S. Tariq These days I am reminded of a nursery rhyme titled Three Blind Mice that we often sang as children, to the accompaniment of an out of tune piano, in our class at school. The memory keeps coming back because our lives and everything else connected to it, is being systematically taken apart by the coterie of blind mice, who run our country and its public services. One family of these blind mice is ensconced comfortably in their plush offices within the Capital Development Authority. Oblivious to the fact that the met office had forecast heavy monsoon rains this year, these sightless individuals did not have the will, nor the intelligence to put into motion a drive to clean and repair the capitals storm drainage system before the arrival of the rains. As it is, the rains came and one particular cloud burst dumped so much water on the Margallas and the city itself that nullahs became raging torrents, blocking roads for many hours. It was then that the mice went into action to open the blocked water drainage outlets and roads to traffic. Had it not been for officers and men of the Islamabad Traffic Police, who stood drenched to the skin, diverting vehicles and creating order out of chaos, Islamabad would have come to a standstill. Another family of mice runs the Islamabad Electrical Supply Company. Take a drive through rural Islamabad and you will see electric pylons along the narrow roads tilted at crazy angles, ready to topple and become death traps for people. However, the sightless rodents managing our power needs will, perhaps, open their eyes, when an accident does happen and somebody loses a dear one. Our sightless friends, who sit very high up in the system, issue statements to the effect that they had taken notice of murder and mayhem at so and so place, and ordered that peace be restored and culprits punished. It is beyond my understanding as to why must they awaken and take notice only after scores of lives have been lost and property destroyed, when they should be aware of the direction that the current law and order environment is taking and its ramifications. I say to them: Go ahead Sir, taken all the notice you can and issue all the orders at your command - and then go back to sleep once more. Another set of our sightless rodents inhabit the corridors of the department responsible to inspect buildings and ensuring that they are safe for occupation. A few days ago a building collapsed in Lahore with loss of life and property. When called upon to comment on the mishap, the concerned department callously brushed it under the carpet saying that they had declared the building unfit for living. What the officers and staff of this organisation failed to understand was that their responsibility did not end with declaring the structure dangerous. Their job would have been deemed well done had they ensured, using all means within the law, that the building was vacated and safely demolished. If one was to take a stroll in the narrow alleyways of the walled city and some slums of Lahore, one will spot many old buildings in a state of precarious decay. How much will it take the ones responsible, to carry out a detailed survey of all such structures, and take immediate steps to get them vacated in a legal fashion and demolish them. If such a survey has been done, then what is stopping them to secure the lives of the people living in these premises? In all fairness, I must admit that this will be a difficult thing to do, but there is no problem that is insurmountable, provided it is identified and a commitment made to resolve it. Perhaps, allotment of alternate residences in the government housing schemes, like Ashiana, would provide the necessary incentive to affected people and leverage to the authorities to move the former out of dangerous buildings. In the sum of all things, we as a nation have become accustomed to complacency. Suffering from this grave malady, our public servants and leaders wait for events to happen, instead of looking ahead, anticipating them and taking pre-emptive steps to minimise their effects. If these happenings turn out to be calamities they take a heavy toll of the nations will and resources, which could have been saved had the blind mice taken off their blindfolds, and carried the burden of responsibility with dedication and grace. If this had happened then good government would have come to the people. The writer is a freelance columnist.