Our entire country seems to be under the influence of quacks. These quacks aren’t just restricted to the medical profession either. I am not just talking about the people who are claiming that they can grow a new pancreas or cure hepatitis in a week. I am talking about the general air of disbelieving people with actual legitimacy and flocking in front of people who are offering you one-shot magical solutions that will fix everything forever and ever.

The tendency to believe these quacks comes from our disillusionment with the traditional way of doing things which has necessitated us to rely on “alternative” means to fix problems. This goes from bribing the clerk to get your documents earlier than they would normally be released to “muk muka” with the policemen to make sure things stay off your record. This tendency has eventually become second nature to us, which means that we are more prone to believing the man crying out “Ghazva-e-hind will happen and then we will live happily ever after” than the person who wants us to take a look at our history, think of all the mistakes we have made and strive to do better next time.

This mentality is also what fuels to those one-shot solutions we dream up that politicians have used to get people to vote for them. It’s not too long ago when people thought that if Pervez Musharraf resigned his two posts, things would magically get better. Then the same was said about Asif Ali Zardari being tried for corruption. Then the slogan was that we need to elect the charismatic Imran Khan, because just his awesome aura will make all the corrupt politicians turn as saints. No one thinks about the logistics of the issues. No one thinks about the root causes. We just wanted a single step solution and our “Quack” analysts gave them to us.

We even have quack scientists. It wasn’t too long ago that someone decided that they had overturned the two laws of thermodynamics and could run a car on water. They achieved so much exposure, from senators and parliamentarians to the Chairman of the PCSIR. We just wanted the one step solution to the fuel problem instead of working on actual solutions like encouraging public transport. Sadly, that wasn’t the only case of a quack scientist. Our universities are filled with such people who are there because they have the degrees, even if they don’t have any idea what their subject is about.

If that is how we feel, why is it a surprise that we are all enamored of the quack Islamist analysts that tacitly approve of the forces trying to kill the common Pakistani under the guise of it being Islam? Why are we surprised that there is a violent way people are trying to impose their ideology on the rest of the world. It is only the logical conclusion of our decades of listening to quacks. We want to be deceived because we don’t want to look at the actual problems in the ideologies we pretend to espouse. We want all the good parts without fixing the bad parts.

The result of this isn’t going to be different from what we have learned already, time and time again. Every time we have believed a quack, a pseudo-intellectual, it has disappointed us. It has only increased our troubles, never fixing them. Perhaps it is time that we learned our lesson and started thinking deeply about our problems and what makes them the problem they are. We may yet have time.