Country in dire straits


IN his wide-ranging address to the joint session of Parliament, President Arif Alvi dwelt upon various issues of concern to the country and the people. Delivered in the backdrop of rumpus by opposition members who kept on agitating throughout the speech against what they called wrong internal and external policies of the government, the address, as has been the practice in the past, passed the buck of the worst economic crisis on previous governments, justified accountability about which the CJP too expressed concern a day earlier and tried to sensitize the international community about grave human rights situation in India-occupied Jammu & Kashmir and the need to resolve the conflict on an urgent basis.
Kashmir is burning and the fast deteriorating situation is a serious threat to the regional and global peace as well and the message put across by the President should serve as a warning to leaders like Donald Trump who, instead of doing something to help resolve the conflict, is falsely seeing an improvement in the situation. Perhaps, he has in his mind some of the unilateral steps taken by Pakistan during the last several weeks to calm down the situation but is unmindful of unending miseries of Kashmiris at the hands of the occupation forces. It is hoped that the points highlighted by the President regarding Kashmir issue would form part of the Prime Minister’s speech at the UN General Assembly and Pakistan would not miss any opportunity to raise the issue at all platforms of the UN. The President also rightly stated Pakistan should not fight others’ wars and instead decisions should be made purely on the basis of national interests. However, this cherished objective can only be realized if we address vulnerabilities and weaknesses of the country that force it to compromise on principles and even on sovereignty. Our infighting and lip service to the necessity of strengthening institutions also provides opportunity to our enemies to weaken the country in different respects. As for economy, there is no denying the fact that the country is going through toughest economic era but the blame game would not work. The question arises as to why measures so far taken by the present government have not led to any improvement in the economy and instead the economic situation has become more complicated. Regrettably, the President made no reference to the agonies and plight of the people who are groaning under unprecedented price-hike, unemployment and rising crime rate. In this backdrop, the slogans of welfare state and Madina State are losing substance and credibility, therefore, the authorities will have to improve governance and deliver without further delay.