Carlyle once said that silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves. In Pakistan everybody is talking and no one is listening. We are discussing the issues, which ought to have been settled way back in the early fifties. The present government of course needs to improve its standards of governance but a national penchant for oratory ravaging the political atmosphere leaves little space for sensible comment. In a democratic dispensation, the government and the opposition need to learn from each other. Tolerance and listening are the children of silence. Our ruling classes whether in government or in opposition must understand that critics are not necessarily their enemies and admirers are not necessarily their friends. Let me advise our chattering classes to note that silence promotes thinking which is essential to progress which other nations have admirably achieved and which we are aspiring or dreaming to make. B A MALIK, Islamabad, October 2.