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Govt & confusion

March 13, 2018


WE are used to living in a state of uncertainty and confusion. This state of affairs has become the hallmark of our lives in every sphere. Be they government decisions, judicial verdicts, legislative business or international affairs: all reflect this phenomenon in one way or the other.

I feel the government has been in hibernation ever since the Supreme Court ousted Nawaz Sharif. Decision-making, even on important and pressing issues, is almost non-existent. How to save the Sharif family from the clutches of law and the Constitution seems the only priority of the ministers and ruling party leaders.

They are all out to defend their corruption in connivance with a section of the bureaucracy, which is also involved in the wrongdoing.

The judiciary is trying to assert its legal and constitutional authority. However, its proceedings and decisions, at times, appear ambiguous. The judges announce their verdicts but find it necessary to explain them outside at non-judicial forums. This is bizarre. Verdicts are ridiculed but the courts are unmindful. If action is taken, the contemnor is pardoned. That’s all.

We see the so-called elected representatives in parliament busy in their personal and private business. Most of them appear interested only in their perks and privileges. Quorum in the National Assembly, in particular, is a routine issue. Why should they ensure their attendance when there is no business of any importance to dispose of? They keep eyes on the next elections.

Confusion and uncertainty in international affairs are also increasing. Pakistan’s relations with the United States, China, Russia, India, Afghanistan, Iran and even the most revered, Saudi Arabia, are also marred by uncertainty and utter confusion. Government leaders, for example, do not find themselves in a position to apprise people about the status of the so-called Islamic military coalition or as to why Pakistan is sending troops to Saudi Arabia.

The latest example of confusion is that of the just concluded Financial Action Task Force meeting in Paris. No one knew what was actually going on there. What our de facto finance minister is saying now is totally different from what the foreign minister had tweeted. The only truth is that Pakistan is drifting towards international isolation.

Mehnaz Siddiqui

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2018