Two civilian governments have completed their tenure successfully, and now a third has taken control in the centre. Their basic mission will be to effectively tackle the myriad of problems facing Pakistan today. Politicians have long propagated that regular elections will help to resolve our issues, as military interventions have impeded elected governments and their desire to help the masses. Now is the time to deliver on the many promises made to this country’s citizens, otherwise it will only strengthen the belief that elections in Pakistan are no more than an exercise to legitimize the rule of a few elites, who have been part of the government for the last 3 to 4 generations. Our political leadership’s most powerful weapon currently is the blame game, which provides an easy escape from addressing actual problems. When they fail to deliver, they immediately start blaming previous governments, or unseen forces of having some hand in their failures, and this kind of thinking can be seen among our general population as well. We are always looking for someone to blame for our ills, and exaggerate the importance of individuals or groups. This stops us from getting a fact based understanding of the problems, giving politicians leverage over their opponents, and giving them a convenient scapegoat for their personal failings. Pakistan is an ideal country where politicians, intelligentsia, media, academia, think tanks and others have developed a habit of finding simple, clear reasons for all the ill happenings in the country. They blame each other and pick certain examples to justify their argument. This has resulted in shallow thinking, and a failure to find systemic solutions for very complex problems which our country is currently facing. For example, the backwardness of South Punjab is due to a lack of decentralization of powers, resources and civil servants. Same may be true for other regions of the country as well. Unfortunately, our blame instinct bars us from debating these issues and we spare more energy on considering that there are certain lobbies that want to keep these regions in their current state. In his first speech, the new Prime Minister talked about many of the issues facing us today, and hopefully we will see some progress in the future. Unfortunately, our parliament can’t be expected to come up with effective policy decisions, as they only meet about three hours in every session, most of which is wasted due to a lack of members in attendance. When we start focusing on blaming others, we stop thinking about anything else. We ignore actual reasons that caused certain issues, as well as the effective steps that could be taken to solve these problems One hopes that the Prime Minister will avoid this blame instinct; otherwise he may derail himself by falling prey to a system-1 thinking process. According to Kahenman (a Nobel Laureate), ‘System 1 is an automatic, fast and often unconscious way of thinking. It is autonomous and efficient, requiring little energy or attention, but is prone to biases and systematic errors.’ System 2 is an effortful, slow and controlled way of thinking. It requires energy and can’t work without attention but, once engaged, it has the ability to filter the instincts of System 1. The new leadership needs to spare more time and energy to think with reason and logic in finding solutions to our problems. The blame instinct (System1 Thinking) has derailed our capacity to find well-thought solutions for socio-economic cum political challenges being faced by Pakistan today, deviating our attention from finding ways to improve the country. People do not talk about actual policies that can help solve problems. Constructive dialogue has all but disappeared from our political sphere, and a deep understanding of issues is seriously lacking. The media is not immune to this state of affairs either, and have been accused of false reporting, yet that too stems from a lack of comprehensive research in to various topics before reporting on them. This leads to misleading information, and affects the credibility of the media within the country. When we start focusing on blaming others, we stop thinking about anything else. We ignore actual reasons that caused certain issues, as well as the effective steps that could be taken to solve these problems. If Imran Khan wants to bring real positive change to Pakistan, he needs to focus on solving the real issues facing the country today, instead of reverting back to the blame game like so many of his predecessors. By employing deep analysis, and research before forming state policies, the new government can ensure successful resolutions to their problems, as well as prove once and for all the negative consequences of the blame game. The writer is a faculty member at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad @Zahedasghar Published in Daily Times, August 28th 2018.