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Tuesday, December 21, 2010


“IT was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness” when Charles Dickens wrote these opening lines of A Tale of Two cities he didn’t know that these lines would so aptly describe the plight of a South Asian country in the year 2010. It was the best of times for the plunderers. A government under PPP with Asif Zardari as President has twofold effect of promoting and encouraging corruption. Whereas a surge is witnessed whenever PPP comes into power, circumstances for the towering corruption were highly favourable where Asif Zardari served as a catalyst. If you prepare a list of the damned heads of the states, our Mr. Zardari would be coronated as flag bearer of the vanguards of corruption.

It was the worst of times for the common lot, the plundered and the down trodden, with the government self praising its completion of the half term, and that too successfully. It’s a no man’s land if you happen to be from middle class, a class that is rapidly vanishing from this land of the pure. Inflation is on the rise, crisis like sugar, flour and fuel are rampant, the masses are paying more for electricity while consuming less because of frequent power breakdowns and yet the IMF’s demand of increase in the power tariff hangs like Damocles’ sword. Didn’t we get rid of this IMF monster once? And now it is back again, courtesy of the PPP government. Would you call it a fortune of a misfortune to see the vehicles driven so recklessly on the roads, so calmly queued for CNG almost a mile away from the gas station? Undoubtedly, for the past some time we have been witnessing situations that were still alien to us.

The weathers have changed in our country completely. We either fall a victim to droughts or to floods, and yet we don’t make preparations to face either of them. The recent floods did historic destruction across the country, sweeping lives and buildings, leaving hundreds of thousands killed and homeless. Had we had dams constructed in time, we would have enough water for the next four to five years. But some consider it of a lesser misery for Nowshehra to actually drown in floods than to such hazard if the much-debated Kalabagh dam is constructed, while others volume outcry of Sindh’s wilderness if any such dams is constructed and still cry when the floods hit their boundaries. There are the mercenary mouths that vomit a diarrhea of words to oppose anything that is to be done in the collective interest of the nation. We call ourselves a free nation where foreign hands pay our leaders to safeguard their own interests_ the sacred cow.

Yet amidst all this there have been moments of respite, for a desert also has oasis and sometimes a rose may bloom among the shrubs. A year replete with misery is ending on a slightly better note, that of the trade agreements and those others of bilateral interests between Pakistan and China, for the future may take sudden turn, now that India has stepped in. The government can either resolve to rise to the situation whenever required or simply brush aside any such idea and turn a deaf ear to the outcries like it did in case of WikiLeaks.