Creative Confusion in Pakistan

Time to be creative. Time to be misunderstood.

Life is a continuous exercise in creative problem solving. But it seems that in our beloved country creative problem solving is heading to a direction where we totally misunderstood the concept of creativity and its solutions. We, Pakistanis, are not stretching ourselves beyond our perceived level of confidence so we have failed to accelerate our development of creative competence.

It is a dilemma in Pakistan that to be creative is to be misunderstood because there is common belief that creative people struggle more with being misunderstood than normal people.

Why is this?

  • Because creative people think “outside of the box.” And the truth is that in our country above average people are often unaware that such a “box” even exists.
  • Because creative people ask dangerous questions. And being precarious is itself a risky where the majority are confused about creativity and have a very little idea that creative people test boundaries – not to be rebellious, but rather to simply explore.

Creativity tends to teach people to dare and willing to fail – a quality that makes many people uncomfortable in our country.

Creativity makes people unique – they are individuals – and this fact threatens the status quo more than any other. Pakistan is in grip of status quos unending struggle so no place of creativity in our social lifestyle or even in our self-concept.

On the hand, creative confusion has also been proposed deliberately because creative people are so different and can be perceived as a threat to institutions. And this is unfortunate because many organisations are in dire need of more creativity. They’re just scared of the people who might bring it.

Because the country is full of bureaucracy and systematic ways of approaching life, creatives often find themselves frustrated with attempts to fit in or be assimilated.

And so, for the majority in our country, creatives are tragically misunderstood. At best, they are seen as a means to an end — a cog in the machine of producing propaganda for a cause. At worst, they are perceived as a threat that needs to be eliminated.

There isn’t a pretty way out of this predicament. To be creative is to be misunderstood. That’s all there is to it.

What alternative is there in a world of conformists and wannabes?

And after all, who wants to fit in?

Time to be creative. Time to be misunderstood.


  • Uzair Ejaz

    I hope that creativity will soon free us from the captivity of negativity.

  • Anam Zaheer

    Now a days people don’t have much time to be creative, they rely on what we call ‘spoon feeding’.

  • M. Usman Jamil

    Here in Pakistan there are are few other problems I want to highlight that does not let people be creative. First and major being that no one accepts you being creative, we are trained to follow old school processes to do any thing or to solve any problem starting from parents to social circle to schools. Even if you come up with something new no one accepts it instead they make a fool out of you. In approximately all homes in Pakistan, parents tell you what to do next, even though they give you room to discuss but still in most houses parents convince their kids in what they want them to do. Family does not allows you to be independent until you get married. Independence is key to creativity where you on your own think what to do and how to do in different way. In schools you are trained to attempt assignments and exams in the same way they used to be donkey ages ago. Presentations, class discussions and case study method is a nice start but still exams and assignments force you to follow “rata” method that bring you back to the same state of mind you were before. Studies should be 90% practical work where you get a chance to bring in something new and innovative.
    Sense of creativity is not taught at any level. Conferences, business idea competitions, speaker sessions etc are few things students should be forced to attend that is essential for motivation building that leads to creativity.
    Being an entrepreneur or doing job is also not acceptable in most of business families in Pakistan that is again not a good thing. Parents should allow their kids to do things on their own take their decisions on their own. Not just parents but teachers too, taking attendance in each class and giving an F due to short attendance is not good, students at university level should be given independence to decide to either take class or not. Student should know his own the loss of leaving a class.

    In the end summarizing what I meant to say is that one should be given independence to take decision on their own.

  • Haider ali khan

    People do not want to break the conventional norms and think outside the box. This is the dilemma of Pakistan. Creative people are brave enough to take risks and go beyond the conventional boundaries.

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