The KESC issue while not quite resolved has been taken up by President Zardari and Altaf Husain from London. Both of them realised that the problem had ballooned into a full-fledged crisis and the middle classes were being hurt. The intolerable heat was driving them onto the streets, and in the darkness the students were suffering from the absence of light by which to study. As Karachi is the heartland of the MQM, every night in the darkness put more pressure on the coalition. The rioting was sporadic, but could have exploded at any time. The vote bank was being eroded, with no end in sight. The situation in the Punjab was no better, and was being made worse by the 31 percent price hike lurking in the near future. With a little nudge from London, and then Zardari, the price hike was put on hold, while the production of the IPPs and the units of Port Qasim were put into emergency mode. The realisation in both London and Islamabad together, that the flour and petrol shortages were bad enough, but the power shortage was bringing a palpable drop in the popularity of the government, and no amount of sloganeering would work its magic, certainly not in the dark. Worse, the downward spiral in the vote bank will disenfranchise the leadership, so there may come a point when they turn around to see there are no followers. Both Parties pride themselves as representatives of the masses, so, now they are in power they must wave the magic wand and make all well. That is the curse of governance. The fulfilment of expectations. The major issue facing Pakistan today is the economy. Shaukat Tarin is doing his best, but when the governor issues directives forcing the smaller banks to merge, it is of no sense. Pakistan needs more banks not less. For the banking needs of the Trader mid level, requires a friendly high street banker, and not one who has already graduated into a grade 22 officer with the mindset that goes with that position. She has to open the purse strings, and lower interest rates - not increase them. The economy needs encouragement, and the Finance adviser in addressing the business community directly is making the right moves. This community is the one that generates revenues and pays the taxes. They have to be encouraged for the future of the country is in their hands. If they can be made successful, then we can junk the begging bowl. Otherwise we will continue to be looking for handouts. As I have stated in my previous articles, manufacturing has been ignored, and the Stock Exchanges were the preferred flavour of the decade. Doing nothing for the domestic industry. One gentleman boasted on a talk show that Karachi was now a financial hub And the other two listened and nodded their assent. When six traders are churning their own funds through the system selling to each other - racking up a turnover of 1.2 billion shares in one day's trading (march 2005) when the Wall Street average is only 900,000 a day. This charade was used to attract some investors, but more so, was skilfully used by Shaukat Aziz to project himself. It is now time for our minister to make a greater effort to make Pakistan a self-reliant nation. On CNN the other day a programme was shown of Pakistan in all its miserable problems, and the near disastrous state of our economy, then after a short break they showed the Indian lunar module on the launch pad - all indigenous. (And 350 Billion $ in their reserves) It is now time for us to throw away our smoke and mirrors routine, and get down to the basics. Our youngsters cannot go abroad - no visas and so they should look for their future here. The window displays in the Lahore shops or Zamzama, are exciting, and our fashion designers are now a match for the Indians, and while our girls being prettier, the net effect is overwhelmingly in our favour. We need to support our indigenous talent, but first we must instil pride in ourselves and our Pakistan. Similarly our TV channels, have exploded on the market, and the standard is remarkably good in such very short space of time. Shaukat should look at encouraging Pakistanis, and their products. He should establish at least 50 industries a month, we certainly have the manpower, and the management skills. And to run them we have a huge number of underemployed MBAs. Give them the breaks. The good news is that the US guru of economics Allen Greenspan has admitted that he was mistaken and unbridled credit has brought the US to its biggest crisis since 1929. He had not factored greed into the equation. Luckily for Pakistan, we were not part of the larger scam. The writer is a political analyst