With alarm bells ringing left, right and centre, why, it is pertinent to ask, does no one, absolutely no one, appear to be paying the slightest bit of attention to what is happening here: yes - here - right here in Pakistan?!

Come on people……..it is very hard to believe that you still, in spite of daily news reports and bulletins to the contrary, have the ridiculous impression that everything is hunky-dory because it sure as hell isn’t - far from in fact and everything, a very complicated ‘everything’ at that, is getting ready to hit the fan and, when it does, it will, obviously, hit you too and you are not going to relish the impact one single bit.

Consider the following points: we are repeatedly and perpetually encouraged to yell, scream and shout ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ in an outpouring of nationalism for one reason or another whilst closing our eyes to reality. The only time that the majority of people care for ‘human rights’ is when it is their own perceived rights, which are being abused - rarely the rights of others and our rights are rapidly disappearing as a result.

The population is, whenever something ‘bad’ happens, be this a suicide bomb attack or other violent act, immediately ‘instructed’ to band together against invisible or, as more likely, an imaginary ‘foreign hand’ when, in actual reality, the enemy is within. People still place the military way above the government for which, honestly speaking, they cannot be blamed one bit.

The position of women in society, never the best, is, thanks to spreading Taliban influence, being eroded day by day. Islam and governmental issues are completely entwined as are, in numerous respects Islam and the military too. The country is increasingly obsessed with national security issues that continually, or so we are told, emanate from across our eastern border when there is far more to fear from ‘other’ sources.

Corporations, large companies, large landowners, large property owners are never brought to book for their market manipulations and wrongdoings. The ‘masses’ are being viciously and relentlessly ground, even further down than ever before. ‘Jobs for the boys’ have never been more true, corruption rages as does inflation and as for the upcoming elections - fraudulence is the air.

Add to this completely untenable state of affairs - maybe that should read ‘untenable affairs of state’ - that American interference in Pakistani internal affairs is now way beyond the pale and that their ‘boots on the ground’ presence here is stealthily multiplying.

As they run away from the diabolical mess they have created across our northern border in Afghanistan, their unwanted - by the population - presence on our ‘sovereign’ soil will, don’t doubt this for a second, expand until their stranglehold on all of our strategic interests and assets, is complete.

America is not, mark these words, going to leave this part of the world in a hurry no matter what propaganda to the contrary is pushed down our collective throats. It has invested way too much to walk away now.

A few well placed photographs of containers containing goodness knows what - they could even be empty - being shipped out means nothing at all and, this reminds me - who on earth gave the Americans permission to provide their own security personnel to accompany these ‘suspicious’ containers across Pakistani soil, all the way from the Afghan border to Karachi Port, anyway and why?

Then, as if all of the above is not questionable enough, there is the thoroughly stirred up Balochistan imbroglio that has been brewing and murder in Karachi now on a daily basis rendering Karachi a ‘city at war’ and the great big and growing menace of ‘Talibanisation’.

That people still, stupidly, think they can sweep under the collective carpet of ignorance in the vain hope that it will miraculously disappear when quite the reverse is true, since - right in this homemade pot of misfortune and mischief - the militants have now become the dominant ingredient as incredible as it sounds - or perhaps not so incredible at all given the ostrich syndrome the nation suffers from - they appear to be the only ones who know what they want and they are seriously out to get it!

Throw in serious, very serious in some places, water shortages and lack of power, plus, possible looming food shortages as a direct result of climate change and we have a completely unbeatable recipe for unavoidable and utter chaos that, as has been pointed out before, is our very own doing and will be, unless people join together en mass to tackle these issues once and for all, our undoing as a country too.

Yes…….condemn me as a ‘doom monger’ or whatever you will, but, in doing so, you condemn yourself and Pakistan along with you. Ask, condescendingly and as dismissively as always, “but what are ‘we’ supposed to do?” And I will reply: “Tossing even one small pebble in a pool of water creates ripples, which spread and spread. Join hands as a nation and jump into the future as one and change, if you seriously want it, will have to come and exactly what kind of change this will be - is your decision too!”

The writer is author of The Gun Tree: One Woman’s War (Oxford University Press, 2001) and lives in Bhurban. Email: zahrahnasir@hotmail.com