All good things (and bad) come to an end eventually. Returned home to reality after a six week escape to the first world. While it is always a good feeling to be back to the comfort of your home, it is definitely disturbing to pick up the local newspaper again. You realise that things are much the same, if not worse, and the political arguments and doublespeak, with no solutions in sight, are exactly where you left them. The current Karachi situation is a case in point. When I left it was just after the daily death toll in targeted killings was said to be around 20 and President Zardari had made himself an office in the city and there were huddled all-night meetings looking for quick fixes. Upon return I find that the daily killings remain at an average of 20 and the all-night meetings looking for solutions are continuing. The post-meeting press briefings always promise an arrest of the deterioration. (Arrest of the deterioration mind you, never the culprits) After undoing the local government setup only weeks ago the federal government agreed to go back to it in Sindh to placate and get the MQM back into their folds. The MQMs behaviour reminds me of the sheep in the nursery rhyme relating to Ms Bo Beep wherein they kept getting lost but returned every time, wagging their tails behind them. However, thats just a thought in passing. The local government idea is very appealing on paper had there been peace all around. In our given scenario, which is gang wars between militant groups of political parties, it cannot expect to be fair and equitable. As an analyst pointed out: The politicians have the lethal combination of political power as well as militancy, each with their own band of thugs. The cries for interventions by a third force like the army in Karachi can be heard all around in the city itself, as well as the rest of the country, because it is an institution, which will perform its task without being partisan. While the thought remains jarring to most, there is probably no alternative. It is the question of 'to be or not to be. At this point in time, the need for an impartial civil service and the old system can be seen and felt clearly. But since we excel at destroying first and assessing later or, more aptly, giving far more weightage to short-term political torh jorh, rather than long-term national good, we are left with little choice, but to call in the army. There are ways of remaining within the constitutional framework and calling in the army to restore peace. The Supreme Court has responded to the ongoing situation in Karachi and a five-member bench has been constituted to look into the mess, and one hopes they will be able to break the impasse. All this in the holy month. There is no joy of the imminent festival of Eid. All the real messages of Islam have truly been shunned by those who pay the biggest lip service to them. An example of how low we have sunk is the beating to death of a domestic help, a 12-year-old boy, by a woman in Lahore, because he forgot to feed her dog. When an animal, with no offence to the protection of animal rights organisation, has more value than a human life, isnt it time to review what we have been doing to ourselves? If the poor have no protection, we cannot possibly call ourselves an Islamic Republic. The solution lies only in ensuring that all children are given basic education and taught skills, which can help them find jobs later. Despite a huge hue and cry over a similar incident in Lahore some time ago, when a young maid Shazia died due to the brutality of her employers, nothing came to pass. The employer was, ironically, a lawyer and was able to get off scot-free. The woman guilty of this crime is in police custody. It is vital that the law helps the weak. Otherwise, we will continue to hear and read of more such cases. Postscript: To make up for our shortcomings, we have a tendency to resort to gimmickry ideas to be different and be number one in anything at all. I read of a similar incident in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as why should they be any different from the rest of us. They installed the tallest flagpole in the country in the historic Jinnah Park with a height of 185 feet for Independence Day in August. The flag that would fly on this pole had to be special too. So a contract was given to a flag maker in Karachi, who charged the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government a paltry sum of Rs2.5 million (maybe he was lining it with steel who knows). What the flag maker forgot to cater for was the fact that our Independence Day comes in August, the month known for monsoon rains. To cut a long story short, the special flag could not sustain the first heavy windstorm it faced and was, along with the Rs2.5 million, destroyed in the downpour, days after being hoisted. Reminds me of a verse I heard somewhere; Bhoj iss qadar tha gunahon ka, Hajjion ka jahaz dhoob gaya The writer is a public relations and event management professional based in Islamabad. Email: