Governance means reading the signs, making projections, extrapolating existing data to forecast trends and make arrangements and adjustments accordingly. It means number crunching, matching available resources to the demographic spread, so on and so forth, etc. etc. etc. That is what the incumbent government does, and the opposition, which is supposed to be a government-in-the-waiting for whenever the people vote them in, keeps its eye on.
Now, despite the ‘heavy mandate’ barring the very few delusional (also called ‘dheet’ in Urdu) out of the 180 million Pakistanis, everyone would agree, at least in their hearts even if they do not want to articulate, that Nawaz Sharif and his coterie has taken ineptitude, nepotism and bad governance to whole new level.
While they want the nation to do a jig because the Rupee:Dollar parity has been dragged back to double digits, and rejoice at the visible signs of skewed development priorities like the Metro Bus and Flyovers etc, fact remains that the poor are getting poorer, rich richer, marginalized are more vulnerable today than ever before, the vulnerable now stand in the category of the threatened with extinction, the criminals roam free, justice is held hostage to street power etc.
All of the above need, nay, deserve to be changed, so the clarion call of ‘#Tabdeeli’ or change resonates with all and sundry. Raise the decibels, and the degree, and this calls gets another name by another group.. for instance #Inqilab! But look who is giving this call. Is it a case of the pot calling the kettle black? What do we have at the other end of the scale
On one side is a party, Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf, which has a chance NOT to do all that it accuses the Nawaz Sharif Government of PML-N in a province it holds sway in.. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Now to be fair, many a good initiatives have been taken there which can serve as a model for the other provincial governments if they can get out of their parochial silos. But there are plenty of regressive steps in fields that have an impact beyond the here and now; like education, and its basic building block, the curriculum. Now with its band of 30 off Parliamentarians against the ruling party’s 170, all of whom could not have gone past the post through rigging, its leader Imran Khan refuses to settle for anything but the ouster of the Government.
The other demand for #Inqilab or revolution is coming from a person who cannot be accepted as a stakeholder by any stretch of imagination. This flyby Canadian cleric, emboldened by the clout he was able to wield during his last year’s street theatre when the PPP was in power, wants to upchuck the existing system. #TUQ or Tahir ul Qadri of the #PAT or Pakistan Awami Tehreek and/or Idara e Minhaj ul Quran breathing verbal hellfire and brimstone is presenting a total either/or and with us or against us scenario with very little room for negotiations or manoeuvering.
With these two ‘personalities’ set in formaldehyde, and their band of followers with an equally rigid mindset, it will take some going to resolve the current impasse, even if one puts blinkers on and ignores a khaki shadow, coupled with the extremely myopic, and almost panic stricken response of the Government, which was a case of too little too late.
Oh, and while it may disturb the flow of the words, I must of course mention here that we have a little case of a full scale war, given the title of #ZarbeAzb, going on just hours away from where the street show is taking place. Relevant? Maybe!
However, this is not about a comparison of performance. This is more about planning. No matter how dissatisfied I am with the performance of the government in power, how can I ever think of throwing my lot with people who cannot even look up a weather map before planning the biggest disruption to civic life in two major cities at a time.
This is August. The season, despite #ClimateChange and shifting monsoonal pattern, is still a rainy season. If the ‘planners’ within Imran Khan and Tahir ul Qadri’s camp do not trust their own country’s Met department, there are plenty of weather sites that would have told them well in advance that these days would be rainy days. If they had extrapolate the data of the past few years, the result would have been the same.
So if the March Hare and Mad Hatter cannot get this basic information before putting the biggest open air show together, inconveniencing thousands (no, it didn’t turn out to be a Million Man March after all) of citizens of Lahore and Islamabad and all the places in between, then please, you can’t expect me to entrust them with my fate!