According to the recently released UN World Happiness Report, Pakistan is ranked at 75th position among the happier countries in the world. The most astonishing fact is that Pakistan is the happiest country in the entire region, superseding even China, positioned at 86th, Iran which secured 106th position and India, placed at 133rd. Nobody can falsify this report because it is compiled by as an authentic body as UN itself on the basis of certain parameters. The outcome of this survey shows that happiness has nothing to do with internal stability, political upheavals, economic growth and a peaceful environment. There is no denying that China, India and Iran are well ahead of us as far as stability, economy and peace are concerned. 

We are a terrorism-riven and energy-starved nation. In terms of man and money, we suffered callously at the hands of terrorism. We sacrificed almost 70,000 precious lives at the altar of terrorism and lost worth $120 billion to tackle militancy. Our play-grounds turned barren owing to the impending threats on the part of insurgent groups. The issue of hours-long loadshedding took a heavy toll and made the lives of the people miserable. Owing to frequent power-breakdowns, our industrial sector nosedived with little or no signs of recovery. Foreign and circular debts ballooned to a staggering amount. Our imports swelled up whereas exports shrunk down. After the APS carnage in Peshawar, our education system faced an existential threat. But, the deleterious effects of all these hurdles failed to steal a smile from the face of our resilient nation. Indubitably, we celebrate our national, cultural and religious festivals in a befitting manner. It is hoped that we shall work to continue to ramp up our efforts to bring more smiles to our country-men. 

MUHAMMAD FAYYAZ,  

Mianwali, March 20.