All is Good by Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi

Since my last public statement, four interesting things have happened. PAC chairmanship was given to opposition; PM reviewed the performance of his cabinet; finance minister Asad Umar was interviewed by the BBC and public debate on DG ISPR presser.

In our list of things to do, I had mentioned that all out efforts will be made to ensure PAC chairman is from the opposition. I am glad better sense prevailed and the government finally succumbed to the demand. This demonstrates that opposition can grow a spine and achieve what they want. But this also makes me angry and disappointed about why the opposition does not show similar resolve when it comes to fixing the national issues and fighting for the people. Two recent examples are the parliamentary committee on election rigging and encroachment drive. Opposition allowed a government minister to head the parliamentary committee on election rigging which is like asking a cat to guard the milk. They accepted it because all of them have been a ladla at one point or the other in the past. If election rigging is properly investigated than it will expose the third umpire which none of these present and former ladlas want. I reject this parliamentary committee until its chairman is from the opposition and its TOR is properly drafted. The encroachment drive was also allowed to continue by all parties in government and opposition as long as it affected the poor vendors. As soon as the encroachment reached Bahria town and other elite places everyone remembered the misery of people and demanded that it should be suspended.

PM reviewed the performance of his cabinet but it was nothing more than a shameless show of self-praise by all ministers. When I suggested in my last email that Asad Umar will be better off as chairman BOI then his cabinet colleagues came to his rescue and started praising him. The reality of this government is that the economy is in bad shape; fiscal deficit remains high and growing; diplomacy remains in dire straits; intolerance is one the rise; freedom of expression is curtailed; parliament remains weak; undemocratic institutions continue poking their nose in civilian matters; and the nation remains divided into more fault lines than before. If that makes PM and his cabinet happy then it confirms they are unfit to rule. The most positive thing is that despite all hardships Pakistani people remain hopeful and optimistic. They are still hopeful their politicians will deliver good governance and introduce true democracy which is for the people by the people.

Pakistan seems to have an unlimited supply of Shaukat Azizes or ladlas. Asad Umar is the next ladla in the making and the total focus of his BBC interview was to build a profile for that. The interview was low on substance but covered all bases to create a feel-good factor in places that pull the strings. He painted a rosy picture of the economy proposing that daydreaming about a good future is a workable strategy. Bravado can convince IMF
and our friends are happy to give us money without asking anything in return. BBC censorship of a 16-second segment showed their Indian bias and I support all our activists that called them out and pushed them to rebroadcast the interview with comments on Indian spy, Jadhav operating in Balochistan.

Finally the press conference of DG ISPR. I just want to suggest to the military institution that we get it. You are the most powerful institution in the country and that gives you the right to poke your finger in politics, economics, social development, and foreign policy. My only request to them is to stop using sacrifices of our brave soldiers to justify the right to exercise power beyond the constitutional mandate. We understand that the request to promote the message of all is good for six months is very important so that the ladla can learn how to run the government. But you can wait for six years even then the ladla will not learn because his mind cannot progress from googly and yorker. It is unfortunate that not everything can be explained in cricket terms. So keep this in mind as this incapable government continues every failure is credited to you as you have not left any doubt in the mind of the people that it is your government.

Thanks & regarded

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi

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