No time for politicking

Pakistan’s current predicament evidenced by the ruthless bloodletting in a civil war-like situation in Karachi and the devastating rains and floods in Sindh; insurgent groups operating at will in Balochistan, killing and abducting their perceived rivals; TTP’s terrorists, not only restricting their deadly strikes to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but, whenever possible, also venturing out to other parts of the country; and the spreading dengue disease assuming the dimensions of an epidemic in Punjab – the complexity of the problems demands urgent solution. And, undoubtedly, the crisis argues against the politicians indulging in their usual game of politicking and mud-slinging. In this context, one cannot more agree with PML-N President Mian Nawaz Sharif that it is time to “save Pakistan”.His other remarks, equally apt, were: “Pakistan is surrounded by dangers”, “there is a pervasive feeling of restlessness” and “a look at TV channels generates mortal fears about the future of Pakistan.”These are no ordinary words. The country faces an internal existential threat. It is time to act, to do serious work. But the recounting of grievances and follies of the PPP-led government at the Centre have tended to dilute the impact of Mian Nawaz’s warning. No doubt, his complaints are all genuine; the PPP and the PPP-led government did commit them and which have dealt a serious blow to the institution of democracy in Pakistan. Even the public, which had striven hard for the restoration of democratic order, feels disappointed with ‘democracy in action’ in the country. And they are fully conscious of who have messed things up.

Yet, for President Zardari to respond to the warning of the PML-N President with rancour is equally uncalled for. He retaliated with airing the warning about saving Pakistan, counselling Mian Nawaz to come forward and work together for this cause. However, his reference to the alarming spread of dengue fever in Punjab ‘on which Mian Nawaz should be spending his energies (rather than pulling up the PPP for its lapses)’ ill befitted the circumstances Pakistan finds itself in. As President of the country, he is equally responsible for Punjab. In a properly functioning democracy, the federation cannot possibly dissociate itself from its largest unit.

Yes, the PML-N not only because it is a mainstream political party, but also because of the plight of fellow Pakistanis, should be concerned about the massive floods in Sindh. It is worth recalling that Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif despatched three mobile hospitals to the flood-affected areas to take care of patients. In fact, he was the first politician to visit Badin and send 96 trucks of relief goods for the flood victims. The politicians of all shapes and hues and standings must realise that at this moment when enemies of Pakistan, both within and outside, are at work should sink their differences and sit down together to find solutions to its problems which are eating into the vitals of Pakistan. – Nation