There are times that the malady known as a ‘writer’s block’ comes upon me forcing me to find succor in random thoughts based on everyday observations. It is in exactly this particular state of mind that I am penning this week’s column.A popular television show that features ‘mock’ political celebrities and a team of comedians, who indulge in ‘jugatbazi’ recently showcased Pervez Musharraf and his lawyer (in a cook’s get up). I have no love lost for autocrats or the former President, but I urge the producers of this programme not to indulge in lowering their standards of dignity and in the process insult the institutions that this ‘mock personality’ represented. The budget has set the seal on the notion that nothing has changed with the change in government. Large agricultural land owners hailing from feudal families have been left untouched and untaxed, as it is from them that the power wielded by political parties usually stems. The overall victim of the whole exercise has once again been the salaried middle class, for a single mindless act of increasing the General Sales Tax has raised a nightmare scenario of reduced individual spending strength.It is beyond my limited understanding and conventional wisdom as to why is PML-N leadership obsessed with setting up metros and overhead trains, when they should be investing massively in education, health and other areas of human resource development. It would be worthwhile for the Prime Minister to understand that fancy mass transit systems do not fill stomachs or create skilled professionals, who can easily fit into vocations.As one drives along roads and highways, one comes across signs that clearly indicate the distance on both sides, where no buildings can be constructed. Other signs warning public that no commercial activity can be carried out in residential localities have also frequently drawn my attention. It is shameful that these instructions are flouted with impunity and in what can best be termed as an unholy matrimony between the perpetrators and those government departments responsible to enforce these rules. Now and then, someone with an axe to grind wakes up and launches an anti-encroachment drive that targets poor vendors, who earn a meagre living, while big schools and other flourishing businesses continue making mockery of the law.The police anywhere in the world is supposed to be a country’s front office - not so in this ‘Land of the Pure’. The other day, in an act that I now consider reckless but necessary, I stopped a policeman who was leisurely riding his motorcycle in the middle of a busy highway in Islamabad. As I walked up to this particular ‘officer of the law’, I noticed that his shoes were unlaced, the buttons of his blue shirt were open almost half way down his fat protruding belly, he was minus a crash helmet and his sagging jowls were covered by at least a four day growth of stubble. While I reluctantly did not point out his appearance to him, I did ask him as to why he wasn’t wearing a helmet and why in God’s name was he driving his motorbike in the middle of the busy highway. Out of sheer decency and deference to my senior citizen status, I addressed him as ‘beta’ only to be rewarded by an insolent stare, followed by a scathing reply to the effect that he was a guardian of the law and I had no business to be asking him these questions. I looked at him and decided to beat a hasty retreat before his belligerence took on physical form. I am still smarting from this incident and much of my anger is not directed at the ‘sorry specimen’ in question, but at those that run the police force. I am angry at the fact that these individuals appear to be interested only in the authority and perks that their high office has attached to it. I am looking forward to the day when things would change for the better in the land that I love. Till then I can continue with doing the type of stuff that some people would term as reckless and unnecessary – I would do this in the hope that others follow suit, for I believe that it is people who can bring about momentous changes and we need such a change now.

nThe writer is a freelance columnist.