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Islamabad

February 3, 2015

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Excellent news and worst news

Head of PPP Media Cell
The exciting good news, Milk Riaz, Bahria Town, laid the foundation stone of Altaf Hussain University in Hyderabad and also announced building another grand similar institution in Karachi to be named after MQM Chief Altaf Hussain. These would be centers of excellence which impart modern education to the youth to prepare them to assume the responsibilities of building the bright future of this country based on scientific knowledge and research where technological advancement would be the engine of growth and competitiveness. MQM chief’s demand for the enhancement of education budget to the extent of 5% of the GDP stole the heart of millions of people who have been struggling, fighting and persuading the economic development planners to see the rational in this but to no anvil so far. The allocation of the budget for the education sector remained in the vicinity of 2% of the GDP which is perhaps one of the lowest among the comity of the nations. Pakistan’s Constitution Article 25-A, provides for free and compulsory education between the age of 5 and 16 but who cares because 25 million children of this age group are out of schools. Apex court as being custodian of the Constitution and the fundamental rights must be aware of this.
The bad news that throbbed the heart to peoples’ mouth was the terrorist attack in Shikarpur the same day where more than fifty people lost their precious lives. The perpetrators of the attack are extremists who were brainwashed against the fellow citizens because they were deprived of opportunities to get education under the state run system and their parents had to enroll them in the seminaries under acute economic compulsions. The mushroom growths of the madaris under the watchful eyes of the security apparatus for misplaced security and foreign policy objectives have proved a total disaster. The country is facing the existential threat from the same elements that were trained as warriors against

enemy. They are now engaged in pulling down the nation to retrogression and its future as well. It was unfair to juxtaposed a wonderful good news of establishing two universities with the abhorrent terrorist attack but in this country good news hardly come by whereas the country is immersed with depressing news coming out almost on daily basis. This is the reality and it should be known to all that might trigger the instinct of self-preservation of the nation and its rulers to eliminate the evil. The carnage of Peshawar did invoke resolute response to exterminate the evil apparently for a short period of time because the self-serving religious lobby is on the move to divide the nation. It is contemplating not to let the erosion of ground from beneath their feet.
The religious parties are averse of bringing the madaris under some type of regulatory mechanism and changes in the curriculum as per National Action Plan. They are opposing the tracking down of the source of their fundings. They are also hurting the unity by opposing some points of the National Action Plan which were earlier agreed upon by them. The lawyer community is up against the establishment of military courts and announced a programme of opposing these till their packing up. It will affect the working of the military courts against terrorists. The prospects of winning war against terror under the prevailing conditions seem not very encouraging. The leadership of the country, as anecdotal evidence suggest, is reluctant to come out against terrorists and proscribed organisations with matching determination. It has yet to take actions against the terrorist networks of terrorist organizations in the South Punjab. We have not heard of any such plan unfolding in the near future except the prime minister’s platitude to root out terrorists. The talk is not walking and indeed is the mismatch of the highest order.
Pakistan is besieged by multiple crippling problems created by terrorism, Indo-Pakistan tensions at working boundaries, excessive loadshedding of energy, swelling debt servicing due to heavy borrowings by the government and above all the religious-political parties confusing and dividing the nation, as always, at a time when unity is desperately needed.
The rulers’ ability to get the country out of the vicious circle of difficulties is problematic. They are devoid of the vision and resent decentralisation and professionalism to deal with the complex issues of governance as well. They have made it a family affair instead and the outcome is back to back crisis. Their whole focus is to control the government instead of energising it to improve the delivery services to the people. The people of the country are demoralised as they see no prospects of better future in the face of the apathy and inertia that have overtaken the thinking of the leaders. They have no road map to put the country on the trajectory of peace, progress and prosperity. Their working pattern is quintessentially based on the narrative of ad-hocism making the lives of all and sundry miserable. Pangs of infliction have no effect on the thick-skin mandarins.
The people are scared of the inaptitude of the rulers who put the millions of people of Punjab in the worst discomfort simply because they could not anticipate the linkage between the demand and supply of petrol, forcing the day-to-day life to a grinding halt. The people thronged to the petrol pumps and waited in long queues for hours to get small quantity of petrol. The goof of the startling proportion of the rulers has led the people to reach all sort of lamentable conclusions. They are living under the constant fear as if another crisis is in the offing. Fear is more dreadful than the crisis itself. This assessment of the people right across the country will not bode well for the political system. Its negative fall-out will be surely detrimental to our war of survival.
PTI Chief Imran Khan is flexing his muscles to take on the government again because of its failure to constitute Judicial Commission to investigate the allegations of riggings. The country will again be sunk in uncertainty that has already taken toll inflicting colossal losses and no gains. The PML-N leadership is hesitant to take bold political initiative to take the wind out of the sails of PTI. The offer of mediation by the Opposition leader, Syed Khursheed Shah, should be accepted and let him play the role to end the political stalemate. Its continuation is analogous to putting spoke in the political wheel of the country preventing it to move forward in the desired direction. The stubbornness on the part of both sides does not harmonise with the democratic culture that is essentially based on tolerance and pluralism and rejects exclusiveness.
Leadership of both the major parties’ obstinacy at a time when the country is in a state of war is extremely regretful. Their not resolving the political issues strikes the very roots of their commitment to defeat terrorism, may be by default. Their political brinkmanship will serve the interests of terrorists who see their victory in chaos than in peace. Their laughable sense of proportion will be mollified by the historians.
Pakistan is in a closed alley and to find a safe exist strategy is improbable due to lack of clarity and unity. Pakistan was much respected country earlier than today by the international community as a respectable member contributing to peace and security of the world. Today, Pakistan is known for wrong reasons all over the world. Dictators had played havoc with the collective destiny of the nation simply to perpetuate their illegitimate rule. The free thinking of the people suffered and replaced by the orthodox thinking that suited the rulers who patronised the lobby to counter the modernity. The politicians were portrayed as venal, corrupt, self-serving and myopic and deprive them from the formulation and implementation process of public policy.
We are providing enough stock to the international community to laugh at us. If the perilous security to the country could not make politicians to prioritise their policies then the indictment of compromising national security would fall on them at the end of the day. PPP’s leadership is exception that has been constantly advocating that the nation should first defeat the scourge of extremism and terrorism, leave the party politics in the periphery for the time being. The political leadership got united after the massacre of Peshawar but the resolve looked short-lived as some of the religious right parties have back tracked from their commitment
without compunction. The question is if the blood of APS children could not bring them around then whose accomplices they are?

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