Self criticism in a time of war


In a recent discussion on social media, the point was made that right now is not the time for self-criticism because we are in a state of war. This reply came after posting a story in the international press about thousands of Pakistani citizens being illegally killed by police who were even ‘happy to admit the practice’. The point was taken, and I have spent a lot of time thinking about this.

My first thought was, okay, if now is not the time for self-criticism, when is it? We are in a time of war and we don’t want to demoralise the nation or parrot our enemies propaganda. Okay. But when things are going well, we are also told that it is not the time for self-criticism because then we are demoralising the nation when we should be projecting ‘Pak Positive’ topics and building ourselves up. For many people, there is never a good time for self-criticism. For many people, we should never talk about our problems and just hope that one day we will wake up and they will have magically disappeared. This is the mindset that has allowed our problems to continue and fester like sores that could be easily healed if we just gave them the small amount of attention that they need.

My second thought was about parroting our enemies propaganda. This is a common reply: Why you are sounding like India?

Let me give another way to think about this:

If talking about our problems sounds like Indian propaganda, shouldn’t we be working to solve those problems and therefore taking away India’s talking points?

This is one of our biggest weak points. All nations have problems. In America, the Black Lives Matter has pulled the veil off of America’s racism and exposed the violence of police forces. No one is telling Americans not to talk about this problem. In Pakistan, we are always told not to talk about our problems, but this doesn’t make the problems disappear. All it does is make us look like we are unwilling or unable to do anything about them. That is handing Indian extremists the biggest propaganda point.

Modi’s extremist regime has fulfilled all the predictions of Quaid-e-Azam about what India would become over time. Can there be any doubt that Modi has been a gift to Pakistan since he has so obviously given evidence for Pakistan’s case in the world? We have been given an opportunity, but we can easily waste it if we play into Modi’s hands by ignoring our problems instead of solving them.

In a time of war, the first order should be not to supply the enemy with any ammunition. Stating the obvious is not handing India anything. Ignoring the obvious is. Therefore, I believe it is not only wise, it is a patriotic duty at this time to face and solve the national crises so that our enemies can not use them as weapons against us.


Author: Mahmood Adeel