Is NATO obsolete?

North Atlantic Treaty Organization commonly referred to as "NATO” is a military alliance formed in 1949 in the capital of the United States of America, Washington, with an aim to counter the growing influence of Soviet Union in Europe and elsewhere. Almost all the member countries had capitalist economies and their shared fear of increasing threat of Communism bind them into such a military alliance. NATO remained committed to its original mission to deter the Soviet Union till the dismemberment of Soviet Union in 1991. After the fall of the Soviet Union newly independent former soviet republics also joined the organisation to give it a phenomenal military and political strength.

Currently, NATO has 28 member states that had to contribute 2 percent of their Gross Domestic Product according to the rules of the organization; however, this has not been the case. Trump on the pretext of that reason has criticised NATO and even called it as “obsolete” which drew much attention from the world and NATO members. Recently, in a meeting with the representatives of NATO countries in the Belgium capital of Brussels, the American secretary of defence, James Mattis, called upon the member states to contribute 2 percent of their GDP according to their pledge. He told the representatives that the each country should contribute funds to the collective security because America no longer can take responsibility for their security.

These statements from the American President and defence secretary signify the growing frustration of American at their allies but does it reaches to the level that NATO can be called as “obsolete” and what will be the implications of the absence of NATO for the member states? Trump’s impatience and lack of diplomatic experience may indulge him into dismantling or leaving NATO but American establishment and security apparatus know the importance of NATO. Firstly, the security situation in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and other areas of turmoil cannot be handled alone by the United States of America. The growing threat of Daesh in Iraq and Syria and its expansion into the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan is a worrying sign for USA and Trump cannot handle it without the cooperation of his allies. Secondly, the recent spate of Missile tests from North Korea and Iran is also a threat to the American influence in the region and the need of allies to counter both the countries is undoubted.

Thirdly, the Chinese assertive policy in the South and the East China Sea is also the reason of growing discontent among the American allies. China is establishing artificial islands in China Sea to further boost its military strength in the area. Allies’ cooperation with America is highly important to deal with China because America has no direct stakes in the conflict but is acting at the behest of allies to enforce the international maritime boundaries which China challenges on the basis of its 9-dash line. Lastly, the most important and threat is that from Russia in the East Europe. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine and now is supporting the separatist rebels in the so-called Donbass and Donetsk regions. This has carried shivers among the countries of the Baltic region that are looking towards NATO’s support to deter any Russian aggression.  Trump may call the NATO as “obsolete” but from the Western point of view, it is not even near to be called obsolete.

How to tackle Essay Paper?

Dealing with Essay...!

I am still a student myself with no expertise in essay writing but after passing through  competitive examinations I have arrived at some conclusions that may also prove helpful to the readers in their quest for getting good marks in essay paper and especially for those who have no understanding of how to start studying for this difficult task ahead. The first and very basic requirement for getting handsome marks is that you must have strong solid basis in terms of grammatical know how with a vast vocabulary at your fingertips but what for those who don’t have prior solid knowledge level? Don’t worry though it is a difficult task but still manageable through hard work and sheer keenness.

The first thing an aspirant should do is to start reading opinions and editorials from national newspapers like Dawn news, The news international, The nation with a blend of international newspapers like Forbes, BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and New York times etc. But there is an important thing to be kept in mind which most aspirants usually ignore and that is to look for the punctuation marks, sentence structure, and sentence flow along with the story. Keep a dictionary with yourself that will help you in grasping the difficult words encountered by you during reading (better to use Standard Oxford dictionary and one can download it from Google). This will not only help you in acquiring a good vocabulary but will also help in understanding the use of punctuation marks, proverbs and other relevant grammatical needs. This will also provide a solid basis for producing an essay which would precise and to the point with the great coherence of thoughts.

The next important and for me the most important step is to write at least one page on those news stories in your own words. After writing an essay take it to an expert in English language to point out your mistakes otherwise writing without checking them from experts will produce no results. But the main question arises that if someone is living in a small village and there is no expert of English language to approach then how can he or she cope up with those mistakes. For me the best method would be go to an expert but if there is no expert to check your essay then you should install “Grammarly” extension in your browser which can help you big time in pointing out your mistakes. One can avail the premium version by paying some money but if you cannot pay then you should go for referral system which provides free premium trial of one week per subscription.

Now comes the actual writing part which an aspirant has to go through in the examination hall. An aspirant can face three types of situations on that very day. The first supposed situation is that Essay in the Examination is on the topic which that aspirant has prepared very well and that would be easy for him/her to attempt. The second would the aspirant is not pretty sure of the material he has on that topic but is somewhat prepared so he/she will attempt it by gathering thoughts. The third and most serious situation that an aspirant can face is when he does not know anything about the give topic. The important question is that how to deal with such a situation. Though if you haven’t prepared properly or if you don’t have prior solid base it will always be difficult to attempt an essay but certain strategies can at least give you passing marks.

The very basic logic to keep in mind while attempting an essay is that you should discuss it both horizontally and vertically.  By horizontal I mean broader areas of discussion and by vertical I mean sub-portions of those broader areas. I would like to elaborate this by an example. For example, you were given an essay on the topic”Pen” and you don’t know anything about it. Then you should draw a list of horizontal areas ( I mean broader areas of discussion). The horizontal category can vary from a person to person but for your understanding I would write some of them. The very first horizontal category would be to give a general introduction to the readers of the main topic, here “Pen”. Then write the broad categories on a rough page to further sub-divide them. The broad areas may include, “Religious, cultural, political, economic, historical and moral aspects but you can add further at your will”. Now I would discuss the religious aspect on the basis of our topic i-e “Pen”. I would first find out the importance of “Pen” in Islam and then would divide the Islamic aspect into Quran, Hadith and into saying of great Islamic scholars. Now if a person knows anything about other religion’s teachings regarding pen he can add that too i-e you can quote from Christian and Judaic scholars.

Now from the political perspective, I can add that due to importance of pen for the development of a nation and due to its attraction for the people and especially for the younger generation, political parties are using it as an election symbol to garner more votes. Similarly, from the historical perspective you can discuss that in old days, people would use to write by feathers and with advancements in technologies people are using high quality pens. This procedure of dividing each topic into horizontal and vertical aspects will give you a chance to at least save your day from failure.

Now comes the part of how to organize an essay. An essay consists of three parts: Introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction basically introduces the topic to the readers and in this section mostly preliminary information is given. This section can be started in three fashions. One is to start with a simple introduction. Most of the people follow this method plus it is quite easy to comprehend for the newbies like me. The second method is to start from a quotation or proverb. This can also be employed if you think it further adds to your essay. The third method is to start with an anecdote (which used to be a short story). In this method we basically relate a short story of characters to beautify our introduction but newbies must be very careful while using this method because it can land them into trouble.

Now moving towards the body or the main crux of the essay, this is the part of the essay where you can put all your facts, figures, quotations and whatever relevant material you have in your mind. Lastly, you will write the conclusion part. There can be two way to write a conclusion; first one is to sum up the whole essay in this section and the second one is to sum up but by adding some new material to avoid monotony. The second method is preferable because of the mentioned reason. An essay should not be less than at least 2000 words and a single paragraph should be more than 4 lines to give a better look. Each and every paragraph should give a unique idea and the ideas not should be mixed with each other plus the transition of one paragraph to another should be as smooth as possible. Try to add quotations, proverbs and other such stuff to get good marks but try not to make a mess of the essay.

Note: I am not expert but I have written this to help newbies who have no knowledge how to deal with the essay paper. You can point out mistakes if you think there are! Thank you.

America and China on the collision course?

Chinese President, Xi Jinping on the left and America President, Donald Trump on the right

The unpredictable win of Donald Trump in the elections gave rise to a new wave of hatred towards American Muslims, Hispanics and blacks on one hand and towards China, Mexico and Muslim countries on the other hand. All these groups and countries were blamed for one thing or another but the inclusion of China on the list is a classic example of Trump’s lack of wisdom. Trump during his election campaign described China as a currency manipulator, stealer of American jobs and aggressor in the South and the East China Sea but with no logical arguments or policy line. The first argument that China is a currency manipulator is highly disputed because of the fact that the same globalisation that Trump is cursing now is the beloved child of none other than the Capitalist economic system of which America is the flag bearer. The other thing which should be kept in mind is that China is trying hard to keep its currency intact against America dollar to stop the outflow of money from the country and has resulted in the substantial reduction of government reserves over last few months. So what the American President will do to counter China on this so-called issue? Will Trump put China on the list of currency manipulators or will he try to negotiate with China on the matter? What we guessed from his election rhetoric and reception of a call from the Taiwanese president is that Trump would use the Taiwan issue as a bargaining chip against Chinese ambitions to get an upper hand in the trade deals but the reiteration of Trump that America still believes in One-China policy during his call with Chinese President conveys something else. The most likely step from the Trump administration would be the increase in antidumping duty on the cheap Chinese goods to counter trade surplus in the Chin’s favour.
The other major rhetoric of Trump during his campaign was that Americans are losing jobs on the expense of Chinese cheap labor force.This is a reality but what Americans have been doing for years is now haunting them big time. How can Trump stop Chinese from entering America in search of jobs when multinational American companies are exploiting the same labor force for a meager pay. The deportation of immigrants from America and the strictness of rules for foreign cheap labor force have been in the initiatives that Trump administration will likely take but according to economists it will not only hamper America’s own progressive image but will severely impact the economy as well. Trump administration has already called for a review of H-1B visa for Information technology and other such visas for many sectors, even stopping companies from expanding their plants in other countries, as was the case with recent hindrance in path of several companies interested in building plants in Mexico. The third major bone of contention is the aggressive posture of both China and America in the South and East China Sea, a gateway to the passage of more than 2$ trillion dollars worth of trade annually. China claims the whole sea in its historical reference to the 9 dash line, which other contenders strongly reject and even Philippine took China to the international court of arbitration last year. The court’s decision was in favour of Philippine but China opposed the decision and ultimately started building new reefs and artificial islands. What can Trump administration do in this context? The secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, argued during his briefing to the senate security committee that we will stop china from reaching its newly build artificial islands but is that possible without military confrontation is yet to be seen and any military conflict will result in more destruction. The sole option for the Trump administration will be to engage China and neighbours in dialogue to find out an amicable solution not only for the South and East China seas but to reach some sort of strategic agreement to avert trade or military confrontation. Chinese President’s recent reiteration in his speech to the participants of Davos economic forum that his country believes in peaceful co-existence and equal distribution of fruits of globalization is a welcome sign.

Islamic Military Alliance-Reality or Illusion?

Saudi Crown Prince, Muhammad Bin Salman, addressing news conference

The announcement of the formation of an Islamic military alliance by the Saudi Crown Prince, Muhammad Bin Salman, took the whole world and even the countries included in the list by surprise. Most of the Islamic countries appeared reluctant to join the alliance because of its sectarian nature and ambiguous agenda. The sectarian dimension is evident from the exclusion of Shia-dominated Iran, Iraq and Syria from the proposed alliance which gives this alliance a Sunni outlook. Pakistan too showed its reluctance and even the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudry, expressed that Pakistan was not aware of the modalities. However, with time most of the Islamic countries showed the willingness to join the alliance and Pakistan too pledged to become an active participant to deal with the menace of terrorism under the banner of Islamic military alliance.
The big question that needs to be asked is that whether this alliance can prove successful in delivering on the promises? For me, that appears to be a distant dream. The reasons are numerous and widespread but I will discuss some of them here. According to the news reports, General Raheel Sharif will head this alliance but whether power will lie with him or not? If real powers don’t lie with the head of the alliance then undoubtedly he will not head this coalition and there is none in the Islamic who can carry the flag of the alliance. The second important question is how to deal with force formation and material assistance under the alliance. How much force will be required and how much each country will contribute towards the alliance plus how much funds will each country provide for organisational and operational activities. The sectarian dimension of the alliance further sows the seeds of confusion in the minds of common Muslims, who see this alliance from the sectarian point of view due to exclusion of key Shia states. How will the alliance cope up with this? Another major counter-argument is the situation of most Islamic countries, which are not even ready to defend their own capitals in the likes of Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia etc. Lastly, how the forces of this alliance will deal with the situation of Syria, Iraq and Yemen, where several countries are fighting each other through covert and overt means. The contact of these forces with the Iran forces in Iraq and Syria and with Russian forces in Syria can produce drastic results for the regional and international stability.
These are serious questions that need thinking over and over again. The amalgamation of such a force can prove to be counter-productive for the unity of Muslim Ummah as a whole and for Pakistan in particular. Pakistan cannot afford to be involved in a sectarian in the region because of our own demographic arrangement and longstanding sectarian problems. The participation of Pakistan in a sectarian alliance will disrupt our relations with our friend and neighbour, Iran, and will give India a chance to further isolate us in the region. This will have severe repercussions for Pakistan in economic and military terms. What we need is to tell Saudis to include Iran and other Shia states in this organisation and narrow down its aim to the defeat of Islamic extremism and terrorism instead of regional rivalry.

America’s options in the Syrian civil war

American President Donald Trump talking to media

The peaceful Syrian revolution which started from Daraa in 2011 soon spread onto the entire Syrian horizon before the government turned the tide in its favour with the help of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Towards the end of 2016, the government had retaken Aleppo  (the once industrial hub of Syria), Palmyra and several other important areas and with the start of 2017 government is now taking aim at Raqqa, the de-facto capital of the Islamic State. The assertive and renewed push from the government forces and the withdrawal of opposition from the several keys areas points to a trend of Bashar’s increasing power.  This trend has been further boosted by the Trump’s election promise that he will forge close ties with the Syrian president to defeat Islamic extremism in general and ISIS in particular. Now that Donald Trump is the president of United States, how he will align his policy with election rhetoric and what are his options? We are going to explore some of them.
The first option is that the government of Donald Trump will carry on with the policy of Barack Obama of backing local groups with arms, military expertise and aerial strikes. This is a possibility but with a more likely changing vigour on the increase of military strikes and even the deployment of American troops on the frontline. This strategy will have massive fallouts and repercussions for America in the form of Turkish antagonism who consider YPG as an extension of its own insurgent group, PKK. Secondly, what about those elements of rebels who are more Islamists in their nature? The likes of Ahrar Ul Sham, Ansar Ul Islam, Jaysh Ul Islam and even the Al-Qaeda affiliate, Jaish-Ul-Fatah, who have massive funding support from the gulf monarchies. Will Donald Trump strike them or not is a big question to be asked.
The second option is that Donald Trump will side with the Syrian government against the rebels irrespective of the nature of rebels. This will further weaken American position in the conflict because there is every possibility that America will lose Saudi Arabia and other allies in gulf, Turkey and even the battle hardened Kurds. This will prove catastrophic for the American interests in the region because it will give a dominating role to Russia and Iran in the conflict. Another important angle is the souring of American relations with its longtime ally and staunch oppose of Bashar, Israel. Will Trump be able to handle that?
The third option is that Donald Trump will order military action of ground forces of America in the Syrian conflict. This will create more problems for America in the form of military spending and loss of lives. This will also support the dormant narrative of “crusaders involvement” in the Muslim countries, attracting more Muslims towards the Islamic State, the same entity which Trump wants to defeat. Apart from this, the creation of safe zones, as was promised by Trump, will require a large American force to keep the rebels and government forces in check from advancing. Will this not require extra funds?

Donald Trump’s government can exercise these three options with varying level of dependence on the regional powers and local factors but we must keep in mind that America has lost much of its influence in the conflict due to the passive policy of Obama as evident from the recent negotiations between rebels and the Syrian government. In order to regain some sort of influence in the conflict, Trump has to use his bargaining power to the best of his ability to reach some sort of a lasting solution.

Education has for its object the formation of character

Kids exchanging knowledge with each other

1)      Introduction
2)      Character building
i)                    Respect elders, never harm anyone
ii)                   Obey laws, points out those that tries to violate laws
iii)                 Keep the environment clean
iv)                 Tries to protect the nation’s interest whether they are in the country or abroad
v)                  Educate coming generations
3)      Islamic point of view
4)      Problems with our education system
i)                    No ideas both in formal and informal education
ii)                   Crammed up data
iii)                 Money making machines
iv)                 No human feelings
v)                  Proved to be of no help to parents even
5)      Who is responsible?
i)                    Parents
ii)                   Teachers
iii)                 Curriculum
iv)                 Society
v)                  State
6)      Solutions
i)                    Egalitarian educational system
ii)                   Progressive system of education with ethical background
iii)                 Competent teachers
iv)                 Parents
v)                  Ideals
7)      Conclusion

Education is the basic responsibility of the state and the fundamental right of a citizen. All nation states and numerous non-governmental organisations are spending huge amounts of money on the efforts to increase literacy rate. The countries that have been successful in this race are more prosperous and developed compared to those that lag behind. The astonishing revival of the Western civilisation after a centuries-long dark period and the mesmerising development in scientific study and other fields of life truly owe much of it to the education. The downfall of Muslim dominance in the intellectual race proved to be the downfall of Muslim’s glorious era.
Education is the building block for the children of a nation to identify their potentials and to be useful citizens in future whether that is formal or informal education. The purpose of education is not earning and collection of wealth but to develop a character that makes a child human being in the real sense. Rightly-educated generations respect their elders and serve as their support in days when they no longer can earn. They help the poor and needy sections of the society and extend helping hand to the deprived ones. Obedience to the law of the state has an inevitable priority for them along with keeping a close eye on the anti-state elements. They report suspicious activities to the law enforcement agencies and educate fellow citizens about their responsibilities. They keep the environment clean and green and never become part of those activities that can affect the environment in a negative way. For them serving the nation’s interests uphold the top position and sacrifice their personal gains for the benefits of collective interests. Such citizens prove to be the stimuli for a renaissance in the future generations.
Islam has also stressed on the need of getting sufficient education. These educated people will then guide other people towards the path of Allah. Allah says in the Holy Quran,” Are those that are literate and those that are illiterate equal?” The Prophet (s.a.w) says,” Seek knowledge from the cradle of mother to grave”.  The verse of Quran and the saying of the Prophet (s.a.w) glorify the importance of attaining knowledge but it does not end here. The Holy Quran goes further by saying,” Why you preach that to others which you don’t practice yourself”? (Surah Bani Israel). The message of the Holy Quran is quite clear from this verse and that is not to get knowledge but to put it into practice through constant struggle else that knowledge is no avail. Even Holy Prophet (s.a.w) compares himself with the teacher by saying,” I have been bestowed as a teacher”. Why the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) has compared himself with a teacher? The reason is simple and that is the teacher has the same duty of formation or reformation of the character of a nation as a Prophet has but a difference is in the degree of divine decree. The Prophet receives his message from the divine one whereas the teacher acquires it through five senses by a constant struggle.
Why companions of the Prophet (s.a.w) use to practical manifestations of the knowledge that had or why was the later glorious Muslim era full of scholars with high ethical standards? The reason is the practical role models they had to follow. In the modern education system, the sole purpose of the teacher is to earn money without taking care of the moral and spiritual needs of the children. Parents too have become too much materialistic. They pay the teachers with high fees even without examining the grade and especially the moral conduct of the children. Most of these children upon seeing their role model become purely materialistic in nature with no care for human feelings or ethics. These money making machines prove to be the initiator of a coming generation with only material lust and this vicious cycle continues without any regard for spiritual and ethical needs.
The lack of providing ethical education has a tremendous negative impact on the children but who is responsible for this? The first entity which is responsible for this behaviour is the parents who brought up their children in an environment where there is no use of moral standards.  As the saying goes,” The first university of a child is the cradle of power”. Thus parents and especially mother has to take responsibility to give their children an early informal education that can guide him towards ethical life. Apart from home, the first place that a student gets accustomed with is school. School life serves as the base for the future of a child and thus the important entity which is responsible for the upbringing of a child is none other than the teacher. Teacher use to be the moral and spiritual mentor for his pupils and can guide them towards right path if he wishes to do so but even most of our teachers are materialistic in nature. They come and teach like robots without any regard for the moral needs of children. The substandard curriculum is also adding to the problem. Our education and curriculum have been divided into three main class based systems.  One system is for elite, the other one for middle class and the third one for poor people. The first one is creating minds that no longer recognise the moral values of Islam and east, the second one is producing a mixture of Islamic mind and western mind and the third one is producing another class that considers the other two as deviated and even infidels. This dilemma has hampered whatever progress our education system was going to show. The society and the state cannot be considered an exception in the matter. Both are as equally responsible as the parents, teachers and our education system.
To counter the growing threat of widespread immorality and ethical downfall in the society we have to take a step towards the formation of an egalitarian society with an education system applied to all the classes at the same time and with the same curriculum. The curriculum should be comprised of ethical and religious education with a stress on the life of the Prophet (s.a.w) himself because as Naomi Heidorn says,” Education is formation, not information”. We need to focus on the formation part of the education more than the information part. Teachers should be first trained according to the needs of the time and then be passed to a proper merit system for hiring. Teachers training programs on periodic intervals can result in improving the efficiency of teaching. Last but not the last, parents have to play the primary role of teaching their children in a way that they become the flag bearers of moral ideals.
The rapid progress has made man more of a tool in the hands of science and technology. He has become somewhat a slave to the same things that he invented. It’s time to regain the same moral standards that our forefathers had during the era of non-industrialization. This does not mean that we stop inventing new things or stop pursuing careers or stop earning money rather it means that in addition to earning for the families we should also give them the moral education that differentiates a human from animals.

Frailty, thy name is woman.

Women builds a society
1)      Introduction
2)      Counter-argument
3)      Islamic teachings and examples
4)      contemporary examples
5)      Problems faced by women in showing their strengths
6)      How to face these problems?
7)      Conclusion
Women are considered to be the weaker of the human beings based on their appearance and physical weakness but more introspection is needed to find the truth of the notion. They may be physically weak as made by God but this does not make them weak in all fields for sure. In fact, men are being created by God to perform duties which suit them and women to perform that they find suitable. Thus frailty cannot be attached to a specific gender rather it varies with the personality and nature of the person.
Though emotionalism is more attached to the personality of a woman and is true to a large extent but one gender cannot be considered as fragile and prone to mistakes. History shows us that many men have shown weaknesses in difficult hours and many women have faced situation boldly and smartly.  The betrayal of Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq during the British siege of Mysore exemplifies that no one is above human weakness and one gender cannot be blamed out rightly.
Some contemporary women crush the concept that frailty is only related to females. The rise of Benazir Bhutto on the political arena of Pakistan and her struggle for the democracy shows that she was exceptional in facing difficulties. Malala Yousufzai is another female who dealt with terror threats boldly and courageously. The role of women in the Pakistan movement is another indication of the strength they possess. Fatima Jinnah and Begum Rana Liaqat Ali were instrumental in mobilising the women and the whole Muslim nation for the cause of independent homeland. On the international level, the example of Mother Teresa and many such great women is a source of inspiration for all women. Their personalities give the message that no one can stop the woman from doing anything if she is determined to do so.
The Islamic teachings and role models of the Islamic era also tell us that women are not and were never weaker compared to men.  Islam gave such a high status to women that they cannot even imagine before the dawn of Islam. Our Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) says, ‘Paradise lies under the feet of mother’. One day a man came to the Holy prophet (s.a.w) and asked our Prophet that who owes the most rights over him. The holy prophet three times said that your mother owes the most rights over you and on fourth time Prophet said that your father owes the most rights. The majority of the scholars are of the view that Holy Prophet gave preference to mother’s rights because of the difficulties that she has to face when the child is in the womb or when she gives birth to a child, which father cannot face. The lives of Hazrat Khadija, Hazrat Ayesha, and Hazrat Fatima are some glaring examples of the Islamic history.  Khadija was a known businesswoman and the master of Holy Prophet (S.A.W) before their marriage. After the marriage she continued to carry out her business activities and support Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) through is life. She gave him full support and faced every difficulty side by side with the Prophet (S.a.w). Hazrat Ayesha Siddiqa is another amazing role model for the world. She was the youngest and closest to the Prophet (S.a.w) of all his wives. She even took part in battles and commanded the Muslim Army in the battle of Jamal. Hazrat Fatima, the daughter of Prophet (S.A.W), is also no less in her stature. She challenged the wrong notions of the time and came to be the true support for her father. The battle of Karbala introduces us to a new chapter of women heroism in Islam. Women of the family of Prophet (s.a.w) bore all the hardships with courage and even addressed Yazeed in his court when they were taken to Syria. These are just a few examples of our history that shows that Women played an equal part in all the matters of life and were never weaker to men.
The above examples from our contemporary and Islamic history glorify women with mettle but it doesn’t aware us of the whole story of our society. Our society does not give the respect that the woman deserves. It creates hurdles in the path of working women, harassing them on the workplace and discouraging them from doing jobs.  The story does not end here; the sexual harassment of women in the streets of our country shows the gloomy side of our society. Men stare the women when they outside of their homes even in proper veils. This mentality does not allow women to do their duties that they need to perform for the uplift of the nation. The attack on Malala Yousufzai by the militants is another horrific example that stops women from raising their voice.
It is now up to the women to struggle for their rights in this male-dominated society, otherwise, they will never be allowed to be the proper and equal citizen of the country. Women rights NGOs and many foreign donors are taking some strides towards women empowerment and they have achieved some major goals but this the final goal is miles away. The United Nations report suggests that Pakistan is one of the most dangerous places for the working women. We need to tackle this menace of harassment boldly in order to encourage women to take part in our journey towards development and prosperity.

We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.

Dreams come true only through hard work

1) Introduction
2) Main body
i) Self-confidence, self-identification and  self-reliance
ii) Two categories of self-identification
iii) Individual self-identification 
iv) Examples of individuals and nations having identified themselves
v) Self-identification at national level
vi) Reasons for lack of self-identification
vii) Disastrous results of not identifying self
viii) Positive results of identifying oneself
3) Conclusion

        ‘Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves’ (Al-Quran).
The Holy Quran gives clear judgment that it is only the “inner self” which can change the condition of the man. This inner self can be the best friend if used in a proper way and can be the worst enemy if used through wrong means. Maulana Rumi clarifies this verse in his poetry, ‘Find sweetness first in your own heart, then you will find sweetness in every heart’. The light of this sweetness needs a pure and transparent heart, which can focus the inner feelings and realities. Iqbal explains this concept in his poetry in a very comprehensive way with the introduction of a new term “Khudi or self-confidence “.
Iqbal says:
                  ’ Apnay Man may doob k paa ja suragh-e-zindagi
                   Tou agar mera nhi banta na ban apna tou ban’.
This self-confidence is not limited only to the life of an individual rather it is a universal concept which applies equally to nations as a whole. If a nation identifies its potential and self-honor, it will be successful in achieving a status that other nations would only dream but if the same nation adopts the path of laziness and comfort then it will lose that high position and will turn to be the slaves in the hands of others.
The self-reliance, self-confidence and self-identification are the cornerstones of a successful individual as well of a prosperous nation. People and opponents always try to pull you down but one should keep himself up for such situations and Instead of blaming others one should be focused on his work, only then a person can succeed.
Self-identification can broadly be classified into two categories; Individual self-reliance and national self-reliance. Same conditions of hard work, punctuality and self-confidence are applicable to both the individual and nation as a whole.
Iqbal, Jinnah and many other such great people are perfect examples for us in terms of identifying our own strengths and weakness. Iqbal was a person who identified his soul but not free of cost. He had to pay a heavy price for that. He instead of focusing on the outer face of the world was focused on his work through his devotion and punctuality. This resulted in his achievement as one of the greatest poets of all time. Jinnah was also a man of great calibre. Jinnah had to work very hard for what he achieved at the end. His untiring struggle for the separate Muslim homeland finally paid off in the form of Pakistan. This was due to his self-confidence and self-reliance that he finally got what was looking like a distant dream.

Now we will move towards the other form of self-confidence and self-identification which is at the level of the nation. Nations require courageous leadership but with that a resilient nation to move through the hardships of the time. China with its strong leadership and self-reliant nation travelled many miles on the path of progress. Mao Zai Dang revolutionised the nation on the idea and slogan of self-reliance and self-sustenance. The nation stood behind the great man and went through all the hardships without tumbling in the journey. Now China is one of the leading economies of the world and is expected to take over America in terms of economic power in coming years. Other such examples can be taken from Korea, Singapore and Malaysia. All of these countries were on the verge of economic disaster when they started to overcome all the difficulties. Now all of these countries are considered to be the hub of economic across the globe. This development is due to their national self-dependence and self-reliance instead of going to IMF or other institutions.
The above examples showed that self-identification at both the individual level and national level is dependent upon self-confidence and self-reliance. This lack of some qualities can further add to the lack of their identification. The lack of proper education and discipline destroys self-confidence both at individual and national level. An illiterate man cannot identify the powers he has in his inner-self and cannot use them for positive purposes. The other major reason is the will power that a person may have. Even though education is a high priority for identifying self-confidence yet some people may identify their inner-selves without being educated. This may be due to their high willpower and dedication for work. They may find it very hard to do something extraordinary compared to illiterate people but ultimately he will overcome if he has a strong will. Lack of self-confidence is also a major hurdle in the path of identifying oneself. One should be open to the inner criticism and inner peace in order to cope up with problems.
Iqbal says:
‘Khudi ko Kar Buland Itna k har taqdeer say pehly
Khuda bandy say khud pochy Teri Raza kya hai’
This provides the very essence of the identification of self-confidence. You must attain Godly attributes in order to reach a level which others find hard to achieve. 
On the national level, lack of leadership is also a major hurdle. Leadership should guide people to be self-centered instead of looking for donations and loans. Lastly, positivity at both the individual and national level is of the primary importance.
Without self-identification, one could even imagine of the success whether it is in an individual capacity or as a nation. Without this capability, people destroy the world. The destruction and violence that is going around are if blame on other factors is equally to be blamed on lack of self-identification. We instead of becoming our friends are becoming our enemies. Terrorists even though are our human brothers but they are destroying this world with their own hands. Their lack of vision that how much this environment is important for us is clearly evident in their use of weapons at will. Similarly, the use and sale of weapons by big powers is also a quest to destroy our world with our own hands. The rapid industrialisation and emission of carbon gases is yet another worrying part of the whole process. The lack of self-identification at the individual has also given rise to many bad qualities. The lack of hard work, lack of punctuality and lack of peace are some of the disastrous results of not identifying our inner-selves.
We need to set aside our differences as humans and instead of wasting our energies on war strategies and bullet making we should be more concentrated on our environment. This self-identification if achieved will turn this earth into heaven. This race towards industrialisation should be properly planned according to the human nature otherwise, this will put the very basic human species into danger.
On the individual level, self-identification will help us in finding the peace that we want instead of looking only for material benefits. The peace which we can achieve is in the inner-soul of humans and even God is in the inner-self of a human if he tries to find him.
It is now up to us to decide whether we want to be our friends or enemies. The former is the only options we can choose and for that, we must identify ourselves both on the individual level and on the collective level.