will we label the whole practice as reprehensible? Isn’t it our duty to question hearsay? Shouldn’t it be our responsibility to discredit misinformation that has no basis in reality? Or will we continue finding flaws for the sake of ‘habitual criticism’?
As if juicy tidbits about “Meera” aren’t bizarre enough already, staggering reports about Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s son, “Zain H. Qureshi” are a ‘special’ and hopefully ‘limited’ edition to tabloid journalism in the country. The intern who has been ripped to shreds for his internship at Senator John Kerry’s Office is alleged to have been complicit in drafting the controversial Kerry Lugar legislation in his capacity as “legislative fellow” during the period of his internship. So much for gaining pre-professional work experience prior to graduation! What is more amusing is the portrayal of this association between the FM’s son and the Senate Foreign Relations committee chair as being covert and classified, intensifying Pakistani suspicion about recently passed and highly controversial “Kerry Lugar Bill.”
In a world free of delusions, an internship is a career specific, temporary position which helps to gain necessary work experience by observing and understanding things as they occur over a specified course of time. It is perfectly legit to secure an internship for the educational and academic value it provides. It is also perfectly normal to have a visiting card for the duration of the internship which further clarifies the transparent means through which networking is conducted. Experience entails professionalism and facets of PR are important to represent your country, especially in Washington DC, the prime political capital of the world.
So then what is wrong in undergoing practical training? Why is it bad to get your foot in the door? How many politicians in Pakistan attempt to gain professional experience? How many try to learn about the inner workings of the US Senate and the general workings of the American system? Should Zain be criticized because he got the chance to learn and discover? Should he be lambasted for refining his skills? Shouldn’t we appreciate him for diversifying his experience? Shouldn’t he be encouraged to gain a better understanding of his political field?
It is extremely unfortunate that many people in Pakistan completely disregard transferable skills and fail to understand the importance of seeking work place maturity and perspective. But it is about time we realize that it is an asset to have youth that commands an awareness of the world. Engaging international audiences’ helps remove any misperceptions that might hinder the attainment of our foreign policy objectives.
Pakistan needs people who can represent our interests in the policy formulation bodies of America. We lack important insights into the workings of the American system which are required to bolster public diplomacy and are necessary to understand and apprehend foreign perspective. As a nation we need to get out of the ‘gossip groove’ and strive to attain the knowledge we need for tomorrow, to pave the way into a better future. That is the only way we can give back to our community; the only way in which we can build a stable bridge between home and abroad!