Lately I’ve felt that the confusion in politics is spilling over from the expected places — protests, partisan websites, talk shows — into everyday lives. The lines of social acceptability and just plain courteous behavior are becoming harder to define when it comes to politics, and for the first time I am truly concerned about where this fear and frustration in politics is taking us. A certain level of confusion is acceptable. I am not saying I am not confused about many things that are going on in our country, but I do believe we can discuss our differences with respect and civility. And I don’t think I am the only one who feels this way. There is a vast majority of what I call the ‘silent majority’ who believes in dialogue while making differences in the lives of our citizens. Let’s learn from people like Nelson Mandela, my hero and above all from the Noble Quran.

I can’t help thinking about the toll it is taking on the next generation of Pakistan who want to venture into politics and civic service. History is a witness to the fact that great visionary leaders have always inspired entire generation and if leaders and civil society, in general, and our politicians, in particular, aren’t inspiring people when they are young, what hope there is that they will care when they are older?

I believe that Pakistan’s best days are ahead of us and that I believe we can bridge the divide in our country. It’s time for the people of Pakistan and our politician to think of reconciliation and start thinking of what we will leave behind as a legacy for the next generation. When I say let’s work together for the good of the country and make it a progressive and tolerant country. Aristotle, the great Athenian thinker once remarked that virtue is nothing more than the activity of the soul in accordance with excellence, or at least, not without it.

HASHIM ABRO,

Islamabad, January 7.