Pakistan has to put its house in order”, said Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, while speaking to the press after meeting President Barrack Obama, in October. One cannot agree more with the statement. It was encouraging to witness a PM who understands the need of the hour, and realizes that the country’s internal crisis require much attention and efforts for any improvement. But, it appears, Mr PM has forgotten his own advice.

Agreed that attending conferences in foreign countries, meeting heads of states and delegates, is an essential part of the PM’s job, but certainly, there is more to the position than just that. The country is staggering through one the most difficult periods in its history. The problems are severe and several. Energy shortages, inflation, corruption, lawlessness and terrorism; the people are battling with challenges on all fronts. And while all this is going on, the man who they voted into power is nowhere to be found. Someone needs to remind the PM that one has to be inside the house in order to clean it. It can’t be done from the other side of the globe. It’s not just the PM’s complete vanishing from the national scene which is deeply unsettling, but also his incomprehensible silence. Be it Hakimullah’s death (again, no offence to Mr Munawar Hassan) or the statements by TTP after Mullah Fazlullah’s appointment, the PM has made it a point to issue no statements which would provide direction or reassurance which the masses desperately seek. Granted that Mr Nisar Ali Khan is performing the unenviable job of speaking for the government, but we need someone who speaks for the people. It was Mr Sharif who campaigned throughout the country, from city to city, claiming he and his party had all the solutions, and promising relief and progress. However, now that he is in office (figuratively speaking), all that ‘experience’ seems to be doing nothing for him or the rest of the country.

The PM is advised to pay heed to the issues holding this nation hostage, and is reminded of his responsibility as a democratically elected head of government. Foreign tours are fine, but there is such a thing as timing. And, there is another thing called a National Assembly. Come back to your country, go to the Parliament.  Step up, speak up or step down Prime Minister.