By Misbah Azam
Heartiest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the brutal bomb blast at Ferozepur Road Lahore. I always try to restrain myself in putting the blame on the government and its incompetence because, first, terrorism is the most difficult thing to control and second, during the last 4-5 years, it has been significantly reduced thanks to military action in North Waziristan and some (halfhearted) measures taken by the civilian government. However, I have a real issue with government’s attitude. The Defense Minister doesn’t talk to the Interior Minister. Interior Minister keeps himself away whenever there is a terrorist incident. Most of the time he is angry with his party’s top leadership, and expects that sycophants in the party would come and beg him for a patch up. It was very disturbing when the people of Lahore were trying to salvage bodies of their loved ones from the rubble of the heinous attack and Mr Interior Minister decided to appear in his “mysterious” presser to boast about his cancellation of the conference because of the Lahore blast. Why did he need to go in front of media to announce the cancellation when he could do it without being there? Because he wanted to make sure that his cancellation would not give the “wrong idea” to media about his “patch-up” with the leadership of PML (N).
This attitude of government’s ministers is unacceptable. Voters gave them mandate to protect the public and provide them with opportunities to have better lives. If the Minister, whose job is to implement NACTA and NAP, has such attitude; if for him his personal feuds with his top leadership are more important than the job he was assigned; then he must resign and find some other career. He was prompt in making brouhaha when the leader of Taliban and mass murderer of innocent Pakistanis Baitullah Mehsud was killed. But whenever Pakistani people are in pain, we find that Mr Minister is angry with his leadership and special envoys are shuttling around to bring him back.
Even while having huge reservations about PTI and its leadership, I believe that Pakistanis must come out in 2018 elections and give a mandate to PTI and help Mr Khan become the leader of the country. I say this not because I believe he is a better person, or his party is any better than others. I have strong reasons to believe – contrary to his supporters and worshipers – that he would not be able to resolve any problem. But I do believe that if governments change after every 5 years, democracy would become healthier. It is true that the available lot of leadership in government as well as the opposition is predominantly incompetent and corrupt a to large extent. However, there are the significant number of good people as well in all these parties. Continuous election process and peaceful transitions of power every 5 years would open the doors to fresh blood in politics, and democracy will flourish as a result. Political parties come and go, political leaders come and go, but democracy is something to which our allegiance must lie. Pakistan’s unity and integrity is guaranteed only with a working, functional and resilient democracy.