No this is not about jams or juices even though the caption sounds like an advert for them. The weeks that are unfolding keep bringing news that is worrisome and things, on the surface, seem to be getting worse from bad. Still, I do not want to harp on all that is obviously wrong, as there is no dearth of people already doing that.
I want to focus on the two positive fallouts of the tragedy of Abbas Town. For one, it is abundantly clear that there is no Shia-Sunni divide there and, if anything, the trials and tribulations of the tragedy have further united people of both sects there.
This was something not catered for by those who planned the explosion and the resultant mayhem. Once an act is committed the fallout does not necessarily go as planned.
As in the case of Abbas Town, the planners, probably, just hate the reaction of the victims that has been so different from the conceived plans. It was the same in the case of the massive tragedies that befell the Hazara community in the recent past as well as in the case of the doctor, in Lahore, who was killed along with his 12-year-old son for no reason at all, except for creating sectarian divisions.
The bait was not taken and it is the people of the Sunni faith, who have been protesting these cruel acts in equal measure, alongside the Shias. There is a clear demand by the people of this country to rid ourselves of all the factors that exploit any differences and to curb those who have been misguided into believing that they are so real that they can justify murder. The land that is ours has no extremist or militant leanings by temperament. It never did and does not do today as far as the vast majority is concerned.
The other good thing that surfaced after the tragedy - like it does whenever we are faced with calamities - is the ability of our people to chip in to help. The people take it upon themselves to provide succour to the helpless, while the state stands by and makes empty promises of monetary help and rehabilitation that nobody takes seriously.
The Abbas Town affected have so much help in both cash and kind pouring in that the families may actually be able to get all paid for accommodation for up to six months with the collected donations.
This will enable them to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and reorganise themselves. It is this inherent goodness that needs to be harnessed by our very own leaders when they can find time from squabbling for power and playing games.
In the midst of extreme differences and election sloganeering, we also got the surprise of PTI agreeing to the three names for caretaker prime minister suggested by the PML-N. The names were all above board so that must have been the reason. It is another matter though that all names that are above board, like that of Fakhru Bhai, may also remain ineffective like him.
On the surface, the caretaker setup is only very temporary with no powers to change anything; still, they must be up to coping with any unexpected, God forbid, turn in events - which is always a possibility in our part of the world.
The PML-N’s readiness for the elections was evident from the unfolding of their manifesto. (Seated right behind Mian Nawaz Sharif were two stalwarts from the Musharraf era - Marvi Memon and Razina Shamim Alam, perhaps displayed as prizes plucked from an enemy’s garden.) Nawaz Sharif, according to surveys, appears to be the winning horse and many have decided to bet on him. Many among government functionaries or hopefuls for lucrative positions in the new government must have started to network with the N wallahs already, I’m sure.
Meanwhile, ex-president Pervez Musharraf is all geared up to return home as soon as the caretaker set up is announced. It remains to be seen what show of strength in numbers he can muster on arrival and how much support the MQM gives him as his destination, in all probability, will be Karachi.
Whatever does happen in the elections, it is our ardent hope that it is not a completely hung Parliament and the party elected to power can, unhindered, implement changes that are for the betterment of the country. And also that there are a majority of new faces among the elected who consider themselves just lawmakers, instead of breakers.
An example of the sort of laws the outgoing Parliament has been making is the new provision that allows all of them to keep their accommodation in the parliamentary lodges till the time the new incumbents are elected, despite the Assemblies dissolving. And that is not all. They have also given themselves and their dependents free medical facilities for the rest of their lives. The Abbas Town wallahs can fend for themselves.
Postscript: The most exciting fight, in my mind, is once again going to be between Mussarat Shaheen, the reformed actress of yore who should thus have no issues now of sailing through the 62-63 clause, and Maulana Fazlur Rehman. If I could help it, I would go and campaign for Mussarat just for being so gutsy. She must win in this constituency to prove once and for all that her opponent does not hold as much sway in his area as he would like everyone to believe.

The writer is a public relations and event management professional based in Islamabad. Email: tallatazim@yahoo.com    Twitter: @tallatazim.