Periodic outbursts


A simple Eid Mubarak doesnt appear to roll easily off PML(N) leader Ahsan Iqbals tongue. On the second day of Eid, the former education minister attempted to do to the ruling party a verbal version of what butchers and amateurs across the great land did to kosher animals. What prompted the politician to speak out on the occasion is anybodys guess. The current regime has broken all records of corruption and inflation, he said. Though not many dispute that the present government is a shameful mesh of shady contracts, things do get a little shadier when one gets into the ranking business. Attempts to specifically map out corruption, like most recently by Transparency International, are far from transparent. And flawed. Who knows if the dubious distinction of being the most corrupt tenure (corruption liberally defined) goes to a military regime or, heaven forbid, the respected League itself?

As far as inflation is concerned, the fiscal pressures and the rampant inflation of the early nineties was on Mr Iqbals partys watch. This is in no way to imply, however, that the ruling partys handling of the economic crisis has been ideal. There is clearly a lack of vision within the incumbents in dealing with the triple whammy that our economy is facing at the moment: war against terror, one of the worst natural disasters of recent times and turbulence in the international economy as a whole. The best way to illustrate a difference, however, wouldnt be the now unnoticed routine periodic outbursts that the PML(N) is fond of but a clearly differentiated approach to governance. As the irregularities in the Green Tractor scheme have resulted in a loss of Rs 2 billion, the League should realise the glass house it is living in on the corruption front. Moreover, the mismanagement of the sugar situation (yes, the provincial governments are also to be held accountable) shows the Punjab governments contribution to inflation as well.

The PPP has a mandate at the federal level, the League at the provincial. They should both respect that state of affairs and focus more on governance than each other. The dance is becoming too tired and no one is watching.