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Pakistan is the only country where “experts” are found in every field. Mention any disease, our experts have its treatment, which even the doctors have not heard. Then there are some of them who are dominated by piety. The expression of such skill is something like “You should repent and ask for forgiveness, it seems that God is holding you”.
The issue of God’s seizure is one of the issues that is purely divine, but most of our religious class hold the position of God’s interpreter in this regard. About ten or twelve years ago, I wrote some columns against Maulana Fazlur Rehman. In those days, for some reason, the connection with newspaper was ended.
Upon hearing this news, one of the “Ustad-ul-Hadeeth” said, “This is the grip of God. He restricts the livelihood of such arrogant people.” The following month I was part of a big channel’s popular programme. That is, the provision had become more abundant.
Even in cricket, we have a lot of experts. During any important match of Pakistan, you just listen to the comments of the people sitting in front of TV, especially if our team loses. People sitting at any TV launch can tell you the main reasons for losing the match. And how could they be remedied?
Looking at their emotional state, you can conclude in a minute that our team had only one shortcoming. And that the one sitting in the drawing-room was not the captain of the Pakistani team. By the way, it would not be a bad idea for the PCB to make eight or ten teams of these domestic experts and get their PSL done once a year.
There are plenty of domestic experts in medicine, religion and cricket, but we have the most experts in politics. Our complaint to the Establishment that it is interfering in politics is true. But for one thing, we have to be grateful to them. And that is it has brought together such grueling political experts on a single platform in the form of a political party. Not only has it consolidated but the party has also reached the House of Representatives. So the result itself shows that the government belongs to those who have domestic tricks.
Now let’s compare these domestic experts with ordinary citizens of the rest of the world, which will give an idea of why Murree happened. When a country’s meteorological department announces that a hurricane is expected to arrive. So millions of coastal city dwellers repair the raw windows or doors of their homes. They also store adequate food items at home so that they do not have to starve if the supply line is cut off.
The last thing they do is get the car’s gas tank full. Everything except petrol is collected in case the government does not ask to evacuate the city. Otherwise, preparations are made to evacuate the city and the tank of the vehicle is filled for the same.
In this whole situation, the place from which the citizens almost disappear is the coast. Only a few dozen coastal police officers can be seen on the shore, and they too, keeping in view the possibility that no Pakistani-type domestic expert may come out. On stormy days, people keep themselves updated on the TVs in their homes. And people from other cities cancel their trip to that city.
In such a situation, the main task of the government and government agencies is to keep the citizens informed. Because in the event of a major natural disaster, it is your turn to “help yourself.” City dwellers with a population of millions like Karachi cannot be handled by a few thousand government officials.
Government officials, in such a situation, simply try to reach those who are in immediate danger. For example, in a flood situation, those whose house is submerged in ten to fifteen feet of water and they are standing on the roof of the house.
These do not become the first priority. Rather, the first priority becomes those who are drowning. So we have seen in a prosperous country like the United States that the system of government has been left helpless in the face of major hurricanes. It took several days to rescue the civilians.
But all this happens in countries where experts are not found in every home. We have Aristotle and Plato in every street. And as a result of this, we prepares to face the natural calamity by considering the warning of the government agency as an “invitation”. For example, when the Meteorological Department predicts a hurricane, the people of Karachi look at each other and say, “Let’s go to the beach?”
Thus, it becomes an additional responsibility of the Sindh government to place containers on the coastal roads to prevent people from reaching the coast. Why is it necessary to restrict people by placing containers? The same thing happened in the recent incident in Murree.
The occasion was neither for Eid nor for any national day. Even then, why did one lakh vehicles enter Murree? Because the Meteorological Department had issued a warning that heavy snowfall is likely on the 7th. One lakh vehicles who gave the status of invitation to the warning were the ones that entered Murree.
In such a situation, to talk of government negligence is utter nonsense. Murree administration is for those who live in the hill station. Did any resident of Murree suffer any loss due to administrative negligence? Did any house in Murree get buried in the snow? Did any of the residents of Murree get stuck in the snow on their way to the hospital due to some medical compulsion and the administration could not save them?
In this whole affair, if anyone’s fault, it is the domestic experts who do not have the wisdom to stay away from natural calamities. They do not get in their way, but their way is left.