Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Two Perspectives



Everything depends on one’s perspective towards life, progress and development. One can change a desert into a thriving tourism haven, while another can turn a God gifted heaven into a hair-raising place. When I say ‘one’, it includes perspective of individuals, people and countries.
Recently, I traveled to Dubai for a few days and found the first perspective taking its shape. With no resources (I mean oil as other Gulf states do), Dubai had only sea around its vast stretches of desert. With the resoluteness and determination of its rulers, who chose to collect money from tourism, mainly first emanating from the world famous Dubai Duty Free Shop, and then instead of amassing this money into the safe vaults of Swiss Banks, decided to spend on the uplift of Dubai into a thriving tourism city. Today you name anything biggest and tallest in the world that Dubai doesn’t have it. Burj Al Arab, 167 stories high is the world’s tallest building, Dubai Shopping Mall is the world’s biggest shopping mall with its beautiful and awe inspiring Music Fountain, also said to be the world’s biggest. Dubai has also launched a 52 kilometers long automated metro train system, also said to be the world’s largest automated train system. I could go on and on, but there is no ending. Talk of cleanliness, one doesn’t find any litter, because if you litter you pay heavily for your deeds. You cross the road other than the Zebra Crossing, you are charged. And above all, no one is allowed to smoke publicly. All these stringent laws make Dubai cleaner and peaceful.
Now the second perspective – Pakistan: abound in natural resources (oil, gas, minerals, water, snow capped mountains, 1200 kilometres long beeches), deserts, lush green plains, home to some of the ancient civilizations of the world (Mehrgarh, Moenjodaro, Taxila), Mughal architectural trove and much more. But what do we have on ground – dirt, litter and mismanagement. People throw litter wherever it pleases them, spit pan-water everywhere and smoke like steam engines. Whatever the government earns, is squandered away and most of what is collected from the people or tourists is eaten away and is not spent on to make lives of people better or attract tourists. In fact no effort has ever been made to make Pakistan a tourist friendly country as the government owned tourism department lacks will and energy to do so. Our tourism related sites lack the basic infrastructure to attract tourists. The roads leading to heritage and other sites are so congested, dirty and corroded that one shirks to go there.
There is nothing wrong with our country – we lack in perspective. Perspective to spend what we earn on people and the country rather we tend to waste the collected money from the people and tourists on administrative / non-productive areas rather than spending on improving infrastructure to make our country attractive.
The War on Terror has further terrorized our perspective to life and the country. We badly need to put our perspective right and help build the country – friendly to its people and those who wish to travel here and see some of the natural wonders of the world.

3 comments:

Shirazi said...

What you mean by "we" here. If you say we all - the people' - then I would dare add that perspective comes from top; almost always. You need to have leaders with clear focus and perspective to make such changes at gross roots level. That unfortunately i missing in our case.

That said, yes, we should try to put our perspective right at individual level.

jalalHB said...

If you commend a Booby in England for his politeness, firmness and efficiency, he would answer, "I am good bcasue my people are good as I stem from my people". That said, perspective doesnt come from top, it is a cumulative pserspective of individuals - that takes shape at individual level. So our leaders are what we are. Nothing less, nothing more....

Shirazi said...

Please don't say that our leaders are what we are! Empirical observation is that we are not that bad at individual level.

Every Booby here, exceptions apart, is polite, firm and efficient here too. But still, leaders are as they are...