The leadership’s priority deficit
Fighting the wars of other countries has always been the favourite hobby of our nation. Be it stepping into Afghan-Soviet War of 70’s or being a part of US-led war on terror, Pakistan just can’t keep itself away from trouble. While we are still facing after effects of both the wars in the form of terrorism, which has left thousands of soldiers and civilians dead, our leaders have started mulling over the possibilities of Pakistan allying with Saudi Arabia in its war against Yemen.
Yemen itself is in a civil war where the main fight is between forces loyal to the ousted president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, and those allied to Zaidi Shi’a rebels known as Houthis, who forced Hadi to flee the capital Sana’a in February. After rebel forces closed in on the president’s southern stronghold of Aden in late March, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia responded to a request by Hadi to intervene and launched air strikes on Houthi targets. The coalition comprises five Gulf Arab states and Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Sudan.
Believe it or not, Saudi Arabia is around 2,500 km away from Pakistan and Yemen is 2,685 km away, yet our national leaders thought the Saudi-Yemen brawl was something we had to jump in.
This joint session was a historic one as it was graced by our ‘honourable’ Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who appeared in the assembly after months
Upon insistence from the opposition, the government called a joint session to debate the issue and decide whether Pakistan should help Saudis in their war or not.
This joint session was a historic one as it was graced by our ‘honourable’ Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who appeared in the assembly after months.
Apparently, the session was called to discuss the Yemen issue but it turned into and anti-PTI spat as Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and MQM senior leader Dr Farooq Sattar criticised Speaker Ayaz Sadiq for not accepting PTI members’ resignations. It was PPP Senator Aitzaz Ahsan who reminded him of why the session was being held.
Should we be discussing the Yemen issue?
What came across as astonishing was not what was discussed in the joint session but whether this was a topic that our leaders should be debating at this point of time.
We Pakistanis have one amazing political leadership. Though they claim to be ‘our’ leaders yet they are not aware of the problems of the common man. After over 67 years since Pakistan got it freedom, it rulers still are confused over what the country’s priorities are. We can call a joint session when an opposition party takes to streets for its rights and becomes a threat to the government but we can’t call one to address the problems of the people.
We are stuck with our National Action Plan which doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. No one in the assembly seems interested to know the development of the plan
Talking about war, we have our own war to fight. One hundred and fifty thousand of our soldiers are engaged to make Operation Zarb-e-Azb a success, a good number of rangers are trying their best to maintain peace in Karachi, yet the idea of fighting another country’s war struck our minds.
We are stuck with our National Action Plan which doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. No one in the assembly seems interested to know the development of the plan.
The assemblies are for whose interests?
The question is why would they be interested? The only times they remember their people is when elections are near. Those are the times when they are ready to do ‘anything’ to get their votes. When it comes to protecting their own interests, Nawaz would be ready to join hands with Zardari, MQM would be more than willing to join the Sindh government, but when it comes to forming a judicial commission that would ensure free and fair elections in the future, when it comes to Kalabagh Dam that has the potential to help in curbing the energy crisis, they will never be on the same page.
With our own war to fight, our own loans to pay off and our own goals to achieve, we should start focusing on our own woes rather than interfering in other countries’ business. It is about time we stop acting as the saviour of every Muslim country and instead make ourselves strong enough to actually be the ‘big brother’ of the Muslim Ummah.