Tragic Times


If mere melancholy could do wonders, Islamabad could have magically gotten ahead of all its predicaments. For surely, we have mastered the art of becoming upset as the convenient getaway from every tragic mishandling of affairs. But as the opposition revels at this golden opportunity to drag the ruling party over the coals, some of whose defence tactics are beyond logic or compassion, a heartbreaking tragedy that has befallen over two dozen families is being pushed to the back-burner. The fact that a bizarre (rather, Laodicean) line was allowed to take centre-stage with no regard for the adverse repercussions speaks volumes about the little to no interest in public image-making. Losing such a large number to an icy deathtrap is no routine matter because these people were not soldiers deployed on the frontline in the tundra region. There were children, enthusiastic visitors who had just uploaded selfies on their way to a weekend getaway and were, for the lack of a better word, not ready for this untimely and calamitic departure. Families in over three thousand trapped vehicles are still anticipating the worst as they look at the snow with sheer horror. Cheer turning into cries, indeed.
Those taking pride in their senseless damage-control measures would greatly benefit from a quick peek around because they might have received applause from a brigade of yes-men they surround themselves with but distrust reigns supreme in the public eye. Why were the audacious invitations being sent out on social platforms for the people to go visit the northern areas if heavy snowfall warnings had already been issued, many wonder? Then again, playing safe and allowing peculiar conventions like National Disaster Management Authority to allow precedence would have a dramatic run-down on our daredevil inclinations. Instead of pinning the blame on victims, the government should have spelt out the warnings loud and clear themselves. Just like foggy conditions lead to motorway closures, suspending traffic flows to the hill station that had fast brimmed with tourists way beyond its capacity was an obvious measure, which, to our great misfortune did not need to be pointed out. It has become a hallmark of this government to make ambitious leaps without doing any homework (perhaps, because they trusted in nature to take the most ideal course). However, since we don’t live in a fairytale, actions determine the outcomes in this world. Everything cannot turn out well until and unless saner heads roll for changes that root for success. Why was the local administration so complacent about a disaster at their doorstep? Surely, doing their job trumps posting what can be construed as a badly-managed photoshoot! An aerial visit of the affected area may sound like an effective strategy but CM Buzdar would have been better off managing the affairs of the province from the seat he was elected to. The onus lies on everyone-from the management stationed merely at a walking distance to those enjoying the cushioned crown. Why cry about the “political games” of the opposition parties when as administrators, it is solely their responsibility to protect the lives of their citizens.
Until the government gets a grip on its affairs, it should stop handing out invitations to the next Switzerland-in-making to anyone who would hear.