PTI is staging a sit in to stop NATO supplies in reaction to drone attack on a religious seminary in Hangu. The attack was first of its kind, since the start of drones in the war on terror. Drone attacks have always created controversy in Pakistan and in principle they must be stopped. Despite a consensus among all political parties on stopping them, successive Pakistani governments since 2004 have not been able to find any solution to this problem. Present federal and provincial governments have time and again criticised the attacks and have openly termed the attacks as a violation of our national sovereignty. Pakistani media is taking the issue to the streets. Beyond all the politics on drones, common man in Pakistan is facing harsh realities of rising inflation, price hike electricity, shortage, gas load shedding, corruption, poor health system so on and so forth.

One asks himself how relevant is the issue of NATO supply when mere survival is quite a task for a commoner? The state is crumbling under the pressure of fast growing population, state institutions are weakening day by day, and capacity issue has made institutions less effective. Political interference in state machinery has actually promoted nepotism. International organisations are putting up alarming statistics in regards to socio economic indicators in Pakistan. The Supreme Court every other day hears the cases of institutional excesses and corruption of the people running the high offices of the state.

The society is divided on ethnic and religious lines. State’s role as education provider has been greatly reduced by the religious seminaries. Lose control or no control over the curriculum of seminaries is making things worse for the society. In the back drop of countless issues and challenges country is facing, how relevant are the drone attacks for ordinary Pakistanis?

Political populism may give some political mileage to PTI but at what price? People of Pakistan had clearly manifested their will through May 11elections to eradicate corruption, to improve security situation in general, to provide jobs, to educate youth to provide health and education to the masses.

Present day Pakistan’s problem is not drone, it’s actually a better life quality. Strength of the country lies in economic self reliance that must be the real collective good that all parties should work towards; once that is achieved the drones would become history.

MALIK ATIF MAHMOOD MAJOKA,

Australia, November 30.