JUST IMAGINE THE LIFE OF AN ORDINARY PAKISTANI.
NEVER A DULL MOMENT.
NEVER A MOMENT OF PEACE.
NEVER KNOWS IF THEIR CHILDREN ARE GOING TO COME BACK FROM SCHOOL.
NEVER KNOWS IF HE CAN AFFORD HIS NEXT MEAL.
ALWAYS AT THE MERCY OF WHOM HE HAS CREATED.
READY TO BE FLICKED AWAY LIKE A FLY.
ARE WINDS OF CHANGE BLOWING IN PAK?
Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa called on Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Thursday and discussed “professional matters pertaining to Pakistan Army, internal and external security situation“, said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
PTI: The government is like the fast bowler who is clocking speed but can’t get his line and length right. And it is now facing a batsman who is making aggressive use of his bat.
PML-N: The party is like the batsman who has come out of his crease, taken a mighty swing of the bat, connected the ball — and is now waiting anxiously to see if the airborne ball crosses the boundary or falls in the hands of a fielder. It is an uncomfortable position to be in for the batsman who has swung, for the bowler who has been hit, and for the fielder who is watching the ball descend on him.
PPP: The party is like the batsman on the non-striker’s end watching his partner clobber the bowling. This batsman would prefer to remain on this end of the wicket and yet is uncomfortable in the realisation that he will need to take a run at some point and face the ball.
Establishment: This is where the cricket analogy becomes tricky. Is it the umpire that is accused of giving a wrong LBW? Is it the leg umpire that is dodging shots from the batsman? Or is it the chief selector whose team selection is under question?
MATURED, RESPONSIBLE AND WEAK KNEED AS EVER
Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar, director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), on Thursday termed as “disappointing” and “misleading” any attempt to link the release of Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman with anything other than Pakistan’s mature response as a responsible state.
I remember [Foreign Minister] Shah Mahmood Qureshi sahib was present in that meeting, which the Prime Minister had refused to attend. The chief of army staff also attended,” Sadiq had said while responding to federal minister Murad Saeed, “With his legs shaking and sweat on the forehead, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said to us, ‘For God’s sake, let him (Abhinandan) go back now’,” he had claimed, adding “no attack was imminent; they only wanted to capitulate and send Abhinandan back“.
Now he speaks of a ‘foreign conspiracy’ — the last refuge of a flailing dispensation. “It is unfortunate that all the enemies of Pakistan, including India and Israel, are with them,” the Prime Minister said in a recent TV interview referring to the opposition alliance. This is the typical response of a leader who is not willing to face reality
It’s not just about the Prime Minister; the crisis has also exposed the basic flaw in the existing hybrid power structure that seems to have developed cracks. The security Establishment is directly under fire, with the government hiding behind it.
It is apparent that the survival of the hybrid dispensation is entirely dependent on the support of the security establishment. The crisis has pushed the security leadership into the storm. It is becoming increasingly clear that not only has the establishment’s project failed to deliver but that a manipulated system has also distorted the entire political system that will be extremely difficult to correct.
It leaves us with very few options. Directly involving the security establishment in any political process too has its consequences…
TRAPPED IN DEBT – THE NITTY GRITTY
We are not heading towards a debt trap; we are already in it. Last year alone, the country added Rs 4.3 trillion to its debt; that is equal to its total tax receipts. External debt went up by $17.8 billion over the last two years while total earnings from export are only $22bn or so. Our earnings from export have only grown by $6bn in 15 years while our external debt has increased by $78bn in the same period.
So, what more of a trap do you need when every year your total indebtedness is increasing by an amount equal to your total tax receipts and when your foreign indebtedness has gone up by $17.8bn in two years, which alone is equal to 80% of your annual exports?
THE IED blast in Peshawar on Tuesday morning brings to an end a relatively long period without high casualty terrorist attacks in the country. And Pakistanis have once again been reminded that their children are not safe in their places of learning.
In Quetta, the Pakistan Democratic Movement ventured into forbidden territory. At its Gujranwala and Karachi rallies, the PDM leaders highlighted the people’s economic hardships and the misery caused by skyrocketing prices of essential food items and medicines, and rightly so. But it was at the mammoth gathering in Balochistan’s capital last Sunday that the speakers also addressed the issue of enforced disappearances, and gave voice to the grief of the families of the missing.
By calling Adeeba Qambrani — a young Baloch woman whose three brothers have been disappeared — to the stage, Maryam Nawaz put a face to that grief. “No longer will husbands and brothers go missing, people of Balochistan,” she vowed. PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif said: “I am aware of the Baloch people’s problems, Nawaz Sharif knows […] the missing persons issue is still there. I feel pain when I see the victims.”
In political terms, bringing up the issue of enforced disappearances in such a no-holds-barred way is a gesture of defiance to the powers that be.
The feared second wave of Covid-19 cases in Pakistan has arrived, with daily confirmed cases and hospitalisations increasing at an alarming rate. At the time of writing, 14 people in the previous 24 hours had succumbed to the virus and 825 had tested positive, marking a rise in both mortality and positivity rates.
How can a society hope for the rule of law if the system is incapable of punishing its criminals, looters, rapists and murderers? On the other hand, in a perverted paradox, state institutions like NAB are registering highly publicised cases against all and sundry, including state functionaries, without getting convictions. So, on the one hand, crooks in this country feel safe and continue with their crooked ways having mastered the system, and on the other, the good ones who had kept the system going have been scared into their holes.
While loot and plunder continue, the day-to-day system has come to a halt. State functionaries no longer see any reason to be decisive or proactive. Any iota of remaining idealism has been eliminated.
More than the past, the future seems scarier, amongst other things, because of the incompetence of the present rulers.
THEIR LAWMAKERS ALSO ADMIT ON THE FLOOR OF THEIR HOUSE THAT THEY CARRY OUT TERRORIST ACTS IN OTHER COUNTRIES.
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