The misplaced priorities of our ruling elite have taken this nation on the brink of collapse. Our national interest doesn’t lie in some land across the western border. It doesn’t lie in being in a perpetual state of denial and paranoia. It doesn’t lie in pursuing the national interest of some other state. It doesn’t lie in going half-heartedly after extremist elements and ideologies. It doesn’t lie in keeping the feudal system intact. Nor does it lie in following the doctrine of abrogation while dealing with those who raise their voice against tyranny and oppression. Our national interest lies in investing heavily in education and healthcare. It lies in alleviating the grievances of the Baloch and in doing something about their unfortunate province. It lies in moulding ourselves according to the norms of the modern world. It lies in realising the fact that the power calculus has changed from military and territory in favour of economic stability and growth. It lies in reforms at each and every level. It lies in expanding the tax net, punitive swift justice and accountability. Ayaz Arif, Peshawar, September20.