PML-N President Mian Nawaz Sharif has spoken an evident truth. “Pakistan of today is not what the Quaid-i-Azam had dreamt; its condition would cause his soul an acute pain.” He uttered words to that effect while addressing a press conference at Hyderabad yesterday morning during the course of his visit to the flood-affected areas of Sindh.

A mere cursory glance at the country’s history would have made him appreciate that it would be hard to absolve himself from this failure; he must share the blame with others who have presided over the destiny of the nation over the years. He had had two stints as prime minister and one as chief minister and earlier another as finance minister in Punjab.

Both Allama Iqbal and the Quaid visualised Pakistan to become an Islamic welfare state where, as the term connotes, the interests of the people are held supreme. Their needs – easy access to justice, health and education facilities, in short, the legitimate aspirations of modern times – are fully and adequately met. Unfortunately, with an honourable exception or two, neither the civilian leaders, who were elected on a pro-people mandate, nor the military dictators, who had usurped power, paid much heed to the sufferings of the people.

By and large, self-promotion and self-enrichment had been their guiding principles. The pity is that the present ruling set-up at Islamabad that came after a hard-fought struggle to oust a military dictator has crossed all bounds of indulging in corruption and giving the nation, nothing but bad governance, miserable law and order situation, high inflation, etc.

Talking about the flood situation, Mian Nawaz felt that first of all we need to use our own resources to the full, and if they were to fall short of the requirement, only then we should seek outside help. He lamented that the government had made it a habit to beg for aid whenever an emergency arose. Regrettably, for all the warning signals of heavy rains this year as well, though on a lesser scale than last year, the government did not take any measures beforehand to prevent the damage. Earlier on Saturday, he urged the federal government to form a joint strategy in collaboration with the Sindh government to combat the floods.

He was emphatic that his party would break up those who talked of dismemberment of Pakistan, adding that it was not a toy that could be easily broken. Mian Nawaz asked for the real faces behind the violence in Karachi to be unmasked. His call for unity is understandable – the gravity of the situation, target killings, floods and what not, no doubt demand unity in our ranks – but the PML-N President should first work for the merger of all Muslim League factions that he has been stalling. Then, he should wholeheartedly apply himself to making the Quaid-i-Azam’s dream a reality. – Nation