I first went to Switzerland in 1978. Before that, I had only read about it in European history or seen it through the literature available on tourism. But subsequently, I have travelled in all parts of this beautiful country through the lakes, mountains and valleys in spring, summer, autumn and winter. It is not possible to describe the beauty of this country: nature has carried it to perfection. Snow clad mountains, green hills, lakes, rivers and natural spring make this land locked country the most beautiful in the world. Cleanliness bordering on the clinical, roads and pavements, walls and windows, public places and private homes: all places are spotless. With the exception perhaps of Japan, no country comes close to Swiss standards. A visitor from Pakistan is struck also by the Swiss government in which the welfare of the citizen is the primary motivation. Everything designed with the citizen in mind, his rights are inviolable. All laws are based on public acceptance and the ordinary day to day issues of policy are put to vote in referendums for which, organisation exists in all parts of the country. Of course, very wealthy people, some of other nationalities, live in Switzerland; and some private villas, look like palaces in fairy tales. Day-to-day, ordinary life is perfectly orderly, all comforts of daily life available to the all citizens. Education, health and physical infrastructure are enviably efficient. Public services are all within easy means of ordinary citizens. Public transport in particular is something the Swiss can be proud of. You can confidently correct your watch by the arrival/departure of the train. Tramcars and buses are equally punctual besides being clean and comfortable. You can take a tram ticket for three Swiss Francs, good for an hour to anywhere in town, including a fast train ride into the Geneva air terminal in ten minutes on the same ticket. On a short visit a week ago, Pakistan fighting a battle of survival on account of domestic turmoil, Geneva seemed a paradise. Sitting in a villa owned by the Canton lent to a humanitarian foundation at the edge of Lac Leman, a beautiful green park around, I would not imagine heaven in any other shape, but for the disturbing preoccupation with the situation in Pakistan, a strange mixture of political instability, crimes of violence and corruption. I love Pakistan. I have travelled the world widely and feel sure I would not choose another country to live in. The Pakistani landscape and climate offer a variety very few countries can boast of. We have some of the highest mountains in the world, golden deserts, fertile plains and big rivers. We have several languages; north to south we see a variety of dresses and cuisine. We have four clear seasons and the monsoons. And above all, we have a wonderful, hardworking, enterprising and God fearing people. The prize possession of Pakistan is its people who, in spite of the corrupt elite, in spite of a painfully intrusive government, make life worthwhile. I am proud to have them as my countrymen. They would be first class anywhere in the world. If they are in the throes of chaos today, the fault is not theirs; it is clearly that of the elite who have misruled them for over sixty years. It is arguable that today's insurgencies are in fact an expression against that long misrule; extremism might be an expression of desperation at the grossly unfair public dispensation in Pakistan. Tragically, by the time the western countries realise this, it might be too late. Switzerland, a country of 7.7 million ethnically diverse people who speak 4 different languages in 26 cantons, is a confederation although officially it is called Helvetic Confederation. Most of the political power is with the cantons who decide their own issues autonomously and make their own laws. Helvetic Confederation is ruled by direct democracy, which places the people above the Parliament. If 50,000 signatures of ordinary Swiss people, for example, are registered against a law within 100 days of its passage, it will be put to a national vote where the issue will be decided by a simple majority. Between the problems of federalism and insurgencies, the country is in a state of confusion verging on panic these days. Denied the provincial autonomy envisaged in the 1973 constitution, the sense of deprivation in the smaller provinces has deepened, being articulated openly. If the painful experience of 1971 when East Pakistan broke away for similar reasons is not to be repeated, it might be time for the Parliament to wake up and actualise provincial autonomy. Abolishing the concurrent list immediately will not be a day too early. The writer is a former ambassador at large.