Articles of the year 2010

The Present
Published on January 09th, 2010

The citizens of Pakistan are being made to suffer while the leadership lives in luxury, oblivious to the load shedding or shortages of water, or flour or gas or petrol, which is the daily task for the rest of us. They are inured from the pain of performing the mundane day-to-day tasks which are the bane of us, lesser beings. But being stuck in the middle of life's ladder, we struggle on with the effort to improve our lot, passing by the less fortunate, and trying to fight the tide which seems to grow ever stronger. The less fortunate, living on their one dollar per day are being buried under the rising costs of every single item, For them there is no rainbow - no light - seemingly no future. Surely, this is the perfect mixture for a revolution. So when the N League fights to protect the system, it is condemning the poor to a further life of 'no hope', for to the poor later is never. A political leader of any substance would promise them a better future now, not later.

In essence the politician cannot promise the people a continuation of the present, especially the 'no hope' 90 million doomed to a living on less than one dollar a day and some on less. Such a political leader who offers no future, offers no hope for a better life. Such a leader does not deserve a following. Even Bhutto whose promise of roti, kapra aur makaan was never fulfilled but he made his best effort. Mainly by giving the people a dream. However, his successors are too busy protecting their ill-gotten gains and the masses have been left to their own devices. Another sure recipe for disaster, adding to the already no-hopers. This is the raw material for the suicide bomber, for in this bleak climate the promise of milk and honey has the wretched youngsters ready to offer themselves to the hallowed commitments made by the some uneducted mullahs for a better life on the other side. In his eagerness to become a martyr, he does not stop to think nor does he doubt the promises of such individuals, lest his faith be doubted.

The N League must not fear the bogeyman. This phantom will not raise its head when faced with a winner. Neither will the USA, or anyone else for that matter. Today, even the panwala is troubled seeing his future leader unsure of his next step. Its far better to make your move rather than regret not having moved and than seeing the prize snatched away, by a less deserving person. For having seized the moment while one hesitated. Indeed, timing is of the essence.

To be stuck in the present is the luxury of the incumbent, for cocooned in the comfort of the presidency, he is not interested in a 'change' as he is very comfortable and would like to stay forever if he could. For the rest of the 90 million 'change' is a must. For 'change' is the only hope for the masses. The future must include 'change' otherwise the circle of life would be renamed the circle of doom, The N League must revise their pitch to the electorate and offer the people a 'change'. For this is the only hope for the people of Pakistan.

Then again, as some uneducated mullahs have concentrated on the vision of milk and honey, and have used this dream to fast forward their own agenda with suicide the fastest way to heaven, and to the fulfilment of their nefarious plan. The damage to the state notwithstanding, the mullah persists in furthering his deadly plan. We for our part must ensure that the underlying evil be exposed and action must be taken as only a government can.

More so, the Americans having realised this and now are shifting their focus on developing the economy in the region. Bombing the northern areas and Afghanistan, will only make the poor poorer. On the contrary, an economic uplift in the region will give the northern areas a paradise in their midst. To create a Dubai in the region can bring a revolution in thinking as well. To the Americans it would cost much less than the billions being spent on their war machine. This is throwing money down the drain and bringing the US to a Vietnam like 'no-win' position. Surely, the US planners should be having nightmares reliving their past. The difference here is the absence of a Hanoi to implement a lasting peace.

The Taliban (theirs and our own) know full well the extent of the American drone. The time is ripe to try the American carrot otherwise it will be a long and expensive battle. Eventually there will be a Marshall Plan; we should try it now.