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What a parliament!

What a heck! Just imagine what a mind-boggling huge mess the nation is bogged in so irretrievably in these times, besieged direly as well by a multiplicity of vicious menaces and daunting adversities threatening to hurt it incurably. And yet the eminences gracing our National Assembly with their exalted presences were on Friday engrossed completely in settling their own political scores.

They just had no time at all for the agenda of the day, even as it is a matter that in the present awful conditions indisputably means for the nation nothing short of an issue of life and demise: the country's law and order situation. Despite the all-too-apparent cruciality of the matter to our national existence, survival and well-being, the members were least pushed. Not even the gruesome slaughter of our nine soldiers in a thuggish terrorist blast in North Waziristan just the previous day brought home to these grandees, posing to be the people's representatives, any compellingly the frightful state of security the nation is living in and the land is caught up in.

In fact, look around and criminality, terrorism and extremism are seen prowling freely and bloodily every niche of the land. It is no just the tribal region that is in trouble.

The settled areas in the land's northwest are in the squeezed grip of a ravaging terrorism. In spite of months-long security operation, the nation's key seaport and hub of economic life, the beleaguered metropolis of Karachi stays as yet a live killing field.

Insurgents and sectarian monsters are keeping the country's crucial Balochistan province in the throes of incessant bloodshed and violence with their targeted killings, bomb blasts, explosions of improvised explosive devices, attacks on security posts and security personnel, and blasting away of railways tracks and gas pipelines.

And criminality is so rampant that in no part of the land do the people feel any secure for their lives or for their properties. Street crimes abound all over. Thefts, car lifting and cattle rustling are at their peak. No rare either are bank heists and highway robberies. Kidnapping for ransom has turned into the country's most flourishing industry. Extortion has become as common as a cholera epidemic in a dirty rainy season.

Indeed, it is dread, fear and insecurity that haunt the land from end to end so terribly that to the nation's great distress and humiliation their land has acquired the infamy globally of being one of the world's most dangerous countries. Yet none of such horrors or indignities could propel the great imposters, masquerading as the people's representatives, to set aside their own squabbles for a little bit of time to take a little bit of interest in an issue of existential import, if not genuinely, just for form's sake.

But that was not to be. After all, the truth be told, that such issues come compellingly and feelingly only to those who feel for their fellow human beings genuinely, who hold the people's interests dearest to their hearts unflinchingly, and who have a conscience that is real and pulsating. Can anybody really expect such ennobling human attributes from landed aristocrats, feudal lords, landed pirs, sardars, chieftains, robber barons and moneyed upstarts, strutting so vaingloriously on the national political landscape, posturing as the people's leaders and their chosen representatives? Can one expect this even from hangers-on, sidekicks and flunkies who come riding to legislatures and governments on the coattails of these privileged imposters?

Just imagine how often has it been that when the legislatures are to commence their sessions, there have been a general expectation that lawmakers would take as their priority issues the grievances and distresses plaguing the people's lives.

And what has it been actually when the legislatures went into sessions? Isn't it that they start the session season with rumpuses and pandemonium over their political disputes and wrangles and end the season with unending political fracas? Hasn't it been that when a despondent and deeply troubled public has expected that some legislator may perhaps have some compassion on its travails and tribulations and make an issue of it in the house, hasn't this public horrified that the august hall of the august assembly has resounded instead with the outcry of an honourable lawmaker over how the staff of a local airport was discourteous to him or her and had failed unforgivably to accord the protocol that was due to him or her for being, horror of horrors, a representative of the people? Don't they then insist on exercising their right to breach of privilege and demand an immediate remedial action? But has ever any of these grandees demanded for the people similar privilege breach right and recompense? You must be joking. Food prices, unemployment, loss of livelihoods are presently playing havoc with the people's lives. Have you ever heard any grandee making a real issue of these tormenting hardships of the masses in the legislatures? Again, you must be joking.

But will ever anyone expose these pretenders, many of whom last out their whole tenure, not even once opening their lips to blurt out just once even an inanity just to register their presence but making an exit after pocketing huge moolah of the hard-pressed taxpayer's hard-earned money by way of salaries, perks and allowances and consuming up medicines worth millions of rupees and undergoing surgeries and medical treatments costing yet another millions? Don't expect it from our media, anyway. There are yet another crop of imposters, loving playing ball with the political imposters. That's the bland truth, even if it hurts some.
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Publication:Frontier Post (Peshawar, Pakistan)
Date:May 11, 2014
Words:926
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