I frequently come across men who are incredibly illiterate. Oh, they may know a great deal about religion or the stock market, but they are unable to use their minds. Take this Covid-19 pandemic, for instance. They have heard their mullahs proclaiming that the disease is man-made, that it doesn't affect good, practicing Muslims, that it is not so serious. Even Imran Khan (whose IQ is apparently lower than that of a ten-year old) said in the beginning that the disease is just like the flu, that only very old people will be affected by it and there was nothing to worry. Later, he even said that going to mosques does not spread the disease. As a result, a surge in cases followed after the last Eid, and this is likely to be repeated when mass congregations gather tomorrow for Eid-al-Azha, not to mention the disaster awaiting us during Muharram next month.

When such an illiterate person tells me that a vaccine is not necessary to treat any disease, I tell him about smallpox, which has successfully been eradicated, even though it was rampant at one time. In fact, when a plane from Karachi carrying a smallpox infected person landed in London in the early 1960s, within a week seventy persons died of smallpox, with the doctors not even knowing what it was that had caused them to die. Flights from Karachi were banned for months (in those days, Karachi was the only international airport in the country). 

But, as expected, the stupid ones have never heard of smallpox. They don't know that in their grandfathers' times, quite a lot of women died during childbirth, and only one out of three children survived to reach adulthood. 

The reason for this massive illiteracy is of course our education system. Teachers are virtually illiterate themselves, they have no knowledge of science and children just memorize what is in their text books. Which is why the country has never progressed. But the illiterate ones believe that Pakistan is the greatest country on earth, just because most of them have never gone to any other country. The future is bleak.