Ask any ordinary Pakistani on the streets of Karachi, Lahore, Quetta or any other major city or town that why Pakistan has not progressed in the last 65 years, and the majority of the people would say that because we have not followed Islam.

The answer intrigues you to ask another question: what Islam do you think should be implemented? Most people look to their left and right for some help or would tell you that they are actually getting late to some very important engagement. If you ask them another quick question about who they voted for in the last elections, the answer will be the MQM, PPP, PML or the ANP.

You get astonished on noticing the confusion in the minds of ordinary Pakistani voters and you ask yourself: do they really know what they are talking about? Do they realise that the parties they vote do not ever promise to implement Islam?

The story does not end there. If the same question is put to Pakistanis living in western egalitarian societies based on secular laws, the answer, surprisingly, will not be different. If you remind them that the country they have preferred over their native country to live in is not Islamic but based on pure secularism, their reaction would not be different from their countrymen back home. Do we live in a deep slumber that nothing wakes us up?

The golden principles of fairness, equality and justice in governance were laid by Islam some 1,500 years ago, but can we afford these principles in Pakistan? Are we really prepared to tread the path of fairness? Do we really demand justice for ourselves? How many of us are actually ready to welcome Islam? If we need Islam, why do we cast votes to parties which never promise implementation of Islam, rather have left tendencies in law-making. Are we really what we are?

MALIK ATIF MAJOKA

Melbourne, Australia