For a country like Pakistan with agriculture-based economy, it is time for serious brainstorming and more proactive approach to address causes which resulted in decline of agriculture produce. It is mismanagement, hoarding, black-marketing and rampant corruption within Food Departments of various provinces, along with decrease in agricultural green land around periphery of every major city and town of this country, which are factors for imminent disaster.

It is in such times that political leaders with vision stand up to vested interests and ensure that collective public interest overrides individual or group greed. Nothing can be more dangerous and explosive than majority of citizens driven to such desperation that they resort to committing suicides, killing their own children. State security and national interest require that collective public interest prevails and emergency steps be taken to address needs of desperate masses.

It is the people, their belief, aspirations and hopes that state will look after their basic needs, ensuring them justice and equality before law which forms a nation. This is what Quaid-e-Azam advocated in his address on 11 August 1947 and June 14, 1948 which unfortunately likes of Iskandar Mirza, Ayub Khan etc., betrayed.

Green agricultural land has continuously fallen prey to greed of powerful land mafia, whose nexus with powerful stake holders, seem to have blinded those who matter, to disastrous long-term consequences of this suicidal criminal activity, that has gone on unchecked, for over 70 years. Under garb of ever-expanding welfare housing societies for few paid public office holders, over 180 Million citizens of this country, who live below, or on verge of poverty, basic agriculture food items are in short supply. The rise in population and shortage of basic food items like wheat, vegetables, pulses etc., have driven people to desperation.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore.