Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal are two icons whose vision and historic political struggle mobilised the Muslims of India to win the battle for Pakistan in the face of the dogged opposition of the Hindu majority for Akhand Bharat on the one hand and the outrageous opposition by the obscurantist Islamic political elements who wanted a theocratic Muslim State and not a moderate and modern democratic State for the Muslims as envisioned by Quaid-i-Azam and Iqbal. Finally the obscurantist elements were defeated and the Quaid triumphed to create one of the largest Muslim States on the Indian soil in the fleeting days of his life. Unfortunately, however, the civilian and military rulers of the country failed to keep it in tact and lost its Eastern half in only 25 years after its birth because of their myopic vision and gross misrule. The sudden pause in army operation in Swat against Taliban insurgency to give the militants a chance to negotiate a peace deal with the government in the shape of induction of Sufi Mohammad's sharia laws in Malakand was badly bungled leading to further escalation of militancy in the adjoining areas of Malakand and Buner. This exploded like a bomb in Islamabad which felt deeply threatened; and in Washington which also felt that if Pakistan army and the government continued to make silly mistakes, the Taliban will soon be knocking at the doors of Islamabad and the country will suffer the fate of Afghanistan. Army Chief General Pervaiz Kiyani finally took a firm stand, which should have been taken in Swat and declared for the first time that the Army will not allow the militants to dictate terms to the government or impose their way of life on the civil society of Pakistan. He said the operation "pause" was meant to give reconciliatory forces a chance and it "must" mot be taken as a concession to militants. The COAS stated that he was aware of the doubts being voiced about the intent as well as the capability of the Army to defeat the militancy in the country. He made it clear that "the Pakistan Army never has and never will hesitate to sacrifice, whatever it may take, to ensure safety and well-being of the people of Pakistan and country's territorial integrity." It is befitting on the 70th death anniversary of Allama Iqbal to recall his vision of a modern Islamic state for the Indian Muslims, which was fulfilled by Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in a little over a decade after the poet philosopher's death. Iqbal's understanding of Quran and the teachings of the Holy Prophet and Islamic history was beyond doubt, acquired in the broad perspective of his knowledge of Western philosophy and history. Quaid-e-Azam too had deep insight into the message of the Quran and Islamic philosophy and jurisprudence, which he shared with Iqbal while refining the concept of an Islamic State. The Maulvis, whose understanding of Islam was confined mainly to certain beliefs and rituals within the framework of an antiquated teaching system of Dars-e-Nizami led to an extremely conservative and rigid frame of mind. Iqbal has castigated the Mullahs' approach to religion as deficient, in his poetry and his lectures. Unfortunately, our course books and media have completely ignored Iqbal's teachings. Their emphasis is mainly on Mullah's ritualistic Islam which is also the basis of Taliban movement. The religious political parties of Pakistan got an unparalleled boost during the rule of General Ziaul Haq who banked on their support for his own survival. This was the period when madrassas acquired unimaginable wealth and power and started producing radical militant students, later called Taliban. Since their base was mostly madrassas on Pakistan-Afghanistan border, they proliferated into Afghanistan with the assistance of Pakistan and US government to fight the Soviet occupying forces. As these forces withdrew the Taliban occupied Afghanistan and set up their first and last government for a brief period. The rest is history. This entire process has given rise to religious terrorism which has destabilized the government's writ in several parts of Pakistan and contributed immensely to economic collapse turning Pakistan into a "basket" case. The Islamic values of piety, hard-work, honesty, austerity and devotion to duty taught by Quran, Quaid-i-Azam and Allam Iqbal have all been forgotten. Our government, educational institutions and media, are also not bothered to preach these values. Quaid's speeches and Iqbal's poetry have been completely ignored since Zia occupied this nation. We are ranked one of the most corrupt countries of the world. At the same time we are one of the poorest. But our electronic media is full of advertising of expensive products to promotes consumerism beyond measure; which is the main cause of despondency and depression among the poor masses who are every day committing robberies and murders to be able to purchase refrigerators, ACs and most of all cell phones which have become a prestige symbol through unrelenting advertising by the Cell phone companies in a cut throat competition. Popular TV Channels have no time for constructive nation building programmes to promote Islamic values or the vision of Iqbal and Quaid-i-Azam to awaken the nation which is wallowing in the quagmire of ignorance, greed and corruption. Recently there was jubilation in government circles when some kind donor nations threw 5 billion dollars in our begging bowl. We have forgotten Iqbal's advice: Mera tareeq ameeri naheen faqeeri hai, Khudi na bech ghareebi mein nam peda kar We do not even know what "Khudi" is, we just beg from others to squander their money in our extravagant practices. Recent good news is the decision of the National Judicial Council to frame a judicial policy to target corruption which is the main source of misgovernance and poverty in the country. It is no doubt an urgent need of the time and the Council should frame this policy as early as possible. E-mail: burhanhasan@hotmail.com