Political maturity par excellence
The recent show of purpose-orientated unity by the political leadership of the country is a marvel of the political maturity and conventional wisdom that needs to be admired by all. As they say, “Politics is the art of the possible.”
When political leaders, including those who have a chance to be in the government, demonstrate friendliness and harmony in their ranks, it is definitely a good omen for the nation. Disagreements or even disputes of political nature need not and must not cross manageable limits.
The political leadership of the country has gotten together more than once, particularly recently, for the selection of the Senate chairman and deputy chairman. Joint resolutions have been passed and legislation has been enacted by the parliament, which speak volumes of the political maturity on part of the political leadership. But, when the great acts of political wisdom come under the mirror of impartial scrutiny, it becomes crystal clear that all this pomp and show is to satisfy the petty dictates of self-aggrandizement. Only history will reveal how much damage the passage of the highly trumped 18th Amendment has inflicted on the prospects of prosperity and wellbeing of the nation. It might come as a rude shock to the nation that this amendment had in reality mutilated the future of this impoverished nation. Yes, the resources have been transferred, the management control has been transferred to the provinces but did anybody bother to pay attention to the important element of capacity-building before burdening the provincial establishments? Instead of utilisation of the resources for the benefit of the people, most of them will be squandered. Yes, the spectrum of loot and plunder will expand. While making loud but generally fake proclamations in support of democracy, whatever it means, and condemning dictatorships, our politicians, at times, cross all limits and do not hesitate to defame the valiant armed forces of Pakistan. Look at the Haqqani Memogate, Zardari letter in American press even before the Abbottabad attack and philosophical statement, “Dalil vs Ghulail”. A lot is revealed by these incidents.
The politicians were happy to incorporate political dictatorship through 18th Amendment. The new Senate chairman who is credited with drafting and then the passage of the 18th Amendment may be eventually known as Machiavelli of Pakistan.
I hope and pray that the political leadership of the country will show the present level of their political maturity for resolution of the serious problems facing the nation instead of just restricting it to their personal gains only.
Conservation of natural resources is the only way that leads to the achievement of self-reliance and prosperity. Nations which waste or squander away their natural resources are bound to suffer and face misery.
The political leadership would need to realise that history is the product of challenge and response. When leaders make an appropriate response to the challenge, they ride on the wave of real fame. General historical trends are more potent than the powerful individuals. The leader is great and successful to the extent he grasps these trends and moulds them to the advantage of the people.
Owing to the specific qualities of their mind and character, great men can change the specific features of events and their consequences. Great men are not great because of their personal qualities, which give specific features to great historical events but because they possess qualities which make them capable of serving great needs of the time, needs which arise as a result of general and special causes.
There can be no cause greater than food security for future generations. Pakistan, no doubt, is facing many challenges but food security is of paramount importance. The food security will be guaranteed only if every effort is made, swiftly and properly, to harness the water resources of the country by building many storage dams.
Water is the most important element for sustainability of lifecycle. Availability of water is rapidly decreasing the world over. Even today, the world has 20% less water than it needs. At the same time, it is projected that world population would double by 2055.
The increase in population in Pakistan presents much more alarming situation. It is projected to increase to 350 million by year 2030. The availability of water, however, is depleting at an alarming rate. At the time of creation of Pakistan, the water availability stood at 5,000 gallons per capita per day which has already reduced to a level as low as 350 gallons per capita per day. It has been already recognised the world over that future wars between nations and among nations will be fought over water.
A water crisis has crept up on an unnoticing world which no longer creeps but is ready to leap into every ones consciousness, at least those who possess one. The demand for water is increasing twice as fast as human population. Ninety percent of Pakistan’s food items are produced by irrigated agriculture. Over the years while the population has been increasing at an alarming rate, the productivity of irrigated agriculture has been declining.
The irrigation water available presently at 90% 0f the demand will be reduced to 69% by the year 2025. The country is going to suffer a further loss of around 5.5 MAF due to sedimentation in the existing reservoirs.
Countries around Pakistan are building storage dams in hundreds and thousands. Pakistan unfortunately has been caught up in totally baseless and misguided controversies. In many studies and presentations, it has been amply demonstrated that the objections raised against the construction of Kalabagh Dam have no bearings and those who are opposing it, seem to be totally blinded by the misgivings of vested interests. Pakistan needs many dams but Kalabagh is far ahead in design and other preparations.
The prevailing anti-Dam situation poses the greatest challenge to the political leadership. It is my conviction that if anyone has the capability and capacity to face the daunting challenge, it is no one other than Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Zardari jointly. If politicians can flock together for the achievement of their personal interests, nothing would come in their way for the fulfillment of vital national objectives.
Great enterprises are only achieved by adventurous spirits. They who calculate with, much great nicety, every difficulty and obstacle, which is likely to lie in their way, lose that time in hesitation, which the more daring seize, and render valuable service to the loftiest purposes.
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