Rameeza Majid Nizami has drawn an excellent parallel between the astronauts stranded in the ship called Apollo 13 and the ship of state called Pakistan. "As the air inside the ship stagnates, illness, paranoia and suspicions start to surface. Guidance systems, engines, all have to be shut down and there they are freezing because they can't afford to keep burning fuel to create warmth. Meanwhile, back on Earth, 'failure is not an option', says Mission Control". It's a pretty useful analogy for Pakistan where there has been a sudden collapse of all systems. Our breathable air, which in our case would be our economy, our aspirations, our expectation of enjoying basic liberties and our quality of life are stagnating. Doubt, paranoia and suspicion of motives are rampant. Back in Islamabad failure is just not an option, "We will complete our tenure, and more says Mission Control. KHURSHID ANWER, Lahore, October 17.