The recent photos of a new PIA plane being littered by passengers, sheds light on our public behaviour, ethics and etiquettes as a nation. While this kind of behaviour invites censure and punishment in many countries, Pakistanis easily get away with it. We claim to be patriotic citizens, but do not own this country as our home. 

Presumably, the passengers traveling abroad through the premier PIA plane were part of the educated elite. What good does such education do, if it cannot nurture basic good manners and civic sense? It is shameful, that while most Pakistanis grumble about the below-par services of PIA, and curse it for being a sub-standard airline, they show a pathetically uncivilised attitude even when the airline actually delivers good services. 

Such uncultured behaviour runs deep in Pakistani society. In a fit of frenzy and rage, we resort to vandalising public property, without having an iota of realisation that we are the ultimate users of such services and facilities. Despite being educated, most Pakistanis feel no shame in throwing trash openly in public spaces, and then they are quick to blame the government for not cleaning the mess. We as citizens always remember our rights, but conveniently turn a blind eye towards our responsibilities. 

Regrettably, enlightenment through education fails to pierce our minds. Our homes are the basic ground for the inculcation of ethical and moral training, good manners and civility. Then comes the role of educational institutions which reinforces these qualities in us. But the gradual erosion of these characteristics from our society is a serious flaw in our familial, social and educational systems. Until the government strictly punishes the people for being unruly and uncivilised and citizens realize their civic responsibilities, behaviour like that mentioned above will get more chronic. 


Islamabad, August 27.