What is newsworthy? Anything that becomes news! Apparently that seems to be the case with the Punjab government which has vowed to make over a 100 Guinness World Records. They did not claim these records would be in the field of sports, fine arts or technology but in activities such as who can break more than a 100 coconuts with their head in a minute, or who can cook the heaviest banana sandwich. As if these were not sufficient, they will then order the schools in Lahore to send their students to participate in national anthem singing or the formation of a human flag. Such is our quest for excellence!

Last week, thousands of chairs were placed in a stadium for human flag formation in prime minister’ presence; later that event was deferred as per the prime minister’s availability. Isn’t someone paying the rent for these thousands of chairs? Why waste so much money on such a useless but lavish festival when millions are out of jobs and find it hard to make ends meet? We act as a only a developed country would, with regards to our expenditure on useless activities, whereas we shy away from fulfilling basic necessities such as education and health.

There are some records that the Punjab government has set in the last six months; there were only 39 terrorist attacks in Punjab whilst other provinces saw hundreds of bloody encounters with terrorists. This is not because of any better security measures but the way religious extremists have been appeased. Both the Punjab and Federal governments were exposed by the their mantra of ‘Peace Talks’ with Taliban while terrorists kept murdering policemen, slitting the throats of abducted army men, and targeting civilians.

This appeasement can’t continue forever; as the Taliban-sponsored militancy will eventually become increasingly more common in Punjab as well. Pakistan is facing an extremists’ ideological onslaught and this isn’t going to go away with lavish parties and through the singing of patriotic songs and national anthems. Even an ostrich can’t spend his whole life burying its head in the sand! I hope we deserve better rulers than these bunch of ostriches permanently burying their heads in the sand!


Saudi Arab, March 1.