The beautiful thing about democracy in Switzerland is that the government is unobtrusive: you don't see it and you don't feel it. Unless, that is, you break the law when it acts swiftly and definitely, full chance being given to you to defend yourself. We arrived at Geneva this week from Amsterdam, the sin city of Europe where the red light district is promoted to encourage tourism. Security within Europe a notch lower, my passport was seen at the check-in counter at Schiphol, but nowhere after that. The hand baggage was run through scanners, but nobody demanded to see the passport: the boarding card was enough to carry on through to the flight. At Geneva, I walked to the arrival hall; there was no immigration check. I collected my bag and walked through the customs. No government visible, all the airport staff going about their business normally and the passengers rolling their bags without fuss. Utter peace; very, very civilised. The mind goes back to arrival at Islamabad reflexively, even if you try not to think about it convinced that the two situations are incomparable. But you do think of the confusion at arrival back in Islamabad. If you are not expected officially, or at least being met by your own car with driver, there is no public transport you can count on. No bus, no tram, no train. Geneva airport is connected by rail. Coming out of the arrival hall you punch a machine for a free ticket and board the airport express. The journey to Place Cornavin, the town centre, where the main Geneva station is located is ten minutes. By taxi it is 20. It is good economics because the state more than recovers the cost in the massive turn over of tourists the year round. The country is blessed with high mountains and lakes. In the winter you have skiing and other winter sports on frozen lakes of St Moritz or Sils Maria in Engadin, for example, and in the summer the lakes are used for water sports. What a beautiful country. At the hotel check-in you are handed a local transport pass for the period of your stay. It is good for bus, tram and rail. The hotel is not five star, but it is clean, well located and comfortable, not at all stuffy. The staff is courteous and homely and the service impeccable. There is no comparison but comparison over the years has become a compulsion. Like a masochist you punish yourself at every step with the obsessive question: why can't we? And every now and then you cease to be part of this wonderful way of life although you are in the middle of it. Back home, three million refugees in their own country euphemistically called internally displaced persons (IDP), terrorism, lawlessness, crime and corruption. Serious insurgency gripping two of its provinces, the writ of the government is all but gone from there. The army fighting its own people, police checkposts, security barricades all across the country, uniforms and guns are visible everywhere. A corrupt and incompetent government lacks the capacity for reform; poor governance is an unending nightmare in Pakistan. Trapped in their security cocoons, they cannot step out of their palaces. When they do they go globetrotting, sometimes with a begging bowl. Recently when the IDP crisis was exploding on us after the military actions in Swat and Waziristan, the president, his key advisors with him, took off on a trip to Moscow and Brussels. A sense of sovereignty all but taken away, Pakistan lies there like a carcass, vultures all around it. This is a nation of 170 million people caught between corrupt governments and the Taliban, looking towards the heavens helplessly. The questions my friends here is why have the people taken all this? Why do they not force a change? This is a question difficult to answer, given the number of stakeholders calling the shots in Pakistan. Maybe the answer to these questions is in the rising scale of violence in the region. This kind of bloodletting has always left footprints in history. And apparently the Taliban are not afraid of blood shed. According to the CNN they are "fighting to die" whereas the occupation army is "fighting to survive." Iraq remains on fire, so do Afghanistan and Pakistan. Iran, the way it is being projected on CNN, is the beginning to catch fire, completing the regional blaze. With these reflections I walk by Lac Leman and wonder about justice. After all, right here in Geneva, criminal trials have been abandoned for political expediency; justice reduced to a farce. Things are going down. Even Switzerland has beggars in the streets. I saw several of them, young and old, in front of Caf de Paris yesterday. Such is life. The writer is a former ambassador at large