Pakistan has ranked 9th among the least peaceful countries in the world, according to the Global Peace Index released by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The institute released its annual Index for 2015, which ranks 162 nations around the globe, based on factors like the level of violent crime, involvement in conflicts and the degree of militarization. Moreover, it compiles a list of the most peaceful and least peaceful countries after examining internal conflicts, expenditure on arms and terror and violent activities. With Iceland has been listed as the most peaceful country in the world, and Pakistan hanging at the top of its ‘anti’ list, the ranking is hardly surprising.

According to the index, 87 countries have become more peaceful since 2014 and 71 countries have become less peaceful since 2014. Pakistan has maintained its position as being the world’s 9th least peaceful country, while deteriorating in the points of a stable security situation. This is not the only international report that puts Pakistan down. Pakistan, after Iraq and Afghanistan, has also gained the spot of being the third biggest terrorist risk spot in the world, according to Terrorism and Security Dashboard. Moreover, the country remains the third least safe place on the planet due to the fragile security situation in the latest report by the World Economic Forum. Global terrorism has grown unabated with the number of deaths having risen by 61 percent in 2013, most of which occurred due to terror attacks. 82 percent of these deaths have occurred in only five countries namely, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria.

While it is easy to condemn ourselves for being this way, the people of Pakistan need something to hold on to and look forward to. We are a vibrant people, and are full of talent and courage, to be found in all walks of life. Our problems stem from how we act as a mob, how quick we are to judge and condemn fellow citizens of different castes and creeds, and the space we have given to Islamic fundamentalism and political mafia-like parties. But there are good things to come- China’s promises of prosperity and jobs, international sport returning to Pakistan, pro-female legislation in Parliaments, more awareness and lobbying for citizens rights, anti-corruption and anti-rigging movements, and maybe even an end to the Taliban reign of terror in FATA and KPK. Peace is not an unachievable goal. With us as a nation becoming more intolerable and less empathetic towards attacks of violence, we must not only look to the government in order to solve the problems we are in, but also hold ourselves responsible as citizens, for what is going on in our country.