There is no denying Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilanis comments made at an awards ceremony at Aiwan-e-Iqbal in Lahore that if we had followed the principles laid down by poet philosopher Allama Iqbal, we would have been a developed nation. However, the reason why these remarks reek of hypocrisy is because the present lot of rulers are the ones who have distanced themselves from Iqbals philosophy and his vision of Pakistan. The conduct of the leadership particularly the loot and plunder bazaars at every level of governance, are in complete contradiction to all that the Poet of the East had conveyed in his unparalleled poetry and prose. In fact there is hardly any principle of his that the present political set-up could be claimed to be acting upon. Iqbals message had a broad range of meaning: it was for the Muslims of the region as well as the Muslim world and was intended to have guided us in every sphere of life. He also had a vision about how the new state of Pakistan was to progress forward. His concept of an Islamic state and how the country would ensure religious harmony has likewise been ignored. Although he posited that Parliament was to have the power of Ijtihad, in this point in time it is an open secret that the current House is not carrying out this fundamental duty. Fake degree holders, cheaters, thieves and power-hungry men are a far cry from the qualifications he had set. The Prime Ministers speech is, unfortunately, only lip service to Iqbals philosophy. A national holiday to mark the birth of Iqbal has also been recently cancelled, while a two day weekend is being recommended. Though Mr Gilani also stated that the country was in desperate need to learn from Iqbals message, he should look at the conduct of his own government and the continuing damage being done to Pakistan. Iqbal would only be turning in his grave at seeing the present social milieu, our collective mindset that is driven by greed and alienation from the great religion of Islam, something he had greatly stressed. Our unashamed cloying while carrying a begging bowl in the comity of nations and the easy exchange of our sovereignty for a few cheap favours, are an insult to his golden message. Time is not standing still and we have wasted too much of it, already. Let us give Iqbals thought the importance it deserves. Let us commit ourselves to the ideals of honesty, justice, merit and responsibility that Iqbal's message preaches - it is indeed time for us to take pride in these ideals and to follow them. The Prime Minister's suggestion is welcome - as it is better late, than never.