Since the time that I began writing my weekly column, I have received innumerable comments from home and abroad. I value these inputs from readers as they are critical to honing whatever meagre skills I have with the pen (or in present circumstances - the keyboard). I must, however, clarify an impression that some of my critics have about my whereabouts - I do not live abroad, nor do I have any intention leaving the land of my birth, no matter what conditions here may be. Nonetheless, in pursuit of objective journalism, I find it hard not to highlight areas of misrule, corruption and weaknesses - cancers that are nibbling away at our future.I was recently asked by an acquaintance, who greatly relishes his fat government paycheck and attendant perks, as to why I did not write anything good about those that ran the country. My response was simple - they had to do something good to get a laudable mention in my next column. Uncannily so, some good news did come my way just two days after the above conversation, during a social event attended by a mixed group of people representing the private component of the oil and gas industry. As discussion gravitated to what was (or what wasn’t) happening in our ‘black gold’ sector, I found unanimous consensus that the recently issued oil and gas policy was nothing short of what Pakistan needed at this time. It contained incentives and down-to-earth decisions that were apt to attract investment (both domestic and foreign) and provide the much needed fillip to national economy. One senior executive even commented that this policy was like a portal to prosperity and he was surprised at its practicality. I returned home and immediately logged into the worldwide web to verify what I had heard. One hour and a few phone calls later, I began to see the truth in what my friends had said.It was, indeed, heartening to see - what appeared to be a realisation amongst policymakers that the decision to allow use of natural gas as an alternative to petrol and the resultant proliferation of CNG stations was a grave mistake. This decision diverted gas from vital areas of good governance and economy that included home consumption and industry. With this realisation, came the long overdue decision not to issue new CNG licences. It appeared that the doctor of medicine running the concerned ministry had finally diagnosed and begun treatment of the malady that had plagued the Oil and Gas Sector for the last so many years.The discovery of a new gas field in Balochistan is another piece of good news for the nation. While this find is likely to be a substantial addition to our fuel reserves, it is expected to provide many other fringe benefits to the area and its people. I am told that this field would increase our gas fuel stamina by another six to eight years.It is now expected that restrictions on CNG, the effects of a sound policy, increased investment and new discoveries should start manifesting trickledown effects in the future. It is now up to the public to show patience, as any turn-around of this type needed time. Nonetheless, credit must be given to the architects of this policy, considering the fact that the overall performance of the present government has been, to say the least, abysmally dismal.This 6th of September was celebrated like any other Defence of Pakistan Day, including an ISPR sponsored stage show. What made the difference this year was the appearance of a gentleman from the Bugti tribe. While admitting that his province had suffered from neglect and resultant under development, he used cold logic to state that out of more than 30 districts in Balochistan, only four or five were facing unrest and this ratio did not justify making sweeping statements about the entire province becoming a hotbed of conspiracy. He questioned the sagacity of media in inviting those with direct or indirect linkages to this unrest and giving them airtime and opportunity to spread their message. His words gave us food for thought, hope and acted as a salve on concerns about Pakistan’s integrity.Hope was further reinforced by what the Chief of the Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, said during his speech at the Independence Day Parade in the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul. Marking a refreshing departure from previous practices, the Army Chief spoke in our national language. His words were realistic, effective, clear and to the point, unlike the ‘hogwash’ that is dished out to us from the floors of our legislative houses and official functions. In short, what the General said was simple - we had to put our act together now in order to go where our Founding Fathers had wished to take us. It would be sagacious of our politicians and voters to imbibe the contents of this speech and understand its spirit, for it provided answers to many ambiguities that have been deliberately and foolishly created by vested political and radical quarters in Pakistan. I hope my friend, the bureaucrat, who persistently chides me for my criticism of misrule and mal-governance is happy - for some good has finally gone to this government’s credit. If only such good had been done earlier and in all areas of growth!

The writer is a freelance columnist.