Politicians need appreciation, too

Published: November 23, 2012
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kamran.shafi@tribune.com.pk

kamran.shafi@tribune.com.pk

In the mounting (and orchestrated) crescendo against democracy and politicians, and through them, politics in general, let us not be afraid to appreciate the good that democratic governments, which are constantly being pilloried, do, too. And taking the bull by the horns, just because certain politicians and wannabe politicians have tried to make capital out of the terrible dengue outbreak last year, and the havoc it wreaked by taking many lives (across the economic divide, please note), let us first acknowledge the success of the Punjab government in tackling a catastrophe born of a new and barely known phenomenon that suddenly hit the country in 2011.

Why did I think of writing about this matter? I was driving through Gaddafi Stadium the other day and just as I turned towards the Gulberg gate, I saw on my right, brand, spanking new vehicles with anti-dengue slogans written on them and people in uniforms standing by. I stopped and had a chat with them. The anti-dengue staff of the health department were well versed in what their duties were, at least two of them having been trained in Thailand and Sri Lanka, respectively, very recently. I then tried to find out more and rang the Punjab secretary information, a bright and helpful young man who immediately got back to me with tables and comparative statements compiled by the Punjab government.

Without going into the nitty gritty of the steps taken, it should suffice for even the most cynical among us to look at the number of cases in the three most critical years: in 2010, there were 5,693 cases causing eight deaths; in 2011, the year the epidemic really hit us badly, 21,292 cases and, sadly, 354 deaths. In 2012, due to the great effort put in by all the departments of the government, which were pressed into service, including the revenue and irrigation departments, there were just 263 cases with no deaths. If this is not a huge success, I don’t know what is.

It is important, too, to appreciate the services of all those who waged this successful fight against this awful viral infection and got to its root cause, the mosquito that carries the dengue virus: the civil servants who lead the departments, principally the health department; their staff; and the people in the ‘front line’ so to say: the men and women who worked at spraying and sensitising the people to the hazards of dengue.

Also, and because we censure political leaders for their perceived acts of omission and commission at the drop of a hat, we should also appreciate their services when in the apparent public good. Shahbaz Sharif, directly blamed for every wrong that happens in Punjab by his detractors, should be appreciated, too, for overseeing untiringly this fight against dengue. He was known to have been on his rounds not only of the city worst-affected, Lahore, but also others in the province.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we are killing fellow Muslims in the name of sectarianism; bhatta; terrorism; whatever, even Qazi Hussain Ahmed, former chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami, being targeted by a female suicide bomber in an area he considers his party’s stronghold.

Typically, Qazi Sahib continues to live in denial, putting the blame as usual on the CIA/RAW/MOSSAD combined for the attack on him in Mohmand Agency, Fata, (nominally) Pakistan. And this in spite of the Tehreeke-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) putting Qazi Sahib on its hit list since the summer of this year for an interview in which he had said that the Afghan Taliban were fighting a ‘jihad’ while the TTP were not.

One has long written that the menace of coldblooded, well thought out terrorism can never be fixed until all Pakistanis, especially the political leaders of the country, are on the same page: that this is a fight to the finish. Either the Pakistani state survives or the Taliban and their helpers, the fifth-columnists who are from within us. The Taliban are not doing what they are doing because Isaf is in Afghanistan, they have said a 100 times that they do not believe in electoral politics and want to establish a caliphate in Pakistan and Afghanistan from where the global jihad will take off.

Why is this so difficult to understand? Especially in light of the fact that the Deep State is sending out leaks that it is having second thoughts about the asinine ‘strategic depth’ and other such? As a Pakistani, I can only hope and pray to God it is serious and is not merely throwing the world another red herring.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Lala Gee
    Nov 23, 2012 - 11:26PM

    “Qazi Sahib continues to live in denial, putting the blame as usual on the CIA/RAW/MOSSAD combined for the attack on him in Mohmand Agency, Fata, (nominally) Pakistan. And this in spite of the Tehreeke-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) putting Qazi Sahib on its hit list since the summer of this year for an interview in which he had said that the Afghan Taliban were fighting a ‘jihad’ while the TTP were not.”

    Qazi Hussain Ahmed is a knowledgeable person having deep understanding of history and the workings of realpolitik. I wouldn’t dismiss his assessment without solid reasons. I fail to understand who else could be their sponsor and facilitator.

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  • Parvez
    Nov 23, 2012 - 11:29PM

    Your thinking must be admired, although in the first five paragraphs Sir you were struggling and if you say one Shahbaz against dengue justifies looking at all the politicians with love and affection, then speaking for myself, I just can not muster that emotion.
    Your last three paragraphs on the extremists was ‘ so you ‘, clear and precise.

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  • Falcon
    Nov 23, 2012 - 11:42PM

    Good to see appreciation of politicians. I hope you will enough kindness in your heart some time soon to do it for Imran Khan as well. I will certainly look forward to it.

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  • gp65
    Nov 24, 2012 - 12:11AM

    @Lala Gee: “Qazi Hussain Ahmed is a knowledgeable person having deep understanding of history and the workings of realpolitik. I wouldn’t dismiss his assessment without solid reasons. I fail to understand who else could be their sponsor and facilitator”.
    Qazi Hussain Ahmed is a 2 but politician in Pakistan. Why would CIA/RAW/Mossad collaborate on taking him out? For sure if RAW had to be involved in such activities they would target Dawood Ibrahim, Masood Azhar or Hafiz Saeed – who have directly attacked India and its institutions.

    On the other hand, depsite being on TTP’s hit list you do not suspect TTP.

    You can continue live in denial and make baseless accusations. It does not hurt others. You are the only one that is hurt because you are not addressing the cancer and it is metastizing.

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  • Uqaab
    Nov 24, 2012 - 12:22AM

    My God! Shafi sb. wrote an article without giving a feeling that he is about to slap someone! Yay!!!!

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  • Nov 24, 2012 - 1:10AM

    Chief Minister Shahbaz Shareef’s poor decisions and policies has made the situation worse, his governance has become a symbol of incompetency, nepotism and corruption.
    take a look at his overall governance

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Nov 24, 2012 - 4:08AM

    Thanks Mian Shehbaz Sahrif Sahib.

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  • Nov 24, 2012 - 6:49AM

    There is no ‘crescendo’ against democracy in Pakistan. Yes, there is however a well-planned and carefully executed drive to malign the Armed Forces and any voices against the feudal political parties in power and their principal supporters, the U.S.
    .
    .

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  • mukhtar
    Nov 24, 2012 - 7:37AM

    Why Dengi why not Lap Tops? You have been unfair withCM Punjab

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  • Ramzan
    Nov 24, 2012 - 8:01AM

    Thank you Punjab Govt and CM Shahbaz Sharief for a far better governance than all other provinces. I just wonder if Punjab also descended into chaos, what hope will be left for Pakistan.

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  • MoRam
    Nov 24, 2012 - 8:06AM

    @Pakistan Politics:
    What are you smoking these days? Oh, you may be beyond remembering that too….

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  • Elhaan Khan
    Nov 24, 2012 - 11:34AM

    I always say that worst Pakistani politician is better than Generals who don’t use human for strategic games which has got us nothing but fire at home!

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  • Sane Voice
    Nov 24, 2012 - 1:47PM

    We still remember Imran Khan’s attitude towards the dengue problem in last years. He used to taunt sharifs as dengue brothers due to the illnes and deaths caused by dengue fever despite all efforts and hardwork by shahbaz sharif. May I ask………….should we call imran khan……….as cancer khan………because shaukat khanum cannot stop deaths caused by cancer despite all the good and hard work.

    we should stp playing dirty and petty politics and come to the real issues of better governance, merit and public welfare.

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  • Raza Khan
    Nov 24, 2012 - 1:49PM

    Excellent Article as usual from KS. Qazi Sahib is totaly lost in conspiracies theories.He even mention about KGB involvement in PK.

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  • Tush
    Nov 24, 2012 - 2:43PM

    Trust the PTI fans to not appreciate the fact that lives have been saved. If Shahbaz Sharif is the one who saves them, would you lot be happier with deaths?

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  • A Pakistani
    Nov 24, 2012 - 3:09PM

    Vote for PML-N !!!

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  • Lala Gee
    Nov 24, 2012 - 4:01PM

    (Moderator: This is my third try. My comment is 100% in accordance with the ET’s Comment’s Guidelines.)

    @gp65:

    “@Lala Gee: …. For sure if RAW had to be involved in such activities they would target Dawood Ibrahim, Masood Azhar or Hafiz Saeed – who have directly attacked India and its institutions. ……. You can continue live in denial and make baseless accusations. It does not hurt others. You are the only one that is hurt because you are not addressing the cancer and it is metastizing.”

    1- I guess you would also deny RAW’s involvement in training, arming, and funding ‘Mukti Bahini’ in East Pakistan and LTTE terrorists in Sri Lanka. Lets see who is in denial. If it happened in the past, why it cannot happen now.

    2- Hitting Hafiz Saeed, or Masood Azhar, or Dawood Ibrahim would clearly establish, beyond doubt, that RAW is the real mastermind behind TTP and their stooges are just following the commands of their master, a simple thing even the dumbest person understands. Even simpler is the fact that no intelligence agency like to nakedly expose their complicity with terrorist outfits. I am amazed an intelligent person like yourself could only find this bogus argument in defense, and so many readers, naturally Indian, clicked on ‘Recommend’.

    3- We are trying, though not to the best of our abilities, to address this “cancer”. However, what treatment to use has to be our own choice, that is within our own capabilities and compatible with our national interests, not necessarily the same cure dictated by someone ‘couldn’t care less’ indifferent entity. We need to learn from the mistakes made in East Pakistan, and also take some lesson from Sri Lanka’s experience, and should fully utilize it.

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  • K B Kale
    Nov 24, 2012 - 5:11PM

    Imran is ‘puppet’ of puppeteers of “deep state”. He doesn’t deserve any discussion & free publicity! He is momentary phenomenon like a tsunami & will be forgotten as soon as the wave subsides eventually.
    I think Nawaz is the best choice presently, a true Statesman. Only he can boldly order the khaki to their barracks & make them stay there till ordered for any mission like floods, quakes & (natural, not man-made) tsunamies.

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  • K B Kale
    Nov 24, 2012 - 5:12PM

    Well said, GP65! You have hit the Bull’s eye! Dawood would be RAW’s #1 target if it ever got a green signal to do mischiefs in Pakistan. But our ‘saintly’ government keeps itself permanently in ‘meditation’ mode!

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  • Lala Gee
    Nov 24, 2012 - 7:27PM

    (Mr. Kamran Shafi (The Moderator): This is my fourth try since this afternoon. My comment is 100% in accordance with the ET’s Comment’s Guidelines. I understand what is your problem, but my problem is I cannot take non-sense and would go to any length to counter the concerted propaganda and other campaigns against Pakistan).

    @gp65:

    “@Lala Gee: …. For sure if RAW had to be involved in such activities they would target Dawood Ibrahim, Masood Azhar or Hafiz Saeed – who have directly attacked India and its institutions. ……. You can continue live in denial and make baseless accusations. It does not hurt others. You are the only one that is hurt because you are not addressing the cancer and it is metastizing.”

    1- I guess you would also deny RAW’s involvement in training, arming, and funding ‘Mukti Bahini’ in East Pakistan and LTTE terrorists in Sri Lanka. Lets see who is in denial. If it happened in the past, why it cannot happen now.

    2- Hitting Hafiz Saeed, or Masood Azhar, or Dawood Ibrahim would clearly establish, beyond doubt, that RAW is the real mastermind behind TTP and their stooges are just following the commands of their master, a simple thing even the dumbest person understands. Even simpler is the fact that no intelligence agency like to nakedly expose their complicity with terrorist outfits. I am amazed an intelligent person like yourself could only find this bogus argument in defense, and so many readers, naturally Indian, clicked on ‘Recommend’.

    3- We are trying, though not to the best of our abilities, to address this “cancer”. However, what treatment to use has to be our own choice, that is within our own capabilities and compatible with our national interests, not necessarily the same cure dictated by someone ‘couldn’t care less’ indifferent entity. We need to learn from the mistakes made in East Pakistan, and also take some lesson from Sri Lanka’s experience, and should fully utilize it.

    Recommend

  • shakrullah
    Nov 24, 2012 - 8:40PM

    @Lala Gee:

    Haven’t you noticed a remarkable feature of Kazi Sahib’s ‘ assessment ‘ of

    any untoward happening in the country ? His assessment comes , as it were ,

    even before a happening happens . It is invariably pre-fabricated ,

    predictable , and robotic . Kazi Sahib needs no evidence to

    form his judgments . It appears as if he has some occult faculties with

    which he grasps truth un-aided by facts or reason.

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  • Enlightened
    Nov 24, 2012 - 10:45PM

    Nawaz Sharif’s PML(N) with its pragmatic approach is better suited to lead the country than any other party in Pakistan and would most probably win the next elections. Qazi sahib living in denial is quite justified as TTP who could order killing of 15 years old girl who dared to defy it would not spare him for crossing swords with them. The deep state dumping of its strategic assets is only feasible if it has the guts to fight them which is unlikely. So Shafi sahib, please stop day dreaming as you know them better than anyone else in Pakistan.

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  • Uzair Jan Baloch
    Nov 24, 2012 - 10:58PM

    Then go and appreciate Politicians,, Don’t waste our time Kamran Shafi.. Go and appreciate their corruption in which National debts doubled in mere… 5 years..Do you have funds to pay them off ? Politicians robbed those funds and now each Pakistani will pay for them for decades to come.. No one need your appreciation .Keep it to yourself.. and stop dividing the society further. After all, You are paid for that, Don’t you?

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  • HA
    Nov 24, 2012 - 11:28PM

    Mr. Safi’s article and twitter feeds are infested with the love he carries for Sharifs, or rather how they make him love them. He sees no evil and hears no evil about the Sharifs. Never have I witnessed a word or article against the Sharifs from Mr. Shafi. Mr. Shafi you should have written when the bakery wala was being beaten, when the sham FIR was registered on the instructions of the same CM. Where are you when the UN talked about the amount of money being spent in Punjab on education. Why are you absent when people raise questions regarding an over budget; badly planned Rapid Transport system? What happened to you when the doctors in Punjab were beaten and crushed like ants…..We await to see a day when you blurt it all out all about the Sharifs…..wish we all live to see that day….

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  • Lala Gee
    Nov 24, 2012 - 11:54PM

    @shakrullah:

    “@Lala Gee: Haven’t you noticed a remarkable feature of Kazi Sahib’s ‘ assessment‘”

    I do not represent Qazi sahib, nor I am a member of his ‘Jamaat-e-Islami’, but I am sure he has good insight into, and intuition for, the current worldly affairs. He also possesses comprehensive knowledge of intricacies from history, which is helpful in the process of deduction and establishing opinion. It is just like USA blamed Al-Qaeda for 9/11 and India blamed LeT/ISI for Bombay carnage within hours of their happening. What proof/evidence did they show to the world at the instant in support of their claims? Qazi sahib may not be right all the time, but that should be an exception, not the rule, and you must have some solid reasons to reject his “assessment”.

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  • sabi
    Nov 25, 2012 - 12:42PM

    @Lala Gee:
    What kind of history he knows,you mean sarkari history.i.e distorted history.If you deny it then you have to deny that history written by renowned dr Mubarik ali,or dr Mehdi hassan is incorrect.

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  • Sardar Barkat Ali Khan
    Nov 25, 2012 - 4:11PM

    KS, you have every right to praise SS efforts against dangue, but I would like to say, it vanished due to steps taken by every individual in this city due to wide spread awareness campaign on electronic media and people at large fought against it in their vicinities. it is worst governance in Punjab. No efforts are made for heath & educational up lifting in rural areas especially in remote area like Attock districts and only projects are started for publicity.

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  • meekal a ahmed
    Nov 25, 2012 - 4:38PM

    Mickey,

    Your ending was excellent.

    But, like some others, I have reservations about performance in the Punjab, Pakistan’s richest province. Of course I am only talking about economics because that is all I know a little bit about.

    With their riches, Punjab should be running a fiscal surplus (and so should Sind). It would have a dramatic effect on borrowing and debt, and on interest rates and inflation.

    Instead all they do is try and out-spend everyone else (on bad projects) and not raise a rupee worth of additional revenue. I find that shameful.

    And I am tired of hearing ad nauseam (not from you) about what a brilliant administrator the good CM is. Recommend

  • Khan
    Nov 25, 2012 - 8:20PM

    Kamran Shafi I think your title was not right because it was “Politicians need appreciations, too” and you were only appreciating Shabaz Sharif. I think every politician should be appreciated because by this they would get confidence and will serve the country in a better way. There are lot of things for appreciations for PPP led federal Govt.

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