Political scientists believe that in any culture leadership is considered a very important institution. This is because leadership tends to influence, if not to dictate, all the activities and affairs of a culture. Thus, traditional cultures in Pakistan attach great importance to the qualities of good leadership. At whatever level of leadership, whether as an individual or the elder of a community, village or town, the leaders have to possess certain qualities that are acceptable to the people as characteristics of good leadership. These qualities included seniority in age, honesty, morality and reputation as a warrior and other characteristics of leadership.

Seniority in age was considered to be important because age was associated with wisdom. Wisdom was considered important because one of the main responsibilities of any leader was the settlement of disputes. A leader who did not have this quality, therefore, would have been at a disadvantage. Finally, for one to become a leader, one had to possess certain qualities. Among the Sindhi community, people capable of becoming leaders were “men who talk gently and wisely and who can make people listen and return to reason when they want to quarrel.” Indeed, leaders were people who were wise, kind, merciful and had full knowledge of all affairs within the community but where are those people who possess such virtues and traits in Pakistani society nowadays?

HASHIM ABRO,

Islamabad, January3.