Neither countries or cultures can guaranty the happiness of their people: human lives and particularly the lives of minds in their internal narratives are too complex for that; however, fairness, justice, and respect in how we deal with one another are matters that involve the expression of a place – locality, state, nation, and region — through the collection of laws and customs that create the social environment in which their constituents will experience their lives.
With that in mind, I felt in this passage — and do feel so — that if one word could change the world most beset by conflict, that word would be “integrity”.
Most, if not all, of the conflicts extant in Muslim-majority states revolve around disputes involving integrity. In turn, so I believe, that involves two sides of language-based and conveyed cognitive behavior that may be distilled down to choosing to use (for a while) a clinical, empirical truth — measurable, observed, verifiable — and avoiding the traps set by potential aggrandizement, flattery, and romance.
My first impression of Qadri is that he has on one hand attempted to dull the zealot’s edge as defined by the propensity for violence (2010) and this year has approached government demanding an end to, essentially, nepotism and patronage. At the same time, he has a role as a knight errant of Islam, and that in his interpretation may have yet in it vestiges of the medieval.
The want of integrity in governance — of honest appraisal and measurement in states of affairs; of open public investigations involving corruption and crime — seems to me a most fundamental and legitimate want, and Qadri and his followers are right to demand it — or by marching and making news, bringing this aspect of Pakistan’s predicament to perhaps a more global forum.
We sometimes joke in the west that “democracies elect the governments they deserve” — a wry observation and perhaps today a little painful for Pakistan, but these are new days too, and if you’re here in the “social network” — and it may be regarded as a miracle that I’m here, considering the confluence of personal, cultural, political, and technology variables involved — some may have a little more on which to chew with the idea of “integrity” as a key to getting and putting things right.