The prophets of doom are predicting the end of the world in 2012 and citing the Mayan Calendar, as an indication of something cataclysmic that is likely to befall our planet. I tend to agree with these people only as far as a cataclysmic happening is concerned, for such an event is about to sweep the ‘Land of the Pure’ in the months to come.
Pakistan is on the verge of a momentous change, the reverberations of which have begun to be felt in the corridors of power. The perpetrators of this change are young, educated and full of ideals - ideals that are far removed from those that were painfully demonstrated by our political leadership and adopted by their minions during the past many decades.
We are about to witness the rise to prosperity of my motherland – the fulfilment of Jinnah’s dream in a Phoenix-like resurgence, but unlike the bird that is reborn from its own ashes to be consumed by fire again, Jinnah’s dream will rise and stay. For we expect the corrupt to fall from grace and pay for what they have stolen, we look to the day when merit shall prevail and the dispensation of quick justice will become a reality. We expect that the man, who has promised us this change, will prevail over all adversity and deliver.
The man will have a herculean task before him and he shall only succeed if he has the sagacity to choose his team wisely. First and foremost, he must have men and women around him, who have the courage to disagree and say “No”.
He must be wary of the sycophants and court jesters, who will laud him to the skies and make every endeavour to spin a cocoon around him. They will enclose him within walls so that he can only see the garden within, to the utter neglect of the misery without.
He must take counsel from those, who stayed by his side during times of trial. He must introspect and search his soul to stop at ‘red lights’ in all that he does. He must understand that dispensation of good governance will not come easily after what the nation has been through. He must have the patience and understanding of a healer to make whole a nation that suffers from a deeply-rooted cancer.
Above all, he must in words and deeds, emulate our Founding Father. All he has to do is to listen to Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s words, when beset by doubt, for he will find inspiration there. He must not rise on the crest of the wave like a king, but walk amongst his people with dignity and humility. He must remember the adage that a branch weighted with fruit bends ever closer to the ground, for that is the law of nature.
His opponents will do whatever is in their power to discredit him in the eyes of the people. He must face this challenge with the strength of his own transparency and truth. He will be accused of misdeeds and besmirched with scandals, which he must contest with dignity and grace.
He must not consider himself to be indispensable, for this has been the bane of many great leaders, who could have led Pakistan to glory. He must understand that the feeling of indispensability will breed vanity and arrogance - virtues that have made many great men fall.
He must never lose sight of the fact that the surge that brought him to power can easily snatch the same from him, if he does not deliver on the covenant he has made with the people of Pakistan.
The writer is a freelance columnist.