Zarb-e- Azb ضربِ عضب

One mans resolute belief, will, commitment and perseverance has shown us that, some times all it takes is one man to change the course of history and with that the fate and destiny of people. Zarb-e-Azb a joint military offensive being conducted by the Pakistan Armed Forces against various militant groups since June 15th 2014 in the wake of the Karachi Airport attack on June 8th is the only good thing I can credit the armed forces for in a long time. Such is the sad reality of optics, mostly because the retired generals were taking credit for a host of other things, which else where in the civilized world would be worthy of prosecution and not praise.

History will tell the real story, but what General Raheel Sharif is doing for Pakistan, is what others should have done a long time back. But it doesn’t and cant end with his actions. Every one has a part to play. We need a Zarb-e-Azb initiative in the education, business and corporate verticals. We need a fearless change of guard for us to ever be successful as a nation. If the General retires in Nov 2016 as planned, this country would have lost its last real chance at managing its internal and external security threats to be in a position to succeed as nation. A nation that is capable of producing more than rhetoric and political discussions in every drawing room of the country supplemented by self proclaimed, political, military, defense, foreign relations and other kind of nut jobs on television.

The last change of guard gave us this General, but it took from us a General that could best be described as a Corporate Raider, a Trader of Wall Street Proportions, almost instantly Kevin Spacey in Margin Call comes to mind, but in this case some one worthy of an award handed by a court and not The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

What the above tells us, is that we have the raw talent to make financially viable decisions, at a national level, but generally in personal interest, no pun intended.

What we need is change from the ground up in education first, only then can we ever hope to see a Pakistani being the CEO of Google or Pepsi or having a Pakistani company making it to the Fortune 500 or beyond. Perhaps the first Pakistani Billionaire in Dollar terms that didn’t come from the current hegemony that have dominated the business of politics or didn’t immigrate else where and is now referred to as an XYZ of Pakistani origin.

But we have schools, you say.… The problem is not schools, the solution no less is a Zarb-e-Azb style crack down on the politics of keeping people away from schools and illiterate, if the army can crack down on terrorists, then keeping kids illiterate should also be classified as a form terrorism. Here’s a glimpse, on why it should be , and I quote””

“Official statistics released by the Federal Education Ministry of Pakistan give a Desperate picture of education for all, especially for girls. The overall literacy rate is 46 per cent, while only 26 per cent of girls are literate. Independent sources and educational experts, however, are skeptical. They place the overall literacy rate at 26 per cent and the rate for girls and women at 12 per cent, contending that the higher figures include people who can handle little more than a signature.

There are 163,000 primary schools in Pakistan, of which merely 40,000 cater to girls. Of these, 15,000 are in Punjab Province, 13,000 in Sind, 8,000 in North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and 4,000 in Baluchistan.Similarly, out of a total 14,000 lower secondary schools and 10,000 higher secondary schools, 5,000 and 3,000 respectively are for girls, in the same decreasing proportions as above in the four provinces.

There are around 250 girls colleges, and two medical colleges for women in the public sector of 125 districts. Some 7 million girls under 10 go to primary schools, 5.4 million between 10 and 14 attend lower secondary school, and 3 million go to higher secondary schools. About 1.5 million and 0.5 million girls respectively go to higher secondary schools/colleges and universities.”

We are celebrating 14th August 2015, yet we barely cut it at being literate, just barely civil enough to be not barbaric, yet no one has ever done any thing to fix the root cause. It is time for the great General to fix this mess so we can have a fighting chance at being literate, we will then worry about being business men and women or nurturing corporate leaders. For now we have to nurture the raw talent and minds of the kids we have already produced, we shouldn’t fail them.

Nothing else seems to be working, since the predecessors of the brave general have tried their hand at Fertilizer Plants, Security Companies, Construction and lets not forget Real Estate , perhaps its time they allocate some time to Education. Perhaps its asking a lot or hoping for a lot, but the time has come, some one has to do some thing, and till we ask, we don’t know if he will respond to our call.

We need to align our selves to classify “keeping people illiterate by design a crime against humanity” “an act of terrorism” and worthy of the same fate in front of military courts similar to the terrorist being tried as an outcome of Zarb-e-Azb .

Please don’t come crying: to give democracy a chance, it has had a chance over the last 60+ years. The only thing democracy did for education in Pakistan was that it ensured it got less money every year than our defense spending. So what will we defend in the years to come when the soul of the nation and its intellect has all taken a flight to the nearest shore offering the chance to settle down as an immigrant? (Part two on the life of an average Immigrant when his system fails him) (Education Stats)

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