The government

Do we have one?

Political speculations are at a fever pitch in our hapless republic. All due to an appointment of an official heading a department that reports to a Grade-22 federal secretary, who reports to a cabinet minister, who reports, of course, to the prime minister himself. That pecking order doesn’t end there. The PM, in theory, reports to the people that elected him. And the incumbent holder of that office was elected to it by the majority of the representatives of those people.

But the people don’t seem to be featuring anywhere in the scheme of things, either for the government or the opposition, which, it needs to be pointed out, runs the provincial governments for much more than half of the country.

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The previous (federal) dispensation was rightly made fun of when it came to the musical chairs that it had made of the finance ministry. But are the incumbents any better, what with replacing Miftah Ismail with Ishar Dar in just a matter of several months? Furthermore, the much trumpeted Mr Dar’s ascent to his old position was justified by, amongst other things, the claim that he would improve the dollar-to-rupee exchange, a problematic goal to begin with. Well, now even that imperfect target is slipping away.

Terror rears its head in not just the former tribal areas, but also in Swat, again, with massive rallies carried out by the locals against its rising tide. One shudders to imagine the desperation of these protestors if they risk the ire of the aforementioned militants, specially since they, more than metropolitan ‘mainstream’ Pakistan, know what those zealots are capable of.

The Baloch insurgency, with all its transgressions, and the human rights violations in reprisals by the state against it, carries on, unabated.

And this is not to mention the biggest cause for concern, a natural calamity the scale of which this nation has seen rarely, the terrible floods of this year, with the lives of literally millions of people not back to the way they were, which wasn’t a prized position in the first place.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s critics accuse him of lacking on the whole ‘vision thing’ but even they concede that he does a decent enough job on the getting-things-done front. Sadly, he is nowhere to be seen in the midst of the ever brewing political crisis.

The people need governance. Where is the government?

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected].


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