There is no dearth of leaders, in power or out of it, in Pakistan claiming that they intend to build or re-build the country in line with the thoughts of Allama Muhammad Iqbal. President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif are among the many to have expressed their resolve to do so from time to time. But, unfortunately, these are just words. A quick glance at the state of affairs in the country would convince an observer that they have little relevance to the Muslim state Iqbal envisioned in the South Asian subcontinent. While it is true that the governing classes all along the countrys existence have not bothered to be faithful to Iqbals message, the present ruling leadership has crossed all bounds. Following the course set by military dictator Musharraf, it has fallen under the spell of the West and mortgaged its independence, even sovereignty, to the US. The Allamas message, instead, is a strident call for freedom from the guiles of the West and reversion to the ever-lasting teachings of Islam, interpreted in the light of new and emerging realities. Our role in the war on terror, in compliance with US dictates, has brought us death and destruction and economic hardship. Iqbal foresaw the renaissance of Islam, with the Muslim state in the subcontinent taking the lead to forge unity in the Islamic world and then together working to revive that glory of yore, which could only come back with hard work, devotion to the study of modern disciplines and honesty of purpose. Alas, neither that unity nor that renaissance is anywhere in sight. Nor is any worthwhile effort is being made to realise Iqbals intent of lifting the masses out of the morass of poverty and ignorance as expressed in his verses and prose. Our rulers seem to be revelling in corruption and celebrating their bad governance. Skyrocketing prices depriving the people of the means to meet the essential needs of life are of little concern to them. Education has been downgraded, as, perhaps, never before in the history of Pakistan. The financial resources allocated to education in relation to the GDP have been reduced from the days of Musharraf, with the result that we are increasingly falling behind other countries. A dangerous trend of defying judicial verdicts has developed among the top hierarchy, taking the disregard of the rule of law with impunity by the influential classes a notch further. Yet, the people of Pakistan do not despair. There is a belief that given the political will to regain initiative and the proper utilisation of the huge resources that the country possesses, Pakistan will, no doubt, emerge as a developed and prosperous state. They pray that that political will shall soon be in evidence.