Agent Provocateur Not since the famous Argentinean guerrilla leader, diplomat, military theorist, Che Guevara, has Latin America fired the worlds imagination, as it did with the recent rescue operation of Chiles 33 miners. Seventy long days after the collapse, Chileans revelled, as did the rest of the world with them, in the stunning glory and jubilation of a record-setting mine rescue, managed from the front, by its President Sebastian Pinera. Trapped half a mile underground by 700,000 tons of rock after what felt like an earthquake in the shaft above, the miners had no real hope that theyd ever be found when the collapse took place on August 5 in the San Jose gold and copper mine. In those 17 days no one even knew whether they were alive or not, but they kept faith and remained united. A major factor in this was because they, luckily, had Luis Urzua, as their shift foreman. It took all his wits and leadership talents to help his men stay calm and in control for the 17 harrowing days that it took for rescuers to make their first contact with them, when a narrow hole was successfully drilled in the 2,000 ft of rock. They made the 48 hour available food supply last for over two weeks by taking tiny sips of milk and small bites of tuna every other day. The faith, determination and commitment shown both by the trapped miners and the leadership on the surface established what miracles can be made possible when everyone pulls in the same direction. A huge triumph of the human spirit. A stunning example of leadership both below and on top of the surface. All the technological advancement made by mankind came in handy too and the video pictures of the miners were a source of reassurance to their families, who camped outside for two months. Move the scene to Pakistan and view the landscape. Can anyone believe that we were struck in the very recent past by one of the biggest natural calamities ever in the shape of the massive floods that destroyed all in their wake? Has anything changed drastically for our ruling elite? Have we all started to pull in the same direction under the unswerving guidance of our President and Prime Minister? The answer, unfortunately, is known to everyone. The nitp-icking and in-fighting between the political parties, their inane posturing and inability to implement judicial orders continues unabated, even though the massive task of rehabilitation of 20 million people stares us in the face. The confusion and trust deficit that prevail here are complete. We too want a Sebastian Pinera and we too want a Luis Urzua to emerge from within us. It is not as if we do not have them. Pakistanis have plenty of their own stories of gallantry and leadership at different levels of job performances. These people have not had the opportunity or inclination to play a role in the murky world of our national politics because the existing system requires money (and lots of it), as a first pre requisite to be in Parliament. Failing which, if you are a woman, then you have to be a relative or girlfriend of one of the existing morons to qualify. This zero plus zero plus zero adds up to sum zero and the country remains un-rescued, un-respected, untended and permanently unhappy. It surely cannot be in our stars to remain this way. We can compare what other democratically elected leaders do when a crisis occurs to our leadership and we can take Chiles example. After the collapse, President Pinera fired top regulators and created a commission to investigate both the accident and the industrys regulatory agency. Some actions were swift. The agency shutdown at least 18 small mines for safety violation. Lawrence Golborne, the Minister for Mining, has won high marks for the deft management of the closely scrutinised rescue and the Chilean media has been abuzz with discussion of him, as the most likely successor to Pinera. Elected in 2009, for a four-year term, Pinera is constitutionally barred from running again. On the other hand, our successors have to be the offspring of party heads, despite it being a so-called democracy, and their ascendance to the top slot has also nothing to do with their performance and abilities The silver spoons that they got because of accident of birth and the Sir names they carry clear all the decks in their favour and they carry on in politics, much as though it was family business. The aim is, mainly, to multiply family fortunes and stash them away in foreign countries where no NAB SHAB can reach it. When Luis Urzua, like the leader that he was, emerged as the last rescued miner on the surface, he was greeted by a moist-eyed President Pinera whose words ring in my ears: You are not the same and the country is not the same after this. You were an inspiration Coming out like a true captain, Urzua, described as a calm professional, got a heros welcome. And the whole world watched, teary-eyed, as both him and the President, with their hard hats held to their hearts, led the rescue team in singing the national anthem. At that point in time every human being on the planet celebrated Chiles feat. The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: