If you are reading this while enjoying a lovely, sunny winter morning, it can be safely assumed that the world predicted to end on December 21, 2012, has not done so. A long-circulating myth attributed to the ancient Maya Long Count Calendar suggested that the date was earmarked for just that eventuality. Apparently, we got off the hook this time. I think the powers that be want us to take a last shot at trying to fix things on this planet on our own, before being left with no choice but to take the eradication route. I am quite sure that the Almighty must often wonder at how such a royal mess could have been made of this amazing world, in spite of so much human progress in knowledge and science.

Doomsday or Qayamat though is what so many under-developed countries like us go through on a daily basis any way, without the Mayan guide book so to speak. Not for us the deciphering of an ancient calendar. The attack on the airport in Peshawar and the killing of poor polio workers in KPK and Sindh are the most recent examples of our doomsday scenarios. Sometimes, the sadness and feeling of helplessness become completely over-riding because we are caught in a dilemma that seems to have no solution in sight. Somebody somewhere is trying very hard to ensure that Pakistan is continuously singled out to be in the headlines around the world for a negative image.

Things now stand at such a pass that all the political parties as well as the entire spectrum of civil society and media needs to have an integrated approach to combating the current situation. We have to side with the army when it takes on, in no uncertain terms, the faceless enemy trying to bring us down in every way possible. To me there seems no other solution in sight.

The mincing of words by representatives of political parties, who have an eye on all types of vote banks, must cease too. Simply because hukmarani will only be possible when there is a country to rule and of what use will be the vote banks they are trying to win over when elections are not possible. A collective policy on this score is a definite must as a starting point. The people who are not the true representation of our faith or our mindset must be put down by our politicians and religious scholars both because not condemning is the same as complicity. It is a huge challenge but not one that cannot be overcome by visionary leadership.

If we cannot eradicate polio from our midst and remain among the only three countries of the world where it can still be acquired, the eradication of militancy becomes a far more daunting (read almost impossible) prospect. Before being able to fix something a truthful analysis and acknowledgement of reality on ground are essential prerequisites. To begin anew you need to have a clean and wiped slate. Munoo Bhai, one of the country’s leading writers and poets questioned why qayamat had not happened when all the signs of moral decay were so visible in his poem ‘ajey qayamat nai ayie’. It is in Punjabi and I quote two verses from it which become more and more relevant with each passing day:

Chittay warkay dain shahadat

Kaali shah jahalat di

Sachal waada-maaf gawahi

Nai rai lhor wakalat di

Ghussay dai nul thar thar kambay

Kursi arsh adalat di – per ajay qayamat nai ayie

Baander baitey juuaan kadan

Ik doojey dai waalan toun

Tai barey siyasi nukday kadan

Maa bhen di gaalan toun – per ajey qayamat nai ayie.

As elections approach one can see a build-up in all the to and fro being done by all the politicians. The PPP seems to be taking drastic measures to arrest its nosedive in the Punjab particularly and the change in the Governor’s House points to that. The more things change the more they remain the same. A Makhdoom has been placed in the Gov’s mansion to do some thor-jhor and use his feudal charms to knock things in place. The party, despite its populist beginnings and awami interests at hearts remains in the control of the feudal mindset, like most other parties. I wonder when it will be possible to see ordinary but brilliant Pakistanis occupying these high offices.

Another interesting fact is that a mansion is being prepared for President Asif Ali Zardari to occupy for extended periods in Lahore to arrest the decline in the party’s fortunes in the Punjab. The house is being prepared, at no cost to the public exchequer I’m sure, by the whiz of construction Malik Riaz. The two of them it has to be admitted make case studies of how to be successful in their respective fields, all allegations of corruption notwithstanding. Their personal stories are stuffs of legend and would make great movies. Now that doomsday has been averted for the moment and we go back to doing whatever we were doing, I hope an ace director in Hollywood will pick up the idea.

The writer is a public relations and event management professional based in Islamabad. Email: tallatazim@yahoo.com Twitter: @tallatazim.