The challenges that we are facing now on politico-economic front are not new but the dilemma of the present day is that the government is insensitive to core issues that directly or indirectly pose threat to our politico-economic stability. Unfortunately, government is not feeling the menace that is brewing up among all segments of the society and this insensitivity towards wellbeing of common man might end up in a politico-economic crisis. This is unfortunate that the coalition government seems lethargic on the subjects that can give immediate financial relief to deprived segments of the society. The need of the hour is that the government must take immediate measures to heal economic haemorrhage and implement long due reforms for the betterment of the people living below poverty line. Under the circumstances, government should burden the well-off segments of the society with more financial responsibilities and give relief to the poor. This is the time when reformative steps are needed to get rid of white elephant organisations and divert their resources to education, science and health sectors. At this critical juncture of time, remedial measures are necessary to put the nation back on the path of progress and prosperity. But so far, the government seems helpless on the key issues that can lead to socio-economic stability. The present spell of recession demands proactive policies and programmes to save the country from further financial deterioration. In most of the cases, as we know, failure on the part of government is not due to lack of money but lack of management. It’s an evident truth that none of public sector department’s performance is up to the mark and none of public sector department can compete with private sector, despite the fact that government spends ten times more money on these departments of similar functions and yet government departments lag far behind in efficiency and performance. Pakistan Television, Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, Pakistan International Airlines, Pakistan Railway and Pakistan Telecommunication Limited are a few examples. If we add more we may ask what’s use of an entity like Jinnah Convention Centre, Islamabad and department like House Building Finance Corporation. In fact, underperformance of these organisations is a big question mark on the performance of political leadership that lavishly spends government exchequer on these organisations without getting positive results in return. Now when we are faced with socio-economic threats, we need to move forward with consensus to yield a solution for the good of people and the country. Unfortunately, despite the worst socio-economic conditions, we have no plan to tackle the situation and running the affairs of the country as a matter of routine. We know that every now and then, our governments come up with new momentary plans that do not pay dividends because these plans are made for momentary consolation and lack the potential to put things right permanently. By and large, as all governments do, this government is also insensitive towards people’s needs and I am afraid, in the coming days, unrest among people will increase at a rapid speed. Because, this government has also failed to lead people towards the path of peace, progress and prosperity. We, these days, hear different voices coming out from power corridors of the government but in actuality no substantial change has been brought forth so far. Everything is going as a routine and it’s most likely that status quo will continue to prevail to mar the hopes of the people once more. The unrest among people can be felt and that can culminate on further politico-economic demoralisation. For that reason, this is high time for government to come out with plans to solve problems of common man and alleviate his burden of poverty, injustice, inequality and class discrimination. As we see, in whole past we compromised for the supremacy of law and justice and preferred political gimmicks to trick the people for momentary gains but such tricks will not work any longer. The policy of one step forward and two steps backwards would not do any good to us now. We need to introduce permanent reforms for the sake of prosperity, equality and justice. But, as a matter of fact, no reforms can be done without a strong political will. Our weaknesses have brought us to bed and this is the time to realise that we are left with no option except surgery and of course surgery cannot be done with shaky hands. We have consistently failed to run this country as a peaceful and progressive country because we always compromise rules and regulations for temporary political gains. But now, as it is said, it’s never too late to mend, let us mend now and tackle all the issues with firm hands that threat our peace, progress and prosperity and put us to a position of vulnerability in the comity of nations. But if the government wants to remove widespread ills from its system and put us on a progressive and prosperous path, it must realise again, we need surgery and surgery can’t be done with shaky hands. –The writer is a former spokesman to Leader of the Opposition, National Assembly. Guest Column