PAKISTAN is passing through probably the most critical phase of its history. Despite the coming to power of the second successive civil government, it seems as if nothing has changed in the country. Confusion is very much there between the major political parties on some of the most challenging issues. However, the worst is in matters related to national security.

It is the basic duty of the state to protect the life and property of its citizens. Any failure in doing so creates disharmony between the state and its citizens. Pakistan is facing serious security issues from Gilgit to Karachi and politicians and state institutions appear to be crippled. The politics of so-called right and left has divided public opinion. The law and order situation is the worst in decades. Besides, there is no consensus on the line of action to cope with.

The mess is every where, be it FATA, Balochistan, Karachi, interior Sindh or Punjab. You hardly hear anything soothing from the centre.

In one of his recent statements, the law minister of Punjab clearly stated that his party, the government and security establishment were not on the same wavelength in terms of security policy for the country.

It is surprising and some what heartbreaking that the PML-N despite its tall electoral claims has so far failed to provide any direction to deal with state-threatening security challenges. The basic of needs is safety and security whereas the PML-N government is focusing on building roads and electricity projects.

Economic progress is a progeny of peace. State institutions not only remain lacking in capacity but are badly suffering at the hands of political interference, an example of which is the Sikandar incident in the heart of Islamabad.

Retreat of the state is providing a boost to outlaws in all parts of the country. The deteriorating security situation is also giving Pakistan a bad name on an international level, the price of which every Pakistani pays when he travels abroad.

Pakistan has been turned into a burning kiln for its own people.

Nations rise from the ashes and reach the skies. There is always an opportunity in the worst of times.

The state and government must act in unison and take Pakistan out of its quagmire.

ATIF MAHMOOD MAJOKA
Melbourne, Australia

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