What purpose can be served by a Round Table Conference called by a coalition partner of this government, when there is the venue of National Assembly, the Senate, Federal Cabinet and various parliamentary committees. Our foreign policy issues are a creation of the wrong policies of a military dictator, of which this party that wants to hold the RTC was a major component and supporter.
Pakistan faces enormous problems, bulk of them of our own making. Everybody knows what afflicts Pakistan. The issue is implementation of laws in existence, which is the job of an executive. What is needed is the political will to enforce rule of law, writ of constitution and the moral or ethical courage to adhere to democratic norms. This country faces an acute economic crisis, breakdown of law and order, massive corruption, tax evasion, creation of cartels, flight of capital, revenue pilferage by FBR, mismanagement of state enterprises by corrupt cronies and abuse of power both by elected executive and paid civil cum khaki bureaucracy. It is a government which neither wants to put a lid on corruption, nor does it welcome judicial intervention and is adamant in not implementing judgments of superior judiciary. Instead of investing in human resource development by allocating funds for education or health, it has shied from this responsibility, giving space to setting up of madrassahs, some of them breeding nurseries for religious fanaticism.
The problem of this government is that it wants to settle the issue of Karachi violence, target killing and extortion by political dialogue, although it is basically a law and order problem which requires an across the board action against criminals irrespective of their political patronage. It is a government which wants to settle the political problems of Balochistan through brute forces, instead of dialogue and addressing the genuine sense of deprivation that afflicts this province. This is a government which has further aggravated an energy crisis, that has lead to closure of industries, unemployment and forced local investors to shift their industry abroad. Everybody knows that hydro power generation is the cheapest and most reliable source of power generation, yet the issue has been politicised because of lure of immediate huge kickbacks in installing thermal power generation plants.
This is a government which has encouraged domination of our policymaking corridors by men who have split loyalties and no stakes in this country. These are issues of governance, which require integrity, commitment and political will, not problems that can be resolved by holding repetitive political conferences or passing resolutions that are not binding.
MALIK TARIQ ALI,
Lahore, July 28.