The manner in which Chiles President Sebastian Pinera and his Minister for Mining were personally involved in the rescue operation of 33 miners trapped in a collapsed mine 2,050 feet below the surface in San Jose gold and copper mine for 69 days, displays the priority that their elected leadership had for the lives of their citizens. Their story of survival and extraordinary rescue operation mounted by government of Chile captured the worlds attention. The last to emerge from the mine was the foremen of 33 miners trapped below. In the final operation, which lasted over 48 hours, the President of Chile and his Minister for Mining were personally present at the scene to welcome each miner as he came out. Compare this to the apathy of our former President Musharraf who handed over thousands of our citizens to foreign countries for bounty money and was so proud of his shameful act that he mentioned this in his autobiography as a feat. When floods ravaged Pakistan and millions were displaced and thousands died, our elected President embarked on an extended tour of France, UK, Syria etc, without bothering to cut short this trip and be present in Pakistan. As if this was not enough, the PMs family was busy shopping at Londons Harrod store, totally unbothered about the enormity of tragedy that had struck millions of their unfortunate citizens. This mindset displays the apathy of a nations ruling elite and their conscientious disconnect from the people that they rule. Bob Woodard in his recent book has quoted our President of having stated that civilian collateral damage does not bother him. It would be unfair if this sickening disconnect is confined only to the present ruling political party, because the same apathy is displayed by the leading opposition parties and our military-bureaucratic oligarchy. The tragedy is that those who have economically benefited the most from the opportunities provided in Pakistan, have chosen to dessert it, when the country needed them the most. Their assets worth billions, which they made because of this country, through legitimate or illegitimate means are stored in banks abroad. This disconnect between the rulers and the masses has been widening since the demise of our Founding Father Quaid-i-Azam. As a nation we need to understand that those who have no economic stakes in Pakistan, having acquired foreign residential status for themselves and their families, cannot be expected to deliver. MALIK TARIQ ALI, Lahore, October 16.