Eidul Fitr, an occasion to rejoice for the Muslims of all ages, particularly children who look forward to this day to wear new clothes and participate in merrymaking with their age groups in parks and melas; an occasion to exchange greetings, visit friends and relatives, eat together and, above all, offer prayers in big congregations the day this year will, no doubt, have all these features but, sadly, not only would the spirit of enthusiasm and fervour be hardly in evidence, but also lesser number of Pakistanis would join in the celebrations. And those who have lost their dear and near ones in this country, stricken by terrorist attacks and target killings, and those who have been badly hit by the runaway inflation and the pathetic law and order situation would only be going through the motion, if at all. Certainly, all and sundry would be bowing before Allah Almighty in thanksgiving for giving them the patience to stay away, for long hours, from the temptation of eating food when hunger was trying to overpower them and from drinking water when feeling thirsty in this hot and humid month of August. The fear of a suicide bomber, whom militants with a skewed sense of religious commands could have brainwashed, would not deter the faithful, however. Thanksgiving certainly, but the whole nation should also be observing it as an occasion to seek forgiveness of Allah for all that we have done and that has brought us to this painful state. We should all get together and pray for ridding us of the multifaceted curse that has befallen us. The foreign power, which came with loads of promises of help and assertions of friendship and whom our self-seeking leadership extended uninhibited support in its war on terror has turned out to be a snake in the grass, out to destabilise the country. The leadership that is in the saddle, thanks to this very power, has excelled in bad governance, opening the doors wide to corruption, defying the judiciary when it wanted to hold it accountable, and creating one crisis after another to divert attention from its crooked ways. It has virtually squeezed life out of the citizenry with ever higher prices of even the daily necessities and spreading fear with unchecked forces of robbery and murder. As the people suffer, the government and its coalition partners fight turf wars mindless of the hundreds of innocent lives killed in target killings. The resounding expos by Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, the counter allegations against him, the sane reaction of opposition leaders calling for a judicial inquiry to know the truth have been simply answered with the continuation of the 'policy of reconciliation that has failed to work so far. Let us pray in all earnestness for the lifting of the curse that has brought these tragedies and many others upon us.