“My message to you all is of hope, courage and confidence. Let us mobilise all our resources in a systematic and organised way and tackle the grave issues that confront us with grim determination and discipline worthy of a great nation”?Muhammad Ali Jinnah A famous adage goes by “God helps those who help themselves.” There are umpteen cases where people have been rewarded for putting in efforts towards achieving a known target or fulfilling certain objectives. A deity that is invisible to the eyes can be beseeched for help but expecting it to come down in physical form is a fallacy. They say that God uses other humans as arms to lift their fellow beings out of trouble or assist them when some confusion occurs and whoever benefits from such behaviour spontaneously feels that it is a God-sent blessing. These episodes have been experienced by many who, sometimes, name them as miracles or say that they could never imagine a sudden turn of events. There is a lot that one can achieve by intelligently and prudently organising one’s affairs. This is true for governments as well. A good hand may steer the destiny of nations and decide the future of an entire state. Therefore, it must be adorned with unique qualities of dedication, integrity and far-sightedness. Above all, it needs to be thoroughly organised. Jesse Jackson rightly said: “In politics, an organised minority is a political majority.” People generally like to be led rather than lead. There are very few born leaders and even fewer, who get the opportunity to actually be at the helm of affairs. Once they reach a position, their true mettle gets unveiled. In most instances, the subsequent actions betray the tongue, yet some outshine and prove themselves beyond expectations. They are actually the ones who are God’s earnest angels. The state police cannot interfere in the matters of the Puran village because all conflicts are handled by the elders. Who says an ideal form of governance cannot be achieved, especially in a country like Pakistan that has been mercilessly pillaged by rent-seekers, crafty businessmen and that class of vested interests, which, time and again, get an opportunity to forage what does not belong to them; depriving unsuspecting citizens of their fundamental rights, forcing them to eke out a bleak living? This civil-militro-judicial-political class organised itself to do what Joseph Sobran said: “Politics is the conspiracy of the unproductive but organised against the productive, but unorganised.” Even in this grim reality, there are certain persons, who, albeit on a small scale, have proved that wonders can be achieved if one sets one’s mind in the right direction and fills one’s heart with a generous amount of empathy for others. One such place is Puran Village, Tehsil Sarai Alamgir, District Gujrat in the province of Punjab, Pakistan. This is perhaps the wealthiest village in the country, where almost 95 per cent of the inhabitants are expatriate Pakistanis settled in the UK, US, Europe and other developed countries. Yet, their patriotism is still deeply rooted in their beloved homeland. Late Al-Haj Raja Muhammad Tahir Qabli is credited with laying the foundation of this model village. Cleanliness, female education, exemplary rule of law, state-of-the-art houses, zero crime rate, a graveyard with free Wi-Fi facility and a provision for gratis burial for those who cannot afford, libraries, banks and a self-run post office where salaries of the staff are paid by Al-Puran Welfare Society remain some of the glowing hallmarks. This village, spread over eight kilometres square, having eleven entry points with 850 houses and a population of 10,000, is fully covered by CCTV. The state police cannot interfere in its matters because all conflicts are handled by the elders, while rules and regulations formulated by the people themselves are strictly adhered to with heavy and compulsory penalties in case of violation. Some very interesting rules that are vehemently observed relate to wedding receptions and funeral ceremonies. There is a complete ban on fireworks and strewing cash during marriages. A one-dish meal is to be served while the amount of mehr (dower money) is fixed compulsorily at Rs 20 million to prevent divorces. Other than this, people are expected to visit the house of a dead person only for condolences and fateha but not to enjoy food, which is forbidden. The poor are taken good care of by welfare society members and there is a general atmosphere of peace and contentment in this village. Taking a cue from the working of this beautiful village, governments at all levels can learn many lessons. Unfortunately, the elite capture of state institutions prevents the few well-intentioned from bringing about positive and substantial changes in the entire country. The sagacity and far-sightedness of a single human being, the late Mr Qabli, and now follow-up by his descendants have converted this small abode to heaven. If Lee Kuan Yew can alter the destiny of Singapore and the Qabli clan can establish an exemplary society, why can’t our political leaders deliver and make Pakistan an enviable country? The writer is a lawyer, author, Adjunct Faculty (Lahore University of Management Sciences), member of Advisory Board and Senior Visiting Fellow (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics).