An inactive government
There was justifiable anger in the Senate over non-implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) the other day, with the matter typically put off because of the (continued) absence of the interior minister. That Ch Nisar isn’t Nawaz’s closest aide in Islamabad is no longer breaking news. But there’s no reason for such a disconnect to keep him from performing some of his most crucial duties – and the NAP is arguably his most urgent assignment. However, the prime minister does not set the best example of honouring the House with his presence either, nor do most senior N-leaguers. So, for all intents and purposes, the ruling party is perhaps dealing with the NAP as it would any other matter.
Regrettably, it seems, Peshawar was not the game changer is seemed at the time; at least not for the ruling party. The way all political parties came together and vowed to fight to the last terrorist, it seemed, for the briefest moment, that those at the helm had finally decided to take the bull by the horns. But the weeks and months that followed presented a different reality. Sometimes there were insufficient funds, at other times insufficient attention, and never sufficient official political will, to the point that the plan never made it beyond headlines. Sure, they cobbled together an impressive and detailed to-do list, but there was never a mention of how such designs would be translated into reality. And there was definitely no appetite.
Senate members also had a little to say about the mysterious LNG deal with Qatar. PPP’s Senator Saeed Ghani, for example, was spot on in his observation that the “secret LNG deal with Qatar shows there is something fishy”. Why else would the government dilly-dally over disclosing the price? And can they even do that with a straight face in a functioning democracy? How many millions or billions will they commit without letting the House, and of course the people, know what exactly they will have to repay and over how long? That the senate is aware of these concerns is, nonetheless, somewhat reassuring. Hopefully the government will realise where it is going wrong and make sure all parties are satisfied with the way it handles these issues from here.