Even as democracy progresses bit by bit, as opposed to leaps and bounds, there are happenings which reveal that there is a lot that needs to be improved. For one, all heads of political parties seem to have very little control over the elected representatives, who have won on their party tickets, but speak and behave quite independently, at times even at variance with their own party positions. There have been two recent examples of that. The shocking arrogance of the Punjab lady MPA, who hijacked a passenger bus almost and ordered it to drive to a police station where she proceeded to lodge an FIR against the bus hostess.It is in so much bad taste that it is almost unbelievable.Something akin to the Punjabi movies that are so removed from reality. The lady (who should not really be referred to as one) belonging to the province where the Chief Minister prefers the title of Khadim-e-Aala instead of Wazir-e-Aala, seems to have grown up watching those movies. The PPP candidate from Sindh, who was caught on camera slapping her polling agent some time ago, also reveals that a sickness like this is not special to Punjab alone. While getting irritable is a natural human behaviour pattern, taking it to the heights as seen in the bus drama gives being irritable a brand new dimension.The convenient bus service, which so many of us use now instead of the almost extinct air and rail services, has, probably, never had to deal with anything like this and prides itself on its punctuality adherence. The freshly-inducted MPA got angry at the slip of a girl, who was on board as the hostess, because she did not jump to attention when asked for water to be served apparently. The new (this could, perhaps, serve as a case study for teachers trying to explain the meanings of the word upstart) MPA could not deal with the lack of fawning at her position in life by this nobody hostess and decided to teach her a lesson. The other passengers in the bus have corroborated the hostess' story that the MPA fussed and fumed, and even slapped and abused, the girl for being slow in serving her. Not content with this, she instructed the driver to divert the bus to the police station at Bhera and thus also caused a considerable delay in the bus to reach its destination. This is, probably, the first of its kind hijacking. Not with weapons of violence, but with verbal acts of threats alone, based on the fact that she has been elected. I ask you! It is not enough that the CM has taken notice and asked her for an explanation. To me as a citizen, it is more worrying that there is not enough homework done on the type of people and their personal traits by political parties before awarding them tickets. Mistakes like this cost ordinary citizens dearly and, that too, for a whole term of five long years The same can be said for the new PTI MNA from Mardan, who stood up in the National Assembly and stated that Mumtaz Qadri, who murdered Governor Salman Taseer in cold blood, should be set free. Even though the PTI has disassociated itself from this statement, I think it ought to do more because those elected to make or amend laws cannot condone in any way the acts committed by criminals, who have been convicted by the court. It puts those who are firmly in Imran Khan's corner in a difficult spot and open to “I told you so” retorts from the other schools of thought who were and are suspicious of some of his stated positions. It is imperative to be careful, even more so now, because the PTI wallahs themselves are being targeted by the enemies of the state.Actually, the situation in Karachi and Balochistan also does not really seem to be in anybody's control either. After the tragic violence with girl students in Quetta and the wilful knife in the heart of Pakistanis through the attack on the Residency in Ziarat, the word muzamat has taken on a permanent refrain. It is the most common statement made by those in positions of power after each horrific event unfolds. I have started hating the word. As a citizen, I do not think that doing muzamat is enough. There has to be a definite attempt at appearing more in control as opposed to caught napping every time. Even though in all fairness it is a shade more comforting to have Chaudhry Nisar as the Interior Minister in place of Rehman Malik, but he too seems to be a little befuddled by all that is happening and has no real answers to any of these problems. Why is it not possible to run the country like an organisation where each department head has control and authority, and is answerable or removable if he cannot resolve issues? At this point in time, it is too easy to pass the blame cushion and cite vague, non-quantifiable reasons when anything happens. Postscript: In their private capacities some Pakistanis continue to excel. The first is the example of Sania Nishtar, who was a Federal Minister with several portfolios during the brief interim setup before the general elections. She has diligently put together handover papers in order to ascertain all that a person accomplished in the time that he or she held a public office. All these comprehensive papers are available on her website and should become mandatory for those elected to public service. Nishtar's work is prime example of successfully being able to make a difference if the essential ingredients of motivation and passion are present in a person. The other excellent piece of work that I saw or heard last week was Meesha Shafi's rendering of “mainda ishq vi tu, mainda yaar vi tu”, verses that have been sung to perfection by Pathaney Khan in the past. It was simply enthralling to watch Meesha perform this soul/spiritual piece. She embodies in herself the essentially new modern Pakistan and when she takes it upon herself to understand and pass on the legacy of our indigenous ethos and culture to the next generation, she is serving her country well. It is exactly what we are all about. A modern and progressive nation-state, but one that is hugely rich in its heritage and culture, and goes back many thousands of years. We embody our past and our present. It is only when both these elements are harmoniously placed in our body politic will we be able to take off as it were. Because we need them both and not, as the opposing parties believe, independent of one another.

nThe writer is a public relations and event management professional based in Islamabad.