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The article “Reinventing Pakistan” is written by a well-known Pakistani nuclear physicist and political defense analyst, Pervez Hoodbhoy. It was published in DAWN newspaper on March 23rd, 2010. Pervaiz Hoodbhoy is the professor of high energy physics and head of physics department in Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. Hoodbhoy is also a noted environmental and social activist and regularly writes on a wide range of social, cultural and environmental issues. He is the chairman of a non-profit organization Mashal, which publishes Urdu books on women’s rights, education, environmental issues, philosophy, and modern thought. He is an advocate for democracy in the country and a staunch opponent of militant Islam in Pakistan.
          The article is basically focusing the problems that Pakistan has been facing about its integrity and unity since independence. Writer is of the view that Pakistan has been a state since 1947 but has not been able to become a strong nation or even a nation. Missing is a strong common identity, mental makeup, shared sense of history, and common goals. He says that Punjabis prefer Pakistan over their province but people of Sindh, Balochistan and NWFP do not have the same approach. He also exemplifies the separation of East Pakistan.

           Then he discusses certain factors involved in making Pakistan a weaker nation. He criticizes the inequalities on economic and social basis, conflicts on ethnic and sectarian grounds, disloyalties and inefficiencies of leaders and the wrong use of religion by some people. Then at the end he gives several solutions to overcome these problems and make Pakistan a stronger nation. The article overall goes well and manages to keep the attention of reader throughout it.

           The article was written on March23 and its purpose was to make Pakistanis realize that now they need to think for Pakistan as a whole instead of thinking about their own respective provinces. Although the article was good but it has many weak points in it as well. In the very beginning, author takes a stance and says that people of provinces other than Punjab, do not have good feelings for Pakistan which is not true. There may be some people who think so but you can not say this for everyone. He must have given examples to support his point. There have been many instances in the past like war of 1965, the devastating earthquake of 2005 and many others where nation has proved to be as united as any other nation of the world. We have some ethnic grievances but it does not mean that we are not a nation. 

                There is coherence in the article but sometimes article lacks it badly. Author rejects his own ideas mentioned sometime ago. As in case of religion, he says that the separation of East Pakistan proved religion to be an illusion to be the binding cord for Pakistan and in the very next paragraph he admits that religion is still very powerful tool for the unity of Pakistan and in a survey three-quarter of Pakistanis take them as Muslims first and Pakistanis second.

          But author has raised a very valid point about religion as well. There are different religious sects in Pakistan who are always trying to prove each other wrong. In such a condition we do not know that which religious system or sect should be imposed. Should it be Sheas or Sunnis to decide the religious system? Whose sharia is the right one: Hanafi, Malikii, Hnablii, Shaffi? This weakens the power of religion as a tool for the harmony of nation and often creates big problems as we have witnessed many Shea-Sunni conflicts and murderous wars in the past.
          Hoodbhoy has missed the examples and logics while criticizing the things. He has just given his point of view and has not supported it through strong arguments. Even he has criticized Muhammad Ali Jinnah that his plans were ambiguously stated and he left behind no substantive writings. He says that his speeches are often driven by the exigencies of the moment and are freely cherry-picked today. But to support this point, author must have given some examples or sentences of Jinnah that has been giving double meaning.
          Then author comes to the point that although Pakistan has been facing problems but now the time is changing. Slowly but surely a Pakistani culture is emerging. Pakistanis watch the same television, read the same newspaper, use same products and face same problems of the irritating bureaucracy and corrupt leaders. This is helping to bind them in a strong relationship of nationhood. But then he immediately rejects his own stance in the very next paragraph which makes his article weak once more. First he was certain that Pakistani culture is emerging and we will become a strong nation but now he gives the examples of Soviet Union and Yugoslavia who became apart after seventy years, to say that nationhood is still not guaranteed.

            The good point of the article is that writer has not just criticized the things but has also given the solutions to solve the problems as well. He has talked about different steps in our social and economic systems that must be necessarily taken in order to overcome the monstrous problems and to emerge as a strong nation. All of his suggestions are very practical and will prove to be very helpful.

           First he says that we need peace and must control our internal murderous wars in order to draw our attention to other important issues. Army’s role should be limited to defending the country and safeguarding the constitutional and civil rights of citizens. Then he comes to economic justice which is very vital in order to make Pakistanis think as a nation. People commit suicides because of hunger, poverty, because they can not feed their children but no one cares. This creates a situation of hatred among people and it must be treated.

          Then he raises a valid point when he talks about the system of governance and social contract that must treat every citizen as equal and grant equal rights to everyone. At the end he comes to the most important and badly needed reforms; reforms in our education system. Our systems teach to mindlessly obey authority, to look to the past for the solutions of today’s problems and to be intolerant of religion, culture and language. Instead we should teach them to be enquiring, creative, open-minded and logical.

          So the article went well as a whole. Writer managed to attain the attention of reader from beginning to end, he did not merely criticized things but also gave the solutions, did not make the people desperate but also gave them a ray of hope and an agenda to work on and thus served its purpose very well.

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