It seems that the only way to avoid criticism by a sitting government from rival political parties is just to do nothing, sit and wait for an opportunity to pounce on them and insult them in return. The two year long wait for road and overhead bridges infrastructure required for Lahore Metro Bus service did create traffic problems for citizens, but in spite of some really substantive improvements required, it is indeed a first good step for a government to provide safe, reliable and affordable public transportation to its citizens.

Political opponents in ruling coalition need to explain what they have done for citizens residing in their provinces where they hold power. Five years were enough time to do some constructive work in their areas and localities, ensuring them votes in the coming elections, but most of them pocketed all the development funds and did nothing to help or improve the common man’s life. They made no endeavor to improve law and order situation in Karachi. There is crippling power shortage in the country the state owned rail, road and air transport has been brought to a stop.

The government and its coalition could have put into effect strict regulatory controls over financial, petroleum, power and gas industry, contain corruption and regulation of vital pharmaceutical industry, increase in tax recovery, security of life and private property, but instead what we saw was a rapid deterioration in all sectors. Land mafia played havoc and now enjoys political patronage of powerful constitutional office holders. Over 700 children died of measles in Sind which reflect on failure of provincial government and their health ministry, which failed to provide proper sanitation to millions displaced by floods during past 5 years.

Unfortunately the state has consistently absolved itself during the past two decades from its primary obligation to provide health, education, public transport and vital energy requirements by handing over these to an unregulated private sector, which has created more problems than solutions. Danish Schools in remote areas of Punjab will yield benefits only if qualified teachers are appointed and scholarships given strictly on merit with no discretionary quotas. Awarding scholarships and other incentives to deserving students is undoubtedly a state responsibility, but waste in advertisement expenditure is totally unjustified. The BISP is a good project on paper but has become controversial because Rs2.44 billion spent on advertisement and interference by politicians of ill-repute. The main point still remains that someone needs to take responsibility for this nation and its people.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, February 5.