The last two days have plunged the country further into depression. The Air Blue plane which crashed into the Margalla Hills on Wednesday morning, minutes before it was to land, sent severe shock waves through the length and breadth of the country. It is a flight that most of us have been on and use frequently. The tragedy of each family with members on board that ill-fated flight was brought home via television. In times of calamity, it was seen yet again, that common Pakistanis come together and try their level best to help in whatever way they can. The crash site is densely wooded and difficult to access but rescue workers reached the site pretty quickly. The volunteers of Islamabad, the staff of different hospitals and the media all played a creditable role along with the administration, the NDMA and the rescue teams. The only jarring factor was the frequent incorrect announcements made by the Minister of Interior regarding some injured who had been rescued. Perhaps, those with the greatest responsibility to keep the public correctly informed and with all gadgetry at their disposal to do so are in the biggest rush to go on air without verification of facts. It is essential that facts pertaining to the crash are shared with the public and the inquiry is held in a transparent manner. The loss of so many bright young people who were the elected office-bearers of the Youth Parliament is a setback. They were, possibly, our leaders of tomorrow. One of them, Prem Chand, belonged to a minority faith from Sindh. He was after all, also a dedicated social worker and Pakistani citizen. It was unbelievable to learn that the coffin with his remains had the word kaafir written on it, instead of just his name for identification. It is highly objectionable and speaks of an illiterate mindset. This very mindset stands between us and the rest of the civilised world. People of different beliefs are good enough to die for the country but not good enough to be addressed with respect. The members of the Youth Parliament must fight against these injustices when they play their roles in the actual Parliament in the years ahead. The day after the crash, it rained so hard in Islamabad, as elsewhere, that electricity was disconnected for over 24 hours in some of the key sectors of the Capital. As the harassed public tried to get some answers from relevant authorities, as to what was wrong and when was a normal supply of electricity to be resumed, the answer was nothing but a deathly silence. Whenever an electricity breakdown occurs in any of our cities, the WAPDA office just places the telephone receiver off the hook. Na rahe gi been, na baje gi bansuri. It adds to the woes of the already frustrated populace. I was thinking that, perhaps, each sector of Islamabad should declare independence, with their own little Parliament and elected people who would respond to and solve the sectors problems. In fact each sector may bring about revolutionary changes in the betterment of its citizens because of the intense competition to outdo each other, much like houses in schools. As things stand today, nobody seems in charge and the public does not know who to confront when civic facilities are not functioning. One or two days of intense rain cannot put us out to this extent in the capital city. The government must not retreat into the Phew Finally, we are all secure until 2013 mode and must achieve more. The 2013 story of security has been taken to the next level with the announcement of the American Ambassador now also joining the large party that is staying in their respective positions of authority until that magical year. Talk about a nexus Whereas it stabilises things for the people concerned, the rest of us hope that we too will stagger through and survive until 2013, so that we can show with our votes who we want us to rule or misrule as the case may be If the monsoons have not drowned us out that is. Postscript: The monsoons arrive every year and, yet, not enough is done about informing, warning and educating people about the danger of flash floods. That they can arrive with so much force and can damage or destroy all that comes in their way is a well known fact. Yet, I dont know why but all officers in charge resort only to prayers with no real plans on how to make things relatively safer each year. All preventive measures must be enforced to lessen the loss to life and property by these floods. Low lying areas must be evacuated or relocated in time. The same story, year after year, reflects poorly on our managerial abilities. All of us have been very moved by the stoic manner in which Mian Iftikhar, Pakhtunk-hawas Information Minister, has withstood the tragedy of his sons assassination at the hands of extremists. His were the comforting and reassuring words that one came to expect every time there was an attack on unsuspecting civilians anywhere in KP. That he would remain just as steadfast in the face of such extreme personal tragedy speaks volumes for his resolve, bravery and commitment to cleanse his province of the people who do not belong there. For one reason or another last week has reminded one of the folk verses sung so beautifully by Tina Sani: ankhaan chum chum vasian. The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: