Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Priorities

So I'm on Dawn's webpage, and this is what I find myself staring at:



Does that seem a little strange to you? The fact that our leaders and political stalwarts are mired in petty political disputes concomitant with innocent Pakistanis bearing the brunt of militant violence every week? Just a touch out of touch?

Cyril Almeida talked about this issue a couple of weeks ago, but I want to reiterate the point here, in a slightly different way.

No reasonable observer of politics can think that leaders and elected officials and powerful politicians will live the lives that common citizens live. It just won't happen, and it's foolish to expect it. When people complain about being vulnerable to terrorism while the Zardaris of the world are secure in bullet-proof Mercedes and ample security, it is a pointless complaint.

What isn't a pointless complaint, however, is the complete lack of empathy our leaders -- from Zardari to Gillani to Nawaz Sharif -- have shown during the last month of violence. As I said, they cannot know what ordinary citizens are going through. But they should at least pretend to care. They should act like leaders and not children at a birthday party, each most concerned with securing their share of the cake oblivious to the world around them. Would it be so unreasonable to hear something along the lines of "This is a difficult time for us all. We know that all Pakistanis' hearts are filled with despair, anger, fear and hurt. But we are in this together. We must remain unified and strong, and Inshallah, we will persevere in this conflict"?

Sometimes we forget this, so it bears repeating: the Pakistani state and its citizens are at war. Is it really so ridiculous to expect the government to provide some comfort and sense of unity in a time of war? Or is that reserved only for when we're fighting India?

But no, seriously, I can definitely see why the NRO is super-important right now and is worthy of a summit-level meeting between the PPP and its coalition allies. First things first, right?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ahsan seems like you inadvertently revealed some personal info there...

Ahsan said...

Heh. Taken care of. Though it bears noting that my email address is on my profile page.

Anonymous said...

I think its a good idea that Rehman Malik and his erratic mouth are not issuing statements about the operation. I would much prefer if they spent their energies on non-issues like the NRO, where there is less potential for damage!

ahraza said...

It's unfortunate that our politicians have overlooked the safety of their citizens and are only focused on raking in the benefits of the NRO. I wrote a similar article on this topic today. By the way, Ahsan, I sent you an email, don't know if it was at the correct address or not. Do let me know if you have received it.

http://bit.ly/11oe9R

Bush. said...

Oh that has been evident ever since these politicians were proved to have has their own Sugar mills not supplying any of their sugar during the presently heavy economic recession. Apathy towards terrorism is just another example.

Roti Kapra aur makaan doesn't benefit the poor either. They're just these to suck money and waste their time in petty disputes. Bullshit.

zeyd said...

Politicians looking after their personal interests ahead of the country? Don't find it strange or unusual at all. Neither should you man, aren't you used to it by now?

Ahsan said...

Bush/Zeyd:

To be clear, I'm not saying politicians should look after citizens' interests above their own, because we know that will never happen. What I'm saying is that they should at least pretend to care about what the country is going through right now, particularly in NWFP and Punjab. An empathic statement or two would be nice.

ahraza:

I replied but it bounced back. Something about "domain name not found". Try me from another account.

Ria said...

What do you expect? They're working their hardest to keep the nation going, especially with international Turkish and American guests. If they gave up and sat down to mourn, we'd all accuse them of irresponsibility. Are we ever happy?!

Le Mystique said...

They are not our leaders. They are just looters busy fighting each other for their own selfish reasons...