Another year is coming to an end and this last month does not just pass by without reminding us of our founding father; Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. On the day of his birth, we would like to envision a Pakistan which was run by him, entrenched in his core beliefs and political values. At this point in time, there are four major problems plaguing the country - lack of social cohesion, democratic instability, transnational issues such as climate change, and an ailing economy. The issue which needs the utmost attention at this time is the lack of social cohesion. Successive governments might have succeeded in industrialising the country but the lack of social integration has resulted in the absence of acceptance for diversity. As a result, we have witnessed an increase in mob attacks and a decrease in the number of spaces for inter-faith harmony.

To address this particular problem, a vast cleansing is required targeting civilians and politicians which indulge in hate speech and inciting violence. An implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) is required which will automatically also elevate Pakistan’s international image. The second issue is democratic instability. The system may be that of democracy but the concerns of the people along with politicians remain very parochial. This has prohibited the growth of modern alliances. Our neighbour, China, also has a very effective grassroots democracy programme. Implementation of democracy at such levels allows people to adapt to its principles and helps in mitigating the gap between lawmakers and the masses.

Transnational issues are bound to affect all nations. The first and foremost of which is climate change. The current situation is that the Minister for Water Resources, Chairman WAPDA and senior relevant officers have been absent from meetings discussing water scarcity. An issue as serious as smog resulted in the death of 60,000 people in Punjab last year. Both of these issues require the attention along with concrete strategising to ensure stability. Along with this, there is an increase in the support of the alt-right movement all over the world. It is important to build diplomatic ties and effectively counter terrorism to become a part of the post-globalisation era.

Lastly, the economy of Pakistan not only requires foreign support but also a boost to the local industry. At this point, the much-needed accountability drive has alienated several businessmen providing employment to many in Pakistan. A group of Pakistani businessmen - both big and small - must be taken on board to make amends and create a safe space for local investment. Our Quaid was a visionary and it is of utmost importance that leaders today follow in his footsteps.