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?