Imran Khan’s goal to follow the ideals established by the Islamic state founded at Medina is highly noble and inspiring. However, the changed realities of these two eras require some careful consideration before superimposing a 622 AD model on a 2018 nation-state. Medina was blessed by the presence of the Prophet of Islam (SAW) himself, along with his many distinguished companions. The state of Medina was not under a loan of $90 billion, did not have burgeoning population, there were no power shortages or compelling issues of joblessness, urban development, housing, transport, water, sanitation, money-laundering or health and education that we face today.
In today’s Pakistan, most individuals and — certainly no two clerics — agree with the details of how the city was run in 622 AD. The recent example of government nominating a minority member in an advisory group was explained as a fine example of the state of Medina. However, only four days later the ouster of the same member was justified by yet another version of an argument from the same era. With extremist clerics constantly pushing their archaic point of view, this subject has become so emotionally loaded, that it may be best to limit our vision only to the basic concepts of the Medina state ie justice, equality, tolerance and brotherhood.
In today’s Pakistan, most individuals cant agree on the details of how the city of Medina was run in 622 AD
To develop as a modern progressive state, Pakistan must find its place on the globe as it exists today. We need to study how Germany has used alternate energy to solve its power problem, how Turkey has developed sewage treatment plants to treat 100 percent of its sewage, how Finland provides the finest education to its children, how Holland promotes cycles to overcome its environmental problem, how the UK government uses only 83 pool cars for all its ministries as opposed to 20,000 cars used by the Sindh Government alone, how the Canadian government provides pro-active ‘access to information’, how Japan can teach us about running our railway and how civilised countries provide protection, ease and equal treatment to all their citizens. These models exist in real life and can be seen, studied, modified and adapted to the needs and conditions of Pakistan.
The writer is a consultant in the field of occupational health and safety. While his areas of interest include reforms, environment and de-weaponisation, he is also a freelance op-ed columnist. He tweets @saynotoweapons
Published in Daily Times, September 11th 2018.