When I was a young boy, I and a group of close friends often had fun by creating and playing an imaginary kingdom ruled by Jesters . Little did I realize that our make-believe realm would one day become a reality with the grim difference that unlike our childhood game, it would have far reaching consequences for coming generations.
A recent judgment by the higher court has ruled in favor of a female civil service officer from Balochistan, who is currently posted in the National Assembly Secretariat at Islamabad. The lady, who has reportedly been getting accolades for her work and efficiency, fell victim to the worst kind of harassment for the absurd reason that she was a female from our largest province. I am happy that the court has upheld the young lady’s fight for justice, but I would be happier if the people responsible for the harassment, no matter what their official status, are also held accountable and given their due share of punishment.
The Finance Minister has delivered the news that the US Dollar will fall soon and in the same breath has advised people possessing this currency to sell it as soon as possible. I must give credit to the minister for his statement and am hard put whether to put down his words as a national jest or the words of someone naïve enough to believe in what he says. There are some in the dollar market, who amusedly comment that even if the Government manages to bring down the dollar, it will be a temporary and artificial phenomenon. These quarters speak in hushed tones of the dollar – rupee parity hitting the one hundred and twenty mark in order to make international lending sources happy.
Our rulers are happily engaged in globetrotting, enforcing article six and sacking heads of national institutions, to the detriment of bringing down prices, improving law and order and resolving the power issue. They appear to have forgotten that their first and foremost commitment is to bring relief to the common man and this can only be done by addressing issues that generate this relief. Resultantly, there is a growing feeling amongst the people that perhaps Pervez Musharraf’s trial and other sensational stories is an attempt by rulers to divert the nation from real grass root issues.
The newly launched Prime Minister’s loan scheme for entrepreneurial youth has become a cruel jest. Under this initiative, each applicant is required to have a guarantor, who is a government employee in BPS 15 and above or someone with a net worth of 150 % more than the amount of the loan being applied for. How will applicants, with no access to such guarantors, get their kick-start in life is anybody’s guess.
One of the best straight-faced comedy performances can be seen in talk shows that feature guests from the Party that swept elections. When confronted with incriminating videos of electoral malpractices these individuals brazen facedly go into a repetitive rendition of denying what is being shown to them. It would be nothing short of a jest if the ‘thumb verification’ exercise was not held in each and every case, where video based evidence of electoral violation exists.
The latest side splitter is a public service ad sponsored by the government that features a veteran television star, who advises people to conserve gas by not using gas heaters and to combat the cold weather by wearing woolies. I am trying to form a mental picture, where I find myself seated in my home swathed from head to toe in thermal wear and sweaters or working in an office wearing a duffel coat, a woolen cap and mittens. I am also waiting for the day when a somewhat similar ad would hit the tube wherein a ‘comely lass’ is seen urging the public to burn candles instead of electric lights in order to save electricity.

The writer is a freelance columnist.