We are passing through a singular milestone in our national history – a milestone marked by national metamorphosis. While it was the shock of the Peshawar incident that triggered this change, its manifestation was marked by new courage and awareness in Pakistani society to speak out their minds unequivocally on issues that were heretofore avoided. This change in attitudes was enhanced by the mobilization of a significantly large social group labelled in the past as the ‘silent majority’. What caused this change is something likely to cause debate, for while the Ruling Party and its supporters may not agree with the notion, the supporters of a ‘new Pakistan’ will attribute it to the indoctrination sessions that originated from the PTI container during the record breaking agitation in D-Chowk. Whatever be the reasons, it is becoming evident that the nation now stands united, as it was during our two wars with India. It is this unity and the prevailing tempo that offers a unique window of opportunity for the Government to carry out difficult legislation and reforms designed to spell peace and prosperity for Pakistan. We must move with the cognizance that any dillydallying in decision making due to ‘this political exigency or that pressure’ will not be forgiven by either time or history. It is for this reason alone that the Prime Minister must do what is required, even if it is done in an autocratic manner.

Reports indicate that the United Nations and the European Union are unhappy on the implementation of Capital Punishment in the Country. It is perhaps time that our Foreign Office or whoever is responsible to respond to such feedback, tells those concerned to ‘mind their own business’ as we have had enough outside interference in our internal affairs. Such a response (couched perhaps in diplomatic language) would be well received domestically as almost every Pakistani is satisfied with the decision to deliver justice speedily.

And now to matters concerning economy. What many of my readers may not know is the fact that the Philippines is now becoming a major outsourcing destination with regards to Data Repositories and Information Technology. One of the reasons why focus is shifting from India to this string of islands is perhaps lesser costs. I have touched on this subject because Pakistan has the talent and resources to offer similar services in areas of data warehousing and data based research resources. Such services are not much affected by what is happening on our domestic canvas, as the client or users concerned would access their data remotely. Why we have not been able to secure this global niche is a point to ponder.

Related to our economic woes is the fact that Liquefied Petroleum Gas prices have shown almost a hundred percent increase, in spite of the fact that global petroleum prices have plummeted to an all-time low. My concern is aggravated by rumors that vested Government interest in the LPG business is the cause of this anomalous trend. If this is correct, then the people concerned are playing with fire, as millions of homes and businesses all over the country are dependent on this source of fuel, particularly when natural gas supply is either nonexistent or insufficient for domestic or commercial use.

Our ‘natural gas woes’ began with the use of this resource as transportation fuel. It was vested interest even at that time, which ignored the fact that use of LNG in vehicles was tried and abandoned in many countries. Not only this, but it was in President Musharraf’s tenure of Government that the CNG culture erupted as an epidemic all across the country, with little realization that once popularized, it would be a difficult process to reverse. But difficult as it might be, we must find a way to wean the nation off CNG- and we must do it soon.

The writer is a freelance columnist.