Articles of the year 2005

The Non-Issue Issue
Published on March 29th, 2005

It is truly amazing that with the largest Cabinet in the history, our PM is overseeing some of the most stupid decisions to filter down to the people. The religion column in the passport is something we could have well done without. The surprising part is that the many marchers who protested for the column probably do not have a passport anyway. Sherpao the brave seems to have acquiesced without a struggle. Ijazul Haq who was given the Ministry of religious affairs almost as an after thought almost as if nobody else wanted it, has certainly set about producing a result--- one that he wanted, regardless of the effect on the rest of us. It seems he is carrying his Father's flag to lead the hapless Pakistanis on to a miserable fate . He was probably the unlikeliest member of the cabinet, with no apparent support, and was definitely opposed by the MMA, as they think this Ministry is their own private preserve.. He must be truly something, to have prevailed on the rest of the Cabinet, and to have the column restored. One really does not know where his support is coming from. Maybe his Father is still getting his own way here on earth—or at least he commands loyalty from beyond the grave. Either way it seems the Taliban are alive and well here.

The MMA also is succeeding in getting its own way in creating an issue where none existed. It was the same with the Uniform. Does it really matter how the man dresses? Uniform or not, he is the President. But the Hype generated has made it look as if no one outside of the Army can ever aspire to becoming President. The whole non-issue has taken on a different body of its own, and has become an issue, with ranks being formed for and against. Does it then mean that the next civilian President will always be looking over his shoulder?

The manner in which these issues are being thrust into prominence ,would seem as if there is a deliberate plot within the Government to keep the President and PM involved in mind games, and worrying about affairs that are hyped way beyond their due. In the meanwhile some very serious matters such as the Stock market, and the investment in real estate are being neglected by the entire cabinet. The Downward spiral has started, and the incompetence of the people in control is truly alarming. The damage will not only be of financial losses but will also have taken away an opportunity for proper investment where actual jobs are being created. It will also show the Financial managers in their true light--- incompetent. Content with surrounding themselves in an aura of "Pakistan to new heights" they kept themselves busy taking the credit for the Bullish records being broken on the Stock market. Now there is a scramble for survival, and the masters of the game have come up with an ingenious ploy. The Financial Institutions (read Govt owned ie NBP,ICP,NIT,SLIC,) should ante up to sustain the market in its ridiculously over priced position. This would prevent further public displays of anger outside the Stock Exchange. It would also allow the major players to make yet another handsome profit! Of course the monies lost by he Govt institutions does not belong to anyone (Joe Public) and is therefore fair game. It is certainly a novel way of siphoning off these funds. This must not be allowed to happen. If losses have been made, then the persons responsible for creating the hype and basking in the Glow of the Bull should now be made to feel the anger of those who bought the hype, and the losses. Also those who have sustained losses did so in the pursuit of the quick profit, did they split these profits with the Govt who they now insist should bale them out.? The answer Mr.PM is a resounding No!

In the meantime the President must finally decide where he is taking us poor unfortunate moderates. For in avoiding the MMA on the so called non issues he is allowing the MMA to count these victories as a spur to mount further challenges. Mr. President it is time to draw the line and take action before they bring the mobs to the gate