These are confusing times for the nation. The good people of this land (not counting those that blindly follow the dictates of misplaced loyalty and avarice) are faced with multiple questions. First, will the Rangers get an extension to retain their special powers in Karachi or will the somnolent Chief Minister continue waiting for instructions from across the Arabian Sea? Second, how on earth has our national airline increased revenues by eighty percent as reported in the media, quoting a government source? Third, if reports are correct and not mere rumors, is the airline being privatized as a first step, then sold to a ‘Canadian’ party and would this deal be as opaque as others before it? Fourth, how long will national institutions watch the affairs of a province being run remotely from Dubai in pregnant silence? Fifth, will the Good Doctor under custody for corruption and abetment of terrorism in Karachi, be provided with a window of opportunity to head for safety as in the case of the Pretty Lady caught by the Customs with a large quantity of green backs? And most importantly does all this mean that the sacrifices by the Army and Rangers to bring about a significant change in the Port City’s security situation go waste?

These are questions spawned by delay in extending special powers granted to Rangers, the financial state of our national carrier in near historic perspective, the extended absence of government in Sindh and the Good Doctor’s latest plea of not guilty before a Karachi Court.

The vast majority of patriotic Pakistanis believe that non extension of Ranger’s writ, a let up in the Karachi Operation, loosening the noose around corrupt individuals (no matter what their status), continuing dysfunctionality of the Sindh Government and the sale of our national airlines, will have disastrous effects on the country.

I have recently been moving around circles close to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf to satisfy journalistic curiosity, search for the truth and in the hope that the party’s poor performance in the recently held Local Bodies Elections would have had a sobering effect on its decision making (I was wrong on this last count). I came to the conclusion that a major cause of PTI defeat in the latest polls and was the inability of its top leadership to reach and resonate with grass root voters. What Khan Sahib and his dream team failed to comprehend was that grass root communities seek immediate manifestation of good governance directly effecting them through roads, electricity, potable water, easily accessible and effective medical facilities etc. The reforms initiated in KPK were laudable, but they were strategic in nature, which meant that their trickledown effect will take time. The way forward should have been two pronged, with simultaneous and immediately visible development.

Another disease that appears to be afflicting the ‘tsunami’ stems from an elitist (perhaps even snobbish) culture amongst party bigwigs.

This observation showcased itself during one of the recent party meetings in Islamabad, where District Heads were ignored. Here again, the cricketing Khan missed the point that his and his Party’s future success lay in the importance given to the lower tier office bearers. I have in the past week spoken to many families, who are ardent PTI supporters. I was taken aback when they stated that they were tired of their leader’s continuous chant of ‘dhandli, dhandli and more dhandli’. It is now time (and I say this with utter sincerity) that PTI comes to term with reality and occupies their seats in the Parliament. They would then be in a position to block bad or self-serving legislation for it is now evident that this is the only way to restrain the Ruling Party and the corruption that riddles it.

I have one last painful observation on the national anthem that was played when the PM inaugurated the Heart of Asia moot along with the Afghan President. National Anthem music is designed to be robust, dignified and stirring – and ours was no exception. Then why in heaven’s name did the authorities concerned, play a mutated track that was an insult to the wonderful composition that we all are used to listening reverently?