DIAGNOSING the mental health of a nation is just as tricky as diagnosing an individual with a personality disorder.
But while psychiatrists are trained and experienced in treating their patients, few venture to turn a clinical gaze towards the inner demons that trouble a state`s psyche.
Breaking with this tradition, Dr Mubarik Haider has performed a valuable service by peering into the innermost recesses of the collective Pakistani mind. His diagnosis is something some of us had long suspected, but had rarely articulated so clearly. Speaking at a lecture (Pakistan — a state on the crossroads: causes and effects) organised by the Pakistan Writers Association in collaboration with two media organisations recently, the psychiatrist spelled out his thesis with an enviable lack of hyperbole.
Displaying more brutal frankness than doctors normally use when spelling out a medical condition to their patients, Dr Haider pulled no punches.
According to a newspaper report on the lecture, he urged Pakistanis to escape their state of denial and face reality. He asked them to reflect on the fact that perhaps "most of the world`s current revulsion towards Pakistan was based on good reasons, instead of it being the result of a vast Zionist conspiracy".
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